Further Thoughts On The D.C. Gun Lawsuitby Doug Mataconis
Bob Levy, one of the attorneys who argued for the Plaintiffs in the District of Columbia gun case, has a column in today’s Washington Post explaining why this lawsuit was necessary:
Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. Anti-gun regulations don’t address the deep-rooted causes of violent crime — such as illegitimacy, unemployment, dysfunctional schools, and drug and alcohol abuse. The cures are complex and protracted. But that doesn’t mean we have to become passive prey for criminal predators. Americans who want to defend themselves by possessing suitable firearms should be able to do so.
Off and on over the years, Washington has reclaimed its title as the nation’s murder capital. The D.C. government has been minimally effective in disarming violent criminals. But it has done a superb job of disarming decent, peaceable residents. For starters, no handgun can be registered in the District. Even pistols registered before the District’s 1976 ban cannot be carried from room to room in a home without a license, which is never granted. Moreover, all firearms in the home, including rifles and shotguns, must be unloaded and either disassembled or bound by trigger locks.
In effect, no one in the District can possess a functional firearm in his or her residence. And the law applies not just to “unfit” persons such as felons, minors or the mentally incompetent, but across the board to ordinary, honest, responsible citizens who live in the District, pay their taxes in the District and obey the laws of the District.
It’s an old adage — when guns are illegal, only criminals will have guns. For 30 years that is exactly what the situation on the ground in the District of Columbia has been. Law abiding citizens are forbidden to own weapons to protect themselves. The police are incapable protecting the citizenry. And the District of Columbia continues to have one of the highest murder rates in the country.
Meanwhile, the District Government and the editorial board of the Washington Post operate under the delusion that the gun ban is the only thing that stands between the city and a massive crime wave. The fact that there already is a massive crime wave seems to have escapted their attention.
Allowing residents of the District of Columbia to own guns may not solve all of D.C.’s crime problems, but it can hardly make the situation any worse than it already is.