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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 23, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Gun-free zones in Seattle

Gun-free zones are dangerous

Navy personnel salute during the playing of "Taps" as President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attend a memorial service for the victims of the Washington Navy Yard shooting at Marine Barracks Washington Sept. 22, 2013.  A gunman killed 12 people in the Navy Yard on Sept. 16, 2013, before being fatally shot in a gun battle with law enforcement. The president and first lady Michelle Obama also visited with the victims' families.  [AP Photo/Charles Dharapak]

Navy personnel salute during the playing of “Taps” as President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attend a memorial service for the victims of the Washington Navy Yard shooting at Marine Barracks Washington Sept. 22, 2013. A gunman killed 12 people in the Navy Yard on Sept. 16, 2013, before being fatally shot in a gun battle with law enforcement. The president and first lady Michelle Obama also visited with the victims’ families. [AP Photo/Charles Dharapak]

The establishment of gun-free zones on public property has invited demented individuals to transform them into killing grounds in order to massacre their defenseless occupants.

One must conclude that those areas attract hopeful killers for that very reason. The locations of the last three mass shootings, Fort Hood, Sandy Hook Elementary School, and the Navy Yard, are all gun-free zones.

In the case of the military bases, Congress, in its inimitable wisdom, has embedded in federal law the prohibition against the possession of guns or other dangerous weapons on all federal facilities — 18 USC 930.

In so doing, Congress has rendered inhabitants of federal properties bereft of their Constitutional right to defend themselves; this legislative fiat has produced 26 fatalities at Fort Hood and the Navy Yard.

The victims were defenseless and unable to oppose the killers as a direct result of Congress’s ill-considered legislation.

The notion that military personnel, professionally trained in the use of weapons, can be entrusted with those weapons to kill the enemy overseas but not to defend themselves here at home is patently ridiculous. Congress should take immediate action to exempt military bases from 18 USC 930.

Moreover, governments at every level should stop creating gun-free zones and eliminate the ones they now have, lest those who ignore the “gun free” caveat visit their deadly intentions on yet more innocent victims.

Local, state and federal governments must recognize that, in their zeal to protect their citizens, they are accomplishing precisely the opposite.

Richard Porter, Langley

Comments | More in Gun control, Politics, Public safety | Topics: gun control, gun-free zones, mass shootings

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