Last Updated:July 24 @ 12:15 pm

Guns in schools can save lives

By John R. Lott Jr.

USA Today - Has anyone noticed that these mass shootings at public schools increased after the 1995 Gun-Free School Zone Act? Passed with good intentions, banning guns would supposedly make schools safer.

But law abiding citizens, not criminals, obey these bans. Instead of making places safer, disarming law abiding citizens left them sitting ducks.

Killers go where victims can't defend themselves. In the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting, out of seven theaters showing the Batman movie premiere within 20 minutes of the suspect's apartment, only one banned permitted concealed handguns. The suspect didn't go to the closest nor the largest, but to the one that banned self-defense. Time after time the story is the same.

With just one exception, every public mass shooting in the USA since at least 1950 has taken place where citizens are banned from carrying guns. Despite strict gun regulations, Europe has had three of the worst six school shootings.

Sometimes, permit holders save lives. Joel Myrick, an assistant high school principal in Pearl, Miss., used to carry his permitted handgun at school, but stopped after the 1995 act passed. When his school was attacked in October 1997, he ran a mile to get his gun stored off school property, and still stopped the attack 11 minutes before police arrived. Before 1996, he could have stopped it sooner.

More than 8.5 million Americans can legally carry concealed handguns. They are next to us in restaurants, movie theaters and stores. Permit holders are law abiding, committing firearms violations at a rate of hundredths of 1%.

Before the 1995 act, states allowing concealed carry let permit holders carry guns in schools. In four states, they still can. No problems ever reported.

As a compromise, over the past 15 years more than 12,000 former military members have gone into public schools teaching through "Troops to Teachers." Let them carry.

Still in doubt? Ask yourself: Would you feel safer with a sign on your house saying "this house is a gun-free zone"? But if you wouldn't put these signs on your home, why put them elsewhere?

John R. Lott Jr. is a former chief economist for the U.S. Sentencing Commission and the author of More Guns, Less Crime.

(c) Copyright 2012 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.

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12 Comments

  1. mstrong1Comment by mstrong1
    December 26, 2012 @ 11:21 am

    Whenever sheep are slaughtered they flail about trying to figure out how to deter wolves, yet ALWAYS do something that only reduces the number of sheepdogs, then they feel better.

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  2. gsreaganComment by gsreagan
    December 26, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

    Evidently, we here in Texas didn’t get the memo. Some public (and I would even bet private) schools use security, off duty police officers, and even require teachers and administrators to “pack heat” due to their remoteness. Not because of the NRA but because we care about our citizens. But of course, we thought that was the natural way to do things.

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  4. handymanherbComment by handymanherb
    December 26, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

    Since we can see how quick things go bad since the gun free zones started, it’s time to end all gun free zones for honest people, the crooks and crazies don’t care for the rules or make good use to them, since all the honest people are disarmed, making me think twice about being so honest, I would rather go to jail for having a gun on me, than to see people die at the hands of someone who has no regards to lifes of others, that he would take them so easy.

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  6. gimmesometruthComment by gimmesometruth
    December 26, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

    Even the Fort Hood terrorist attack was staged in a “NO GUN” zone. But then again, it was only “Domestic Workplace Violence”.

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  7. FlyboyComment by Flyboy
    December 26, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

    As we bandy about all these largely superfluous arguments, why hasn’t anyone asked the truly important question here. Why has it become necessary to discuss these issues in the first place? What has happened to our culture and society that we now have to look at resorting to these measures? Having begun my public education back in 1964 when I entered Kindergarten I remember beginning each day with a prayer, led by the teacher, and the recitation of the “Pledge of “Allegiance”. On any number of occasions us boys would bring a new “Jack Knife” to school to show our friends and watch their eyes get big and listen to their Ooooo’s and Aaaaaaahs. We would show off how quickly we could whittle something from a stick we picked up off the ground that had been lying at the base of a tree. We could even show it off in class as a “Show ‘n Tell” item. We of course, had been briefed by our Dads on safety protocol, and admonished to remember that it was not a “Toy” and if used recklessly, could hurt someone else or ourselves. Dad showed us how to whittle safely by pushing the blade away from us and not pulling it toward ourselves. Once Dad was sure we had the briefing down, then he gave us his blessing to take it to school to show our friends with the proviso….”Be careful now.” As I progressed through school, things began to change. We didn’t have a teacher led prayer anymore but an ambiguous “Moment of silence.” Eventually the Pledge of allegiance went by the way side too. By the time I hit High School it was drunken binges at the drive in movie that made news, everyone and their brother were selling marijuana. There were still a good number of us “Good Kids” who still showed respect for our teachers and did our best to learn what was being taught and get good grades. Our society has crumbled. Our public, or should I say, government run schools, decided that a “Value Free and Morally Neutral” environment was the best “objective” environment in which to learn. Isn’t that a moral and value in and of itself? Knowledge outside of a moral context is like a campfire without a retaining wall of rocks to keep it from causing a forest fire. The retaining wall of traditional morals that served this nation well since it’s founding was abandoned and look what happened. 60′s radicals blowing up police headquarters and government buildings, protesting a war that could stop the spread of communism in Asia and bring the breath of liberty and freedom to people half a world away. Our veterans were assaulted, spit on and insulted by an ignorant “revolutionary” bunch who had no idea the kinds of sacrifices that had been made by their parents in the big wars so they could have the freedom to protest. These protesters later went on to become academicians, now shaping the minds of the next generations. Any opportunity, whether in an English class, or Science or Math they would promote their Marxist ideologies, and after a while it would produce a generation like we see now of young men who don’t really know what it means to be a man. They continue living with their parents well into their 30′s. They like girls and sex but have no desire to take on the responsibilities of a wife and family to provide for and a home to make for themselves. I left home at the age of 18 after I graduated from High School. I’d enlisted in the US Army at the beginning of my senior year on a delayed entry program. I did 3 years active duty and 3 reserve. 2 and 1/2 years of that in Germany since I figured 6 years of taking German in School as my second language and having tons of relatives in Germany was a good way to see another part of the world and connect with Aunts, Uncles and Cousins that I otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to meet. I traveled frequently while there to visit relatives and had a wonderful time. I came home and traveled to Dallas Texas to attend Bible College where I met my amazing wife. We traveled all over the country to sing and share Gods word with people, had a daughter and for the most part had a beautiful albeit modest way of life. We remembered where our blessings came from and offered God thanks both in the good times and the bad. There is a passage in the Bible I will conclude with. In Revelation Chapter 2 verses 1-5 we see the Lord in essence giving cudos to the Church in Ephesus. They had been doing many good things and doing them well. In verses 4 and 5 Jesus says…..”But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you , and will remove your lamp stand out of its place–unless you repent.” Christ was addressing His Church but this also applies to us as a nation. Two words America…….”Remember” and “Repent.” God have mercy on us and save the U.S.A.

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    • fedupwithbadgovComment by fedupwithbadgov
      December 27, 2012 @ 8:51 am

      BRAVO! You said it well as to the moral decay of our society. If you look back at our historical “evolution” of our educational system, you will see a rather significant milestone where the decline originated at an accelerated rate. Our illustrious body of “elected public servants” (and I use the term “servants” with tongue stiffly buried in my cheek) determined that prayer in school was “offensive” to a minority of people and had to be eliminated under the guise of separation of Church and State.

      Well, look at the results. The principles of such things as integrity, morality, ethics, and personal responsibility were the price that was paid which has resulted in what we now experience as a society destined for destruction by our own hand. I, like you, Flyboy, started my school day with a Prayer (non-denominational) and the Pledge of Allegiance. We even had prayer at the beginning of each sporting event to ask for good sportmanship and safety of the players. What a concept! And that was “offensive”? So where is the defining line between holding up traffic in New York with the Muslims kowtowing to Mecca and an athelete kneeling to pray to his or her God?

      Wake up, everyone! Being “politically correct” is merely a ruse to degrade and hide the truth. Tell it like it is and don’t be afraid to speak out against that which is WRONG. Be responsible before it’s too late!

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    • BadgerComment by Badger
      December 31, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

      Good take Flyboy … I started school in 1962 and know just what you are saying. I got my first gun, a 410 shotgun that same year. Every kid on my street had a gun … at 6 I was only allowed to hunt under the supervision of my father. Some of the other parents had no interest in hunting so they bought their kids guns to hunt with my dad and other parents who hunted. By 10 our parents were comfortable with letting us go hunting on our own … we had a patch of woods not far away we would walk to to shoot and hunt. A police officer would occasionally slow down and ask us how the hunting was as we all walked home with our guns broken open, barrels pointed at the ground and then wave as he drove away … we were 10 and 11 years old … yes I feel sorry for the children of the future … the will be nothing more than servants to their masters with each and every step of their lives guided for them. Like my first grade teacher warned us about, assessment tests will determine their fortune in life and they will have no choice in their futures … My first grade teacher Mrs. Yoder must have been a prophet because everything she warned that would happen if we bowed to communism is taking place.

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  8. SC SecessionistComment by scommonsense4all
    December 26, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

    Awesome, well said and good to hear. I miss that “old time” thinking and the same days that I had in my youth as Flyboy. Being a couple of years older and watching our youth, my own included, just not get it anymore brings me more sadness than any natural catastrophe in any foreign land. God help us and have mercy on us all.

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    • bentleyComment by bentley
      December 28, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

      These comments are rigt on target. Now we need to get rid of the.All the sex and violance.Shooting someone,blowing things up,rapping someone, has become accepted as the norm.Our kids are being prepped with violente game vi-dos,Violante cartoons etc.The the most important job, in the world,is a mother at home raising our kids.Some seem more interested in letting them be raised in daycare.

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  10. SC SecessionistComment by scommonsense4all
    December 28, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

    Thanks bentley, my wife was a stay at home mom, raising three children, growing a garden and selling it’s produce at her stand by her driveway.
    This was after she did her 3+3 in the Army as an Armorer. Now she is the proud mother of a son/ Staff Sgt. in the Marine Corp, who is a 2 tour Irag vet and now wrapping up his last assignment at MCRD Parris Island, SC. A daughter/banker and a daughter/photographer. Both of which put themselves through school and did it on their own with a little help, or a loan from their Dad.
    She is proud of her job staying at home and raising her children right, and she has 3 great children to show for it. Not to mention being able to can any thing you can grow.
    A GREAT wife, American, Patriot and mother. God blessed me with her the day we met, we’ve never been apart physically/geographically, philosophically or emotionally, we enjoy each other to much.They don’t make many like her any more.

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  11. bentleyComment by bentley
    December 29, 2012 @ 11:54 am

    Good example of what America is all about.

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  12. bentleyComment by bentley
    December 29, 2012 @ 11:59 am

    WHY DON’T WE HAVE HIDDEN CAMERAS OUTSIDE OUR SCHOOLS?

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