Central Kitsap Reporter


Choosing gun-free zones

August 23, 2013 · Updated 10:33 AM

There’s a movement across the water in Seattle to allow business owners to post that they do not allow guns in their shops.

The program, which is being promoted by Washington CeaseFire, a gun-control group, offers business owners a decal that they can post in their window which states that guns are not allowed inside.

The gun-free zone idea is being backed by Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn who unveiled it this week. And as of mid-week, more than two dozen businesses had requested decals.

This follows an incident last year in Seattle where an armed man entered a coffee shop, the Cafe Racer, and killed employees and patrons. Cafe Racer has put up the new decal.

The program also follows a “campaign” on Facebook to boycott Starbucks because it declined to prohibit guns in its locations, saying that it will follow open-carry laws in states such as in Washington, where open-carry is the law.

Photos of morning coffee drinkers lined up outside Starbucks with their holsters and their guns showing are making the social media rounds.

Naturally, this program has brought about a lot of discussion about whether it will make places safer.

True Second Amendment followers think not. They say that anyone with a gun and with the intent of doing harm won’t be stopped by a simple sign in the window of a business.

They also add that if there are no law-abiding citizens with guns in those businesses, there’ll be nobody to stop the triggerman.

On the side of those who don’t favor guns in public places, Washington CeaseFire says this is a step toward making businesses safer. Having gun-free zones helps promote awareness that guns, even those carried by law-abiding citizens, can endanger the public.

In Kitsap County, there have been incidents where guns have been fired in and near public businesses. Whether or not the program would make Kitsap County safer, no one can say for sure.

But residents of Kitsap County, and the city of Bremerton, should have the opportunity to try it. Business owners here, like in Seattle, should have the option of putting a gun-free zone decal in their window, allowing customers to know there are no guns allowed inside.

And ultimately every individual can decide for themselves whether to patronize those businesses.


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