Is Umpqua Community College really a Gun Free Zone?
As a firm advocate of the right to bear arms and a strong conservative, let me make the answer crystal clear: No, Umpqua Community College is not a gun free zone.
However, while the pop conservatives in the media and the interwebs are technically innacurate for labeling UCC a gun-free zone, they aren’t completely off-base.
Umpqua Community College and Oregon’s State Board of Higher Education both have gun ban policies in place, despite the fact that such policies are arguably illegal even under Oregon law.
These policies should be expected to create a discouraging effect in the minds of would-be carriers. What is the degree of this effect? Was the campus effectively gun free, or was carrying hardly suppressed? This is an empirical question, but without data a reasonable expectation would be a moderately severe reduction in the rate of carrying.
If such a moderate rate of reduction did occur, then perhaps “more guns less crime” is consistent with the shooting having taken place at UCC as opposed to some other location in Oregon or the US.
We might call UCC a “reduced carry zone”, an “anti-gun zone”, or a “carrying a gun here is not certain to result in a negative outcome, but there is some risk of a negative outcome zone.”
Because such slogans are foreign to popular American jargon, we might be charitable in understanding that “gun-free zone” was chosen as the closest substitute, if one which is also technically inaccurate.
I would also like to remind gun control advocates that mass shooting is currently already illegal. Perhaps a reaction conservatives and progressives alike might embrace would be to increase the legal penalty for murder, or that relatively more attention should be focused on the root of the issue, which is the mental health of our country.