Padres fans who are licensed concealed carry holders are not welcome at Petco Park. Nor are off duty police officers who regularly carry concealed. This new gun ban is a case of doing what is best for the team owners, and not best for the fans. Look at who was in on the decision to ban licensed concealed carriers from the ballpark.
Before making the change, the Padres met with local law enforcement leaders – including San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, Sheriff Bill Gore, Escondido police Chief Craig Carter and representatives from two law enforcement unions – who accepted the ban.
A sea of disarmed and vulnerable citizens makes it easier for law enforcement. It makes it more dangerous for fans as they walk to and from the game where they have been attacked here in Los Angeles and here in San Francisco. This decision also ignores the increased risk as concealed carriers store their firearms in their car in unguarded parking lots. This decision ignores the increased risk as fans drive to and from the game unarmed. Some concealed carriers will simply boycott the games.
Off duty police were never a problem. They don’t get drunk and start fights. Licensed concealed carriers were never a security problem either. Concealed carriers are even more law abiding than the police. No, this decision was political.
This decision gives team management and local government officials plausible deniability when there is an attack at the ball park. This decision gives owners and officials a better case in court when the next of kin sues the city. The decision might have come down from the gun-ban advocates in Sacramento or from the league.
I understand the decision. It is the same decision that Sheriff Bill Gore and Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman have forced on San Diego citizens already. These government officials currently deny citizens the right of armed self-defense in public. Now they deny that right to concealed carriers and off duty law enforcement as well. For these law enforcement officials, guns are for on duty cops. After an attack, they can let the next of kin sue in court where the taxpayers pay the legal bills. Their decisions confess so much.
How short sighted of these government officials to disarm honest men and women. How short sighted of San Diego voters to put them in office…or go to their games.
I’ll leave the issue of forcibly disarming citizens in a government supported park for another post.