Shootings occurred at weapon-free zones

It was predictable. Since the senseless killings in Sandy Hook Elementary School, everyone from the president to national and local news commentators and letter writers to newspapers began blaming the gun and gun owners. No one has looked at the one thing that Sandy Hook school, Virginia Tech, the Colorado movie theater and the Oregon shopping mall had in common: They were all designated weapon-free zones. If you want to kill a lot of people and become famous, come here to do it. There won’t be anyone to shoot back.

If the principal at Sandy Hook had a weapon and had been trained to use it, would she have had a better chance of protecting her students? She was a brave person who gave her life trying to stop the crazed gunman. What chance did she have? None!

Maybe, just maybe, had the gunmen known that there was someone at those locations who might shoot back, they wouldn’t have chosen those locations to commit these atrocities.

Only recently have the University of Iowa police been granted the right to carry sidearms so they can respond to such shootings on equal footing with the shooter.

Had members of the audience in the theater been able to respond in kind, would the shooter have been able to calmly stand there and fire into the audience? In each of these cases, I am sure that after hearing the first shots, someone called 911 and asked for help. Police responded as quickly as anyone could expect, yet lives were taken.

John Nieland



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