The Pennridge Regional Police chief in Philadelphia said if they (the police) “ensured the safety of schools, someone with the intent to kill would move to the malls, hospitals, mass-transit hubs.”
That statement says a lot about why you cannot rely on the police for protection against thugs. Does the chief believe that armed police officers cause shooters to move to the schools, malls, etc.? Should we then disarm the police? And what place is more likely to not have someone armed and therefore be an easy target: a gun-free school, or a mall, hospital or transportation hub that tend to have armed guards or at least citizens with concealed weapons?
It took the police 20 minutes to respond to the “gun-free” Sandy Hook school. When this coward heard the police sirens, he stopped shooting and killed himself. The Aurora shooter ignored five or more movie theaters closer to his residence and picked the one that posted a sign prohibiting firearms. One of the shooters at Columbine, Dylan Klebold, actually wrote letters opposing a concealed carry law. The day that law became effective, he and his fellow coward attacked Columbine. See a pattern?
Armed citizens prevent crimes. And because criminals and others have access to semiautomatic weapons, so should private citizens, as do the police.