D.C. gun laws haven't stopped criminals and wouldn't stop terrorists

Sunday, May 23, 2010

It is ridiculous and dishonest to suggest that loosening gun laws in the District would create some sort of terrorism threat ["Homeland insecurity," editorial, May 19]. The District's draconian gun laws have never kept guns out of the hands of the city's criminal element, only those of its law-abiding citizens. For the decades that these laws have been in effect, firearms have still been readily available to criminals on the black market, reflecting the obvious fact that being unable to legally purchase a gun is no obstacle to people who don't care about breaking the law in the first place.

So who really believes that terrorists plotting to assassinate government officials are being held back by their inability to legally possess a pistol or rifle in the District? Would these terrorists try to legally register their weapons before carrying out their attack? Are we really to believe that they are rendered toothless by the same restrictions that have never managed to keep guns away from gang members and petty thugs with a few hundred dollars in their pockets?

How unfortunate that a valid debate over the role of Congress in D.C.'s government is being tainted with this sort of irresponsible and unrealistic scaremongering.

Chris Rories, Burke

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