The public is allowed to carry permitted concealed handguns in city buildings, but the Operations Building was not your typical city building. In addition, the killer used his employee key card to access employee-only locations where no one would be carrying a concealed firearm. Attacking a gun-free zone gave him a chance to kill more people without anyone firing back. The shooter gained even more time because the police had trouble entering the area without a key card.

Mass public shooters want to kill as many people as possible, so they deliberately attack gun-free zones. Since 1950, 98 percent of mass public shootings in the United States have occurred in places where general citizens can’t shoot back. Unlike his law-abiding colleagues, the ban didn’t stop the Virginia Beach killer.

One of the authors here, Virginia state Sen. Dick Black (R-Loudoun), introduced legislation to end these municipal workplace gun-free zones and protect Virginians from being sitting ducks.