This article appeared online at on Thursday, July 18, 2019: 

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the 650,000-member Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), endorsed the Safe Students Act of Representative Thomas Massie’s (R-Ky.) on Wednesday. In his endorsement, Gottlieb noted that the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, an act that made schools into gun-free zones and that would be repealed by the Safe Students Act, has been an unqualified failure:

The Gun-Free School Zones Act was passed by Congress in 1990, and it’s been a disaster. It has not prevented a single tragic school shooting, but instead has given students, teachers, administrators, and parents a false sense of security that evaporates the moment some madman ignores the law and invades a school campus to commit mayhem.


By declaring schools to be “gun-free,” the law has simply turned schools into risk-free, target-rich environments for disturbed people willing to harm innocent children and teens.

On the other hand, Massie’s bill, if it becomes law, would allow local and state jurisdictions the to decide on the issue for themselves. Said Gottlieb:

But Massie’s effort, which follows similar attempts in 2017 and 2018, is a common-sense approach to a serious problem. It would allow teachers to carry for self- and the defense of students in emergencies.


As the congressman noted in a news release, “Gun-free zones prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves, and create vulnerable populations that are targeted by criminals.”

Gottlieb thinks that the third time is a charm:

The time has come to trash this ineffective mandate and make the nation’s schools safe again by allowing teachers and administrators the means to fight back in an emergency.

In his press release announcing his third try at getting the bill to the floor of the House for consideration, Massie referred to a gun study by researcher John Lott while expounding on the necessity of his bill: “Gun-free zones are ineffective and make our schools less safe. [According to Lott] 98 percent of mass public shootings since 1950 have occurred in places where citizens are banned from having guns. Banks, churches, sports stadiums, and many of my colleagues in Congress are protected with firearms. Yet children inside the classroom are too frequently left vulnerable.”

Massie said his bill “would repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act, eliminating the one-size-fits-all federal ban on guns in school zones, making it easier for state and local governments and school boards to unambiguously set their own policies.”

The New American reviewed Lott’s study titled “Schools that Allow Teachers to Carry Guns are Extremely Safe,” in which the researcher wrote: “There has yet to be a single case of someone being wounded or killed from a shooting, let alone a mass public shooting, between 6AM and midnight at a school that lets teachers carry guns” since at least January 2000.

Lott examined every school shooting from 2000 through 2018 and learned that not a single school that allows teachers to carry has experienced a death or an injury from a shooting. On the other hand shootings at schools and campuses where teachers and staff are unarmed have “increased significantly  doubling [in number] between 2001 and 2008 versus 2009 and 2018.” In those shootings, 193 people died and another 267 were wounded.

Put another way, thanks to the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act (which not coincidentally was introduced by then-Senator Joe Biden), nearly 200 hundred people have been murdered and hundreds more wounded, all in the name of “school safety.”

With the endorsement by Gottlieb’s pro- organization, momentum for Massie’s bill continues to build. Cosponsors of his bill, H.R. 3200, include Representatives Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), James Comer (R-Ky.), and Brian Babin (R-Texas).

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