Monday, November 19, 2007
GUN FREE ZONES VERSUS DRUG FREE ZONES
Richmond, California, a city plagued by violent crime, is acting to post Gun Free Zone signs around its 30 schools.
The Richmond City Council voted unanimously to work with schools to post the signs in an effort to discourage shootings in the areas.
"The actual sign, the visual signage will make the individual who is in possession of a weapon think twice," said Ken Nelson, a member of Richmond’s NAACP.
I'm sorry but I ain't buying it.
Gun Free Zones have got to be one of the most ridiculous ideas ever put out there by gun control (or anti-crime) activists. I mean really folks, can you picture someone heading out to commit a gun crime seeing such a sign and deciding to take their gun home and look for something else to do.
Virginia Tech was a gun free zone.
It is a violation of federal law to bring guns within 1,000 feet of schools. That's helped...not.
Now I'm not a right wing nut who thinks everyone should be packing heat every minute of every day, but I really don't think signs are the answer to gun crime.
The truth of the matter is its hard to find outspoken supporters of gun free zones (so maybe this post is unnecessary), but if you look around the Internet you certainly find the right hitting the left over the head with them. It fact that's almost all you find...that and examples of gun crimes in gun free zones.
Now, let's move on to those "drug free zones." They don't make any more sense to me then "gun free zones." But you know what I found interesting when I googled "drug free zones," it seems unlike when you google "gun free zones" the right doesn't seem at all riled about this. No gazillion right wing sites lambasting the idea. No ridiculing anyone. No right wingers wailing with examples of kids doing drugs in drug free zones.
Odd don't you think?
The following editorial opinion is from the Contra Costa Times (California).
'Gun-free zone' signs
Contra Costa Times
Article Launched: 10/23/2007 03:01:26 AM PDT
You can't blame Richmond (California) for grasping at anything that seems like it might help curb crime. After all, the violence in certain neighborhoods is out of control. Despite crime summits, Tent City protests and much hand-wringing on the part of elected officials and community leaders, street killings continue unchecked.
The most frightening thing is that police can't even discern a pattern other than violent youths are taking to the streets with guns to settle grudges.
Yet we find the City Council's vote last week to spend $35,000 to put up "gun-free zone" signs around the schools a ridiculous waste of money.
The program's misguided supporters -- including the Richmond NAACP -- somehow believe that erecting signs will remind people of an existing state law that imposes stiffer criminal penalties for possessing or firing guns within 1,000 feet of a school and that being privy to this information will be a deterrent to the gun-toting youths responsible for much of the city's violence.
Having "gun-free zone" signs around the city's 30 public schools certainly can't hurt. But we agree with former City Council candidate Corky Boozé that the City Council could have found a better use for $35,000. It isn't a huge amount of money, but it's still $35,000.
Wouldn't that money be better spent on programs that offer training and substance abuse treatment for parolees and other violent people in Richmond?
Would a "gun-free zone" sign have deterred the thugs who killed a 4-year-old woman in a drive-by shooting last week across from Lincoln Elementary School or given pause to the hoodlums who decided to shoot it out outside Nystrom Elementary last year, sending bullets flying through classrooms and whizzing across the playground during recess? We highly doubt it.
The sign ordinance is an empty gesture that does little meaningful to address street violence. Richmond can put up "gun-free zone" signs all over the city. But it's naive to think that would make the streets any safer.