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  • Gun Free Zones

    Yah, so this particular topic seems to have struck a nerve. Not sure if that's real, or because it's part of da PR & Communication talking points of da special interest lobby right now. I confess it's not one I've spent any time on or paid much attention to, nor one I have particular personal sentiments about. I'd be interested in what people think da issues are, though I'd prefer folks who were givin' their own view rather than repeatin' anybody's lobbying package. To get us started, here's what I think is da lay of the land (keep in mind this is Sunday night, I'm out of da office, and this is not my area).

    Federally, there are several applicable laws, eh?

    The Gun Free School Zones Act prohibits unlicensed carry on public property or school premises within 1,000 feet of a K-12 school. Licensed carry (like CCW) is allowed, along with da usual exceptions for law enforcement, security guards, transport, etc.

    Federal Law also prohibits any carry at federal facilities or federal buildings - post offices, courthouses, prisons, offices, national cemeteries, dams and power control facilities, etc.

    In the states, things are more complimicated, of course. States often ban carrying firearms in some places in accord with state law, and smaller political subdivisions may also have local ordinances or policies. Da sort of places that might be gun-free zones in state or local law include places like:

    Prisons
    Courthouses
    Other public buildings (law enforcement, state depts., etc.)
    Schools
    Saloons (usually excepting owners and employees)
    Sports Arenas
    Places of Worship
    Hospitals
    Casinos
    Private property where posted or informed

    Now all in all, I'm not sure what da hysteria is about. Allowing property owners to decide whether to allow guests on their property to be armed seems like a matter of personal property rights that we should not infringe.

    Not allowing guns in courthouses and such seems remarkably sane.

    Da issue with schools seems to be either that people don't know CCW is specifically allowed by federal law in gun-free school zones, or they really are in favor of untrained, unlicensed strangers with guns around their kids.

    Coming to church unarmed and unhelmeted just seems like a matter of courtesy to an old fellow like me; a sign of respect for God and for other people.

    Other places like casinos and bars I suppose could be debated, but really?

    Interestingly, da laws with respect to carry and alcohol vary quite a bit as well. Some states allow zero, others allow drinking up to the legal limit for driving.

    So perhaps someone can explain what they feel da real issue is here.

    Beavah

  • #2
    I think it is really simple - either society is better off with an armed citizenry or it isn't. If it is, why restrict - i.e. churches, schools, etc. If it isn't, why allow?

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    • #3
      It's not an issue - it's a distraction, a way for the gun lobby to throw their blind followers a stripped down bone and convince them it has some meat on it.

      Not all states will let private property owners declare their private property a gun free zone either - Florida has a law that requires certain types of facilities, including shopping malls, to allow concealed weapons. The sponsor included amusement parks as well, fully intending that folks would be allowed to carry concealed guns into Dsney World. Someone added an amendment that would exempt facilities that stored explosives and it sailed right through. I'd suggest imagining the chagrin of the sponsor when Disney banned weapons and pointed out that they do a nightly fireworks show and that fireworks are legally classified as an explosive except you can probably still find stories that you can read that reports on his chagrin.

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      • #4
        I think it is really simple - either society is better off with an armed citizenry or it isn't. If it is, why restrict - i.e. churches, schools, etc. If it isn't, why allow?

        Yah, hmmm...

        So I'm confused here, acco40.

        Your position is that folks who have never taken handgun training nor concealed carry classes, who quite possibly have never passed a background check, should be allowed to carry guns into a crowded school? Because da virtue of an "armed citizenry" trumps everything else?

        Am I gettin' that right?

        And churches? We tell Boy Scouts they should take their hats off indoors, eh? As a sign of courtesy. The origins of that were that yeh had to take your helmet off and leave your arms behind when yeh entered under da roof of a friend or especially into the House of God. It would be truly ironic if we hollered at kids about da meaningless form of doffing a cap in the camp dining hall but then advocated taking weapons into a house of worship.

        Should the minister or congregation have a say, do yeh suppose? For folks like da Catholics, to allow weapons into a sacred place would be a violation of Canon Law. Or so I'm told. Does da Second Amendment also trump the First Amendment?

        Yah, I confess I'm just increasingly flummoxed by these positions.

        Beavah

        (This message has been edited by Beavah)

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        • #5
          It IS called 'Canon Law' after all. Sorry, couldn't resist.
          I'm not so certain your sentimental view of church is shared by the 'nutters' who promote the 'right' to carry most anywhere. And if schools are mandated to allow CC (which I strongly oppose), I would insist that the same be applied to all other places, including hospitals, bars, government buildings, and churches.

          I was a bit put off during my CC training, when the instructors spent a good bit of time explaining the specific details of the requirements for signage if some business establishment wants to prohibit guns. The instructions were explicitly intended to let us (the students) know how to evade any charges if we were caught - namely placement of the signs, how big, the specific wording, etc. Any little technical mistake, we were told, disqualifies the establishment and there could be no successful charges.
          They explicitly stated that 'this' part of the 'training' was intended to let us know how to 'get around' the current limitations and to be able to enter premises of improperly signed establishments with confidence. The time we spent on this nonsense might have been better spent on safe handling or something, I think.
          But the message was clear to me. There are some who, despite being able to qualify for CC, do not respect the law regarding gun free zones, and who are willing to show others 'the way'. I suspect this is a sort of unwritten 'Canon Law' as well. They obviously think 'theirs' takes priority over 'yours'.

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          • #6
            I sit here this morning reading these sad opinions.

            I live in not quite a ghetto, but a bad neighborhood...... I don't live in fear.



            I read all these "Role Models of the American Male", being afraid to go to church or public school unarmed. Really?????? Honestly if your afraid to go into the woods camping with the scouts unarmed or to the grocery you should take a moment and rethink whether you are mentally fit to be a leader in scouting.


            So what is everyone afraid of??????

            I just don't get it.

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            • #7
              BD- if you feel that way about those who carry, why do you have a CCW permit?

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              • #8
                I think it is really simple - either society is better off with an armed citizenry or it isn't. If it is, why restrict - i.e. churches, schools, etc. If it isn't, why allow?

                "Yah, hmmm...

                So I'm confused here, acco40.

                Your position is that folks who have never taken handgun training nor concealed carry classes, who quite possibly have never passed a background check, should be allowed to carry guns into a crowded school? Because da virtue of an "armed citizenry" trumps everything else? "

                Didn't citizenry, back then, mean you were part of the local militia? Then you would have had weapons training.
                Maybe, to own a firearm, you should be required to show up for the monthly training with the National Guard (on the firing range).
                We have to get our driver's license renewed every few years. Perhaps the permit to carry should also be term limited



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                • #9
                  Well, it was the thing to do GS.

                  I went and took the course with the guys from work met for breakfast, out to lunch and beers afterward.....I had a good time.

                  We all went down to the sheriffs office as a group and applied for the permit together.

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                  • #10
                    >>I went and took the course with the guys from work met for breakfast, out to lunch and beers afterward.....I had a good time.

                    We all went down to the sheriffs office as a group and applied for the permit together.

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                    • #11
                      I did it because of a couple of people who were threatening to kill me. Thankfully, I never had to use it.
                      I may let the permit lapse now, however. There no longer is a threat.

                      Eagledad, When I had children, I parked the bike. When they finished college, I started riding again. I'm going to pass on the tats.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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                      • #12
                        Didn't citizenry, back then, mean you were part of the local militia? Then you would have had weapons training.

                        Often every male, 16 or older. With mandatory drill every other week.

                        I think it would be good to see mandatory service again in da U.S. At least one year of military service and one year of non-military service for everyone. Then a term of 10 years as a reservist.

                        I consider CCW folks "mostly harmless." Like BD or Eagledad, that would be how I'd get a CCW permit, though as I mentioned I'm in and out of gun-free security zones too much to bother carryin'. I'd be completely in favor of mandatory ongoin' training and da ability to demonstrate a specified level of proficiency to concealed carry in public, though.

                        Anyway, back to gun-free zones. I am really curious about this. Perhaps in responses people could list da gun-free zones that they would feel are acceptable. Like can we all agree on nobody bringing a gun onto a commercial airliner? Into a nuclear power plant? Or on private property where not welcome?

                        Beavah

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                        • #13
                          >>Eagledad, When I had children, I parked the bike. When they finished college, I started riding again.

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                          • #14
                            The problem Beav is you are asking a gray area question in a black and white pretense with a slightly emotional condescending tone.

                            >>Not allowing guns in courthouses and such seems remarkably sane.

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                            • #15
                              Beavah, I'm good with prohibition from carrying on airlines, at schools, and on anyone's private property if that's what they choose. For that last one I'd also include their business if they're the owner.

                              If some moron wants to carry into a church, I'd say let the individual churches determine their own policy. Let them answer for themselves, WWJD?
                              And while I understand the thinking about bars, let's face it, some of us need to compensate for our 'shortcomings' SOME-how. I say let the market take care of that one. The Darwin awards await.

                              Finally, I'm ok with keeping them out of court rooms and other government buildings as well.

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