I've been hearing complaints about businesses posting signs like the one above. What's the problem? We all have the right to go out in public without worrying about getting shot. Surely keeping guns out of stores and businesses is a good idea and business owners post these signs so that their customers and employees will feel safe. That is very admirable and just smart business. Isn't it?
Let's analyze this logically, shall we?
Imagine for a minute that you are a bad guy and you are going into [insert store name here] to rob the place. You know that robbing the store is illegal and you don't care because you're just there to rob the store. Do you really care that the sign on the front door forbids you to take a gun in the store? No, of course not. So, that means that putting the sign up isn't a deterent to the bad guy - only a demand that the lawful citizen be unarmed.
Not only is the intended message of the "No Guns" sign ineffective, it also has an unintended message. It tells the bad guys that they can come in and do as they will because no good, law abiding citizens are armed to defend themselves. Effectively, it declares that the store or business is a "Criminal Protection Zone".
There a huge difference between feeling safe and being safe. Is it a good thing to lull people into a false sense of secuity and well-being? Personally, I don't think so - especially when you consider that most people are so wrapped up in what they are doing and who they are speaking with that they aren't really paying attention to the potential dangers around them anyway.
So, maybe the best way to protect ourselves is to just ban all guns. That is the topic for another entry, but until then, think about how success of the prohibition of the 1920s and our war against drugs.