So-called gun-control measures will not control guns

May 1, 2018

After reading most of the articles and the feedback in the Cape Gazette since the Florida school massacre Feb. 14, I remain mystified by the faith in passing more gun control laws.

The March 30 edition ran a feature about the six gun control bills working through the state Legislature with responses from Sussex County legislators.

The question was: "What gun measures would you support to improve school safety?" The proposition that more gun laws, on top of the hundreds or thousands nationwide, are the answer is accepted dogma.

But, why no demands for correcting the documented failures of existing gun laws and the bureaucratic malfeasance in the Florida massacre?

Why no discussion of the life-saving benefits of self-defense?

Consider these items:

• Look at the all-time grand-daddy of gun control failure - the 9-11 disaster...where the authorities' plan was fully in place. Airport screening was in force; all passengers were checked to make sure no guns were taken onboard; everyone was "self-defenseless" including the pilots. Perfect scenario...What could go wrong?

Long forgotten is that for 40 years, from 1924 to 1963, all commercial pilots were mandated to carry loaded handguns. It was optional until 1979 when President Carter ended it.

Imagine if the mandate was in effect on 9/11. Would the hijackers have even attempted their attack? Would box cutters have been successful in commandeering the planes with armed pilots? Would nearly 3,000 people still be alive?

• What about "gun-free zone" strategies?

John R. Lott, PhD economics and founder of Crime Prevention Research Center, documents that since 1950, 98 percent of mass shootings (4 or more) occurred in gun-free zones. Is that just coincidence?

Here's some testimony from an expert... a young ISIS sympathizer who planned a shooting at one of the largest churches in Detroit. An FBI wire recorded him explaining why he had picked the church as a target: "It's easy, and a lot of people go there. Plus people are not allowed to carry guns in church. Plus it would make the news." (NY Post, 6-15-16)

• Why does self-defense work in Israeli schools?

Here's columnist Becky Loggia Feb. 14: "In 1974, Palestinian terrorists took over the Netiv Meir Elementary School in what has been called the 'Ma'alot Massacre,' which left 22 children dead and many injured..."

"The nation requires its schools to have a security system...The results are clearly evident, as there have only been two successful attacks at Israeli schools since both cases, the bad guys were killed by armed teachers."

Again, according to Dr. Lott, "In 18 states, teachers and staff are already carrying concealed handguns...Utah, with some of the least restrictive rules, has allowed teachers and staff to carry since 1997. There has never been a mass public shooting at an American school that allows concealed carry." Read that sentence again.

• If self-defense strategies in schools are wrong, why do some government sites in Delaware employ them?

I recently visited the State Police Barrack 7 in Lewes and was met with a locked/buzz-in front door that led to a small lobby featuring bulletproof glass between me and the "armed" trooper providing the police with a triple layer of security. I had to talk through a small opening like at a bank in an inner city.

Next, several years ago I had to go to the Social Security office where a warning on the front entrance advised me that this was a gun-free zone where even state-approved concealed-carry weapons were not allowed.

But, inside was an armed security guard/greeter to protect the federal workers. At least, those authorities recognized that only posting signs is worthless.

After that, I visited North Georgetown Elementary School. The doors to the school were open for my easy access with no security. And this was after the Newtown massacre! The only "protection" in place was a toothless law banning possession of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school. I wonder if that's changed?

So, in a country with about 300 million guns, can any of these new gun laws proposed by our political class keep someone intent on mayhem from accessing guns on the black market or by theft? Answer: No.

Columnist Thomas Sowell concurs, writing that: "The key fallacy of so-called gun-control laws is that such laws do not in fact control guns. They simply disarm law-abiding citizens, while people bent on violence find firearms readily available. If gun-control zealots had any respect for facts, they would have discovered this long ago."


Geary Foertsch lives in Rehoboth and writes from a libertarian perspective to promote economic liberty, non-cronyism free markets, small government and a non-intervention foreign policy. He can be contacted at

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