BELLEVUE, WA – Eight more innocent Americans have been sacrificed on the altar of political correctness at Omaha’s Westroads Mall this week, and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today that the real outrage of this crime is that it happened in a “gun free zone” where law-abiding private citizens are disarmed by mall rules and state statute.

“In the wake of this horrible crime,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “gun control extremists are already demanding more useless gun control legislation. A prohibition on firearms at Westroads Mall did not stop Robert Hawkins, but it did give him a risk-free environment in which to unleash his rampage.”

Gottlieb, co-author of the recently released America Fights Back: Armed Self-defense In A Violent Age, said the common link between virtually every mass shooting in recent history in this country is that they all happened in so-called “gun-free zones” such as shopping malls and college campuses. He and co-author Dave Workman detail the colossal failure of this “Gun Free Folly” in their new book.

“What happened at the Westroads Mall can happen anywhere that political hysteria results in victim disarmament,” Gottlieb stated. “Blaming firearms for this crime is like blaming cars for drunk driving. The argument doesn’t wash. Published reports all suggest that Hawkins was troubled and had emotional problems, and he reportedly had a felony drug conviction on his record which prohibited him from owning firearms. This proves that restrictive gun laws do not prevent determined perpetrators from getting their hands on guns, but they do prevent law-abiding citizens from having the tools to defend themselves.

“Remember that a similar shooting at Salt Lake City’s Trolley Square earlier this year was interrupted by an armed, off-duty police officer from another city,” Gottlieb said. “In essence, that man was an armed private citizen. In Tacoma, Washington two years ago, an armed citizen confronted a gunman at the Tacoma Mall and although he was seriously wounded, his intervention brought the shooting to a halt.

“Gun owners, the gun industry, nor our constitutionally-protected individual right to keep and bear arms are at fault for the Westroads outrage,” he said, “and the gun control lobby knows it. Restrictive laws that disarm honest citizens and provide risk-free environments for criminals and lunatics are at fault, and so are the people responsible for passing such laws and enforcing such prohibitions.