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March 5, 2012

District of Columbia Officials Favor Victimhood; Continue to Disrespect Second Amendment

With Washington, D.C. residents concerned about violent crime soaring 40 percent in the first two months of the year, one would have thought that District officials would have had a better response than, victimhood is better than self-defense. Unfortunately, they didn’t.

“It is much better, in my opinion, to be scared, to be frightened, and even if you have to be, to be injured, but to walk away and survive,” said Paul Quander, District of Columbia’s deputy mayor for public safety and justice.

This comment followed an earlier statement by D.C. Councilman Jack Evans (Ward 2 Democrat), who, in discussing newly-drafted legislation that would eliminate some of the District’s burdensome requirements for gun ownership, opined, “Although none of us like making it easier for someone to have a gun legally, we believe that this is what we have to do.”

Yes. You read that correctly. Mr. Evans doesn’t want to make “legal” gun ownership easier. Perhaps Councilman Evans needs to re-read the Supreme Court’s Heller decision.

Though Mr. Quander and Councilman Evans are free to espouse their particular disdain for self-defense and lawful firearms ownership, it’s nevertheless disconcerting that neither official has taken the time to heed empirical data on the subject. Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck has found that firearms are used approximately 2.5 million times each year by law-abiding citizens for purposes of self-defense, or about once every 13 seconds. Furthermore, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 91 percent of violent crime does not involve a firearm.

We need to continue to ensure that all Americans, regardless of geographic location, are able to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Curtailing this freedom is not only unconstitutional, it’s also reckless and dangerous. That should not really surprise anyone since at its core the Second Amendment is about self protection — from tyrannical despots and common street thugs.

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