Con: Why Erich Pratt Thinks Our Gun Laws Are Oppressive
9 months ago
“Gun control does not make people safer.”
In our Pro vs Con series, we ask two experts to weigh in on a hot button topic. This week, we tackle gun laws. Erich Pratt is Director of Communications at Gun Owners of America.
Loop 21: Do you think the Colorado state gun laws are adequate? Why or why not?
Erich Pratt: There are states that have better gun laws than Colorado’s, but the Silver State has taken some positive strides towards freedom in recent years. For example, the state’s Supreme Court struck down a gun ban on university campuses this year, making it possible now for concealed carry permit holders to possess firearms at institutions of higher learning in the state. Disarming victims has never kept bad guys from shooting up universities (consider Virginia Tech) or kept women safe from rapists. Take Amanda Collins, who was a college student in 2007. Though she had a concealed carry permit, she was unarmed the night she was brutally raped by James Biela. She had left her gun at home because she was scared of what could happen to her if she was caught disobeying the laws prohibiting firearms on campus. Amanda feels certain she could have used her gun successfully that night. “I would have at some point during my rape been able to stop James Biela,” she said. Amanda has reason to be confident, as there are women today who have escaped the ugliness of rape (or death) because they were armed. According to a study funded by the Clinton Justice Department in 1997, Americans use guns to defend themselves more than 4,000 times a day. People are less safe when they enter a “gun-free zone,” but have a better chance of protecting themselves when they can use a firearm for protection.
Loop 21: Could any viable changes to those state laws have prevented the mass murder there? If so, what would you change?
Pratt: What are positive changes that could prevent mass murders? The answer is simple: Repeal laws that create so-called “gun-free zones.” Almost every large-scale massacre in this country has occurred in an area where guns are outlawed: Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, etc. The Aurora theater was also in a gun-free zone. In all of these shootings, the victims were disarmed by law or regulation — yes, even the one at Fort Hood. They were made mandatory victims by restrictions, which never stop the bad guys from getting or using guns. Contrast these disastrous events with the Aurora shooting you didn’t hear about. That shooting occurred three months ago at a church, which was not in a gun-free zone. A gunman drove into the New Destiny Church parking lot in Aurora, got out of his car and started spraying bullets. Thankfully, a congregant with a concealed firearm shot and killed him, saving countless lives. Gun-free zones don’t save lives, but guns in good people’s hands do.
Loop 21: In general, are our states' right to carry laws effective? Why or why not?