While the NO HANDGUNS sign is cut off in this photograph, it clearly shows that the Crossroads Center, where the Islamic mass stabbing terror attack took place, was and is posted as a Gun Free Zone.
In Minnesota, the sign has no legal weight. Minnesota law prevents malls from banning guns from the common areas, but malls are not prevented from asking that visitors not carry guns. The sign reads "please while shopping". That makes it a request, not a command.
The difference can easily be lost on a someone who is not well schooled in the niceties of the law. The 22 year old Jihadist likely believed that he was in a gun free zone. It is the perception of the attacker that leads to the selection of the attack location, not the actual legally defined situation.
It is almost certain that Jason Falconer, as firearms instructor, competitor, and concealed carry advocate, knew that the signs were only a request, and did not have the force of law. It is a fact that is widely circulated among Second Amendment supporters in Minnesota. From mngopac.org:
The Mall of America has long had a policy to prohibit lawful carry of firearms by Minnesotans, including posting signs throughout the mall and removing permit holders seen to be carrying firearms.The legal situation is the same for the Crossroads Center Mall in St. Cloud as for the Mall of America.
Minnesota law, however, prohibits a landlord from interfering with the carrying of firearms under MN statute 624.714 by tenants or their guests.
The Mall of America is well aware that as landlords they cannot ban lawful carry. Carrying at the Mall of America does not violate the law, only the mall's wishes.
The current threat environment makes it unconscionable to seek to prohibit self-defense by the mall's customers.
- Bryan Strawser, Executive Director, Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee
Second Amendment supporters are correct in pointing out that the signs asking customers not to carry handguns at the Crossroads Center Mall do not carry the force of law. That does not stop the perception of the vast majority of people that the mall is a gun free zone.
It is the perception of the person who is making the decision on where to carry out the attack that determines whether a location becomes attractive to the attacker. If the attacker took the time to look at the Crossroads Center website, the perception would have been reinforced by the published policy on weapons possession on the premises. From the crossroadscenter.com:
Examples of specific activities that are prohibited include but are not limited to:Was the Crossroads Center a Gun Free Zone, as far as as the 22-year-old radical Islamic attacker saw it?
- Disruptive profanity, vulgar or threatening language
- Unnecessarily blocking walkways, roadways or storefronts
- Running, horseplay or disorderly conduct of any nature
- Excessive loitering
- Operating unauthorized recreational and/or personal transportation devices in the shopping center
- No firearms or illegal weapons
Yes. Politicians are fond of telling us that "perception is reality". In this case perception was the important reality, until an armed American hero showed that reality trumps perception.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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