The Outdoor Channel hosted a screening of its new documentary on the effects of gun-free zones at the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s annual Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show and Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Tuesday.
The film, “Safe Haven: Gun-Free Zones in America,” hosted by Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich, aims to convince viewers of the fault in prohibiting guns in various public places like businesses and schools.
Pavlich and Jim Liberatore, Outdoor Channel president and chief executive officer, talked about the film’s prospective appeal to gun rights advocates, but also mentioned the importance of reaching out to people who are undecided about gun-free zones and guns in general.
“This is one of those topics that I think is so often tied up with emotional responses and its very difficult when you see an active shooter and people are killed to not be emotional about it,” Liberatore told Guns.com. “The truth is when you look at exactly what the facts are, the understanding by individuals about gun-free zones are counter-intuitive in saving lives. In fact, being armed and protected is what saves lives.”
But gun control groups like Everytown for Gun Safety extol the effectiveness of gun-free zones and stave off attacks from the gun rights side claiming that prohibition invites mass shootings.
According to a July 2014 report released by Everytown, which looked at FBI data and media reports on mass shootings between 2009 and 2014, 77 of the 110 shootings took place in private residences. Eighteen of the 33 incidents that occurred in public were in spaces where concealed guns could be lawfully carried and no more than 15 happened in actual gun-free zones, according to the Everytown analysis.
Of course, the report has some critics, including John Lott, president of the Crime prevention Research Center, who released his own analysis in October chiding Everytown for exaggerating the numbers.
“I think the far, far anti-gun crowd – like the Michael Bloombergs, like Shannon Watts, like the Michael Moores – I do not think that they can be convinced,” Pavlich said. “They’re very invested in their cause and they’re not going to change their mind and they’ve been very clear about not being very open to even listening to the other side.”
The screening was a test case in the Outdoor Channel’s plans to release the film, which will be done so in concert with the release of information packets aimed at helping businesses and school districts make effective changes to deal with potential active shooter incidents at the local level, a network representative told Guns.com.
Check out our coverage of SHOT and stay tuned for more throughout the week.