Do You Think We’ll See A Lot More of These Signs After the Supreme Court Rules

IMG_6516, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I don’t recall if we’ve actually discussed the upcoming Supreme Court Case on the legality of DC handgun ban. Have we? If the gun ban is overruled do you think crime will increase, decrease or it will have no effect? Personally, I’m an avid skeet shooter and gun enthusiast but I’m a little concerned that more guns may flood our streets. So what do you guys think?

34 Comment

  • I honestly don’t think it owuld make a differnce. Gun laws only apply to law abiding citizens. Criminals don’t need legality on their side to get what they want…we see the results of that already. The increase of guns on the street will be from individuals who choose to protect themselves in that manner. Criminals don’t want legal firearms that can be linked to them.

  • I think ending the ban on handguns will lead to more crime and more gun-related violence.

    With the ban in place, it is easier for the police to crack down on people who carry guns for the purpose of threatening and shooting others BEFORE they actually use them. Without the ban, the police can’t take preventative action. It will no longer be a crime to carry a gun — instead, we’ll have to wait for someone to get shot before we haul them off to jail.

    There are enough shootings and killings already in this city, as there are in every other American city. I’m open to any ideas to prevent this and to create a safe environment for myself and my family. And I simply cannot believe that MORE guns means LESS violence.

    Imagine if we said we wanted to combat climate change, and so we’re going to make sure every American has a car. Or imagine if we wanted to have kids spend less time playing video games and more time studying, and so we gave every kid an X-box.

    I understand there are serious Constitutional issues at play here, and a Supreme Court with two new justices appointed by a president who’s turned out to have been wrong on every major issue confronting his presidency. I am not optimistic about how this will turn out, even if I still hold out hope that at least five justices see that it’s not the 18th century anymore and a little thing called the industrial revolution and 200-plus years of history have happened since the founders wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Times have changed. So should the highest law of the land. (If we need to, we can change it back…. worked with Prohibition.)

    If we can’t have the ban, then I think Mayor Fenty and other community leaders need to do more than blasting the decision in the press and moving on.

    They should respond by coming up with compelling, concrete alternative measures to continue to fight crime and violence and help us build up open-minded, safe, informed, and wonderful communities in which to live. In other words: in neighborhoods where people don’t shoot each other. With guns. Which is why they should be banned. Duh.

  • Wow, a skeet shooter, I live in Mt. Pleasant and own a shotgun and have shot skeet. What do you shoot with? Where do you like to shoot. I shot once at PG county’s range and really liked it.

    I have my gun for my vain attempts at turkey hunting and found the registration process long but not too burdensome. Even though I am a gun owner, I prefer letting the locals (ie. states and the District) making their own rules on guns as long as there is not a strict prohibition against all guns as I feel crime is such a local problem the locals need as much flexibility as possible in addressing the problems plus I believe having a gun for “personal protection” is not a very good reason for ownership.

  • How much handgun violence did we experience in and around Petworth in the last 12 months? How many armed muggings and burglaries?

  • Prince Of Petworth

    I rent a gun at the place in PG County. It is very inexpensive to rent and the quality is usually quite good. I have a buddy I shoot with who lives in PG County so that range near NASA is quite convenient. But we can have another thread about skeet and trap shooting, for this post I’m interested to learn how people feel about the handgun ban overturning and potentially seeing lots more guns in DC…or not.

  • TheNeighbor

    VA and MD are so close that guns can be purchased/stolen with or with out DC’s ban.
    Criminals don’t care about laws, that is why they are criminals.

  • I am interested to hear from a victim of a home invasion and see their perspective on whether or not a gun should be allowed to be owned for personal protection. The numbers show that gun bans just don’t make a significant impact.

  • Gun violence in DC is still pretty low compared to the peak just after the gun ban was implemented. This won’t have much effect on street crime, since this has to do with owning a gun in your home; nothing to do with concealed carry laws. Marginal impact on crime; marginal impact on domestic violence; both sides will claim victory.

  • I am thinking most people living in the District won’t run out and buy a gun. We’re not Virginia!

  • “laws only apply to law abiding citizens”

    “Criminals don

  • If a DC resident meets some basic and sensible qualification and properly registers their firearm, can’t a private citizen own a rifle in DC? The issue is handguns, correct? I support allowing vetted citizens to keep registered firearms in their dwelling to protect from intruders. However, allowing “conceal and carry” or plain vanilla

  • My main gripe with this issue is the way we, as Americans, have let the NRA and like-minded people brand the handgun issue by completely distorting the 2nd Amendment. They argue that the Bill of Rights gave us “the right to bear arms”. Sure it did, but there was a hell of a lot more context to that statement than those five words.

    The amendment reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” So, what the Framers were saying was essentially that a viable citizen army was necessary to preserve freedom from those who might want to deprive the citizenry of those freedoms, through one way or another. How in the world does that apply in today’s age?

    As bat-s crazy as Bush/Cheney are, they aren’t going to launch some sort of military offensive upon DC or any of the 50 states. Similarly, Maryland isn’t going to try to forcefully annex the the land they gave to form DC so long ago.

    To me, the 2nd Amendment is irrelevant in today’s United States. It’s Keystone Cops silent films in a Blu-Ray era. So it comes down to the people, through the democratic process, deciding the legality of handguns and other similar weapons. Or at least it should.

    Personally, I think guns should be illegal to all, with the exception of law enforcement (and I think I could probably stomach some sort of hunting provision, especially for those who eat what they kill, not sport hunters). Murders are committed with guns…more guns, more crime, more murders. If we allow every citizen (or even every “law abiding” citizen) the freedom to own guns, crime will eventually skyrocket.

    All of the other so-called civilized countries in the world have realized this and have far lower incidences of violent crime as a result of their more strict gun policies. It seems like too many in this country want the laws of the Wild West, but somehow ignore the history of violence that came with it.

  • Folks need to get their facts straight on what this lawsuit is about. It’s not about DC citizens being allowed to carry handguns on the streets, it’s about being able to own one in their home. The comments above by ‘trigger’ are completely misleading concerning this judgment potentially making police work harder by not being able to take guns off the street. Additionally, nearly anyone who has done jail time or has a domestic violence conviction or is under 21 would still be prohibited from owning/possessing/purchasing a handgun [under federal law].

    The reality is the police have no duty to protect you. The case law for this was partially established here in DC.
    I have had several friends who have been the victims of home invasions or ‘burglary while occupied’ as MPD likes to term it. One friend was awakened in his bed by a man who had a large knife to his throat. Another friend had a burglar literally breaking down his back door in an attempted home invasion at 7am while he and his child were having breakfast. MPD showed up 20 minutes later & thankfully chose to overlooked the fact that his legally registered trap and skeet shotgun was assembled and appeared to have been discharged into the door to stop the attack. These types of attacks also aren’t limited to neighborhoods like Columbia Heights & Capitol Hill, where these two took place. This was two weeks ago in Palisades, NW:

    There are already many many otherwise law abiding good people in the city who are turned into criminals by DC’s handgun ban. Just look at the large number of pistols turned in at the gun buybacks. All the original plaintiffs in this Supreme Court case & many others here want is to legally be able to own a handgun for home defense. So…lets at least get the facts straight. This has never been about folks walking down the street with a gun on their hip. I don’t see why a reasonable licensing & permitting process as is currently done with rifles & shotguns can’t be extended to handguns. NYC has a similar system and their streets are significantly safer than ours.

  • i used to date a guy who kept a gun in his house. one night he thought he heard a noise and so he took out his gun and started creeping around the house with it. i wasn’t there at the time (thankfully), but when he told me about it, all i could think was that he could have shot the dog, or even worse. the entire thing made me think he was delusional and really stupid. calling 911 would have made much more sense.

    for the record, he doesn’t live in the district, so he wasn’t breaking any gun laws, but after that, i just don’t want to be in a house with a gun.

  • You really think that owning a gun “in your home” keeps people from carrying them on the streets. The fact is that liberal hand gun ownership laws – in your house or not – equals more guns in DC. No one needs a gun. England has a low crime rate and most of the police there don’t even carry guns. Low crime rates are based on people having jobs, being able to care for their families economically, being properly educated and having something productive to do. Having guns does not make us safer – it leaves room for more accidents, more “passionate” resolutions to the everyday disputes that should be talked out instead and a general feeling of mistrust.

    Let’s work on the actual problem and not just compound it by adding guns. If you feel that unsafe, move to Loudoun County where you can own as many guns as you want.

  • CH James – good clarification and valid points. But I do have a question: if, as you say, the issue is whether to allow handguns for protection in one’s home, why is it necessary to extend this right/ privilege to handguns? As a previous poster noted, a shotgun provides the greatest chance of hitting a target. My issue with handguns is that are so “concealable”, unlike long guns and shotguns. I think it’s reasonable to anticipate that if the ban is lifted, many of the new handguns in DC won’t stay at home where they belong. They will make their way into the streets under coats and tucked inside waistbands, just as their illegal counterparts (which will not be going anywhere) do today. And while I appreciate everyone’s interpretations of the Second Amendment, I prefer to find a reasonable position that works in today’s society.

  • I’ve taught folks to shoot both handguns & shotguns, and in my experience handguns are a lot less intimidating to first time users. The recoil or ‘kick’ from most shotguns when loaded with effective anti-personnel ammunition is quite sharp. Additionally, maneuvering through relatively narrow halls & doorways in most of our older townhouses & apartments is a little cumbersome with a 20″+ barrel shotgun. Handguns are also easier to lock up – requiring a smaller safe. I agree that shotguns are perhaps more ‘effective’ overall, but as I said, the intimidation factor for first time users can be a little much.

    As far as concealability – I really don’t think otherwise law abiding folks are going to look at a handgun and feel suddenly compelled to commit a felony just for the hell of it.
    That logic just doesn’t make sense to me. Again, I’d look at NYC’s laws. Thorough background checks, registration, etc. You certainly don’t see blood running in the streets there. To the contrary – it’s significantly safer than here, and while I’m definitely not suggesting their gun laws play any part in that, they certainly don’t seem to make it any less safe. Are we as DC residents more impulse driven, less rational & more criminally inclined than New Yorkers? I seriously doubt it. We have a huge drug problem & an inept city government that appears [hopefully] to be on the mend, but until things get better at least let us have some basic means of protecting ourselves in our own homes.

  • I’m a teacher in the ‘hood and have heard all kinds of gun-related comments from kids. I don’t make this up, as I don’t have the imagination nor sufficient exposure to thug life to do so. One kid was mad at another and said something like, “you don’t shut up, I’m gonna go home and tell my daddy and he gonna get his gun and come up here and shoot you.” I have routinely heard comments like that, about my daddy, my brother, my uncle, etc. Even an acquaintance of mine told me that her husband carried an unregistered gun under the front seat of his car, as he drove through some rough neighborhoods. Not just criminals are armed. A whole segment of the population has them. It’s just those of us who don’t take the law into our own hands who remain unarmed. And no, I have never even touched a gun, but that’s my cultural background.

  • I wanted to comment on keeping a handgun for protection. Years ago when living on Capitol Hill, a man climbed up to my rowhouse second floor balcony and was picking the lock of my bedroom – and when I awoke and moved, he tried harder to get in! So unlike typical home theft invasions, he was truly planning on doing me harm. I scared him off with a lot of loud screaming. Reporting to the police, the officer said – “It’s a shame that all you women who insist on living alone in the city can’t have a gun” but I told him, if I had had a gun, I would have, in the heat of anger/terror, shot him on my porch or as he ran down the alley and I would have been prosecuted. Also after moving here I hinted to a Virginia friend that I wouldn’t mind having one of his guns and he said no way, because it would get stolen and then linked to a crime and him! I am happy to not have a gun after living here for awhile. Better to not shoot a disoriented neighbor or relative that has a key to the house. It is a big plus that police can immediately hold people who are illegally holding handguns – even if I had a handgun, I wouldn’t be carrying it around.

  • Every criminal used to be a law abiding citizen. Now, is it then better that they have the gun at home to protect themselves up to the point when they decide to become a criminal instead?

  • GforGood-
    So because of a person’s potential to become a law breaker, we should disallow law abiding citizens from legal ownership? If that’s the case, we should stop issuing drivers licenses since someone may possibly someday decide to drive drunk.
    Until someone proves that they are irresponsible or dangerous, they should have every right to own a tool with which to protect themselves.

  • We’re past the point where banning guns in any particular area will make a difference, national gun bans help, local bans don’t.

    If I were a criminal I wouldn’t think twice about setting up shop in DC, you have a 100% chance that the house/person you’re robbing won’t be able to defend themselves. I used to be very anti-gun, however, after hearing the amount of gunshots in the last 6 months (and the recent crew violence towards the end of 2007), I’m convinced the only people that don’t have guns in DC are the law abiding citizens…

  • “So because of a person

  • So now we’re advocating for fascism.

    You’re not going to win too many court cases using the “guilty before the crime has even HAPPENED” approach. But best of luck with that.

  • An avid skeet shooter, eh? I’ve seen you shoot skeet and neither I nor the skeet were too impressed…

  • A few things…

    The Firearms Control Regulations Act, requires that firearms kept at home be rendered useless for protection by being

  • Statistically it is most effective to increase prevention and enforcement than to actually ban guns, but I doubt the ban will be repealed.

    After all, most of the Judges live in DC, so they should have a first hand view that there is no reason to repeal the ban!

    Amanda from

  • Jim, hehehehe.. fascism.. hehehe.. U funny! Calling a gun a “tool” is stretching it a bit, don’t you think? And always comparing guns to every other things is just silly. As is btw the BS about the Constitutional right blah blah blah. 😀

  • G-
    If you’ve spent time with guns, you’ll understand why I call them tools. Granted, a Saturday Night special is an exception to the rule but overall, 99% of guns are not used in the commision of a crime. Remember, there are over 270 million firearms in the United States. That’s 9 guns for every 10 people. Clearly the problem isn’t with the fact that guns simply exist (afterall, they are everywhere!); the problem lies with the those who use them for the wrong reasons. I say release the millions upon millions of non-violent drug offenders currently locked up in our prison system and use that space to house gun offenders. Those that use guns in the commison of crimes are dangerous and should be treated as such. But the transgressions of a few should not give the government carte blanche to treat each and every citizen as if they’d already broken a crime. This is why I used the term Fascism, the whole “the governement knows what’s best, therefore we must impose it upon the masses.” Maybe this works for you but I enjoy my civil liberties (such as they are today).
    I’d also like to point out, just as a reminder, that our country was formed by men who took up their own firearms and revolted against an unfair and unjust ruler. Guns are clearly part of our nation’s story and a TOOL that enabled our founders to rise up against and ultimately defeat the British monarchy.

    >>end libertarian rant

  • If you live in a townhouse or condo, do you really want your neighbor to have a handgun with bullets that can easily travel through the walls? Shotguns, please. You’re more likely to hit your target anyways.

  • Flipflopirate–

    I don’t think we’re anywhere near an all-time high in gun violence… that had to be the period in the early ’90s, at the height of the crack trade. For instance:

    2007: 181 murders in DC

    1991: 482 murders

    This article from the Post details the increase in violent crime this year, as well as where the numbers rank historically.

  • I stand corrected on the data; but I still think my point is valid considering the overall trend of gun violence compared to other major metropolitan areas. Thank you for bringing that article to my attention.

  • Wow.. ONLY (yes, I am being ironic) 181 murders!

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