D.C.’s Restrictive Gun Laws Gave Marion Barry No Means to Defend Himself

D.C. Councilman Marion Barry, the victim of an armed robbery Monday night, is complaining that the already-restrictive gun laws in the nation’s capital need to be tougher.

Perhaps if Barry took a moment to reflect on the circumstances of his own robbery, he would quit spouting the knee-jerk liberal reaction to the crime committed against him. Instead, according to today’s Washington Post, Barry will soon introduce a bill to stiffen penalties for those carrying a gun in the District.

(Let’s not forget that Barry is no stranger to crime. He was forced to resign as D.C. mayor in 1991 for possessing cocaine only to be re-elected to that office in 1994 and to his current position in 2004.)

"Violence is everywhere," Barry said at a press conference yesterday, according to the Post’s account. "Guns are everywhere. This ought to be the number one priority in our city — saving lives, getting guns off the street and rehabilitating young people."

The District’s gun laws are already the most restrictive of any big city in America. Even District residents who owned their firearms before the city passed its restrictive laws cannot use them for self-defense.

That’s why the National Rifle Association is making the District of Columbia Personal Protection Act (S. 1082 and H.R. 1288) a top priority for 2006. The measure, which would restore 2nd Amendment rights to District residents, has already passed the House twice, but it continues to meet resistance in the Senate from Judiciary Committee member Mike DeWine, an anti-gun Republican from Ohio.

As the NRA and other 2nd Amendment supporters have articulated in the past, criminals — such as the teenagers who assaulted Barry — have no desire to obey the District’s aggressive anti-gun laws. It would seem the common-sense approach would then be to let the residents of the District defend themselves — which might make criminals think twice before committing such crimes.


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