December 4 2007
The Right to Ban Arms?
In her latest Charlotte's web column, Charlotte Hays talks about the D.C. gun ban and the upcoming Supreme Court case. As Charlotte points out, bans do a great job of keeping guns out of law-abiding citizens' hands. But what about criminals?
The problem with banning guns is that such bans affect only law-abiding citizens. Your average criminal isn't going to think, "Drat, I can't get a gun now." He isn't going to think this because he has never limited himself to legal routes to gun ownership in the first place. The gun ban is irrelevant to him, except that he might be safer trespassing on the property of others-a definite plus, when you come to think about it.
"Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns," writes Robert A. Levy, co-counsel for the plaintiffs in the case that is now before the Supreme Court. Levy noted the situation of Shelly Parker, one of the plaintiffs, who lived in a high-crime neighborhood in Washington. A crime fighter, Ms. Parker was taunted and threatened by drug dealers but she nevertheless organized block meetings to enlist others in the fight against crime.
Trying to get into her house, a dealer yelled, "I'll kill you. I live on this block too!" "For obvious reasons," Levy writes, "Shelly Parker would like to possess a functional handgun within her home for self-defense; but she feared arrest and prosecution because of the District's unconstitutional gun ban." Let me go out on a limb and posit that the gun dealers in Mrs. Parker's neighborhood weren't nearly so scrupulous.
Read her column here.