Massive, house-to-house searches now on tap in nation's capital

They're Still Coming For Your Guns

By Brian S. Stewart

I recently wrote on Washington D.C.'s "Gun Recovery Unit", a group of officers tasked with hunting down guns in D.C. neighborhoods. Due to the D.C. gun ban, gun ownership in the city is illegal, and the police use traffic stops as an excuse to commit gun searches. That's if they aren't knocking the door down with a search warrant.

Now Mayor Adrian Fenty and the D.C. Chief of Police have rolled out a new anti-gun initiative: Blanket, house-to-house searches and an amnesty program.

The "Safe Homes Initiative" would see officers walking door-to-door, asking permission to search the resident's home for contraband - namely guns. If they find them, they take them, but no charges are filed. No questions asked - sort of.

If guns are found, they will be tested to determine whether they were used in crimes. If the results are positive, police will launch investigations, which could lead to charges.

One wonders how hard the police and Fenty's administration are working to make sure citizens are aware of their rights; that they can refuse to allow the police to search their homes. Arthur B. Spitzer of the ACLU explained the obvious danger.

"It sends the message to the public that the police ought to be able to search your house anytime for any reason," Spitzer said. "People will be intimidated. That cheapens civil liberties and privacy for everyone."

You have to marvel at how completely off the cliff Fenty and the D.C. police have gone. Whole units devoted to nothing but searching for guns, and now fanning out into neighborhoods with the intention of searching every single house. Does anyone really believe that Washington D.C. has significantly more guns than Columbus, Ohio? No, and yet D.C. had one of the highest per
capita murder rates in the country in 2007. The district has a crime and criminals problem, not a gun problem.

One has to feel sympathy for the law-abiding residents of Washington D.C. Plagued by criminals in their neighborhoods, and treated like criminals by their own police department. Still, Mayor Fenty is a useful example of fanatical, mindless gun control policies taken to irrational extremes.

Brian S. Stewart is a former infantryman and an Iraq War veteran. He recently graduated from the Ohio State University with a degree in Political Science.

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