Opinion

Will firearms signs do anything?

Private businesses have always been allowed to prohibit the possession of firearms on their premises, so long as that fact is prominently posted. But does this prohibition really improve safety?

The most authoritative studies to date indicate that the answer to that is “NO”. The Committee on Priorities for a Public Health Research Agenda to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence, under the auspices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently published a study of findings related to violence and guns.

The study was conducted as part of the 23 Executive Actions signed by President Obama in January in an effort to reduce gun violence. The study found among other things that; “ ‘Defensive uses of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed. Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals…”

It was also discovered that when guns are used in self-defense the victims have lower injury rates than those who are unarmed, even compared with those who used other forms of self-defense.

The idea that posting a “gun-free zone” sign is somehow going to make that business safer is, at best, a juvenile one.

Does anyone really think that upon reading the sign that someone intent on committing mayhem is simply going to walk away? The right to self-defense is a fundamental right.

Like other human rights, it is not “granted” to us by the government, it is given to us by the Creator. It is no less important than our rights to a free press or the free exercise of religion. I doubt that the Central Kitsap Reporter would be so supportive if the idea was to post signs prohibiting carrying newspapers or the wearing of religious symbols.

Charles Ely

Bremerton

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