Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I work in a gun-free zone

Here's what I see every morning walking into the Jamaica Plain VA...

In other words, the Department of Veterans Affairs makes it a point to post a large sign, at every VA entrance, advertising to criminals that every civilian on the property is unarmed, and cannot counter a violent attacker with lethal force.  VA campuses can be dangerous; they're open to the public generally, with large, poorly-lit parking lots.  They're an attractive location for violent criminals. 

Title 18 Section 930 (cited on the sign) is short and to the point, though I'm not sure how to interpret it.  It basically says that lethal weapons are prohibited on federal property, but there's an exception for carrying incidental to hunting or other lawful purposes.  Common sense dictates that "other lawful purposes" would mean a licensed civilian like me carrying concealed.  Like most gun laws though, it's ambiguous and confusing. 

The VA clearly wants ordinary citizens to think it's illegal to carry on their grounds.  But I do suspect there are a lot of civilians carrying on federal property, ignoring the sign, and just not talking about it.

Does VA Secretary Eric Shineski post a sign on his front lawn announcing the fact that his house is a gun-free zone?  No, because that would be irresponsible and dangerous for himself and his family.  Then why does he force this nonsense onto his department's employees?

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