The Daily Gamecock

Loose gun laws will deter would-be shooters

First and foremost, I’d like to express my deepest sympathies to the people affected by the shooting Monday at the Washington Navy Yard.

However, this shooting will once again bring gun control to the forefront of the national debate, and it is time to take a different perspective on these mass shootings. As the facts of this shooting come out over the next few days, there will be a large outcry for a strengthening of the gun control policy in this country.

Ironically, these mass shootings have been primarily occurring in places with the strictest gun control laws possible, a key fact to be considered when advocating for stricter gun control. In fact, the three mass shootings over the past year have all occurred in gun free zones.

Gun control advocates continue to exclaim there are not enough restrictions on guns in this country. If that’s the case, why do mass shootings continue to occur most frequently in gun free zones?
John Lott, an economist who published a controversial study on gun control in 1999, said recently that “with just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.”

It’s theorized that the assurance of a mostly unarmed populace encourages shooters to take action. When a criminal knows there’s likely to be minimal resistance, they tend to take action.
The problem after every mass shooting is the misplaced focus on the shooter, background checks and clip size. Maybe this time we should focus on the hypothesis that the threat of able-minded and armed citizens could deter the shooter from ever attacking.
In this case, if the shooter does decide to attack, then perhaps armed nearby could intervene and minimize the damage. In any case, there is no telling if the presence of guns in the Navy Yard, or at any of the other mass shooting incidents for that matter, could have minimized the damage.

It is clear that mass shootings are occurring at a disproportionately high rate in these gun free zones. It is time to start looking at these shootings in a different light and realizing that the ability to carry a firearm may actually save lives.