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Gun-free zones are ‘killing zones,’ says Illinois activist

Valinda Rowe with Illinois Carry says gun-free zones are "killing zones."
Dave Workman

A leading female gun rights advocate in Illinois was quoted yesterday by The Southern Illinoisan, which serves several communities in the lower Prairie State, stating unequivocally that so-called “gun-free” zones are “killing zones.”

Valinda Rowe, who has spoken at annual Gun Rights Policy Conferences representing the Illinois Carry organization, was even more blunt in defining the delusions created by such zones, at least in the minds of people who think making an area “gun-free” is going to prevent a violent crime.

“They are fantasy-lands where we draw imaginary circles around ourselves and around our children,” Rowe said, “and we pretend that the violent criminal and the criminally insane cannot get in to hurt us.”

How many times and in how many places has such thinking made way for tragedy?

The newspaper was reporting about the state’s fledgling concealed carry statute that saw the first 5,000 permits mailed out last Friday, and what changes in the law may already be on the horizon. Illinois is the last state in the nation to adopt concealed carry, forced by lawsuits brought by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association.

Rowe is probably the kind of person that Moms Demand Action Against Gun Violence in America wishes would just stay home. She’s been a formidable proponent of gun rights for Illinois citizens and at last year’s GRPC, she and her husband Mike collected the "Grassroots Organization of the Year" award on behalf of Illinois Carry. That award is given annually by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

With yesterday’s published remarks, she shines the spotlight on the dark side of a fairy tale that has been playing out in Seattle and other communities across the nation, at public schools, restaurants, shopping malls and other venues where unarmed people have provided target-rich opportunities for terrorists and lunatics. It is not as though the dangerous aspect of gun-free zones has never been discussed before. It’s actually common knowledge.

The list of “gun-free” zones that have seen mass shootings includes Virginia Tech, Thurston and Columbine high schools, Sandy Hook Elementary, Clackamas Town Center, Trolley Square, the Aurora theater and so many other places that listing them all would take too much space. What they all have in common beyond the gun prohibition is a body count.

This column covered Seattle’s effort to create these zones of social prejudice with private businesses acting as surrogates for anti-gun politicians and gun prohibitionists who have been unsuccessful in their attempts to change state preemption laws. The list currently has more than 100 business participants, said by local gun activists to be off-limits for their money.

Some gun rights activists have, for years, maintained that people injured by mass shooters in “gun-free” zones file massive liability lawsuits against the owners for essentially throwing them to the wolves. What anti-gunners don’t understand or refuse to acknowledge is that people are not sheep, and when it comes to armed citizens, they are definitely not part of the flock.


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