One popular "gun control" measure lately is the idea of banning gun sales near schools. It's popular because it doesn't seem like a big sacrifice at first glance, it has the virtue of "saving the children" from the perceived menace of school shootings, and probably most important, it's new enough that the facts haven't had time to reach the public awareness and overpower the propaganda. Most people are still evaluating the idea based on superficial first impressions.
One person who is trying to move the discussion into serious policy analysis instead is Les Jones, who has been posting "Rights Exclusion Zone maps" for various cities, indicating the areas within those cities that are within the mandated "forbidden zone". (King County) (Texas, Indiana, Tennesee)
The area in green are the parts of King County within which no firearms
dealers would be allowed to operate, based solely on exclusions for
middle and high schools, as proposed by Obama. This excludes elementary
schools, higher education, and parks. Most of the east side (right
side) of this map are parks of various compositions. Map from MapPoint.
Data from Washington State.
For most cities, there are no gaps.
Rather than being a "small sacrifice" this proposal would effectively ban gun dealers from operating within city limits anywhere. If the law has a grandfather clause allowing existing businesses to continue operating, it would have very little practical effect -- only as the grandfathered businesses failed would new businesses be required to locate outside the city limits. (It would, however, provide a significant barrier to entry for new gun stores -- effectively creating a market incentive to raise gun prices within cities).
If it does not contain a grandfather clause... well, there would be lots of chaos as any gun store within one of the exclusion zones would have to relocate in a hurry. And the chaos would be ongoing, presumably, as new schools are built and force gun stores to relocate away from them.
There are reasonable arguments for not locating outdoor gun ranges in heavily populated areas, as there is always the chance of someone being stupid and letting their bullets escape the range. But gun stores, without attached ranges, pose no threat to anyone.
Like many other gun-control measures, this is a feel-good law that could have a tremendous cost attached to it and absolutely no benefits. Unless you consider imposing huge and otherwise unjustified economic burdens on firearm dealers (who are already hugely burdened with regulations) to be a benefit in and of itself. Which would be pure bigotry... not that that's news either.
This entry was published Wed Feb 27 11:54:06 CST 2008 by TriggerFinger
and last updated 2008-02-27 11:54:06.0.