13 Jul 2006

Only Outlaws Have Guns in DC


Florida Crime rates have fallen to the lowest level in three decades, reports the St Petersburg Times:

The state’s serious crime rate fell to the lowest level in three decades last year, a development Gov. Jeb Bush hailed Tuesday as validation for his policies on gun control and criminal justice.

Bush credited tougher penalties as one reason for the lower crime rate. He also said the figures show that controlling human behavior, not guns, is the way to reduce crime.

“I think law-abiding citizens who have guns for protection are actually part of the reason we have a lower crime rate,” Bush said at a press conference in the Capitol. “I don’t think that there’s a lot of data that suggests that gun control reduces crime.”

Florida licenses to carry concealed handguns are easy to obtain, and Florida recently passed legislation abolishing a legal requirement in liberal states that obliges the law-abiding citizen to make every possible effort to retreat before defending himself when confronted by an attacker.

Meanwhile in Washington, DC, where even ownership of handguns is prohibited, the July Homicide total has risen to 14 (in 13 days), and the chief of police has declared a crime emergency.

D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey reacted yesterday to a recent surge in homicides by declaring a “crime emergency,” a move that gives him the freedom to quickly adjust officers’ schedules and restrict their days off.

The victims included a popular store owner slain at closing time, a community activist killed in a park and a British citizen whose throat was slit in Georgetown.

The most recent to die was 23-year-old Michael Dorsey, of Capitol Heights. He was found shot in the chest just after 2 a.m. this morning, in the hallway of an apartment building of Gallaudet St. NE. Three other people were also shot in the city overnight, but were expected to live, police said…

Eleven men, two women and a 16-year-old youth have been killed in the city since July 1. About 25 hours before Dorsey was killed, Laquanda Johnson, 24, was found fatally shot in the 3600 block of 22nd Street SE. A suspect was arrested yesterday afternoon in Suitland.

Despite the recent uptick in violence, the 95 homicides recorded in the city so far this year is only one more than the total committed by this date in 2005. But the number of robberies is up 14 percent, and Ramsey and other commanders are concerned that more holdups will turn deadly.

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I believe it was Kevin Thomas, a member of the Party of the Right, who famously suggested that the Government introduce “Gun Stamps” (analogous to food stamps) as a crime control measure.

His observation was that those living in impoverished, crime ridden neighborhoods had the greatest need to acquire guns for self protection, and were least likely to have the means to do so. As a slap at liberal shibboleths it was delicious.

I think that, for places like DC, Kevin’s is an idea whose time has come.

Meanwhile, a political slogan for Jeb’s inevitable Presidential run – Jeb Bush: he’s death on crime.


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