GUN D.C. gun ban a complete failure

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by [DWI], Nov 19, 2007.

  1. [DWI]

    [DWI] Master of Nothing

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    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/w.../effectiveness_of_dc_gun_ban_still_a_mystery/

    WASHINGTON - Three decades ago, at the dawn of municipal self-government in the District of Columbia, the city's first elected mayor and council enacted one of the country's toughest gun-control measures, a ban on handgun ownership that opponents have long said violates the Second Amendment.

    All these years later, with the constitutionality of the ban now probably headed for a US Supreme Court review, a much-debated practical question remains unsettled: Has a law aimed at reducing the number of handguns in the District made city streets safer?

    Although studies through the decades have reached conflicting conclusions, this much is clear: The ban, passed with strong public support in 1976, has not accomplished everything the mayor and council of that era wanted it to.

    Over the years, gun violence has continued to plague the city, reaching staggering levels at times.

    In making by far their boldest public policy decision, Washington's first elected officials wanted other jurisdictions, especially neighboring states, to follow the lead of the nation's capital by enacting similar gun restrictions, cutting the flow of firearms into the city from surrounding areas.

    "We were trying to send out a message," recalled Sterling Tucker, the council chairman at the time.

    Nadine Winters, also a council member then, said, "My expectation was that this being Washington, it would kind of spread to other places, because these guns, there were so many of them coming from Virginia and Maryland."

    It didn't happen. Guns kept coming. And bodies kept falling.

    Opponents of the ban, who won a March ruling in which the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit declared the law unconstitutional, said in a legal filing that the District's "31-year experiment with gun prohibition" has been a "complete failure." Meanwhile, D.C. officials, who have asked the Supreme Court to reverse the March decision, say the ban is a legally permissible public-safety measure that has saved lives.

    Which side is correct depends on whose social science research is accurate. Although the city points to research indicating that street violence would have been worse without the law, opponents of the ban cite studies to the contrary.

    "It's a pretty common-sense idea that the more guns there are around, the more gun violence you'll have," D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer said.

    "One of the difficult things is, you can't measure what didn't happen," Singer said. "You can't measure how many guns didn't come into the District because we have this law."

    But you can measure the violence that did occur, using the bellwether offense of homicide to chart the ebb and flow of crime in the District since the ban was enacted. And the violence here over those years was worse than in most other big cities, many of them in states with far less restrictive gun laws.

    When they imposed the ban in 1976, then-Mayor Walter E. Washington, a Democrat, and the council were reacting to public concern about crime, which began rising across the country in the mid-1960s.

    The ban aroused anger on Capitol Hill. And in a different year, Congress might have scuttled the law, as it was empowered to do. But with a presidential election just a few months away, members were reluctant to debate gun control.

    The law required all existing handguns, rifles, and shotguns in the District to be re-registered, then kept disassembled or with triggers locked.

    In 1977, the first full year of the ban, the city recorded 192 homicides. The total rose to 223 in 1981, then fell to 147 in 1985 - the lowest annual homicide toll in the District since 1966. At the time, the rate for the country also was trending down.

    Which turned out to be the calm before the slaughter.

    The advent of the crack market and the unprecedented street violence it unleashed nationwide sent homicide rates soaring in the latter half of the 1980s. Not only did the number of killings surge in the District, the homicide rates here also far exceeded the rates in crack-ridden cities where handguns had not been banned.

    In the peak year, 1991, the District reported 482 homicides.

    Almost as sharply as violence in the District increased, it declined through the 1990s, a drop researchers attributed to the burning out and aging of a generation of crack dealers and users. Again, the shift reflected national trends.

    Yet the gun culture on the city's mean streets during the crack epidemic has not abated, police statistics show. Even as the homicide toll declined in D.C. after 1991, the percentage of killings committed with firearms remained far higher than it was when the ban was passed.

    Guns were used in 63 percent of the city's 188 slayings in 1976. Last year, out of 169 homicides, 81 percent were shootings.

    Meanwhile, periodic ATF reports have documented that firearms, flowing in from elsewhere in the country, remain available on D.C. streets - exactly what the ban was designed to prevent.
     
  2. KNYTE

    KNYTE I'm Not Kidding.

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    It's funny that the anti-gun crowd won't recognize prohibition as at least a partial example of what an all out gun ban would actually accomplish.
     
  3. Gimik

    Gimik New Member

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    they just blame neighboring states. they won't rest until they're banned everywhere in the US, then they'll blame neighboring countries. :rofl:
     
  4. lt1aggie

    lt1aggie what?

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    and to think all this time i thought banning all guns would make the world a safer place :rolleyes:
     
  5. VladTemplar

    VladTemplar New Member

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    The whole world could ban firearms and they'd start blaming the real cause of gun violence, illegal arms trade.

    So long as the item exists and there is demand for it the market will respond. If you remove the item from legal markets than it will move underground, but the only difference is that the law abiding citizens won't go for it but rather the criminals who you were trying to deter in the first place.

    We've all heard it before, we'll hear it again, and quite frankly we'll probably always keep hearing it.
     
  6. Gimik

    Gimik New Member

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    with how simple it is to fashion an AK, the world will NEVER, ever be rid of guns completely.
     
  7. KNYTE

    KNYTE I'm Not Kidding.

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    And even if by some magical occurence all guns and other modern weapons were entirely removed from existence people would just go back to killing eachother with rocks and sticks. Then the pussy-hurt hippies would start demanding a ban on sticks with more than one point, and rocks that were dark in color.
     
  8. Slick26

    Slick26 Gun|Bike|Cigar|PS3|Beer |Whisky|Night Crew

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    Just goes to show that just because you are the capitol of the country, doesn't mean other states will follow in your quest to infringe on the Constitution.
    Shame on them. They need to be setting a good example.
     
  9. Paul Revere

    Paul Revere OT Supporter

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    :rly: then why did DC's gun related crime rate skyrocket AFTER guns were banned? and why that in Kennesaw, GA every head of household is required by law to own a firearm, yet after that ordinance was passed residential burglary DROPPED almost 90% the following year?

    common sense, eh? :hsughno:
     
  10. KNYTE

    KNYTE I'm Not Kidding.

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    Liberals with common sense?

    DOES NOT COMPUTE!
     
  11. Slick26

    Slick26 Gun|Bike|Cigar|PS3|Beer |Whisky|Night Crew

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    You also can't compare Kennesaw, Georgia to Washington DC. Apples to watermelon.
     
  12. Trlstyle

    Trlstyle New Member

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    :rofl:
     
  13. Slick26

    Slick26 Gun|Bike|Cigar|PS3|Beer |Whisky|Night Crew

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    Peaches to watermelon? :rofl:
     
  14. Trlstyle

    Trlstyle New Member

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    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
     
  15. Slick26

    Slick26 Gun|Bike|Cigar|PS3|Beer |Whisky|Night Crew

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    Badum ching!
     
  16. VladTemplar

    VladTemplar New Member

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    That ordinance doesn't provide any consequences for violation, however. It's a politically motivated ordinance, not a normal one.

    Though I completely approve of it. I can just imagine the police doing a yearly check or something like that.

    *homeowner walks to the front door due to doorbell ringing*
    *opens door*
    Homeowner: "Hello Officer, What can I do for you?"
    Officer: "Just doing the yearly firearm check, can you provide proof that you own an operational firearm and ammo?"
    *homeowner draws sidearm from waistband and removes magazine as well as round from chamber*
    Homeowner: "Just happened to be about to head out and had my CCW on me, does that work or do you need to see a rifle or something? I just moved here...wait what do you mean by yearly firearm check?"
    Officer: "Well sir it's a city ordinance that all citizen maintain an operational firearm and ammunition."
    Homeowner: "Really? Well damn I feel safer!"
    Officer: "That's the idea, sir."

    That'd be amazing.
     
  17. vettefan52

    vettefan52 Guest


    while i am all for gun ownership, not everyone owns a firearm in kennesaw. do you really think the police enforce that? :nono:
     
  18. [DWI]

    [DWI] Master of Nothing

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    Either one of two things would happen in that town, it would be completely devoid on antis or they would descend on it from all over to protest.

    Either way it could be fun.
     
  19. VladTemplar

    VladTemplar New Member

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    Well it's got way too much of a religious twang for me to live there, plus even at 30,500 that's a pretty small city. There's not much that could make me live there.
     
  20. vwpilot

    vwpilot New Member

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    No, but just the fact that its on the books should make anyone thinking about breaking into a residence have second thoughts.

    That is the thing that many liberals seem to overlook. That when you pass a law allowing folks to carry or have firearms, not nearly everyone will do so, but the fact that someone COULD be carrying will make the criminals think twice before acting. Hell, most people with CCWs dont carry 100% of the time, but just the fact that people are getting them at high rates where the law allows will certainly slow down the personal attacks on people.

    I mean, if I'm a criminal, I'm sure as hell not going to VA to try to mug someone, I'm staying in MD or going to DC because the chances of running into someone packin' is a hell of a lot less and increases my survival chances exponentially.

    its just the law itself in many cases that will stem crime, whether the public practices it or not.
     
  21. Otto

    Otto Who the hell do you think I am!?!?!?!

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    i live there, its a perfectly nice place to live and its metro atlanta so you can just go into atlanta when you want a big city
     
  22. VladTemplar

    VladTemplar New Member

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    That's still just too small for me. I don't love living in huge cities, but I do want to live in a place bigger than that. That's on the border of everyone knowing everyone, I really don't like that sort of thing.
     
  23. CrazyFoool

    CrazyFoool OT Supporter

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    why did it skyrocket after? bc now carrying one is illegal so they're obviously goingto count that where as they didn't before. common sense, eh?
     
  24. Slick26

    Slick26 Gun|Bike|Cigar|PS3|Beer |Whisky|Night Crew

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    :ugh:
     
  25. TwistedMind

    TwistedMind New Member

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    No gym for home, work out floor with 30, but is it for 20 like 30 lb when you no lift it to be for men, for 30 lbs instead? or half is 10 for 20 pounds?
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2007

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