Murders down in DC; where is the media fanfare?

by Tim Inwood

For someone who lived in the greater metropolitan Washington D.C. area in the 80's, and who was bombarded nightly with the stories of homicides and how D.C. was the murder capital, I find the current deafening silence on the subject quite curious. Why has the mainstream media dropped the subject and why is the good news not broadcast-worthy?

In 2008, as the US Supreme Court prepared to hear District of Columbia v. Heller, Sarah Brady and her sidekick Paul Helmke told us that if the citizens in D.C. were allowed to own handguns homicides would skyrocket. They said there would be shootouts and bodies in the streets... Heck, gun-banning D.C. already had that, with the ban that started in 1976 and supported by Brady and her late mentor Pete Shields. I note also that the liberal media parroted the Brady propaganda without question and prematurely blamed the NRA for the coming spike in deaths they were sure would be coming in D.C. That was two years ago.

Now let me remind our readers what it was like for the people who were desperate to protect themselves in D.C. prior to Heller. This story is something I have related before that happened in the late 80's when it was illegal to own a handgun.

"A co-worker of mine who lived in the District related an interesting story to me. He lived in Washington, despite the crime, to protect his grandmother who lived down the street. She refused to leave the town house she had lived in since prior to World War II. Having been mugged and having his home broken into, he procured a Jennings .22 lr pistol for protection.

One night he came home and a thief was in his house. He rushed up the stairs with the criminal hot on his tail. He dove into his bed while sliding his hand under the pillow to grab his gun, and as he turned and aimed it at the door the robber came in. The thug saw the pistol and then calmly said "Man, you better let me go....you are in more trouble for having that than I am for being here."

My friend thought about it, realized the scumbag was right, and let the guy go. He then got nervous about how cool and calm the guy had been about it, ran the gun down to his grandmother's down the street, and hid the gun and his box of ammo there without her knowing it. He visited with her for a bit and then returned home.

When he arrived, about an hour later, a Metro Washington D.C. police car with two officers were waiting for him. They patted him down and said they got a call about a gun in his possession. They already had a warrant to search his house. Naturally, they found nothing. A few days later my friend's home was broken into again. His TV, VCR and other valuables gone. He was convinced it was the same thief he encountered that night. He was also sure it was not the first time someone had pulled their gun on that creep, and then had the thug talk the home owner out of calling the police. My friend thought the guy too calm, cool and collected about it, as though it were well practiced.

To have a gun for the protection of your own life and that of your family could land you in jail for some serious time with punitive fines. That is, unless you were a politically correct and politically connected liberal journalist like the late Carl Rowan. Rowan, who was also a gun ban advocate, actually shot a teenager with a .22 caliber revolver for being in his pool, but was not prosecuted for the shooting or possessing the handgun. He also made an elitist comment about how we should not have guns but he could to protect his family and would make no apology for it.

Thank God the U.S. Supreme Court over turned this madness. However, I wish they would hold the city in contempt for not fully executing the terms of the decision laid down. Since the Supreme Court's historic Heller decision the citizens of Washington D.C. have partially had their right to self-defense with a handgun restored. I say partially as they are very restricted in what they can have. No semi-automatic handguns are allowed as those are ridiculously classified as "machine guns." After jumping the hoops and mountains of paper work and getting final approval you may purchase a revolver or single shot handgun, but that is it. Despite being limited to 19th century technology, the people who have the stamina to go through the process to get a gun can again have some protection in their homes.

A curious thing has happened in the past two years since the Heller decision. The D.C. homicides rates have been dropping like a stone. Washington has been famous for the outrageous number of people being killed; the worst was in 1991 when there were 482 murders in the nation's capital. Last year there were 131 people murdered in DC. The last time so few were murdered in Washington DC, John F. Kennedy was humming Camelot in the White House. You have to go all the way back to 1963 when only 95 people were killed, and mind you that was in the days when it was very easy to get a gun by mail order! So much for easy “access to firearms being a factor” argument. How can this be? Can it be that arms in the hands of law-abiding citizens do in fact deter criminal activity as we have argued all along? Clearly the answer is yes. Sadly, Washington D.C. police Chief Cathy L. Lanier is too politically-correct or obtuse to admit the correlation.

Note here in Ohio, when Judge Robert Ruelhman knocked down the prohibition against carrying handguns for self-defense in Hamilton County in 2000, violent crime dropped dramatically during that brief period in that county. Criminals minded themselves for fear of being shot. Friends of mine with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s office confirmed to me that it was fairly quiet. Funny thing is Keith Fangman, who was then the head of the FOP in Cincinnati, pulled a Sarah Brady predicting a "bloodbath" in the streets. Gun prohibitionists should really stop using that ridiculous argument as it fails every time and they look very silly to anyone paying attention.

Fact is gun ownership is a successful crime- fighting tool as well as a right of the American people. The citizens of Chicago, who just saw their rights restored last year by the US Supreme Court with the historic McDonald decision, should use this news about D.C. and redouble their fight against the Chicago machine trying to make gun ownership as difficult and costly as possible. They can point to Washington D.C. as a success and demand the tyrants streamline the process that will clearly save lives. How many times does this fact have to be proven? And when will the media --so quick to blame the NRA for deaths -- blame the true culprits, gun prohibitionists and anti-gun politicians, for their provable role in high homicide rates?

Expanding the rights of the law- abiding to defend themselves with firearms wherever they are, will only make our citizens safer.

Stay in the fight friends, we are winning.

Tim Inwood is the current Legislative Liaison and Past President of the Clinton County Farmers and Sportsmen Association, an Endowment Member of the NRA and Life Member of the OGCA, Republican Central Committeeman for Chester Township A, in Clinton County, Ohio, and a volunteer for Buckeye Firearms Association.

Related articles from the author:
D.C. handgun ban facing challenge, national implications bear on 2nd Am.

Heller: A great ruling with many ramifications

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