A shooting yesterday at a Jacksonville, Florida gaming tournament shows once again that “gun free zones” only produce situations where a violent criminal can commit murder against helpless victims.
From the New York Times:
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A gunman armed with a handgun killed two people at a video gaming tournament on Sunday, turning a football competition waged in a virtual domain into the chaotic scene of a double murder. The shooting suspect, a gamer attending the event, fatally shot himself, the authorities said.
Sheriff Mike Williams of Jacksonville identified the suspect as David Katz, 24, of Baltimore, but said it was too early to know his motive. The sheriff said the F.B.I. and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were assisting in the investigation.
A live-stream of the tournament caught the chilling moment when the shooting began. A red laser dot appeared on the chest of one of the players, who was wearing white headphones and a red sweatshirt. The video of the players then disappeared. Twelve gunshots rang out.
Eleven people were injured, nine by gunshots.
The common thread connecting this and most other mass shootings is that such crimes usually take place in a gun free zone. Here, the venue of the tournament was a place called Jacksonville Landings, which is a location that bans firearms.
Common sense tells us that a criminal who is willing to commit murder – a crime for which they face life imprisonment or execution – will not be deterred by any other laws. That is especially true when that criminal intends to take their own life after killing other people. It is also true when the murderer is mentally unstable or religiously motivated such that any potential consequences do not matter to them.
The only people deterred by gun free zones are the law abiding people who were not going to kill anyone in the first place. Those are the people who leave their self defense gun at home as they do not wish to risk a criminal conviction and jail time, as they have something to live for and wish to avoid legal problems. The result is that those some law abiding people are then defenseless against a criminal of the sort discussed above.
Cases where victims of crime are armed for self defense tend to produce a much happier outcome. As both the statistical evidence and real life examples make clear, armed self defense works. Disarming victims and producing an environment where only the criminal is armed will lead to tragedy, as has happened for decades.