Given that only one percent of our population is in law enforcement, when most crimes are committed, a police officer is not in close proximity. If an officer were present, the criminal would most likely go elsewhere. A gun-free zone means if no police are present, then law-abiding adults are at a greater disadvantage of stopping a demented person from committing murder.
As a former vice president at Xavier University in Ohio and a father whose children attended state universities, I care deeply about the safety of college students. We must have the safest campuses possible.
I'm not calling for the arming of professors or college administrators, far from it. The question we must face is, "What will make our children safe?" In answering this question, we must grasp one simple fact: The idea that gun-free zones are safe is a myth. Every community in America needs to have this conversation, and adopt policies and procedures that really create safer environments.
I'm surprised no questions on this topic were brought up in the first presidential forums for either the Democrats or the Republicans in the past few weeks. In three hours of discussion, the candidates were asked sophomoric questions such as what a prospective president would tell Catholic bishops or do about organ donations. The moderators did not ask the people who would lead our country what they thought about the most deadly mass shooting in American history. That's a shame. Leaders are defined by how they think and behave in the midst of crises and in the period immediately following a traumatic episode in our nation's experience.
The Founders of our nation got it right when they adopted the Bill of Rights. They understood that there will always be twisted or demented people who are willing to harm others. They understood that even the best external police cannot be there every hour of every day. So they gave us the Second Amendment. They trusted us and our inner police (the human conscience) to protect ourselves and provide moral order.
Perhaps the real cause of the threat to our safety is not the lack of gun-free zones but rather that too many of our campuses and public places have already been designated God-free zones.