Weekly Spotlight 9/29/23 – 10/5/23
Will More of D.C.’s Violent Criminals Be Held Accountable This Year?
A 19-year old man was recently arrested for the tragic killing of 10-year old Arianna Davis in Washington, D.C. – a senseless and accidental death caused by a barrage of stray gunfire. Unfortunately, our nation’s capital has not seen any reprieve from the rise in violent crime this year. We hope that Arianna Davis’ killer will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But recent actions – or rather, inaction – by D.C. prosecutors doesn’t provide much confidence that the full scope of justice will be served.
Rightfully so, the U.S. attorney for Washington D.C. has faced backlash for declining to prosecute 67 percent of people arrested by police in 2022, many of which involved illegal gun possession or burglary charges. This is double from 2015 when only 35 percent of cases were not prosecuted. It should go without saying that a clear solution to tackle violent crime in our nation’s capital would be to actually prosecute crimes and prevent repeat offenders from getting back out on the street. If this lack of accountability is not addressed, criminals will continue to skirt the legal system and endanger vulnerable citizens.
There are numerous examples of repeat criminal offenders being released in our nation’s capital and wreaking havoc. In another accidental killing, a 62-year-old Air Force veteran was shot and killed after a barrage of gunfire broke out outside of a deli. The man ultimately arrested for the killing had previously been arrested and pleaded guilty to illegal gun possession while in a stolen vehicle. Similarly, D.C. police arrested a man on first-degree murder charges for allegedly killing a 25-year-old schoolteacher from Kentucky who was visiting the capital with his family over 4th of July. According to FOX5, the assailant had already been arrested in May 2022 “for assault with a ghost gun,” and was released by a Superior Court judge the following month – then had his trial delayed. He allegedly murdered the Kentuckian four days before his rescheduled trial date.
Our nation’s capital has seen 166 homicides this year – roughly a 27 percent increase from last year. And findings from a survey of nearly 70 police departments show that D.C. is an alarming outlier. 48 departments reported reductions in homicides through the end of June, compared with the same period last year. But D.C. was among the top cities that had an increase rather than a decrease in crime – and a significant one at that.
Here’s the bottom line. The problem is not, and has never been, responsible law-abiding gun owners. The real issue is soft-on-crime policies and bad prosecutorial decisions that have repeatedly let criminals off the hook. It’s unfortunate that the resounding “solution” pushed in many high-crime cities like D.C. is to further restrict access to guns. If leaders truly wanted to make progress on the issue of violent crime, they should start by prosecuting more illegal gun cases, burglaries, assaults and other crimes. Holding criminals accountable is the way forward, not restricting access to firearms that will have no impact on criminals who have zero regard for the law.
OTHER NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
The nation’s largest concealed-carry group is getting more involved in the political realm. The United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) launched a new non-profit arm last week. The U.S. Concealed Carry For Saving Lives Action Fund (USCCA-FSL Action Fund) plans to advocate against gun control at all levels of government across the country. It is a 501(C)(4) headed by Katie Pointer Baney, which she said would focus primarily on training gun owners in how to improve their political activism. “At USCCA, we always tell our members that it’s their personal responsibility to be trained, that being a gun owner is a huge responsibility. I think the same applies to being an American citizen,” Baney told The Reload in an exclusive interview. “We’re blessed to live in this country, but there are individual civic responsibilities that we need gun owners to step up and take hold of.”
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s outrageous executive order suspending the right to arms in the name of a “Health Emergency” is just the latest and most blatant example of how far off the rails Democrats have gone on the issues of gun control, the Second Amendment, the First Amendment, and the Constitution in general. It is important to recognize that Governor Grisham’s overreach did not happen in a vacuum. In fact, though her Executive Order pushed a little farther and harder than they were quite ready for, it is right in line with mainstream Democratic Party policy and fully supported by their media allies.
- The Center Square: California Passes 11% Gun, Ammo Excise Tax Critics Say Is Unconstitutional
The California legislature passed a new excise tax specifically on firearms, firearm precursor parts and ammunition. The 11% levy, paid in addition to sales taxes, would take effect on July 1, 2024. The state has a base statewide sales tax of 7.25% with most cities and counties imposing additional sales taxes, meaning buyers of guns, parts and ammunition would pay taxes of at least 18.25% on their purchases in California. Critics of the measure say it exceeds legislative authority by taxing a constitutional right. AB 28, introduced by Assemblymembers Jesse Gabriel, D – Woodland Hills, and Kevin McCarthy, D – Sacramento, would direct tax revenues from the measure to a new Gun Violence Prevention and School Safety Fund.
Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) discussed his run for Governor of Louisiana with Breitbart News and affirmed constitutional carry will finally be secured once he is in the gubernatorial office. As we talked, constitutional carry was the first topic that came up. Recent history has shown constitutional carry has the overwhelming support of the Louisiana legislature but is opposed by the state’s current governor, John Bel Edwards (D). In fact, the Associated Press reported that Edwards vetoed constitutional carry legislation on June 25, 2021. Landry sees it differently. He does not believe Louisiana residents need a permit from the government in order to participate in Second Amendment freedoms.