Discussing a recent school shooting at Purdue University, frequent Fox News guest Lars Larson blamed gun-free school zones for the incident, stoking fears that gun-free zones attract violence.
During the January 21 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, host Martha MacCallum moderated a discussion with Larson, a radio host, and Fox contributor Julie Roginsky about preventing violence in schools following the tragic shooting death of teaching assistant Andrew Boldt at Purdue University. Larson dismissed the notion that private gun sales should be subject to background checks, claiming that not “one single incident” has occurred from a private-party sale without a background check. Instead, he blamed gun-free zones, asserting, "[t]he fact is, almost all these incidences happen in gun free zones, virtually all of them," adding that “having more guns in society -- it does make society safer.”
In fact, statistics show that gun-free school zones are safer for youth than areas that permit them. The Bureau of Justice Statistics found that gun-free zones like primary and secondary schools are typically safer for young people, as gun deaths in gun-free zones never exceeded 2 percent of total youth homicides:
Furthermore, research conducted by Mayors Against Illegal Firearms found that most mass shooting occur in private residences, not gun-free zones:
Sixty-two of the 93 incidents (67%) took place wholly in private residences. Of the 31 incidents in public spaces, at least 17 took place wholly or in part where concealed guns could be lawfully carried. All told, no more than 14 of the shootings (15%) took place entirely in public spaces that were so-called 'gun-free zones.'
As for Larson's declaration that there has not been “one single incident involving a private-party sale” of guns without a background check, he is failing to remember that all four guns used in the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado were purchased through an area gun show without a background check. Mother Jones compiled other examples of mass shootings linked to private-party sales, including a September 2011 deadly shooting in Carson, Nevada, and the racially motivated shooting spree of Benjamin Nathaniel Smith.