Spike in DC Violent Crime Blamed on Gun Ban

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:06pm EDT

(CNSNews.com) - The recent spike in violent crime in the nation's capital is the direct result of the District of Columbia's gun ban, a gun rights group said Thursday.

D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey declared a "crime emergency" Tuesday following a spike in violent crime in which two separate groups of tourists were robbed by two armed men on the National Mall. On Sunday, a British political activist had his throat slashed in the Georgetown section of the city.

Robberies are up 14 percent, and armed assaults are up 18 percent, a direct result of the restrictive gun control policy, according to the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA). The city recorded its 14th homicide of July this week.

"For 30 years, we have witnessed the cruel hoax of restrictive gun laws in our nation's capital. The insanity of gun control is revealed in the murder, rape, assault and robbery statistics that make the District of Columbia the crime capital of America," said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb in a press release.

"This is what happens when law-abiding citizens are told their Second Amendment rights have been suspended through elitist government fiat and that they cannot possess the tools to defend themselves against criminal predators," Gottlieb added.

"The city council, through three decades of social ignorance, has turned over the streets of our capital city to outlaws, and the outlaws know it," added CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron.

"When the ban on handguns and restrictions on rifles and shotguns was adopted in 1976, the city administration should have hung signs at the city limits welcoming thugs and telling law-abiding citizens that their right to self-defense does not exist within these borders," Waldron said.

Waldron called the recent rise in violent crime "an outrage." But, he said, city officials won't admit that the gun ban is responsible for the crime spike.

"They continue to perpetuate a myth that gun control makes the city safer," Waldron added. "This recent crime wave makes it plain that restrictive gun control has no benefits except for criminals, and that those who defend the existing restrictions are defending a lie."

According to Ramsey, the rise in violent crime in the district is just a recent trend.

"This is a big difference from what we've seen in years past," the Washington Post quoted Ramsey as saying. "And it's a pattern that we've been tracking."

Ramsey noted that the D.C. region has experienced rapid economic growth. He said that "more people are coming into the city, and different areas are being populated. And criminals are aware of that." He said arrest patterns show that more people are being arrested in areas "they do not live in."

Virginia Republican Congressman Frank Wolf is calling on the White House to convene a summit with law enforcement officials to look into ways to address the crime wave.

To Gottlieb, the answer is simple: repeal the gun ban.

"We call upon the city government and Congress to immediately repeal the District's draconian gun regulations," Gottlieb concluded. "The city's law-abiding citizens must be allowed to fight back and regain control of their neighborhoods.

"Any politician, whether in the municipal government or on Capitol Hill, who does not trust the citizens of Washington, D.C., with their Second Amendment rights does not deserve to hold office and should hand in his or her resignation. This risk-free working environment for criminals must end now," Gottlieb said.

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