There it was. Good news on New Year’s Day on the front page of the Washington Post.
“Homicide totals in 2009 plummet in District, Prince George’s,” the headline read.
In a story that likely got lost amid the holiday revelry, the paper reported that the nation’s capital in 2009 experienced its lowest number of homicides in 45 years. In case you can’t do the math real quick, that previous year would be 1964.
And for those too young to remember, 1964 was pretty much the end of an era. It was before the riots, before the Vietnam War was seriously escalated to become a national dividing point, before the drug explosion.
So what happened in Washington, D.C., in 2009 that might account for such a dramatic decline in homicide deaths?
Hmmmmm. Let me see. Nothing comes to mind.
Oh, wait a minute! Wasn’t 2009 the first full year following the overturning of Washington’s gun ban by the Supreme Court in the Heller case?
Could that have something to do with it?
Apparently the Washington Post newsroom didn’t think so. It was not even mentioned in the New Year’s Day story – not even as an afterthought. That should tell you something about the political culture and worldview in elite newsrooms of America’s major metropolitan newspapers.
But think about it!
Once again, we have more real-life evidence of the theory so well articulated by John R. Lott in his breakthrough book, “More Guns, Less Crime.”
Remember what was predicted by the naysayers following the Heller case?
They foresaw blood in the streets. They believed a sort of citywide Armageddon would ensue. They prophesied gloom and doom. In fact, even in his Supreme Court dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer argued the gun ban was necessary for public-safety reasons because “guns were ‘responsible for 69 deaths in this country each day.'”
What Breyer didn’t understand was that guns are not responsible for any deaths. People are. Bad guys are. Murderers are. And when those guys have a virtual monopoly on force, because law-abiding citizens can’t bear arms, that’s when blood flows in the streets.
For 20 years before the Heller decision, Washington was known alternately as the murder capital of the country and the “District of Criminals.”
But something happened to make 2009 different. There was a significant drop in violent crime and property crime. The sharpest drop was in homicides – 25 percent. There was a 16 percent drop in sexual assaults and a 10 percent decrease in car thefts.
Can anyone point to another factor?
Was it Barack Obama’s anointing presence? I don’t think so.
It was Heller.
By the way, you probably also heard the news that 2009 was a banner year for gun sales nationwide. Americans, in fear Obama and the Democrat-dominated Congress would move quickly to limit their ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights, went out and got guns while they could.
These folks braved the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression to go out and buy firearms, which are not cheap. They also bought ammunition, which is getting more expensive all the time.
And guess what resulted?
Were more people killed by guns as the gun-control freaks always predict?
Just the opposite.
According to the FBI’s uniform crime report, law-enforcement agencies across the country experienced a decrease in violent crime for the first six months of 2009 from the same period the year earlier. Violent crime, which includes homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, decreased by 4.4 percent. The complete annual report is not yet released.
But, mark my words, when it is out it will show violent crime down throughout America – because more people have guns.