The ban, passed with strong public support in 1976, has not accomplished everything that the mayor and council of that era wanted it to.
Over the years, gun violence has continued to plague the city, reaching staggering levels at times.
It’s very subdued, and they never quite get right out and say “This didn’t work at all”; the author does admit to a few of the key Pro-gun talking points on the DC Gun ban.
But you can measure the violence that did occur, using the bellwether offense of homicide to chart the ebb and flow of crime in the District since the ban was enacted. And the violence here over those years was worse than in most other big cities, many of them in states with far less restrictive gun laws.
For me, the most interesting part of the article is where it explores the motives of the original framers of the DC Handgun ban; and that’s what I want to focus on.
Still, few if any council members thought that the statute would significantly stem the flow of guns into the city, officials recalled. Their main hope was that the ban would start a trend, eventually leading to a federal handgun ban.
Read that very carefully. They knew that the gun ban wouldn’t work, but they passed it anyway because they wanted to “start a national trend”. It’s a perfect example of how the anti-gun mindset works, start small and spread. DC wanted to impose their style of gun control on the entire nation; even today they still want to do that.
This also underscores the importance of state’s individual gun laws when it comes to the ripple effect. You can see how bad gun laws often start in large metro areas and then radiate out to more suburban and rural areas. We can’t afford to turn our backs on bad gun laws in Chicago, New York City, or Los Angeles just because we don’t live there. The agenda of the anti-gun crowd is the same now as it was in the 1970’s in DC, they want to spread their agenda nation wide.