During the Fox Business undercard debate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee repeated a debunked claim that most mass shootings have occurred in so-called “gun-free zones,” such as schools or government buildings where guns are banned.
“The one common thing that has happened in most mass shootings is that they happened in gun-free zones where people who would have been law-abiding citizens who could have stood up and at least tried to stop it were not allowed to under the law,” Huckabee said.
This is a popular claim with the gun lobby, as they reason that people looking to commit a mass shooting want to find unarmed victims. But there’s no evidence gun-free zones are targeted more than other places. Furthermore, a “good guy with a gun” has never stopped a mass shooting. Very few people use guns in self-defense. In fact, the presence of a gun in a home makes it much more likely someone will be shot.
Still, the myth that gun-free zones are more dangerous has propelled the movement to put more guns in more places and ban signs that prohibit guns. One such law recently legalized guns in psychiatric hospitals in Texas. Heeding this idea, many schools have also started arming staff or training teachers to use guns in the event of a mass shooting — an idea that sometimes backfires with tragic results.