Just two weeks after the mass shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center left 12 people dead, Virginia Beach council members Sabrina Wooten and Guy King Tower have doubled down on stupid—announcing plans to extend the "gun-free zones" in public buildings in the town to cover the public, as well as city employees.
Virginia Beach city policy prohibited employees—even those with a valid concealed carry permit—from having a weapon at work. State law allows citizens with a valid permit to carry in the non-secure areas of public buildings. So, while a city employee could not be prosecuted for carrying in the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, they could be fired.
Days after the shooting, news came out that one employee had indeed been dissuaded from arming herself by the city policy.
The night before Kate Nixon and 11 others were murdered by a disgruntled co-worker, the decade-long Virginia Beach city employee talked with her husband about bringing a gun to work for self-defense -- a decision that was taken out of her hands by the city's ban on employees carrying firearms at work, a Nixon family lawyer said.
Now, Nixon's family is calling for an independent investigation into events leading up to the May 31 shooting and what could have been done differently before and during it, particularly given the explicit concerns about shooter [name redacted].
"Kate expressed to her husband concerns about this individual in particular, as well as one other person,” Nixon family attorney Kevin Martingayle told WHRV's "HearSay with Cathy Lewis" radio show Monday. “In fact, they had a discussion the night before about whether or not she should take a pistol and hide it in her handbag -- and decided not to, ultimately, because there's a policy apparently against having any kind of weapons that are concealed in the building."
So, in the wake of discovering, once again, that gun free zones have zero effect on dissuading mass shooters intent on doing evil, councilmembers Wooten and Tower want to make sure that there's no chance a legally armed non-employee will have an opportunity to potentially halt the next mass shooter.
So you want gun-free zones?
If lawmakers continue to desire and promote gun-free zones, then they must meet the following standards:
- There need to be metal detectors at all entrances to the gun-free zone
- There need to be armed guards or law enforcement on site to ensure the safety of all those who have ceded their personal protection because of the gun-free zone.
Anything less is merely an advertisement to those who are intent to do evil that they will have free rein to kill as many as they would like.