Marshfield, WI –– After debate, the City Council in Marshfield Wisconsin voted to keep the “No Firearms or Weapons” sign up at the city hall.
– This, in our opinion, is a very bad idea!
After a Marshfield resident, who is a concealed carry permit holder, asked the City Council to consider removing the sign, the Council did debate the issue at its Oct. 22 meeting but postponed action on the item until November. In the meantime, the City took an internal survey of City Hall employees who chose to keep the sign in place until it was voted upon.
Council members said they have taken calls from citizens on both sides of the debate. Alderman Rebecca Spiros said she reviewed the 174 comments made on a Marshfield Police Department Facebook post which asked for the public’s opinion on the topic of whether citizens should be permitted to bring weapons into public buildings. Most comments were in favor of removing the sign.
Alderman Witzel said he wasn’t sure if those comments were representative of the population, but he felt posting the sign may be overreaching. Later, he stated the removal of the sign may create a false sense of security.
Alderman Chris Jockheck added, “Why in Marshfield, Wisconsin does anyone feel unsafe? Why does anyone feel that carrying gun will make them feel better? I just don’t get that mentality.”
The Common Council voted 5-4 against removing the sign to allow concealed carry with one alderman absent.
My Two Cents
The reality of the so-called, “Gun Free Zone,” is that nearly every mass shooting takes place in one. The idea that a sign on the door will stop someone hellbent on harming others in an enclosed building like a school, church, store, or city hall is ludicrous! People who carry out murders or mass murders are criminals and seeing a sign will not deter them from carrying out their intended crimes.
What will and does happen, however, is that the law-abiding citizen who has made a choice to carry a gun for his self-defense and the defense of others, if necessary, will obey the law and leave their means of defense in the car or at home. Law-abiding citizens who apply to obtain a license to carry a weapon are statistically very responsible individuals. According to FBI crime statistics, individuals who are licensed to carry a weapon are less likely to speed, commit larceny, assault someone, or even get in an argument.
Why? Because they probably don’t want to bring attention to themselves and tend to avoid situations where they may need to defend themselves.
While voting to keep the sign in place may make you feel good, it truly provides NO more security than if the sign were not there at all. If the city council were truly concerned about the safety of the city’s employees and visitors, they would need to invest in metal detectors and armed guards at the door. Metal detectors would likely deter someone from accidentally bringing in a gun, but wouldn’t necessarily stop someone from shooting their way through the detectors, that is where armed guards would be necessary.
After reviewing years of mass shootings, authorities have found that prospective mass murderers prefer “soft targets,” including “Gun Free Zones.” If they know they are unlikely to be confronted by someone with a gun, they feel confident they can do a lot more harm. We also know that they tend to shoot themselves, vs. being shot by police. In fact, the perpetrators tend to end their violent attack quickly after being confronted, possibly to avoid being arrested.
Want more proof? A study from the Crime Research Prevention Center shows 89 percent of mass public shootings between 1998 and June 2019 occurred in gun-free zones. More guns, less crime.
What the Marshfield City Council has done is to create a false sense of security and liability for the city. For example, if someone ignores the sign, enters the building with a weapon, and decides to use it to hurt or kill someone, under Wisconsin’s law, they are liable for injuries sustained because they were unarmed. You basically need to guarantee you will protect them, so they don’t need their weapon. When you put the sign on the door, effectively removing the individual’s right to protect themselves, you become the likely recipient of a lawsuit should anything happen. The law was written that way to incentify businesses and organizations to not post their buildings.
Businesses should reconsider not posting their buildings. Why? Because the only people who obey signs are law-abiding citizens, which may be the same individuals who would be willing to intervene in a mass casualty incident if it happens. Criminals will ignore your signs.
Remember, carry deep, train hard, and never leave your gun at home!