Scott Bitautas, Writer

The shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla. has provoked a call for tougher gun control. It’s logical to think that by making it harder for the killer to legally purchase a gun, the likelihood of this tragedy would be reduced, but what many people fail to understand is that criminals don’t abide by the law.

Gun restrictions and regulations only affect law-abiding citizens. Approximately 98 percent of mass shootings take place in gun-free zones. Killers target these locations because they know there aren’t any good guys that are armed. Prohibition always fails to keep contraband out of the hands of criminals.

For example, during the alcohol prohibition, shops opened up underground bars, and criminal activity in the form of organized crime increased greatly. The War On Drugs did not work either; drugs are as easy as ever to get, despite law enforcement efforts.

At the end of the day, if someone wants a gun, they will be able to get their hands on one, either legally or illegally. Nikolas Cruz, the Florida high school shooter, acquired his weapon legally. By banning guns or implementing stricter regulations, all you do is take guns out of the hands of good, law-abiding citizens and tilt the playing-field in the favor of criminals.

Our Founding Fathers gave us the right to bear arms, not for hunting but for protecting ourselves against tyrannical governments. Throughout history, evil people with interests contrary to the population get into power, and when this inevitably happens, we must be armed. The government is far more dangerous than any individual. It’s ironic that the same people who compare Trump to Hitler are trusting him with confiscating all our guns.

In order to prevent these shootings, when our intelligence agencies have information, they must act on it. The FBI failed to act on several tips regarding Cruz’s disturbing social media posts, one saying, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”

A more in depth background check while purchasing a weapon could help prevent mentally ill people from legally obtaining a gun. But just making it harder to legally purchase a gun won’t significantly help. In Pittsburgh, 79 percent of gun related crimes involve the perpetrator carrying a firearm owned by someone else.

Since gun control has failed time and time again, what would work? Repealing gun-free zones and encouraging citizens to arm themselves. The killer at a Sutherland Springs church in Texas last November was stopped by a neighbor with an AR-15 rifle. The year before in South Carolina, a firefighter possessing a concealed handgun stopped a school shooting.

We defend our president with guns. We defend our banks with guns. We defend our celebrities with guns. Why not our children?