Will Lifting the Ban on Concealed Carry Help Deter Mall Terrorism?

A Minnesota lawmaker is arguing that preventing law-abiding citizens from carrying concealed firearms in the Mall of America is ludicrous, especially in light of recent threats of terror attacks from Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant organization with ties to Al-Qaeda.

“This is completely ridiculous. The complete opposite of what they should be doing,” said state Rep. Tony Cornish in an interview with CBS Minnesota. “If we’re threatened with an attack, the last thing you want to do is disarm citizens.”

Cornish, a Republican from District 23B and the chair of the House Public Safety Committee, is going to challenge the mall’s “no guns allowed” policy as he believes it misinterprets the law.

According to Cornish, individual stores are allowed to ban firearms, but common areas and mall hallways should be open to citizens who have a valid concealed carry license.

There is an ongoing debate in this country about whether permissive concealed carry laws have the capacity to reduce crime and deter mass killings and terrorist attacks. While answering that question definitively may not be possible given the multitude of factors that influence crime, the evidence points in that direction.

As the Crime Prevention Research Center notes, all the mass public shootings at malls where at least four people have been killed took place in areas of a mall that prohibited concealed carry. Coincidence? Perhaps. But if one is being honest, it does appear that evildoers prefer soft targets, i.e. environments where armed resistance is highly unlikely.

Yet, not everyone believes that an Armed Mall of America is a safer one. At least one gun-control advocate argued that public safety is a job that is almost exclusively reserved for law enforcement.

“No, we do not think lifting the ban on CCW in Minnesota malls would help prevent a terrorist attack, and it very well could subject these venues to more of the typical gun violence we see in this country on a day to day basis,” said Ladd Everitt, communications director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

Mall of America's no gun allowed sign.  (Photo: CPRC)

Mall of America’s no gun allowed sign. (Photo: CPRC)

“Minnesota residents do need to present a training certificate in order to obtain a concealed handgun permit, but there is no minimum number of hours of training required by statute,” continued Everitt in an email to GunsAmerica. “The notion that individuals with 3-4 hours of training are going to be effective in a counterterrorism role is laughable and dangerous. The potential for confusion and collateral damage is enormous, particularly in a place like the Mall of the Americas with its Nickelodeon Universe theme park packed with children.”

Everitt went on to conclude, “Representative Cornish is apparently under the NRA-sponsored illusion that untrained vigilantes are well-suited for crisis response. They are not. That is why our men and women in blue undergo psychological screening and extensive training before ever being thrust into such a situation with a weapon.”

One can counter Everitt’s stance by suggesting that owning and carrying a firearm isn’t a casual hobby — it’s a lifestyle choice that even a nascent concealed carry permit holder takes seriously. The three or four hours of required training is just the beginning of a lifelong pursuit to become optimally effective with a firearm. Truth be told, most responsible gun owners put in countless hours at the range. And though their range time may not be on par with the professional training one would receive from a tactical expert or anti-terror operative, it may indeed be enough to give them a fighting chance if/when they are confronted by evil.

Either way, it beats the alternative which is to be utterly defenseless in the face of evil; nothing more than a lamb awaiting the slaughter.

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Joe February 26, 2015, 1:45 pm

    The problem is the human heart, no matter what color our skin is or what language we speak. I have a CCW and my family is safer because of it. It’s not a paranoid reason, it’s my God given right as a red blooded American to own and carry a firearm.
    “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

  • Da'Jo February 26, 2015, 12:19 am

    This is dumb.
    The Mall of America has never been a Terroeist target.

    DURP!

  • CG February 25, 2015, 12:30 pm

    There have been more acts of domestic terrorism committed by Americans than foreigners since 9/11. The true enemy is a mentally deranged angry American male with unlimited access to firepower.

    • CNS February 25, 2015, 2:01 pm

      Lawful concealed carry holders are an effective defense against all forms of terrorism, whether foreign or domestic.

  • John February 24, 2015, 7:36 pm

    My God , Linda is like all of the liberal gun grabbers. They all seem to have the same problem. A great lack of knowledge about the subject they are talking about. It’s concealed carry, not open. Besides, I’m sure Linda does all her shopping on line. Not to worry, she’s perfectly safe, because she never leaves home. The rest of us , that live in the real world, are at risk. MICHAEL BLOOMBERG is coming to Minnesota . They will be safe with his help. The mall is going to follow his plan. He suggests, they ban all young black males 16 to 26 from mall property. Thank God for liberals like Linda and Mike. We all look smart compared to them….

    • Terence H. Winkless February 24, 2015, 11:16 pm

      Even cops CLEARLY are not capable of dealing with shooting events, so to speak. What if the attackers are blond? Are the NRAers going to shoot them? No, they’re expecting wall to wall Osamas. This is a disaster asking to happen, No concealed morons.

      • Klub Marcus February 25, 2015, 12:17 pm

        If the terrorists happen to be blond, they’ll get shot too.

      • CNS February 25, 2015, 2:00 pm

        Your claim is idiotic. Cops and citizens alike have shown they can handle these things. Anyone shooting up a mall where I am present is going to get a tactically appropriate response, regardless of what they look like. But of course, I live in a civilized place that doesn’t ban CCW at malls. Hopefully Minnesota will join the club.

  • Linda Magri February 24, 2015, 4:03 pm

    Why are all NRA Republican idiots so deaf, dumb and blind. Do they not understand that open carry in any mall WILL NOT STOP a terrorist attach. Every single one of the terrorist attacks in London, Paris, and elsewhere are all done by people willing to blow themselves to smithereens. No open carry policy in any city, town, state in this country will ever stop a determined terrorist from casually walking into where they want and blowing the place up. No one will have time to stop it. The terrorist is dead, the many people around them are dead, maimed, injured, and there’ss no one for super-macho open carry idiot to go after. So this arguement holds no water. Just another stupid attempt by idiots trying to bullshit the American public so they can carry a weapon so they feel superior. Stop the open carry bullshit, it’s NOT in the best interest of the American public.

    • CNS February 24, 2015, 5:38 pm

      You’re totally clueless on this issue. First of all, the issue at hand is concealed carry, not open carry. Second of all, suicide bombing is a rare form of terrorism outside the middle east. Mass shootings like the recent ones in Paris and Denmark are far more common, and in those cases CCW holders can make a crucial difference. The reason the recent attack in Denmark had far less casualties then the one in Paris was because there were armed people at the scene when the shooting started and they were able to shoot back.

    • CNS February 24, 2015, 5:38 pm

      You’re totally clueless on this issue. First of all, the issue at hand is concealed carry, not open carry. Second of all, suicide bombing is a rare form of terrorism outside the middle east. Mass shootings like the recent ones in Paris and Denmark are far more common, and in those cases CCW holders can make a crucial difference. The reason the recent attack in Denmark had far less casualties then the one in Paris was because there were armed people at the scene when the shooting started and they were able to shoot back.

    • fast forward February 24, 2015, 7:26 pm

      Your a special kind of stupid aren’t you?

    • Klub Marcus February 25, 2015, 12:15 pm

      You’re stupid. There are countless documented cases where havimg a firearm has stopped a hardened criminal. There are far tougher scum out there who inderstand how a firearm in a citizen’s hands can change the equation. At the end of the day, individuals ought to be able to choose wether or not to open carry. If you don’t want a gun, don’t get one and leave the rest of us alone!

      • fast forward February 25, 2015, 12:54 pm

        I was replying to Linda you idiot! Klub Marcus you need a nice cup of STFU. MORON

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