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Larry Pratt: Gun-free zones allow for mass murder

If Americans want to prevent future mass shootings, gun-free zones need to be eliminated, according to Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America.

“We now have good reason to think that many of these mass murders occurred because they were in so-called ‘gun-free zones,'” Pratt said on Monday morning.

He added that criminals don’t follow signs that designate ‘gun-free zones,’ but that these areas actually serve as magnets of sorts for those who want to commit crimes.

Pratt spoke at “The Fallacy of Gun Free School Zones,” hosted by Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Pratt was joined by Rob Young, a California police officer. As a child, Young was wounded when shooter Patrick Purdy opened fire at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, Calif., killing five children and injuring 27 others. Young shared his story with those in attendance at the event.

“You may be hearing my story and thinking to yourself that more gun-control is what needs to happen,” Young said. “You are not alone in that belief. It seems like that is all we hear after incidents like these. But let me be the one to tell you: gun control is not the answer. Gun control would not of saved me or any of my classmates that dreadful day.”

Young said that he had never blamed firearms for the shooting, but instead blamed his attacker. He stressed that more gun control would not stop criminals, but merely make gun ownership and self-protection more difficult for law-abiding citizens. As a police officer, Young added that law enforcement officers are often not able to get to the scene of a crime until after the incident has ended.

“We do what we can and act when we need to,” he said. “However, we cannot be everywhere at once.”


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