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The Kids Set Him Up

Monday, January 9, 2006

Marion Barry Inadvertently Exposes the Fallacy of D.C.'s Gun Ban

Washington, D.C. has a gun ban, and gun bans stop crime.  That's the ruse the gun ban lobby and their cronies would have you believe.  That's what Washington, D.C. Council member and former mayor Marion Barry (D) would have you believe.  But, in an ironic twist of fate, Barry's anti-gun premise has been challenged by circumstances involving none other than Barry himself.

This week, the ex-mayor was the victim of a violent crime in "gun-free" Washington, D.C.  He was robbed at gunpoint by two young men who entered his apartment, held a gun to his head, and robbed him of his wallet, cash, and credit cards.  The nearly three-decades-old ban did nothing to protect Barry.  Despite the ban, Barry admitted that "guns are everywhere."  What he didn't say is that those guns are in the hands of criminals, while the District's law-abiding citizens are prohibited from possessing them.  Clearly, the ban has done nothing to stem the tide of armed criminals carrying out violent crimes.

While not suffering any physical injuries during the ordeal, Barry did indicate that his feelings were hurt.  "There is a sort of an unwritten code in Washington, among the underworld and the hustlers and these other guys, that I am their friend....I was a little hurt that this betrayal did happen." 

Councilman Barry, himself a convicted felon, says he does not want to prosecute the perpetrators (if they are ever caught), but also says that he will push the city council to pass a bill he introduced that would increase penalties for carrying a gun in the District!  Such is the contradictory logic of the ex-mayor.  Pass more gun laws, and don't enforce existing ones.

Of course, violent crime in D.C. is nothing new.  Homicide had been declining in D.C. before the 1976 ban, but increased after the ban was imposed. By 1991, D.C.'s homicide rate had risen more than 200%.  By comparison, the U.S. homicide rate rose only 12% during the same period.  Since then, the District has ranked at, or near, the top of the list for highest per capita murder rate of major cities in the nation.  If gun bans work, how can this tragic and shameful distinction possibly be?

In the wake of his most recent ordeal, Barry called for a summit of the city's leaders to address the "pandemic" of gun violence in the District.  Clearly, he and the law-abiding citizens of the District of Columbia would be better served by a summit convened to call for the enactment of S. 1082 and H.R. 1288--the Senate and House versions of the "District of Columbia Personal Protection Act."

As we continually note, this legislation seeks to restore the constitutionally-guaranteed Second Amendment rights of the law-abiding residents of the District of Columbia.  It would allow these citizens to lawfully defend themselves and their families from violent crime.  It is time to pass this critically important and obviously necessary law.

Please be sure to contact your U.S. Senators and Representative and ask them to cosponsor and support S. 1082 and H.R. 1288.

For a list of Senate cosponsors, please visit http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:SN01082:@@@P.

For a list of House cosponsors, please visit http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:HR01288:@@@P.

You can call your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121, or your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.