In 2008, the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller declaring that Washington D.C.’s handgun ban was unconstitutional. At the time, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty predicted disastrous results. “More handguns in the District of Columbia will only lead to more handgun violence,” he warned.
Instead, a new report shows that lifting the ban had almost no effect on homicides in the District of Columbia. Using homicide data compiled by the Washington Post, The Daily Caller News Foundation determined that while gun homicides dropped nearly 22 percent after 2008, that figure was in line with an overall decline in homicides. The decrease in both types of homicides—gun-related and all other—continued through 2012.
In other words, Fenty’s concerns were misplaced. Author and Crime Prevention Research Center President John Lott noted, “The big thing that Heller had was not the handgun ban being overturned. Heller legalized people being able to use guns in self-defense.”
Opposing legislation under consideration that would allow South Carolina citizens to carry a firearm without a permit from the state, Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller claimed, “It would create opportunities for additional violence to occur.”
“So now everybody is authorized to carry a gun, and guns tend to draw out other guns,” Miller continued. “It will create opportunities for police shootings or for police officers or deputies to get hurt more.”
Where is your evidence of that, Chief? This has not been the case in any other state that has removed the requirement for government permission to exercise a constitutional right—just as permitted carry did not endanger cops or cause crime waves.
Fortunately, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster doesn’t subscribe to Miller’s anti-gun fantasies. “Gov. McMaster appreciates the House’s hard work on this bill, believes it is constitutional, and will sign it if it reaches his desk,” said spokesman Brian Symmes.
Is Chicago Finally Following Court Ruling On Gun Ranges?
According to a Wednesday report in the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago alderman are apparently making at least a meager attempt to satisfy a federal court ruling that basically said that leaders couldn’t simply choose to not allow gun ranges in the city.
If the full city council approves changes by the Licensing and Zoning Committee, ranges could be authorized in business, commercial and manufacturing districts if operators obtain a permit from the city. Currently there are no commercial shooting ranges in Chicago.
While the move on the city’s part seems to be one in the right direction, shame on the Sun-Times for its grossly biased lead sentence: “After a violent Easter weekend, Chicago aldermen on Monday reluctantly agreed to satisfy a federal court ruling by relaxing the city’s rigid rules where shooting ranges could be located …” In truth, anyone who understands criminal violence at all knows that gun ranges and Chicago’s violent crime are two completely separate issues.
Alabama Senate Passes “Permitless” Carry Measure
The Alabama state Senate on Tuesday passed an NRA-backed “permitless” carry measure—Senate Bill 24—by a 25-6 vote. The bill now heads to the House.
Put simply, SB 24 would eliminate the requirement to obtain a permit from the government for a law-abiding person to lawfully carry a firearm for self-defense.
“Every citizen should have the right to bear arms without paying a fee,” Republican state Sen. Gerald Allen, sponsor of the measure, told the Associated Press. Allen argues—quite logically—that Alabama is an open carry state, so it makes no sense to allow a person to carry a gun on a hip holster in public but require a permit if the person puts on a jacket or gets in a car.
As with most states considering permitless carry, Alabama would leave the permitting system in place for those who wish to participate in reciprocity agreements with other states.
Southwest Oklahoma Woman Fights Off Home Invader
In a quiet Lawton, Okla., neighborhood just after 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, a woman reportedly heard strange noises coming from inside her home. Fearful, she grabbed her gun and went to investigate.
Authorities tell KSWO-TV 7 the woman encountered a man, later identified as Rocky Stamper, who she claims had broken into her residence. So she took aim and fired. Police arrived at the scene to find the suspect unresponsive, and he was taken to a nearby hospital, where he later died.
The victim’s neighbor had just dropped her son off at school and arrived home to find the street filled with police cars. “It’s a pretty scary moment,” she told reporters. “You wonder what's going on a few houses down.” However, she added that her family is thankful for vigilant law enforcement. “It makes me feel pretty good knowing that they're there and I see them driving around.”