Urbin Report

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Civil Rights are moving forward in D.C.

The Washington Examiner reports that even hard core democrat pols in the City of Washington, D.C. are waking up to the fact that Victim Disarmament laws just provide a safer working environment for violent criminals.

None other than former Mayor Marion Barry, now representing Ward 8 on the D.C. Council, is waving the white flag of surrender by introducing legislation to provide potential victims a limited window of opportunity to arm themselves in self defense. “We are in the midst of a gun-violence epidemic,” Barry said. Everybody but the criminals are abiding by the city’s gun control laws [which] have long been among the toughest in the nation. Not only are District residents forbidden from owning firearms not registered before 1977, they must also keep legal rifles and shotguns at home, unloaded, disassembled and useless against an armed intruder.

Barry deserves credit for stating the obvious, considering that most city officials shrink from accounting for the 2,656 illegal firearms recovered last year by the Metropolitan Police Department — weapons current gun control laws were supposed to keep out of the city.

Gun rights groups are mostly suspicious of Barry’s proposal, which would allow D.C. residents with no prior criminal history three months to register handguns before the current ban is reinstated and higher penalties for unregistered weapons kick in. Citing a 2003 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found no convincing evidence that gun control laws reduce violence anywhere, they’d prefer the District repeal its gun ban altogether.

But Barry’s bill is a first step and it is co-sponsored by Council members Jim Graham, D-Ward 1, Kwame Brown, D-at large, and Tommy Wells, D-Ward 6 — none of whom are gun-toting NRAers. However, all four councilmen face the same intractable problem in their own neighborhoods: The city’s gun control laws don’t work as advocates promised they would...

HT to Ms. Malkin