WON Landing Page March 2022

Katie Pavlich: ‘Safe Haven: Gun-Free Zones in America’

Katie Pavlich talked to The WON at the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT) last January about her role in creating Safe Haven: Gun-Free Zones in America. It airs Wed., April 1, on Outdoor Channel.

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(Photo courtesy of Katie Pavlich)

You may know Pavlich as a conservative contributor to Townhall magazine, FOX news and as a columnist at The Hill and Pittsburgh Tribune. In this documentary, she and the team at Outdoor Channel removed politics and emotions from a hot-button topic that sits at the front and center of firearms and freedom in this country.

When asked to describe the one-hour documentary, Pavlich prefaced her description, “When you have people like Piers Morgan and Katie Couric come out with documentaries, I think it’s important to do the same in a factual way.” Pavlich then explained this documentary concentrated on facts – the statistics about gun free zones and shootings therein. “It’s heavy on interviews, views from the experts, a straight-forward review of statistics to gun-free zones and responses and solutions,” said Pavlich.



Pavlich joins these contributors, along with others, in Safe Haven:

  • Jeanne Assam – Former Minneapolis police officer and member of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., Jeanne used her concealed firearm to stop an active shooter during church services
  • Massad AyoobInternational firearms and self-defense instructor and former Vice Chairman of the Forensic Evidence Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Michael Bane – Outdoor industry veteran, producer, writer and ardent second amendment supporter, Michael is also the star of Outdoor Channel’s Shooting Gallery and The Best Defense
  • Elizabeth Boyer – A police officer in White Hall, Ark.
  • Amanda Collins – A University of Nevada, Reno student and concealed carry permit holder who was sexually assaulted in an on-campus gun-free zone; Her attacker went on to kidnap, rape and murder 19-year old Brianna Denison
  • J. Eric Dietz, Ph.D., P.E. – Director of the Purdue Homeland Security Institute and Professor in the Computer and Information Technology Department at Purdue University, as well as author of the institution’s studies on active shooter events
  • Eric Katzenberg – Writer, director and producer of over 75 hours of firearms driven television and documentary film productions, including Assaulted: Civil Rights Under the Fire
  • Edward Monk – National Rifle Association (NRA) handgun instructor and former Armor Officer with the United States Army
  • Katherine Schweit – A FBI Special Agent who heads the agency’s Active Shooter Initiative and is the lead agent for the FBI’s recent Active Shooter report
  • Steven Strauss – Lecturer and John L. Weinberg/Goldman Sachs & Co. visiting professor at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, an adjunct faculty member at the Harvard Kennedy School and Huffington Post contributor on the gun-free zone debate
  • David Thweatt – Superintendent of Harrold Independent School District in Harrold, Texas, which allows teachers concealed carry with proper training

Pavlich said the idea for the documentary came from Outdoor Channel’s CEO, Jim Liberatore, because he “wanted to reach out to people who aren’t pro-gun.”

It’s easy to see where Liberatore found the reason for this documentary. In a press release issued by Outdoor Channel, it states that all but two of the locations for mass shootings in the U.S. have shared one thing in common: designated gun-free zones.

Safe Haven takes a step back from the public discourse on gun control and analyzes mass shootings in gun-free zones, as well as individual crimes where the presence of a legal firearm was denied by law. Using original interviews with victims of crime in gun-free zones, as well as politicians and other commentators, the documentary poses the question: Do gun-free zones work or are we creating an environment for criminal activity to run rampant?

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Katie Pavlich at the SHOT Show, at the film’s preview, with Jim Liberatore (far left)  and Tim Cremin, producer of Safe Haven, from Winnercomm. (Jason Baird photo)

Pavlich, who loves to dig for information, and who has authored 2 books, one a New York Times’ bestseller (Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and Its Shameless Cover-Up), listed her 2 favorite aspects of the documentary: 1) the people interviewed and 2) the fact that, “we show that gun-free zones have failed – whether at business, school – across the board, they’ve failed.”

“There’s this misconception that schools are the places where the most mass shootings have occurred, but it’s not true. It’s businesses,” added Pavlich.

When asked about atrocities such as Newton and the school shooting there, Pavlich said, ‘When an emotional situation, like Newton, happens, there are solutions thrown out that may not work – similar to what happened in the ’90s. We’re not in an emotional period, and let’s have a sober approach.”

Pavlich said that the SHOT Show is proof that the outdoor industry, which includes hunting and shooting, is not a fringe industry.


Pavlich, training at Gunsite Academy. (Alex Landeen Photography)


“People see documentaries like the one we did as getting involved in politics; it’s not. If you really believe in hunting and you believe in shooting sports and you believe in everything that’s represented at the SHOT Show, you’re going have to get involved in policy a little bit,” said Pavlich.

Safe Haven: Gun-Free Zones in America premieres on Wed., April 1, at 4:30 p.m., ET.

  • About Barbara Baird

    Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. Her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at https://www.ozarkian.com.


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