Political Editors - Apr. 19, 2017
A recent analysis has determined that since the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller Supreme Court decision overturning DC's handgun ban, there has been no increase in violent crime. If anything, there has been a slight decrease in the number of murders committed with a firearm - from nearly 80% of all homicide victims between 2000 and 2007 to 74% in 2008, the year following the court's decision. That number has continued to decline since the decision.
The pre- and post-Heller numbers also show that the worst year for gun-related homicides in the District was 2002 with 262, while, after the ban's removal, the worst year was 2015 with a total of 162 such homicides. John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, said, "I expect murders to fall. How they fall is a different question. The people who generally obeyed the ban were law-abiding citizens and not criminals."
This sentiment certainly wasn't shared by many anti-gun groups or Democrats at the time of the Heller ruling. Then-DC Mayor Adrian Fenty warned, "More handguns in the District of Columbia will only lead to more handgun violence." And the queen of anti-gun hyperbole herself, Dianne Feinstein, falsely predicted, "The people of this great country will be less safe because of it."
While DC still has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, Lott noted the Heller decision has "legalized people being able to use guns in self-defense." In reality this analysis of the numbers comes as no surprise to those of us who have ardently defended the wisdom of our Founding Fathers in crafting the Second Amendment, which was specifically intended for the right of citizens to protect themselves - not just from crime but from tyrannical government.
Speaking of tyranny, recent news out of Venezuela serves as yet another reminder of the aforementioned truth. Having outlawed private gun ownership in the recent past in the name of combatting crime, dictator Nicolas Maduro's increasingly oppressive government is now arming his own thugs in order to enforce control over the growing dissident movement of citizens who are fed up with his authoritarian rule and literally starving. Feinstein and Co. must be looking on with envy.