When the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) overturned Washington DC’s draconian gun ban in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), one could not be blamed for thinking the pillars of gun control could crumble and the liberties protected by the 2nd Amendment would flourish. However the DC City Council reacted to the ruling by complying with it in theory, but requiring a large number of hoops for law-abiding citizens to jump through in order to arm themselves in reality.
In particular, they have fought tooth and nail to prevent law-abiding citizens from easily acquiring concealed carry permits in order to carry guns with which to protect life and property. And now we see that this fight against the expanded exercise of 2nd Amendment rights has not simply correlated with an increase in gun crime but with a four year high in overall gun crimes and in summer gun crimes as well.
According to The Washington Post, there were “1,183” gun crimes in DC from January to July 2015. There were “983” crimes for the same time period in 2014, “1,168” for the 2013, and “1,143” for 2012. Summer gun crime stats–crimes occurring in July and June–showed “428” for 2015, “333” for 2014, “337” for 2013, and “322” for 2012.
It is worth noting that DC officials reveled in gun control even as gun crime rose in the spring and early summer. For example, when a federal judge stuck down DC’ s “good reason” requirement for a concealed carry permit, The Washington Times reported that DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier said the ruling not have much impact, as the city had so constrained concealed permit issuance that they had only granted 26 permits between October 2014 and May 9, 2015.
Even for the few people with concealed permits, areas in which law-abiding citizens can carry for self-defense have considerable limits. WAPO reports they cannot carry for self-defense in DC “schools, hospitals, government buildings, public transportation vehicles, establishments that serve alcohol, stadiums or arenas, or within 1,000 feet of a dignitary under police protection.”
Criminals do obey gun-free laws nor to they wait for a concealed carry permit before carrying a gun with which to commit their crimes.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.