Anti Gun Editorial in the VA Pilot.


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GlenJ
August 6, 2005, 02:10 PM
For all you in the Tidewater and DC area especially read this and respond.
Since he throws in stats let's respond with pro-gun stats. His phone number and e-mail address is the bottom of the article.

Adding guns won’t make D.C. less violent
The Virginian-Pilot
© August 6, 2005



Robbery victims throw their hands in the air to show they’ve given up — and to tell the perps, “please don’t shoot.”

In my hometown of Washington, D.C., some residents are, figuratively, throwing up their hands. But this time they’re the ones who want to shoot.

They’re asking for an end to the city’s longtime restrictions on firearms, saying they haven’t done enough to eliminate crime in the nation’s capital.

I wish they wouldn’t surrender so easily, though I understand the frustration with crime. Meanwhile, many residents still believe the city’s gun laws, among the toughest in the nation, are better than the alternative. Given statistics that show crime is significantly down compared with past years, gun control advocates should keep firing ... the facts.

Washington’s gun regulations have been in the news lately because of attempts in Congress to overturn at least one of those provisions. Since 1976, it’s been illegal to possess handguns in the District. (The law “grandfathered” handguns that residents owned before that time.) Businesses and homes could keep shotguns or rifles, but the guns had to have trigger locks or be disassembled.

Of course, thugs don’t usually follow the rule book. The advent in the 1980s of crack cocaine, as well as other illegal drugs, exacted a bloody, mounting toll on my hometown.

However, gun control advocates contend, and I agree, that limits on guns reduce the chances of injury and death in arguments, domestic disputes, road rage and other incidents. Children are less likely to die accidentally from firearms when there aren’t as many around. Fewer guns mean fewer chances of innocent bystanders being shot. And a study released in July by the nonprofit Violence Policy Center notes that, from 2000 through 2002, no District child 16 or younger died by shooting himself in a suicide attempt. (Alaska, which had the highest rate among the states, had 14 such deaths during that span.)

While a reporter, I spent way too much time speaking to grief-stricken parents about their slain children. Some of the kids were violent; some were innocents cut down before they’d had a chance to live. I still find it difficult to believe that more guns would solve the madness.

More recently, the number of homicides, which District police say mostly involve gunshots, have decreased fairly steadily in the city. In 2000, there were 242 homicides; last year, there were 198. That suggests that the city’s firearms policy, though not perfect, is helping the community.

An editorial last month in The Washington Post put it simply: “Perhaps District residents support their gun safety laws because they now see crime in their city at a 20-year low.”

Those statistics mattered little to federal lawmakers. Pandering to the powerful National Rifle Association, unfortunately, carried more ammunition.

Congress, which often maintains a lord/vassal relationship toward city residents, has decided again to dictate to District leaders. The City Council can make its own laws, but residents still face a federal process that meddles in local affairs.

In late June, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment attached to the District’s appropriations bill. The amendment would allow residents and businesses to keep shotguns and rifles loaded and assembled. Handguns bought before 1976 could be loaded and assembled, too.

At a gun control rally attended by more than 200 people last week, a vocal gun rights contingent placed organizers — including the police chief and mayor — in their sights. Several said they deserved the right to defend themselves when confronted by attackers. Some had been victims of crime.

But because it was a gun control forum, most of the participants, obviously, offered a different view. Some had lost relatives to gun violence. Others, fully cognizant of crime in the city, still backed the police and community efforts.

As a former college classmate who lives in D.C. told me this week, the proliferation of guns is the problem. “There are too many of them,” he says. The notion of fixing that problem by adding more firearms — even in the hands of law-abiding citizens — doesn’t make sense.


Roger Chesley is associate editor of The Pilot’s editorial page. Reach him at 757-446-2329 or roger.chesley@pilotonline.com

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El Tejon
August 7, 2005, 12:25 PM
The meddling is to ensure the civil rights of all Americans, even those trapped in D.C.

The sheep cannot tell the difference between the sheepdog and the wolves.

XLMiguel
August 7, 2005, 01:15 PM
However, gun control advocates contend, and I agree, that limits on guns reduce the chances of injury and death in arguments, domestic disputes, road rage and other incidents. Children are less likely to die accidentally from firearms when there aren’t as many around. Fewer guns mean fewer chances of innocent bystanders being shot.
Gun control frustrates Natural Selection :evil: Fewer stupid, irresponsible, immature and socially-arrested people would have a much greater impact on the types of death and injury cited above than the availability of firearms. It's faulty logic. If they don't use guns, they'll use something else, you can';t change human nature - people prone to violenhce will use whatever's available. RE: children, if you don't 'kid-proof' your home, there's no shrtage of things that will hurt kids.

The 'reporter' needs a first-hand object lesson with violence and 9-1-1 response times in Norfolk while in the unarmed state :evil: Maybe he'd get over his cranial rectitus and quit pandering to the VPC POV. Baaaaaaaaaaaa

chris in va
August 7, 2005, 03:49 PM
Lefties crack me up. They ass-u-me the gun laws being lifted will just flood the city with firearms, sans training. Everyone will just run to the newly opened gun stores and buy up everything they can afford. They envision people waving firearms around like flags at anyone that pisses them off, while the neighborhood kids duck-n-cover.

My contention is DC needs a GOOD training requirement, not just some silly class you take for CCW. A couple solid days of intensive safety/handling/tactics classes and mandatory gun safe use should be implemented. After all, residents didn't 'grow up' around guns in DC and really don't have a handle on how to use them safely, at least from what I've seen.

I'm even in a little shock over VA's lax gun rules. Too many times at the range I see guys flailing guns around not even heeding/knowing the 4 rules of gun safety.

15 1/2 year olds are required to take driver's ed... :confused:

Justin
August 7, 2005, 03:52 PM
My contention is DC needs a GOOD training requirement, not just some silly class you take for CCW. A couple solid days of intensive safety/handling/tactics classes and mandatory gun safe use should be implemented.

Agreed, and I think they should commence teaching these classes in the public schools as soon as humanly possible.

shield20
August 7, 2005, 05:23 PM
What sucks is this guy's typical comment about pro-gun law makers "pandering to the NRA" - what about all the CITIZENS who want the band lifted??? We NEVER hear about their 'influence' on THEIR representatives! Conservatives are in the majority in Washington for a reason - because WE voted for them. Let them do OUR will - not some panti-waist anti-gunner's who chooses to ignore the facts, and only sees things his way...same old BS arguments about accidents, suicides, road rage and arguments turned murder - what crap!

Justin
August 7, 2005, 05:28 PM
It's always much easier to make your opponent out to be the big, bad, monolithic greedy badguy. Pointing out that there are more members in the NRA than in the entire anti-gun movement combined would only work to undermine their stance, so down the memory hole it goes.

makanut
August 7, 2005, 07:19 PM
Without going into demographics here, folks in the U.S. more often than not have a propensity to settle disputes with firearms. Sure, most of the gun deaths are drug related, but a lot of shootings can be attributed to what I call the "knucklehead factor," or people with concrete or even less than that for brains. Any knucklehead can use a "borrowed" gun to get even with someone after a perceived insult. Since It's almost impossible to prevent knuckleheads from "borrowing" or stealing legally owned handguns, any attempt at preventing non-felons from buying hanguns will prove disastrous, as it has in D.C. Someone who is borderline retarded and has a short temper to boot will naturally go out and find a handgun or some other dangerous weapon. Why? because they are f****n stupid that's why. Why should I be denied the right to self-defense because of knuckleheads that don't know anything about firearms yet insist on misusing them for purposes such as criminal activity and/or settling disputes? I've come to the conclusion that some people are just too stupid to own firearms, and all the PC nonsense out there is just a smokescreen to obscure the truth.

Monkeyleg
August 7, 2005, 07:33 PM
DC has roughly the same size population as Milwaukee. In 1991 DC had 482 homicides, while Milwaukee had 168, the highest for both cities.

Last year DC had 198 homicides, and Milwaukee had about 140 or so.

What changed? The laws certainly didn't. We have three gun shops here in town, and many more nearby. DC doesn't have any. We have probably 300,000 to 500,000 legally-owned guns in the city (based on national averages), and DC has hardly any.

Instead of focusing on guns, the reporter should focus on what actions were taken that contributed to the decline in DC homicides and build on those strategies.

Naw, that makes too much sense.

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