The District of Columbia Council is urging Congress to pass more heavy-handed gun control legislation as the city — which has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation — is going through a huge spike in violent crime.
Last week, D.C. council member David Grosso introduced a “Sense of the Council” resolution calling on Congress to enact what he calls “sensible and comprehensive gun control measures.” All 13 members of the legislative body signed the resolution.
“I introduced this resolution because Congress has a responsibility to protect all Americans,” Grosso says in introducing the symbolic legislation. “They can demonstrate their commitment to protecting the safety and well-being of all Americans by reforming the woefully inadequate gun laws that currently exist.”
In calling for increased gun control measures, Grosso cites a recent Washington Post poll that shows 51 percent of D.C. residents say they would like to see the city reinstate its unconstitutional ban on handguns.
Last year, a federal judge struck down the outright ban on gun ownership, but District officials and federal lawyers continue to battle over the case.
The WaPo poll also notes — but Grosso fails to mention — that 43 percent of respondents say they don’t think outlawing guns in D.C. would make the city any safer.
Perhaps that could be because the District doesn’t enforce the laws it already has on the books.
As a recent example, Delaney Epps was shot to death in September as he walked along U Street in Northwest D.C., one of the 157 people murdered so far in 2015 in the city.
Epps was killed as a result of an argument over a woman, or perhaps because of a drug deal gone bad, the Post reports.
In 2014 Epps was arrested for possession of an illegal gun — a felony offense that carries a maximum punishment of five years imprisonment. He also had previous charges for disorderly conduct and failure to obey an officer.
Epps received a suspended jail sentence for the illegal gun, though had he been properly sentenced, he might still be alive today.
Similarly, in July, a 3-year-old girl was shot and killed after her 7-year-old brother found a gun in a bag and started playing with it.
The gun somehow fired, hitting the girl in the chest, and she later died in the hospital.
An unidentified 17-year-old boy pleaded guilty to second-degree cruelty to a child and possession of an unregistered firearm in connection to the shooting. He was sentenced to one year of probation for illegally possessing the gun that killed the 3-year-old.
The boy told Judge Heidi Pasichow he found the gun in the street and hung on to it so that no one else would get it and use it to hurt people.
Pasichow, in her ruling, said the teen was “doing everything he can to right the wrong in the best way he can.”
In his resolution, Grosso also mentions the infamous “355 mass shootings” statistic, that claims there has been more than one mass shooting per day in America so far this year.
The statistic has already been proven to be a sleight of hand meant to stir up support for more restrictive gun legislation. The definition of a mass shooting isn’t any sort of official statistic, but instead was created by a few activists on the website Reddit.
The activists define a mass shooting as any shooting where four or more people are injured. By that metric, more than 40 percent of the mass shootings in 2015 resulted in zero fatalities.
Grosso made national news last year when he said even police shouldn’t have guns while speaking at a hearing about “stop and frisk” policies.
“My staff won’t let me tell you that I think we oughta get rid of guns in the city and that police shouldn’t have guns so I’m not gonna tell you that,” Grosso said.
Tommy Wells, a fellow councilman at the time, was quick to jump to Grosso’s aid after the outlandish comments took some in the audience by surprise.
“In other countries not every police enforcement officer is armed with a weapon that’s going to kill somebody,” Wells said.
Wells now works as the director of the District Department of Energy & Environment, a position he was appointed to by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.
In August, Bowser announced a slate of new initiatives aimed at fighting the city’s illegal gun problem. The new Bowser plan will put more officers on the streets in D.C.’s “hardest hit areas” and create an incentive program asking businesses and homeowners to install security cameras, among other things.
Black Lives Matter protesters interrupted and shouted down Bowser at a press conference announcing the plans. They claim the plan is racist.
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