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Thread: Gun Control & DC Gun Ban Opinion Piece (FOXNews.com)

  1. #1

    Gun Control & DC Gun Ban Opinion Piece (FOXNews.com)

    [QUOTE][B][U]John R. Lott Jr.: D.C. Gun Ban Proponents Ignore the Facts[/U][/B]

    From FOXNews.com

    For gun control proponents and opponents a lot is riding on a former security guard for the Supreme Court Annex. Next Tuesday , the Supreme Court will hear arguments over whether the District of Columbia's ban on handguns and its requirement that any rifles or shotguns remain locked violates the plaintiff, Dick Heller's, constitutional rights.

    Whatever the court decides, no one expects them to end gun control any more than the First Amendment's "congress shall make no laws" has prevented the passage of campaign finance regulations. The decision is likely to be limited to just whether a ban "infringed" on "the right of the people to keep and bear arms."

    If the D.C. ban is accepted by the court, it is hard to believe that any gun regulation will ever be struck down. If the court strikes it down, where the courts draw the line on what laws are considered "reasonable" regulations will take years to sort out .

    Thus far the District of Columbia has spent a lot of time making a public policy case. Their argument in their brief to the court is pretty simple : "banning handguns saves lives."

    Yet, while it may seem obvious to many people that banning guns will save lives, that has not been D.C.'s experience.

    The ban went into effect in early 1977, but since it started there is only one year (1985) when D.C.'s murder rate fell below what it was in 1976. But the murder rate also rose dramatically relative to other cities. In the 29 years we have data after the ban, D.C.'s murder rate ranked first or second among the largest 50 cities for 15 years. In another four years, it ranked fourth.

    For Instance, D.C.'s murder rate fell 3.5 to 3 times more than Maryland and Virginia's during the five years before the handgun ban went into effect in 1977, but rose 3.8 times more in the five years after it.

    Was there something special about D.C. that kept the ban from working? Probably not, since bans have been causing crime to increase in other cities as well. D.C. cites the Chicago ban to support its own. Yet, before Chicago's ban in 1982, its murder rate, which was falling from 27 to 22 per 100,000 in the five years, suddenly stopped falling and rose slightly to 23 per 100,000 in the five years afterwards.

    Neither have bans worked in other countries. Gun crime in England and Wales increased 340 percent in the seven years since their 1998 ban. Ireland banned handguns and center fire rifles in 1972 and murder rates soared the post-ban murder rate average has been 144 percent higher than pre-ban.

    How could this be? D.C. officials say that the ban will disarm criminals. But who follows a ban and turns their guns in? Criminals who would be facing long prison sentences anyway if they were caught in a crime, or typically law-abiding citizens? By disarming normal people, a gun ban actually makes crime easier to commit.

    Unfortunately, the Department of Justice has actually sided with D.C. in important parts of the case, and the court has granted Solicitor General Paul Clement 15 minutes to make his argument. While largely paying lip service to the Second Amendment being an "individual right," the Department of Justice brief argues that an "unquestionable threat to public safety" from unregulated guns requires a lower standard must be adopted in defending it than is used to defend the rest of the Bill of Rights. But if they really believed that their evidence showed this, just as with the classic exception for the First Amendment of "falsely shouting fire in a theater," it wouldn't be necessary to treat the Second Amendment differently .

    But what has not gotten much attention is that for the first time in U.S. history an administration has provided conflicting briefs to the Supreme Court. Vice President Dick Cheney has put forward his own brief arguing that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right that is no different than freedom of speech.

    The DOJ constitutional argument is similar to that of D.C. It argues that since the government bans machine guns, it should also be able to ban handguns. And they claim that D.C. residents still retain a right to self-defense because the city doesn't ban locked shotguns and rifles. Locks, they claim , "can properly be interpreted" as not interfering with using guns for self-protection.

    Factual errors underlie the rest of the argument for in D.C., rifles and shotguns become illegal as soon as they are unlocked. That means the city can prosecute anyone who uses one in self-defense, even if it was locked before the incident. Is that a "reasonable" restriction on self-defense? Gunlock requirements are also associated with more deaths and more violent crime as they make defensive gun uses more difficult. Machine guns are also not banned .

    It makes sense that the DOJ is backing the ban, given that it would lose regulatory power if it were struck down. As the DOJ lawyers note in the brief, striking down this ban could "cast doubt on the constitutionality of existing federal legislation."

    The Department of Justice and D.C. politicians can talk all they want about how necessary handgun bans are to ensure public safety and the "reasonableness" of the restrictions. But hopefully the Supreme Court will see past that. At some point, hard facts must matter. This is one point where public safety and individual rights coincide.

    *John Lott is the author of "Freedomnomics" and a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland. Lott recently consulted with the Independence Institute on changes in D.C. crime rates. Maxim Lott is a junior at the College of William & Mary.[/QUOTE]

    I hope the court finds the ban unconstitutional, because I believe it is.

  2. #2
    [QUOTE=Warfish;2426151]I hope the court finds the ban unconstitutional, because I believe it is.[/QUOTE]

    I agree because you are correct.

    "banning handguns saves lives." This, from the same government who said "everybody is entitled to affordable housing" and implemented plans like Abbott districts and projects that destroyed entire cities.

    This, from the same government who said "everybody is entitled to an equal education" and ever since, education has gotten worse and more expensive.

    This, from the same government who now says "everybody is entitled to health care."

    They want to disarm us and then control every aspect of our lives.

  3. #3
    How does banning handguns save lives?

    Maine has the highest rate of gun ownership per capita in the nation yet has the lowest crime/murder rate. Any lib care to to enlighten me as to why this is?

    People kill people. Guns don't.

    If guns kill people, spoons make you fat........

  4. #4
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    I hope the Supreme Court does the right thing and removes this ban.

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    I like this:

    [QUOTE]Neither have bans worked in other countries. Gun crime in England and Wales increased 340 percent in the seven years since their 1998 ban. Ireland banned handguns and center fire rifles in 1972 and murder rates soared the post-ban murder rate average has been 144 percent higher than pre-ban.[/QUOTE]

    No real numbers just percentages


    IMHO, the 'problem' in the US is concealable weapons. If i were grand exalted mystic pooba of the USA Id make any gun UNDER a certain length (24 inches) illegal. The problem is folks pulling a gun out of their pocket not the folks carrying one on their back.

    But this is never going to happen and if I were a politician I'd just keep stay away from this issue. Look what it did to Rudy.

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=Buster;2426378]I like this:



    No real numbers just percentages


    IMHO, the 'problem' in the US is concealable weapons. If i were grand exalted mystic pooba of the USA Id make any gun UNDER a certain length (24 inches) illegal. The problem is folks pulling a gun out of their pocket not the folks carrying one on their back.

    But this is never going to happen and if I were a politician I'd just keep stay away from this issue. Look what it did to Rudy.[/QUOTE]

    Good post.

    I tend to think Rudy --for all my issues with him-- had it right on gun control.

    In cities like DC and Chicago --where people are not going hunting regularly and rates of violent crime are much higher-- you probably need a different standard than you do in rural or suburban areas.

    Not sure what I think of the outright ban, although certain types of guns --like automatic weapons-- certainly have no practical legal use and ought not to be legal, in my opinion.

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=DeanPatsFan;2426235]Maine has the highest rate of gun ownership per capita in the nation yet has the lowest crime/murder rate. Any lib care to to enlighten me as to why this is?[/QUOTE]

    CompanyMan told me it's because Maine doesn't have many blackys...

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2426543]Good post.

    I tend to think Rudy --for all my issues with him-- had it right on gun control.

    In cities like DC and Chicago --where people are not going hunting regularly and rates of violent crime are much higher-- you probably need a different standard than you do in rural or suburban areas.

    Not sure what I think of the outright ban, although certain types of guns --like automatic weapons-- certainly have no practical legal use and ought not to be legal, in my opinion.[/QUOTE]

    Well, as a frequent visitor to DC, let me give you one real life glimpse:

    On the way to a show at the 9:30 Club, I once had four different men flash guns at me, my GF, and my little brother, as we drove through the various neighborhoods required to get from RFK Stadium (was at the HFS Festival Show) to V Street where the 9:30 Club is (got free tickets to a late show that night from HFS at the festival).

    Four times. Four guns. Four seperate people. All whilst the ban was legal, active, and enforced. And all during daytime, the sun still up overhead.

    So you tell me, how well do you think the Gun Ban was working to deter guns from being posessed? The gun murder stats speak for themselves, of ocurse, but I thought my own experience might prove interesting nonetheless.

  9. #9
    [QUOTE=Warfish;2426577]Well, as a frequent visitor to DC, let me give you one real life glimpse:

    On the way to a show at the 9:30 Club, I once had four different men flash guns at me, my GF, and my little brother, as we drove through the various neighborhoods required to get from RFK Stadium (was at the HFS Festival Show) to V Street where the 9:30 Club is (got free tickets to a late show that night from HFS at the festival).

    Four times. Four guns. Four seperate people. All whilst the ban was legal, active, and enforced. And all during daytime, the sun still up overhead.

    So you tell me, how well do you think the Gun Ban was working to deter guns from being posessed? The gun murder stats speak for themselves, of ocurse, but I thought my own experience might prove interesting nonetheless.[/QUOTE]


    Well, that's evidence it needs to be enforced better, at least.

    Hard for me to say if the problem is the law, or the fact the law isn't enforced.

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2426600]Well, that's evidence it needs to be enforced better, at least.

    Hard for me to say if the problem is the law, or the fact the law isn't enforced.[/QUOTE]

    Making handguns illegal ensures that only people likely to acquire things illegally will have them, i.e. drug dealers, gang members, criminals.

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;2426573]CompanyMan told me it's because Maine doesn't have many blackys...[/QUOTE]

    lol

    Maine is too cold for them, didn't you know? :D

  12. #12
    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;2426620]Making handguns illegal ensures that only people likely to acquire things illegally will have them, i.e. drug dealers, gang members, criminals.[/QUOTE]

    That makes sense, actually.

    As I said, I'm still making up my mind on the total ban. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about gun control as an issue, really. It's not important to me, as a non-gun owner living in a major city, beyond the public safety implications.

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2426600]Well, that's evidence it needs to be enforced better, at least.

    Hard for me to say if the problem is the law, or the fact the law isn't enforced.[/QUOTE]

    Dude, are you kidding me? That law [I]can't[/I] be enforced and all it does is limit the defenses of people who actually respect the law. You can put a pen to some papers and "ban" whatever you want...lord knows we've tried. We've "banned" all sorts of things like alcohol, drugs, gambling, hookers, etc. But does anyone think that those things don't exist or that they'd cease to exist if "enforcement" were tougher? C'mon. The only way to enforce that "ban" would be to have the city in a perpetual lock-down state, with searches all the time of motorists, pedestrians, people in their homes, etc. And even THAT wouldn't stop guns from coming in to DC and the perps in DC that have guns would know that the government had made those citizens defenseless, making them far easier prey than someone who may or may not have a gun. They'd attack with greater confidence and less fear of reprisals than there is already.

    This is a no-brainer.
    Last edited by jets5ever; 03-12-2008 at 03:51 PM.

  14. #14
    [QUOTE=sourceworx;2426639]lol

    Maine is too cold for them, didn't you know? :D[/QUOTE]

    [IMG]http://photos.thushan.net/2005/08/16/48.jpg[/IMG]

    Nah, the Bush's won't let them in. They hate black people.

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    [QUOTE=DeanPatsFan;2426913][IMG]http://photos.thushan.net/2005/08/16/48.jpg[/IMG]

    Nah, the Bush's won't let them in. They hate black people.[/QUOTE]


    Well, it's kinda true: "What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them." - Barbara Bush

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