- New Mexico decides to use HealthCare.gov for 2015
- Satanists to use Hobby Lobby rule to skirt state abortion laws
- White House: No choice but to act now on climate change
- HHS: ‘Donut hole’ reforms saved Medicare enrollees $11.5 billion since 2010
- Boston-area tornado rips 100 homes: ‘Are we in Kansas?’
- Rush Limbaugh: ‘There is no journalism anymore’
- Scott Brown struggles for political traction in New Hampshire Senate race
- California’s Jerry Brown cites God, ‘religious call’ to embrace illegals
- Hamid Karzai’s cousin killed by suicide bomber at Eid al-Fitr party
- Obama thanks Muslims for ‘building the very fabric of our nation’
MILLER: Shooting up D.C.
Mayor Gray protests a billboard advertising gun-safety classes
Question of the Day
Washington politicians are so anti-gun that they oppose a mere photo of a paper target. With D.C.’s gun-grabber laws under fire and pressure rising to allow concealed carry, the city’s liberal political establishment is panicking.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) put up a billboard in July at 13th and L Streets, N.W., that says, “Hey D.C. — It’s time for your first shot,” with the organization’s website and a photo of a woman holding a red, shot-out bulls-eye. The advertisement is for the NSSF First Shots, which are free safety-and-training seminars.
Mayor Vincent Gray fired off an attack on the sign, calling it “offensive” and “irresponsible.” According to NBC4, the Democrat complained, “To promote the use of guns in the city I think really is just anti-safety.”
“His reaction is sadly predictable — a knee-jerk, anti-gun reaction to anything firearms,” responded NSSF General Counsel Larry Keane. “I don’t see how the billboard or people going to a First Shots program to learn about firearms safety threatens the public safety of Washington or in any way encourages anyone to violate the draconian laws of D.C.” Mr. Keane said, “We have a suggested summer reading list for the mayor: the Bill of Rights and the Heller decision.”
First Shots, which has been taught in 48 states, was brought to Washington and Chicago after the Supreme Court overturned gun bans in those cities in 2008’s Heller and McDonald cases.
Phil Mendelson, chairman of the city council, thinks the course is on target. “I see nothing wrong with promoting gun safety,” the at-large Democrat — who wrote the city’s gun laws — told The Washington Times. “If this is a program which helps people use a firearm responsibly then that’s a good thing.”
The three-hour seminars cover local firearms laws, safe handling and shooting fundamentals. The classes from Aug. 24 to 28 will be taught at shooting ranges in Maryland and Virginia. There are no ranges inside the District because it’s illegal to carry a gun outside the home.
The mayor’s anti-gun hysteria stands in the way of greater gun safety. “The hands-on course with instructors and the chance to operate a firearm at a shooting range are better than watching a video,” explained Mr. Keane. He is referring to the free, 30-minute online video on gun safety and the laws — created by the Metropolitan Police Department — that has been required viewing for potential gun owners since July 1.
Until then, D.C. required residents who wanted a gun to submit to a five-hour course on gun safety that wasn’t allowed to be taught in the city. The class generally cost from $200 to $250. Mr. Mendelson got rid of this requirement in a bill that unanimously passed the city council and was signed by the mayor in May.
Robberies with a gun are up an astounding 19 percent in Washington this year, and assaults with a gun are up 9 percent. Mr. Gray should take aim at criminals with guns instead of law-abiding citizens who want to defend themselves.
Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times. She is the author of “Emily Gets Her Gun … But Obama Wants to Take Yours” (Regnery 2013). Miller won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism.
- MILLER: Mark Witaschek tax investigation follows D.C. conviction for muzzleloader bullet ammunition
- MILLER: Harry Reid's hypocrisy on 'Equal Pay Day': No women on top leadership staff
- MILLER: Maryland bathroom bill for transgenders is part of LGBT lobby for sex-change rights
- MILLER: Mark Witaschek surrenders to D.C. police 'Gun Offenders Registry'
- MILLER: Exclusive - Mark Witaschek takes the stand in D.C. shotgun shell trial
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Get Breaking Alerts
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- EPSTEIN: All IRS roads lead to the archivist
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia's gay marriage ban
- PRUDEN: When the hangman botches the job
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll