Bowling Green, Kentucky, Politicians reversed a ban on carrying concealed weapons in city buildings January 2. The vote was an overwhelming victory with four of five city commissioners in favor of the old policy’s reversal. It is still unlawful however to carry a firearm into government meetings being conducted in city buildings, but it is a step in the right direction. Policies restoring the rights of public employees to carry have been sweeping the nation for years now after their erosion in the late sixties and seventies.
City employees in Bowling Green have been pressing their commissioners to rescind the policy which left them unarmed at work. Making city buildings “gun free zones” only meant that the people inside of them would be unprotected and criminals would not have to worry bullets flying in their direction if they chose to attack. City buildings in Bowling Green are now safer for visitors and those employed within them.
Bedford County, Virginia had policy which banned public employees working in county and city buildings from having a firearm at their workplace. The public was not prohibited however from bringing firearms into these buildings, and in January 2016, Bedford County rescinded its ban and now allows public employees to carry as well.
In Demorest, Georgia city officials were granted the right to carry on the Job in April of 2016. In this case as well, the restrictions previously in place only affected city employees, not the public. The mayor of Demorest Rick Austin explained, “…our personal policies prevent any employee from carrying in a government building, so in effect our personal policies were keeping our employees from observing the same rights that other individuals in the state of Georgia have. It creates a gun-free zone, and its something that we needed to rectify.”
Saline County, Kansas restored the right to carry to their public employees in January of 2014. This was following Harvey County, Kansas after they restored the right for their public employees to carry the December before. Cherokee County and Alamance County in North Carolina both repealed nineties era firearms policies which barred carrying for county employees on the job. Jackson County, Michigan also has allowed public employees to carry since 2012.
When a city in Texas restored this right to public employees, Police Chief Blanchard said, “People need to understand the average response time for police is five minutes. That means people have to fend for themselves until police arrive on the scene. It takes three minutes for an active shooter to create massive destruction. I believe any good, honest, God fearing, American citizen should be armed.” There is nothing that stops a bad guy with a gun like a good guy with a gun, and when seconds count, police are only minutes away.
Places which do not allow concealed carry have historically been targets for criminals. Gun-free zones create safe work environments for criminals and turn citizens into helpless victims. Studies show Americans use firearms to stop millions of crimes each year. As the rate of firearm ownership in America has increased the rate of violent crime has decreased. While those who imposed the bans may have had good intentions, they were ultimately misguided and provided no real measure of security.
Guns have become increasingly popular and politicians like Obama who threatened to take guns away from certain groups or ban certain classes of guns altogether have actually done the pro-Second Amendment community a service. These threats drove the masses to guns shops across the country so they could purchase new firearms, fearing one day a tyrannical government would threaten their ability to do so. Before the California legislation was set to go into effect requiring a background check on ammo January 1, ammo sales in the state surged and gun shop owners reaped the reward.
Firearms are a crucial part of American culture, self-defense, and safety, and their popularity is rapidly growing. Qualified Americans carrying firearms in their daily routine help create safer communities. “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”-Robert Heinlein. Public officials carrying firearms will deter would be violent thugs from storming their facilities and going on a murderous rampage. America must continue to restore this fundamental right which has been slowly eroded by overreaching governments for decades.