Letter: Truth about campus gun-free zone

Recent attacks throughout the United States and the world have reignited the talk about gun-free zones here in our country. What are gun-free zones? Gun-free zones are areas established by law that no person, even though they may possess valid training and a license, may carry a weapon for defense of self and others.

Seems like a good idea to not have people toting weapons everywhere, right? Truth be told, this basic and simple solution will not work. There is one basic fact we must observe here: Criminals are criminals for a reason. They break laws. A simple sign or a written code will not keep a criminal from bringing a weapon on campus if they desire, but this sign will stop law-abiding citizens from doing so, leaving them and those around them vulnerable for attack.

When analyzed, so many of the most deadly and recent attacks took place in gun-free zones, and this fact cannot be ignored. The recent attacks in Paris were in essentially a gun-free country. Virginia Tech was also a gun-free zone. Here is the bitter truth: All but two of the mass shootings in the United States since 1950 have been in gun-free zones. Columbine, Newtown, Aurora theater, all gun-free zones. So this is Iowa, it can’t happen here, right? In 1991, the University of Iowa had a shooting that left five people dead. Guess what? It was a gun-free zone.

Ending gun-free zones will certainly not end all attacks and innocent victims from being killed, but, for me, if it just saved one life out of the 217 innocent lives taken in the attacks previously listed, it would be well worth it. I’m certain, however, it would have saved more.