Bitch Shot Me Up!

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Former Washington Mayor Marion Barry is snuggling up to gun owners with a proposal to cut D.C. crime.

D.C. Council member Marion Barry yesterday introduced legislation that would suspend the District's 30-year ban on handguns, providing gun owners a 90-day period to register weapons they would then be allowed to legally own.

"We are in the midst of a gun-violence epidemic," said Mr. Barry, Ward 8 Democrat. "We need to see gun violence as an emergency in the District of Columbia."

He has three co-sponsors out of nine council members. But as John Tabin reminds us, Barry also opposed the DC stadium plan and lost that battle, so the prospects of victory here aren't too rosy.

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  1. Man, it’s a sad state of affairs when Marion Barry is your champion…

  2. Gee golly whiz Mayor Crackhead could you possibly be in the midst of a gun violence epidemic because of the very same gun ban law you now wish to suspend? Sure hope no DC resident needs their 2nd Amendment Rights 89 days after they apply for ownership of a registered firearm.

    Think he just wants to pack some heat himself since things are so rough buying crack in the hood?

    Why is this assclown still around, oh wait nevermind Mayor Nagin just came to remind me and look thats Rep. Jeffereson behind him, the one waving the freezer wrap.

  3. Come on now…the solution is clearly more enforcement. Illegal aliens? Build a 20′ wall with laser canons. Drugs? Life sentence for 1 oz of marijuana. Guns? “Papers please” and random pat downs of pedestrians.

    We’ll win this war. We just need the nerve.

  4. From the article:

    After the 90-day period, current gun restrictions would be reinstated.

    and

    Barry spokesman Keith Perry said the bill is “an acknowledgment that people do have guns” in the District and would help police better track weapons used in the commission of crimes.

    This looks like a ploy to register guns and gun owners, with no intent to actually relieve the gun ban in a meaningful or permanent way. No one who is using guns in the commission of crimes is going to register anything, certainly not a gun that has been used in a crime. So, at best, you’ll have a list of law-abiding gun owners, and this will help the police “track weapons used” in crimes how? I can’t say ehat Barry’s motives are, but I don’t see this as good for gun owners.

  5. Hmm, I wonder if Marion Barry has an illegal gun in his house.

    Naaahhhhhhhh…He’s always been a selfless, good-government sort.

    Hmm, I wonder why Dee jumped from Marion Barry to Ray Nagin to William Jefferson. What could it possibly be?

  6. Oh, for fuck’s sake. Do we need commenter-based affirmative action programs? Dee, you mentioned three corrupt politicians who happen to be black. Now you have to gripe about five corrupt white politicians and one or two Hispanics, to match the racial ratios of the American population.

  7. The blog link opens page 2 of the article.

    Hmm, I wonder if Marion Barry has an illegal gun in his house.

    Isn’t he a felon? If so, he can’t legally possess firearms.

    Mr. Barry’s proposal would increase the penalties for possessing an unregistered weapon in the District from a maximum of one year in prison and a $1,000 fine to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
    A second offense could result in 30 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, according to the bill.
    Mr. Barry, who was robbed at gunpoint in his Southeast apartment in January 2006, cited statistics that said police had confiscated 2,656 guns last year, with 51 percent of those weapons being seized east of the Anacostia River.
    A recent Metropolitan Police Department report on homicides from 2001 to 2005 states that 901 of 1,126 homicide victims, or about 80 percent, were fatally shot.

    But if we just register the guns so the police know where they are…

  8. The last time I checked, neither the Brady Bunch nor the NRA have weighed in yet, because they want more time to look into this initiative closer.

    The fact that the Brady Bunch didn’t immediately condemn Barry’s proposal gives me pause. It’s quite possible they see this as an opportunity to create an inventory of “legal” weapons, which links them to their legal owners, and then, one night, there will be a big KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK on the door.

    I doubt very seriously this stunt will go through. But if it does, only an idiot would register a firearm with these jokers.

  9. …Barry also opposed the DC stadium plan…

    I generally find myself heartened when a politician takes a stand I agree with.

    But in the case of Barry and the stadium plan I can’t get past my belief that the only reason he opposed it was because he wasn’t offered a big enough payoff.

  10. “Mr. Barry, who was robbed at gunpoint in his Southeast apartment in January 2006, cited statistics that said police had confiscated 2,656 guns last year, with 51 percent of those weapons being seized east of the Anacostia River.”

    If you have ever been to Anacostia, you wouldn’t be surprised by that statistic. I certinly wouldn’t live there without having a gun and a couple of large dogs. DC could be such a loboratory for democracy. Lets have conceal and carry and mandatory gun ownership for all residents. Watch the crime rate drop through the floor, which of course is why the gun control nuts would be terrified by the prospect.

  11. Isaac:

    The jokers who were against the stadium weren’t upset because the effort was a waste of tax money. They were upset because said taxes would be “better spent” on their “social justice” programs.

  12. You mean like in safe, orderly Houston, John? Or Richmond?

    Louisianna and Virginia have some pretty loose gun laws, as I recall. Doesn’t seem to do much to reduce crime.

  13. Oops, add Texas and New Orleans to the above post.

  14. Yes it does. Joe.

    Criminals are deterred by higher penalties. Just as higher arrest and conviction rates deter crime, so does the risk that someone committing a crime will confront someone able to defend him or herself. There is a strong negative relationship between the number of law-abiding citizens with permits and the crime rate-as more people obtain permits there is a greater decline in violent crime rates. For each additional year that a concealed handgun law is in effect the murder rate declines by 3 percent, rape by 2 percent, and robberies by over 2 percent.”

    From John Lott. That statistics are undenable. It is just a cutural thing. Some people think guns are icky and hate the idea of self reliance and self defense. Our legal aversion to gun ownership is based on nothing but superstition.

  15. Also Joe,

    Houston and Richmond are much safer cities than Washington DC.

  16. I hereby announce my “Bank Account Registry” program to help reduce bank account fraud.

    Just register your bank account with me, including your online password, and I will see to it that nobody else takes your bank account. 😉

  17. Areson,

    Let me guess you are the grandson of a Nigerian prince?

  18. Also, if the government would just get around to finally banning crime, none of this would be an issue.

  19. i really don’t care much about concealed-carry. it doesn’t bother me one way or the other. however, i am skeptical of the claims that it reduces crime. houston and richmond may be safer than DC but DC is statistically safer than StL which is a concealed-carry city.

  20. anecdote, i know.

  21. Downstater,

    If the government can’t stop people from snorting cocaine, how exactly are they going to stop people from owning guns? Gun bans are every bit as ineffective as drug bans. Further, what would the crime rate in St. Louis be if there wasn’t a conceal and carry permit? Further, I would like to see that stats on that. I have never heard that St. Louis is declaring emergency the way D.C. is. In addition, are you speaking of the murder rate or other violent crimes? For example, London has a lower murder rate than NYC, but in terms of rapes, live breakins, assaults and other violent crimes is a much more dangerous city.

  22. Louisianna and Virginia have some pretty loose gun laws, as I recall. Doesn’t seem to do much to reduce crime.

    By your reasoning therefore, gun laws are a non factor (since they don’t do dick in DC) and are thus useless.

  23. Gun bans are just another way of appearing to “do something” about crime without having to do the hard work (like cutting spending and lowering taxes in such high-tax but dying-economy areas like Upstate New York) that would probably be far more effective at cutting crime.

  24. To me, there’s just something funny about the idea that violence would go down if only more people had guns. It’s like saying auto accidents would go down if more people would drive.

    I know the idea is that criminals are less likely to attack someone whom they believe might be armed. But if this were true, wouldn’t it mean that gangs and drug dealers would never have shootouts? Surely the Crips and Bloods both realize that the other guys are packing heat?

  25. Also, if the government would just get around to finally banning crime, none of this would be an issue.

    Come on – we all know the only way to end crime is to make everything legal.

    I mean, the government has banned murder yet murders still happen. So obviously we should just scrap that law since it’s doing no good.

  26. “Let me guess you are the grandson of a Nigerian prince?”

    Why, yes, how did you guess? [Actually, by adoption, which explains my light skin color.]

    He happens to need assistance getting his funds out of Lagos, so if you would be willing to provide a $200,000 security deposit to my bank in Fraudistien, you would receive a 15% share of his $127 million fortune….

  27. If the government can’t stop people from snorting cocaine, how exactly are they going to stop people from owning guns?
    i don’t suspect that they can.

    Gun bans are every bit as ineffective as drug bans.
    i agree.

    Further, what would the crime rate in St. Louis be if there wasn’t a conceal and carry permit?
    the crime rate has always been crappy in StL. with our without concealed carry.

    Further, I would like to see that stats on that.
    http://saintlouis.areaconnect.com/crime1.htm
    http://saintlouis.areaconnect.com/crime/compare.htm?c1=St.+Louis&s1=MO&c2=Washington&s2=DC

    I have never heard that St. Louis is declaring emergency the way D.C. is.
    It’s not.

    In addition, are you speaking of the murder rate or other violent crimes?
    all. rates for most every kind in StL are higher than most everywhere in the country.

    Perhaps I should be more clear. I have no problem with concealed carry. My skepticism about its effectiveness in deterring crime comes from my personal experience of living in a city which both allows concealed carry and has an appalling rate of violent crime.

    Concealed carry may very well deter violent crime to some extent. I think there are just a million other underlying issues in regards to the prevalence of violent crime that keep concealed carry from being a dramatic factor in reducing it.

  28. Whenever the Constitution deals with an individual right, it uses the term “person” (“no person shall”). The plural of “person” is “persons,” not people. When the Constitution, as in the Second Amendement, speaks of “the people,” it means the people in their collective capacity, not as individuals. So the Second Amendment confers no right on individuals. The right to bear arms is limited in terms of “a well regulated militia.”

  29. First of all, John, nothing written by John Lott is undeniable. He makes a statistical argument, but it doesn’t hold up well. The most violent states tend to be those with loose gun laws – Texas, Louisiana – and the least violent tend to have the tightest.

    Second, people prone to commit violent crimes are not people who do a good job judging their own interests and likelihood of success. Projecting rationality onto them is a fool’s errand.

    Gun laws have little effect on crime rates, one way or the other. Efforts by either side to prove differently with studies are generally refuted fairly quickly.

    MP,

    “By your reasoning therefore, gun laws are a non factor (since they don’t do dick in DC) and are thus useless.”

    Yep, for the most part. There are targetted efforts than can make a difference around the margin, but efforts to disarm the general population don’t make a dent in crime, because the general population commits a vanishingly small fraction of violent crime.

  30. Edward,

    “The right of the people to be secure in their…” yadda yadda yadda is an individual right.

    I tried that one once. Doesn’t work.

  31. Joe

    Interesting style of argument. Are you sleepy?

  32. Speaking as someone who is proficient in the use of small arms, I can quite definately state that I’m more likely to survive a violent attack if I have a firearm than if I do not.

    All humans have a basic inalienable right to self-defense.

    If you don’t believe that having a gun is likely to shift your odds in such a situation, that’s fine. You’re completely free to not own one. All I ask is that you don’t go about laboring under the delusion that your belief is one-size-fits-all.

  33. “I tried that one once. Doesn’t work.”

    Because it’s been thoroughly debunked by people who know what they’re talking about.

  34. All humans have a basic inalienable right to self-defense.

    Agreed. The thinking behind gun control goes something like, “If only guns didn’t exist.” I know because I used to think that way, until I realized how naive it is. You are never going to get rid of guns, period. Do I still dislike guns? Yep. I don’t want to carry around an object that causes instant death. But others are free to differ.

  35. The right to bear arms is limited in terms of “a well regulated militia.”

    Hate to break it to you, but according to federal law, Title 10 USCS 311–The militia consists of all able-bodied males aged 17 to 45, both citizens and those who have declared their intent to become citizens, and of female citizens who are officers of the National Guard.

  36. “Yep, for the most part. There are targetted efforts than can make a difference around the margin, but efforts to disarm the general population don’t make a dent in crime, because the general population commits a vanishingly small fraction of violent crime.”

    pretty much.

    i’d be very interested to see what happens in DC if they did go through with something like this. i imagine everyone would be, actually. (though no doubt there’d be a whole bunch of interference from various groups, positive and negative…mostly negative, probably.)

  37. To me, there’s just something funny about the idea that violence would go down if only more people had guns. It’s like saying auto accidents would go down if more people would drive.

    No, it is like saying that auto accidents would go down if people were legally allowed to drive automobiles, instead of doing so illegally.

    People WILL own guns. Guns WILL be easy to purchase for anyone who wants to do so. Guns are very simply machines that anyone with a basic machine shop can manufacture. Guns ARE easy to hide, and most people with illegal guns will never be caught.

    You have simply decided that you would rather the gun industry be run by organized crime, than by legit buisnesses!

    I mean, the government has banned murder yet murders still happen. So obviously we should just scrap that law since it’s doing no good.

    Yes, but banning murders is an effective way to reduce murder. Banning ice cream is not an effective way of stopping murder, because ice cream is not murder.

    Likewise, banning guns to stop murder is idiotic, because guns are not murder. Not only that, if a person is not detered by a law against killing someone (which has much more serious penalties), they are not going to be detered by a gun control law.

    Yep. I don’t want to carry around an object that causes instant death.

    What object do you speak of that causes instant death? Maybe a Star Trek Phaser, set to “kill”. You do realize that firearms are far more difficult to use, and far less deadly than you see in the movies?

    So the Second Amendment confers no right on individuals. The right to bear arms is limited in terms of “a well regulated militia.”

    The militia was all able bodied men. If you want a modern example of what they meant, look at Swizterland, were all men over 18 are supplied an assault rifle by the government. There is no “national guard”, every man is simply considered part of the militia and is expected to be armed.

    The modern day National Guard is NOT the militia… the modern day National Guard is simply a reserve branch of the military.

  38. Gun laws have little effect on crime rates, one way or the other.

    Bingo. Just a quick spreadsheet of DOJ/FBI 2005 violent crime statistics VS. Brady CAGV State Report Cards shows this very clearly. DC tops the list for violent crimes but garners a B by the Brady folks. On the bottom of the list for violent crimes is the far more gun friendly ND with a grade of D. At first, it would seem that more gun laws = more crime but the list isn’t that cut and dry. Take a look, the numbers bounce like a $.25 rubber ball.
    The first column is violent crimes per 100,000.
    Second Column is State
    Third is Brady Ranking, the better the grade the more laws against guns.

    1,459.0 DC B
    761.1 SC D+
    752.8 TN D+
    708.0 FL F+
    703.0 MD A-
    702.2 NM F
    632.1 DE C
    631.9 AK F+
    606.8 NV D
    594.4 LA F
    552.1 MI D+
    551.5 IL A-
    529.7 TX D-
    527.5 AR D
    526.3 CA A-
    525.4 MO D+
    513.2 AZ D
    508.6 OK D-
    468.1 NC C
    456.9 MA A-
    448.9 GA D
    445.8 NY B+
    431.7 AL F
    424.5 PA D+
    396.5 CO D
    387.4 KS C-
    354.7 NJ A-
    351.3 OH D-
    345.8 WA D+
    323.7 IN D
    297.0 MN C-
    291.3 IA C+
    287.0 NE B-
    286.8 OR C-
    282.8 VA C-
    281.5 MT F
    278.4 MS F
    274.5 CT A-
    272.8 WV D
    266.8 KY F
    256.8 ID F+
    255.1 HI A-
    251.2 RI B-
    241.5 WI C+
    230.1 WY F
    227.2 UT D-
    175.7 SD D
    132.0 NH D-
    119.7 VT D-
    112.2 ME D-
    098.2 ND D

    About the only thing that this really demonstrates is that the Brady people aren’t happy with the lack of gun laws in the majority of the states.

    For my $.02 if gun laws don’t make a difference in whether I will be approached by an armed criminal, I’d rather have the legal ability to protect myself.

  39. It is a travesty of the first order to use police to cuff the hands of people who would otherwise be trying to defend themselves. There is no moral justification for it whatsoever.

  40. Hell, the former “Mayor for Life” is becoming quite the libertarian. He doesn’t even think you have to pay taxes–and he puts his beliefs into action!

  41. The most violent states tend to be those with loose gun laws – Texas, Louisiana – and the least violent tend to have the tightest.

    Nope. Try again joe. The bottom ten in terms of violence per 100,000 include 6 “D’s” and 1 “F” per the Brady folks.

    Try this: next time check data first, issue sweeping statements about “tendencies” second.

  42. re: post by Kwix at February 8, 2007, 3:03pm:

    Brady Grades vs. Crime Rates graph at http://static.flickr.com/117/292625869_5dec329b7a_o.jpg

    (slightly smaller file at http://static.flickr.com/117/292625869_5dec329b7a.jpg )

    One of the comments at http://armsandthelaw.com/archives/2007/02/marion_barry_pr.php :

    “This appears to be nothing less than an attempt to influence the Court case to make it moot. See, they can own a handgun and register it. There is no Ban in D.C.”

  43. So far the anti-gun arguments, as debunked on this thread, are:

    1) The collective right argument – thoroughly debunked by the most prestigious Constitutional scholars. How does one collectively exercise a right, by the way? Groups don’t have specified rights, only individuals – see also, “right to peacably assemble” as exercised by individuals assembling as a group. See also, “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” which is an individually exercised right that doesn’t denote a right that is to be exercised as a collective group.

    2) The argument that the right to bear arms belongs only to a militia refuted by the definition of militia. This is actually a sub-set of the collective right argument, but since the definition of “militia” is pretty much everyone in the country.

    3) More guns = more crime. The argument that “there’s just something funny about the idea that violence would go down if only more people had guns.” Maybe it’s counter-intuitive to believe in the right to self-defense for some people. I would have thought that evolution would have weeded those people out. The fact that they exist seems to be one of the less-crazy anti-evolution arguments. The fact that it is one of the most effective whould tell you how bad off the anti-evolution camp really is. Of all the “natural rights of man” that the Constitution’s creators & ratifiers enumerated, this seems the most blatantly self-obvious one.

    4) Loose gun laws = higher violent crime rates. Thoroughly debunked, live in black and white on this thread, thanks to the beautiful comparison of the FBI and Brady Institute stats. Don’t expect joe to come back with anything even remotely approaching a refutation of his completely disconnected from reality claim that runs counter to anything remotely resembling facts. Really a sub-set of the more guns = more crime argument.

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