The Mrs. and I got into a discussion after getting an e-mail from the National PTA. It's an anti-gun wish list, full of mandatory licenses, waiting periods, and bans. They're Brady jockstrap sniffers of the highest order, and there is no craven depth to which they do not sink. In it was this nugget, though:
National PTA believes that in order to achieve an effective school climate, schools must be completely gun-free.
Ah, yes. That worked so well in Colombine and Newtown, didn't it? The magic gun-free zone force field that are activated by putting up a piece of paper somehow failed in those instances, right? All those women killed by their abusive exs who died with active restraining orders, well, those gun (knife/hand/bat) free zones malfunctioned too, right? While we're wishing for crap that'll never work, I'd like an electric car that can travel 500 miles on a charge and doesn't burst into flames...
Sorry. Whenever I hear "gun-free zone" it sets off a reflexive haterage...
Anyways, I got to thinking about it. Designating a certain area as a "Gun Free Zone" does what, exactly? It certainly doesn't stop the criminally inclined. It doesn't stop the crazies, either. It only affects the law abiding - I think that's something that everyone can agree on, right? Criminals - by their very definition - do not obey the law. Neither do the insane - they're simply not capable.
So. If only the law-abiding are the ones that the "gun-free zones" are affecting, I have an idea.
Why not make the crime the *discharging* of a firearm in one of those areas?
Make it a first degree felony like murder, even - provided, of course, that there are provisions for justifiable discharge as there are for homicide. We do the same thing for discharging of a firearm in populated areas - making it illegal is only going to stop those who generally obey the law in the first place. No one cares if there's a firearm in the area; they only care if someone discharges it without a damn good reason.
Let's be honest. The whole "binding signage" is one big plea bargain - it's an extra charge tacked on to a criminal's list of crimes that can be bargained away or used to pile on jail time. The only reason this exists is so that you can charge Billy Bank robber with armed robbery *and* violating the gun-free zone in hopes that he'll plead down to armed criminal mischief for an easy conviction. So make the crime "discharge of a firearm" rather than mere possession and call it a day?
I mean, hell, it can't be any less effective than a "Gun Free Zone" sign, right?
That is all.