Est. May 2008

05 January, 2013

Gun-free Zone Includes Police?

By now you’ve probably heard of the Denny’s restaurant manager in Illinois who, on a complaint lodged by one of the patrons, asked five on-duty police detectives to leave because one of them had a firearm.

Everywhere I’ve read about this, the commenters are excoriating the manager of the restaurant; even Denny’s upper echelons are saying that manager went too far.  And the Belleville Police Department has officially sworn off going to Denny’s for food.

Call me nuts, but I, for one, applaud the manager.  That Denny’s is a ‘gun-free zone’; Denny’s policy is ‘gun-free zones’; the armed police officer was violating Denny’s ‘gun-free zone’ policy.  Period, end of discussion.

Why should the police, or the Secret Service, or the FBI, or anybody else have a ‘special privilege’ to violate a ‘gun-free zone’ simply because they’re police, Secret Service, or FBI?  What, you wear a badge, you don’t have to follow the rules that every other American has to follow?  Are these people members of a privileged class because they wear a badge?  Are they better than other Americans because they carry a badge?

If you’re going to hang one of those stupid signs that announce to the world that everywhere within the walls of your business is a ‘gun-free zone’, you’d better be willing – like that Denny’s manager was – to enforce that rule regardless of who is carrying the weapon.

And here’s something else to think about.  Scenario: you’re in a store that’s posted as a ‘gun-free zone’.  Mr. Armed Thief enters, draws his gun, and tells the cashier to empty the register.  Mr. Armed Policeman draws his pistol.  A shot rings out.  Mr. Armed Thief goes down with a bullet in the shoulder.  From the hospital, Mr. Armed Thief’s lawyer announces a lawsuit against the police department, the police officer, and the owner of the store because the police officer violated the gun-free zone and the store owner knew he was violating the store policy.

You don’t think that’d be a winnable case?  In today’s courtrooms?

Suffice it to say, I personally think gun-free zones are nothing more than free-fire zones (or, alternately, target-shooting ranges).  But if you’re going to have a gun-free policy, it’s got to be universal, and must apply to everyone who enters your business.

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