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How are those gun-free zones working for ya, America? Right after the latest deadly volley of bullets in a gun-free facility, Starbucks apparently wants to be the next choice for unstable shooters.* They’re trying to make a statement against guns, and they are entitled to that, but it’s another symptom of America’s serious gun problem. And by gun problem, I mean people having an irrational problem with guns that actually facilitates violence.

Seriously, if “presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling and upsetting” to some people as CEO Howard Shultz suggests, we should support their right to psychological counselling and treatment. Some people are afraid of things like crowds, heights, public speaking, and so forth, and being afraid of guns is just as mentally debilitating. The problem is it is accepted as a political position rather than a personal issue bordering on mass hysteria.

Think about it (if you are able to rationally): If you really care about gun violence, you would never, ever be against non-criminals owning guns. If you can’t trust citizens with guns, why trust them to drive, or vote for that matter? This is not bumper-sticker thinking. I mean that literally.

No one will deny guns are used in crimes and result in accidents. People die. But far less people die (or are victims) in crime where there are more guns, period, and the odds of being shot are nothing compared to kitchen accidents or swimming. Even statistics used by people like fanatic editorialist Piers Morgan when scrutinized in a larger context prove this point, and it is true more often than not city by city, state by state, country by country. And within similar geographic and legal settings, crime rate disparity is significant, showing that gun ownership and restrictions are not the defining factors of crime that are so often blindly accepted as gospel.

The insistence that taking (lawful) guns out of the equation makes our neighborhoods, workplaces, and schools safer is revealed over and over as somewhere between irrational and insane. Every tragic incident proves things like gun-free zones don’t work and yet evokes exactly that reaction for more of the same, expecting a different result.

We can forgive victims and families of victims and people who claim to be compassionate and peaceful for wanting to just get rid of guns. But we shouldn’t. They are the de facto advocates of violence who cannot claim ignorance when the writing is so clear on the wall for the rest of us. It’s denial. It’s fantasy. It’s paving a bloody road with good intentions. The right thing isn’t usually the easy, fell-good thing. And doing the right thing will become harder and harder, the more the masses push their poorly rationalized, fear-based solutions on the rest of us.

* To be fair, Starbucks is not “banning” guns. They simply are requesting their patrons follow their request. We can only hope those who disregard the law feel compelled to respect badgeless baristas.

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