Gun-Free Zone Liability ActI wonder if it might be possible to really get this on the table (it has been seriously discussed in Arizona and Georgia legislatures). As theauthors note, even forcing the concept of gun-free zone liability intothe general discourse would have an excellent effect — public property owners would start thinking in terms of civil liability as well as criminal liability.
Originally introduced in Arizona as The Defenseless Victim Act of 2002, this bill recognizes that gun-free zones, recklessly made and typically with no alternative security provided, are known to be extremely dangerous.
We have seen this (when the bill was first introduced) in the Wakefield, Mass., slayings, the Luby's Massacre, and even the hijacked airliners on Sept. 11, where pilots and passengers were defenseless, in the false name of security. Congress responded to that with the "Arm The Pilots" law.
The death toll from gun-free zones continues to mount, with the 2007 Virginia Tech slaughter of helpless students and faculty, and at a Christmastime massacre that year in an Omaha shopping mall. The mall had "no guns allowed" signs to keep out FBI-certified citizens with CCW permits. The murderer, as in all such cases, disobeyed the signs. The news media continues to suppress stories where armed individuals stop such mayhem. See for example, The Bias Against Guns, by John Lott, for numerous egregious examples. You can also read this eloquent gun-bias editorial online.
The Gun-Free-Zone Liability Act basically says that, in public places, if you create a dangerous gun-free zone, you're liable for any harm it causes. There is no cost or budget item associated with enacting this bill.
The idea that gun-free zones are safe is fraudulent.
It is a mythology perpetrated by anti-rights activists who can often be recognized by their beliefs that:
1 - self defense should be illegal,
2 - guns should be confiscated,
3 - no one but "authorities" should have guns,
4 - government can take care of you better than you can.
The anti-self-defense lobby would tell you to rely upon the police for your safety, but they always omit the inconvenient facts that:
1 - police have no legal duty to protect you;
2 - they routinely respond only after an event to pick up the pieces;
3 - when seconds count, the police are just minutes away.
If I am ever involved in a mass shooting in a place where I am forbidden to have my legal gun, you can bet I will be filing a spectacular lawsuit against the property owner, all the associated businesses on the property, every single corporate entity involved, plus their spouses, pets, kitchen appliances and anything else I can think of.
I think it is appalling that the MSM continue to parade their antigun bias...read David Hardy's Arms & the Law reporting. The newspapers and electronic media should be trumpeting that an armed civilian stopped a madman's slaughter...but that would go against their deeply held religious belief that we are all incapable of protecting ourselves and need Big Brother 24/7.
UPDATE...from the Denver Post this AM, two other male church members with CCWs drew theirguns but apparently froze:
Near an entryway in the church, Bourbonnais came upon the gunman and an armed male church security guard who was there with his gun drawn but not firing, he said. [Larry Bourbonnais is a Vietnam vet who, like Jeanne Assam, ran toward the sound of gunfire]Compare this to Assam, who walked toward the shooter, firing as she walked and shouting repeatedly, "Surrender! Surrender!"
Bourbonnais said he pleaded with the armed guard to give him his weapon.
"Give me your handgun. I've been in combat, and I'm going to take this guy out," Bourbonnais recalled telling the guard. "He kept yelling, 'Get behind me! Get behind me!' He wouldn't hand me his weapon, but he wouldn't do anything."
There was an additional armed security guard there, another man, who also didn't fire, Bourbonnais said.
As I have said repeatedly, it is truly impossible to look in the rearview mirror at a chaos event. It's easy to say what we might have done, because we weren't there. I do think it is worth a broadbrush after-action report:
1) Jeanne Assam went to cover at the sound of the first shot (as she said in her CNN-reported press conference).I can't speculate on the two armed men who didn't engage...we simply don't have enough information. I will say that violent encounters in reality are never what a person imagines them to be beforehand. That is what we train. And train and train. Assam is a former LEO,so I am making the assumption that she had at least academy training.
2) She quickly realized she was in an "active shooter" situation, which totally changed her mindset and her tactics. Instead of "go to cover and defend" — the most basic self-defense tactic — she shifted to "engage and attack" — the only response to an active shooter surrounded by targets.
3) She broke cover and engaged the active shooter.
4) She also verbally engaged the shooter, which served two purposes — it gave the shooter the chance to live, and it distracted him from his deadly rampage. We should also note that the unarmed Larry Bourbonnaise also verbally engaged the shooter, which got Bourbonnaise wounded but bought time for Assam.
5) Assam shot on the move.
6) She apparently kept firing until the threat was neutralized. I have seen it reported that she fired 10-12 shots in the encounter.