I am fortunate enough to live in a state where “gun-free” signs do not have the force of law. I keep my concealed weapon hidden, but in truth, it is in these “gun-free” zones where I require my gun the most. It is within these supposed “gun-free” zones that criminals can feel reasonably assured that the population is unarmed and easy prey to their heinousness.
Still, these signs deter many, many law-abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights and carrying firearms on their person. As corporations err on the side of caution to ward-off potential liabilities, more and more law-abiding Americans are forced to choose: be a potential victim or violate these rules.
Thankfully, police unions are stepping-up to put pressure on the NFL to welcome these law-abiding citizens to exercise their rights.
The National Fraternal Order of Police, the largest police union in the nation, has officially asked the NFL to remove the decades-old rule of prohibiting weapons into football stadiums. They have begun the process by asking that retired and active police officers with licenses to carry be exempt from the rule. Hopefully, the move will yield further repeals in the future.
The move is aimed at providing a safer football experience as licensed, armed citizens can serve as deterrents to mass shooters who do not care about silly rules and regulations.
In a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell, FOP President Chuck Canterbury explained,
“Today, I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to urge you to rescind this policy, which weakens the safety and security of NFL players, personnel and fans,” read the letter. “The terrorist attacks and threats of attacks from organizations like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are selecting targets based on the amount of death and injury they can inflict — mass murder and casualty events.
“Well-attended venues and areas are being deliberately targeted by the radical killers who do not intend or expect to survive the assault,” the letter continued. “Law enforcement, even when working actively with highly trained and skilled security professionals, cannot be certain that all threats will be detected and neutralized.”
The decision to ban guns came as a result of lengthy decision-making process in 2014. Before that, the decision was left up to teams and venue operators. If the NFL were to repeal their decision, the policy would presumably revert back to teams and venue operators.
The NFL pushed-back and have claimed to support their earlier decision.
“We concluded that public safety inside NFL stadiums on game days would be best-served by the carrying of firearms by on-duty officers specifically assigned to work the game as part of the comprehensive public safety plan for the event,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy stated. “This approach has been certified by the Department of Homeland Security under the SAFETY Act (Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies).”
McCarthy also claimed that off-duty officers and retired officers would pose a potential problem for security who are unaware of who is who.
“Off-duty officers attend games as spectators and are unknown to working law enforcement officers and security personnel,” McCarthy said. “They may not have the same training and do not participate in the weekly preparation meetings. They are not included in the on-site chain of command. The well-intentioned display or use of gun could have serious unintended and potentially tragic consequences.”
The argument is a weak one.
“Off-duty police had been carrying their guns with them at NFL games from the time the NFL started until about a year-and-a-half ago, and there has never been a single problem,” John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, rebutted. “Metal detectors can’t be depended on to secure stadiums from terrorists. When seconds count, an armed off-duty officer might be the closest person available to stop an attack.”
“The NFL claims that the off-duty officers might accidentally be shot by security, but not only isn’t there any evidence that even civilians who stop mass public shootings are confused for the attackers, these very officers whose lives are supposedly at risk want to carry guns and believe that it makes both them and the public safer,” Lott said.
Considering the remarkably litigious nature of modern America, it is understandable why businesses and corporations ban guns from the premises. They have mistakenly bought into the “more guns= more likelihood of violence” narrative furthered by hysterics and anti-Second Amendment zealots.
The truth behind concealed carry is quite simple to understand: “bad guys” don’t follow rules and already have guns. We look to “good guys” with guns to protect us when the unthinkable happens and yet, the very same policies that help enable mass shootings by advertising an unarmed victim pool are the same policies that help prevent the “good guys” from stopping the mass killing.
It’s a no-brainer; the NFL must repeal their decision if they care about the safety of their fans.