By John McLeod

McLeod is a serial Roanoke entrepreneur and trustee of McLeod Family Foundation.

I am writing in response to the June 6 article regarding the Roanoke Higher Education Center banning firearms on campus. However, my comments apply to any organizations that is taken similar action.

We have all seen signs outside of schools and other facilities indicating no guns or weapons allowed. Does any among us believe that a potential shooter would actually honor such a sign? In reality, the signs created easy targets for shooters that are inclined to go in a facility intending to kill people and feel secure at not being fired back on until the police arrive.

In the most recent shootings that our country has experienced, the police generally were on site within 2 to 3 minutes. Despite that extremely quick response time, numerous people were killed in each instance. (Of course, there is a varying amount of time until people in the building realize there is a shooter and can let the police know.)

One of the best ways to reduce the risk of a shooting is to let the shooter know that at least potentially, people inside the target facility have guns.

In the case of the Roanoke Higher Education Center, I understand they simply expanded their policy of no guns to eliminate the ability of people who had concealed carry permits to bring those guns into the facility. If citizens are allowed to get a concealed carry permit as they are in Virginia, why would we not trust these people to act in their and everyone else’s defense if there was a threatening shooter in the facility?

It seems that many feel that gun-free zones are a replacement for citizens that have met the requirements of a concealed carry permit to protect themselves and others. Somehow we feel good with a sign instead of responsible citizens who are armed?

All of us are appalled and disgusted by the number and frequency of the shootings that have occurred in our country. Each side of the gun/no gun positions attack the other and each side comes up with extreme solutions that have no chance of actually being implemented.

Lives and property are saved every day in this country by law-abiding citizens using guns to protect themselves, their loved ones and their property. Should we not allow this same situation in our schools, public and other buildings?

The bad guys will not honor a sign that says no guns. The good guys inside the buildings become targets because of these policies, targets who are not allowed to protect themselves.

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