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After a mass shooting, posing with a shotgun is a great way to show you care. About guns.


It's always a comfort to know that in the aftermath of a tragedy, people who don't know what the hell they're talking about can manage to make things a little bit worse. For instance, there's Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R-Toontown), the genius who explained that sexual assault would be a thing of the past if "these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm," and who also thinks that cancer is a fungus that can be cured with baking soda. As a person who Knows Stuff, Fiore has written an epically stupid blog post explaining that the only reason anyone died at Umpqua Community College is that the place is a "gun-free zone":

I have said it before and I will say it again: I believe that an armed society is a safe society.

Labeling a public place a “gun-free zone” will not create a non-violent environment for citizens; in fact, it does the opposite. By creating this illusion, we, as a country, are putting targets on the backs of our children, our families and our selves. While the President has already used this tragedy to feed his anti-gun agenda by saying that these killings have become “routine”, what he fails to mention is the truly routine pattern of these terrible crimes is that they happen in gun-free zones. Places where people have been rendered defenseless by the government.

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Gosh, that argument sounds exactly like how Fox News explained the Charleston church shootings. If only everyone were packing heat all the time, we'd be safe! Sadly, thanks to bleeding heart liberals, the Umpqua campus banned the presence of armed citizens who could have stopped the carnage, right?

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Great argument, except for the tiny detail that it's complete bullshit. Oregon law allows concealed carry permit holders to carry their weapons on college and university campuses. As ThinkProgress pointed out Thursday, it's true that the student code of conduct for UCC bans guns "without written authorization," but concealed weapons permit holders have that authorization, in the form of their permits. (Campuses can disallow weapons from designated buildings, however.) When it comes to shootin' irons, UCC was definitely not a nakedness area.

Further, MSNBC interviewed one student who actually had a concealed weapon on campus Thursday: John Parker, a military vet, had a holstered handgun with him, but he and several other vets, also apparently armed, realized that they were too far away from the building where the shooting was happening to be of help. Parker said he stayed inside a classroom so that SWAT officers wouldn't mistake him for the active shooter.

As you may recall, an armed civilian at the site of the 2011 Tucson shootings almost shot one of the unarmed people who had tackled and disarmed the actual shooter. Fortunately, he quickly realized the person holding the killer's gun wasn't the bad guy before another tragedy occurred.

So, enjoy your dream world, Rep. Fiore: UCC was not a "gunfree zone," and as a Mother Jones analysis of 62 mass shootings over 30 years showed:

[N]ot a single case includes evidence that the killer chose to target a place because it banned guns. To the contrary, in many of the cases there was clearly another motive for the choice of location.

School shootings are frequently cited as proof that killers target places where guns are prohibited. But of the 12 school shootings Mother Jones analyzed, the killers in 11 of them were students or had other personal ties to the schools. Even though Adam Lanza had long since finished school, "the mass shooter in Newtown had long been fixated on Sandy Hook Elementary School, which he'd once attended."

The idea that adding more guns everywhere creates greater safety is a pleasant fantasy for Rambos, but it just doesn't hold up to the data -- and in the one public shooting I've personally witnessed, additional guns probably would have resulted in more injuries or deaths. As Barack Obama put it the evening after the horror in Roseburg, "There is a gun for roughly every man, woman, and child in America. So how can you with a straight face make the argument that more guns will make us safer?"

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[Michele Fiore for Congress / ThinkProgress / Mother Jones]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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