I read this at InstaPundit:
I HEARD NEAL BOORTZ holding forth on the Omaha mall shooting this morning on the way to work, and I realized I haven’t posted on it. I don’t really have anything to say that I haven’t said before. But it’s worth noting — since apparently most of the media reports haven’t — that this was another mass shooting in a "gun-free" zone. It seems to me that we’ve reached the point at which a facility that bans firearms, making its patrons unable to defend themselves, should be subject to lawsuit for its failure to protect them. The pattern of mass shootings in "gun free" zones is well-established at this point, and I don’t see why places that take the affirmative step of forcing their law-abiding patrons to go unarmed should get off scot-free.
What Prof. Reynolds is saying — what he often says — is that by restricting guns, you actually encourage the number of casualties at mass-shootings like the one taking place in Omaha.
Let’s engage in a thought experiment. Let’s assume that the Omaha mall was not a "gun-free" zone, and all other factors remained the same. What would have been the likely outcome?
Answer: The same; nine people dead by a guy named Robert Hawkins. The only way it would be any different is if some mallshopper (with a gun) was in the mall at exactly the right time and place, and was able to shoot Hawkins before damage was done.
And don’t get me started about adding more to the casualty tally because of crossfire.
We should keep in mind that the mall security people actually were aware of the shooting as it was going on, seeing it on their video cameras. And they were too late to stop anything.
Sure, making someplace a "gun-free" zone isn’t going to stop people like Hawkins, but it’s not likely to prevent gun-toting heroes from stopping people like Hawkins either. For Reynolds’ hypothesis to actually make a difference, you would have to have a large segment of mallgoers be armed and prepared to strike immediately on any would-be assailant.
And I don’t want to go to a mall where everybody is packing "just in case" there’s an incident.
Picture above: Hawkins at the Omaha mall from a surveillance camera
UPDATE: Someone needs to point something out to Glenn Reynolds before he castigates Nebraska for being anti-gun (and therefore inviting this sort of incident. To wit:
Permit to purchase rifles and shotguns? No.
Registration of rifles and shotguns? No.
Licensing of owners of rifles and shotguns? No.
Permit to carry rifles and shotguns? No.