Ron Paul moves to abolish gun-free zones

US Congressman Ron Paul recently introduced the “Citizens Protection Act of 2011” (H.R. 2613), which will repeal the federally created gun free school zones act. Introduced in 1996, this makes it an offence to carry a gun within 1000 feet of a private or public school.

Within a couple a years of the legislation being enacted, two disaffected teenagers walked into Columbine High School secure in the knowledge that they would be the only ones in the school who were armed. And, of course, Columbine triggered a slew of copycat episodes.

Paul has a knack for bringing his bills to a vote so that supporters and opponents can be identified.  This will be interesting.

More information here.

20 thoughts on “Ron Paul moves to abolish gun-free zones

  1. Trying to stop shootings by banning guns is like trying to stop cancer by banning radiotherapy.

  2. It is interesting to note that the U.S. state of Vermont, which uniquely has allowed concealed carry without a licence for 30 years, has a lower murder rate per capita than Australia.

    Also, New Zealand, which allows people to possess semi-automatics without any special licence, again has a lower murder rate than Australia.

    Furthermore, Switzerland, where the government hands an assault rifle to its citizens to keep in their home, has a murder rate which is almost half Australia’s.

    I can see no connection between firearm criminalisation and lower murder rates.

    However, one connection is clear. Mass shootings almost always occur where ordinary citizens are not armed.

  3. Yes indeed, imagine if just say 10% of the Norweigans were concealed-carry types. How many do you reckon the killer would have got, if indeed he would have tried at all knowing that he would not simply be able to slaughter them like defenceless sheep.

    As to Switzerland check the burglary rates ~ would you go after someone’s TV if you knew you would likely face an automatic weapon?

  4. The reality is that if 1% were inclined to carry, the mere threat of meeting up with one of them would be a considerable deterrent. It does not require the physical presence of a firearm, just the perception of the likelihood of one to change things.

  5. Jim, you are right of course. If it were legal, I would always ‘concealed carry’ and I guess you would to. Baretta 92F personally, although I like the look of some of the Glocks. Do you have a favoured option?

  6. Australians are not trusted to own pistols that are suitable for concealed carry. There is a minimum barrel length.

    I have a Tanfoglio 9mm but it’s quite hefty. I also have a S&W 686 but I’d need to do weight training to carry it and it would be about as subtle as wearing pink lycra.

    The reality is, one nutter with a firearm can wreak havoc whenever they choose.

  7. I agree with gun control – but not government forced gun control. However many libertarians do not seem to even acknowledge that there is a difference.

    If all roads were privately owned, I would say overwhelmingly, with no doubt at all, that the owners will tend to enforce a no gun policy. The evidence in favor of this is overwhelming. Almost all publicly open private places monopolize the right to weapons when given the free choice to do so.

    The evidence that gun control reduces deaths is so overwhelming that only people who cherry pick for insignificant statistical differences ever claim otherwise (for example you compared AUS 2.94 to NZ 2.66 per 100,000) while completely ignoring the overall trend for all countries. (and you got Switzerland completely wrong – there rate is over 6).

    Its simple logic. Less guns less gun deaths. Even deaths with knifes are directly linked to how many knifes there are available (duh) – which is usually a cultural thing. For example many japanese will not use or have knifes in their homes because of cultural reasons, which is why there murder rate is so low, there are no guns or stabbing weapons available to most people.

    The reason weapon control reduces homocide is that most murders happen on impulse. You take away the gun and the majority will not use a stabbing weapon. You take away stab weapons and the majority will not use a blunt weapon. If you compare the availability of potential weapons its directly correlated to murder rates.

    To even suggest otherwise is to suggest that all murderers make premeditated decision to murder and go to any length to carry out that murder, which is actually only true of a tiny tiny minority of murders.

  8. Concealed carry doesn’t add up. Consider this:

    Let people carry, but hide the gun. Why? Because the site of weapons is proven to escalate any situation, and we all know that most murders are on impulse and the result of unnecessarily escalation. So the idea is that if everyone carries, but no one knows, we can have the deterrent with out the escalation.

    Unfortunately it just doesn’t add up. All you can do is level the playing field (have everyone armed) however you have made the chance of escalation and murder overwhelmingly higher (since everyone has the potential to so easily take a life).

    The only thing to compare is what is the general rate of murder when everyone is armed to the general rate of murder when you try and ban weapons. The 2nd one has proven to be lower (its even true up to the scale of wars).

    This does not mean we should be forced by government. But I am saying that just because the government backs or doesn’t back something does not determine the truth or non-truth behind it. I believe that if you would remove government a society would freely form rules that are a lot closer to gun control we already have than most people here would care to believe.

  9. “The only thing to compare is what is the general rate of murder when everyone is armed to the general rate of murder when you try and ban weapons. The 2nd one has proven to be lower (its even true up to the scale of wars).”

    What do you base that assumption on/what comparisons are you using?

    That is certainly the commonly held belief, the case example people always site is a comparison of US murder rates, where gun ownership is quite high and gun laws relatively lax, with a country like Australia, where gun ownership is low and murder rates comparatively low. However, I’m not so sure it actually stands up on closer inspection.

    Consider the fact that Canada has similarly high gun ownership rates as the US but vastly lower murder rates, likewise with Switzerland, whereas Mexico has a skyrocketing murder rate despite gun ownership being illegal. Furthermore, in regards to the situation within the various US states, not only is there not a correlation between tougher gun control and less crime, there is actually the semblance of a reverse correlation where the states with lower gun control and higher gun ownership seem to have lower crime rates. For example New Hampshire has very lax gun control; open carry without a permit and concealed carry with a very easily obtainable permit, and yet it is the “safest state in the Union”.

    It is possible that the above cases are coincidences and more the consequences of unrelated factors, but that is the entire point. The case for gun control is no where near as strong as commonly believed, and the comparison with other countries has far too many variables to be reliable. I would argue that the extensive gun crime and high murder rates in the US are more a result of their utterly foolish prosecution of the drug war.

  10. “The only thing to compare is what is the general rate of murder when everyone is armed to the general rate of murder when you try and ban weapons. The 2nd one has proven to be lower (its even true up to the scale of wars).”

    What do you base that assumption on/what comparisons are you using?

    That is certainly the commonly held belief, the case example people always site is a comparison of US murder rates, where gun ownership is quite high and gun laws relatively lax, with a country like Australia, where gun ownership is low and murder rates comparatively low. However, I’m not so sure it actually stands up on closer inspection.

    Consider the fact that Canada has similarly high gun ownership rates as the US but vastly lower murder rates, likewise with Switzerland, whereas Mexico has a skyrocketing murder rate despite gun ownership being illegal. Furthermore, in regards to the situation within the various US states, not only is there not a correlation between tougher gun control and less crime, there is actually the semblance of a reverse correlation where the states with lower gun control and higher gun ownership seem to have lower crime rates. For example New Hampshire has very lax gun control; open carry without a permit and concealed carry with a very easily obtainable permit, and yet it is the “safest state in the Union”.

    It is possible that the above cases are coincidences and more the consequences of unrelated factors, but that is the entire point. The case for gun control is no where near as strong as commonly believed, and the comparison with other countries has far too many variables to be reliable. I would argue that the extensive gun crime and high murder rates in the US are more a result of their utterly foolish prosecution of the drug war.

  11. I tend to agree with Clinton in regards to the fact that the majority of murders that take place excludeing war are of a impulsive nature usually caused by an intence emotional response to another person or person’s rather than a premeditated act of murder and that without gun laws would have a society with the core belief that guns mean safety. Unfortuneately factor’s like alchohole, drugs, and mental state of mind can turn one armed person into a mass murder in a very short period of time which fuels the argument that more people with guns mean quick prevention of such an event becomming a nightmare. I believe that rather than increasing the number of guns available to the public government should increase police numbers along with atleast one armed security guard at each school and armed security at crowded venues for exmple.

  12. If you are going to compare something, then compare like with like; national versus national, state versus state, don’t cherry pick a state and then compare it an entire country.

    National figures on firearm related deaths: US 15.22, Australia 2.94 (Vermont was 9.6 not lower than Australia’s as you stated).

  13. If you are going to compare something, then compare like with like; national versus national, state versus state, don’t cherry pick a state and then compare it an entire country.

    National figures on firearm related deaths: US 15.22, Australia 2.94 (Vermont was 9.6 not lower than Australia’s as you stated).

    I also note that Australia has had nil gun related massacres since we undertook significant amounts of gun control in the late 1990’s, versus how many in the States?

  14. Mundi: The only thing to compare is what is the general rate of murder when everyone is armed to the general rate of murder when you try and ban weapons. The 2nd one has proven to be higher (in the states of the U.S, those with stricter firearm bans have higher murder rates, i.e. Washington DC has very strict gun laws and a murder rate higher than any state).

  15. Looking at the gun related murders to see the effect of gun control is silly. It’s like saying we should ban red cars because there are deaths caused by red cars.

    The total murder rate is what’s important.

  16. Obviously its more than just having gun control. It has to be effective. Most of the US stats are ridiculous because there is nothing stopping anyone from going anywhere with a gun. I drove from new hampshire to new york to washington and was never checked by anyone for anything. The laws are completely uneffective. Only international comparison are useful because border control is generally effective in western counteries.

  17. I doupt that 1% would be a deterant. So 1% of people are equally as armed but probably no as prepared? In a society with 100% carry or 0% guns there would still be criminals either way. The question is what is the best level for deaths?

    Its entirely plausible that in a country where guns are easy to get, but illegal, that no carry laws would result in more deaths compared to a country that actually had effective gun control – even if you allow for the occasional massacre by a gun that slips through.

  18. Mundi: You can’t really have “effective gun control”. Firearms are a hundreds of year old technology which are relatively easily manufactured. They’re not computers.

    Sure, such homemade firearms may not have the same long range accuracy, but over short ranges (where most shootings occur) they’re likely to be just as deadly.

    Unless you ban metal its almost impossible to effectively control firearms.

  19. Mundi- there is a historical parallel that complements your ideas. for hundreds of years, the U.K. had nothing in the way of gun control- and it had a low murder rate! People didn’t feel the need to have guns, and the Constables could go unarmed.
    However, recently, in tandem with increasing Government restrictions on gun ownership, gun crimes are increasing. I am not sure if there is a direct link, but circumstantial evidence favours your ideas.

  20. ‘Nuke’ all too true I am afraid, criminals can now be certain that law abiding people will be unarmed and defenceless and less anyone use the tired old “call the cops” line ~ ask the people whose homes were burned down by rioters on Saturday night where the police were? Busy elsewhere leaving unarmed people defenceless in the face of anarchy. Now if a few of the law abiding people who literally had to flee the flames had been armed, might the rioters have thought twice about burning people’s homes? Certainly.

    And before anyone says it, the criminals already have guns!!

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