Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“The greatest advances of civilization, whether in architecture or painting, in science and literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralized government.”     Milton Friedman

March 12, 2007

Further Thoughts On The D.C. Gun Lawsuit

by 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.

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2 Comments

  1. These hoplophobes are only worried about one kind of “crime”: self defense. The murders and robberies they can handle; it is DC, after all, where most of the crime that afflicts America originates.

    Comment by Kent McManigal — March 12, 2007 @ 1:25 pm
  2. In the neighborhoods of DC, a law abiding citizen would think nothing of purchasing a gun from the same source as the criminal. It is probably very easy. I guess they wouldn’t be considered law abiding then.
    Some residents look to gun control as some kind of a solution, because they know most of the murders are not about self defense or crime. It is just grasping at straws. In my city we have had so many murders to innocent bystanders, including too many children. Shootout blocks away, where the shooters lived and a bystander was killed. Our citizens want guns to disappear, because how do you protect a child who gets shot and killed just going to school. The crossing guard was too far away to have protected this child. That is why the self defense argument usually doesn’t play. This kind of incident is not unique.

    Comment by VRB — March 12, 2007 @ 3:50 pm

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