Gun Free Zones for Politicians

Some smart-aleck petitioned the White House to eliminate armed guards for politicians, perhaps on the grounds that what is good enough for the little people is good enough for our leaders.

Gun Free Zones are supposed to protect our children, and some politicians wish to strip us of our right to keep and bear arms. Those same politicians and their families are currently under the protection of armed Secret Service agents. If Gun Free Zones are sufficient protection for our children, then Gun Free Zones should be good enough for politicians.

If gun free zones really deter people from committing violence with guns, then we could save a lot of taxpayer money by just putting up gun free zone signs all about the White House, right? The White House doesn’t agree with that reasoning.

Thanks for your petition.

We live in a world where our elected leaders and representatives are subject to serious, persistent, and credible threats on a daily basis. Even those who are mere candidates in a national election become symbols of our country, which makes them potential targets for those seeking to do harm to the United States and its interests. In 1901, after the third assassination of a sitting President, Congress mandated that the President receive full-time protection, and that law is still in effect today. Because of it, those who are the subject of ongoing threats must receive the necessary and appropriate protection.

At the same time, all of us deserve to live in safer communities, which is why we need to take responsible, commonsense steps to reduce gun violence, even while respecting individual freedom. And let’s be clear: President Obama believes that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. You can see him talk about that in a previous petition response:

But the common-sense steps the President has proposed don’t infringe in any way on our Second Amendment rights. We ought to be able to keep weapons of war off the streets. We ought to close the loopholes in the background check system that make it too easy for criminals and other dangerous people to buy guns — an idea that has the support of 90 percent of people in the United States.

That’s why the President and an overwhelming majority of Americans are calling on Congress to pass gun safety legislation that closes loopholes in the background check system and makes gun trafficking a federal crime.

A minority in the Senate is blocking this common-sense legislation to reduce gun violence, but President Obama is already taking action to protect our kids with executive actions. He is taking the steps available to him as President to strengthen the existing background check system, give law enforcement officials more tools to prevent gun violence, end the freeze on gun violence research, make schools safer, and improve access to mental health care.

I am not sure the person tasked with responding to the petition quite gets the point. The people in charge of the President’s security have a

Please start shooting here. No one will stop you.
Please start shooting here. No one will stop you.

good idea what works to keep him safe and what does not work. They must know perfectly well that declaring the White House a gun free

zone and disarming his Secret Service detail would be a disaster. Why would anyone think that declaring a place a gun free zone would work anywhere else? Isn’t that as good as telling a criminal or lunatic that he is not likely to run into much resistance?

More to the point, are any of the policies that the President proposes likely to be effective at reducing crime? There doesn’t seem to be a link between stronger gun control laws and reduced crime. Many of the jurisdictions with the strictest gun control laws seem to have the most gun crimes. On the other hand, the general liberalization of gun laws over the last decade or so doesn’t seem to have increased the crime rate. I am not sure I understand the president’s urgency on this issue, given that violent crime rates have been dropping for the last two decades. Maybe it beats talking about the economy or the mess in the Middle East.

Hey, this is my 1000th post. I didn’t think I could keep this blog going for so long.

%d bloggers like this: