D.C. residents can only legally register guns that are purchased in their home District- and there are currently no licensed gun vendors in DC, so there can't be any legal sidearms. The police have granted a six-month amnesty period so that owners of formerly illegal weapons can register them, but said owners will have to submit their weapons for ballistic tests to determine if they have been used in unsolved crimes and , in addition, they will have to take a written gun-proficiency test (in my opinion, they should also have to pass a shooting test) and face the possibility that their handgun gets confiscated if it violates DC's still-intact ban on automatic weapons.
Not surprisingly, DC residents have overwhelmingly opted to keep their guns cocked, locked and illegal rather than submit to the labyrinthine registration requirements and somewhat counter-productive regulations.
The new law includes strict storage requirements that opponents of the handgun ban say violate the Supreme Court ruling.Gun owners must keep their pistols at home,unloaded and either disassembled or equipped with trigger locks.Weapons can only be loaded and used if the owner reasonably believes he or she is in imminent danger from an attacker in the home.
I understand the reasoning: it's not safe to leave loaded guns where kids can get to them. Duh.
But those regulations render the guns useless for self-defense purposes. Last night I saw what I thought was one of my cats on the windowsill- it turned out to be a stranger peeking into my living room! I (stupidly) rushed to the front door and tried to catch the peeper- who fled- and it wasn't until a minute later that it occurred to me that I was unarmed and could have been leaping into danger. The voyeur saw me coming, so it's very unlikely that he would have stood still long enough for me to unlock and load my pistol and shoot him through the open window-as it was, I didn't even have time to grab a sledgehammer. Luckily for me, peepers are not very brave and I didn't need a gun but if it had been a home invader, I wouldn't have had time for assembly and loading, I'd have been better off with a baseball bat- a good choice of weapon for a poor shot such as myself.
I don't scoff at the idea of having to kill someone inside my home. A couple of years ago, a business friend of mine -along with her husband and children- were tortured and murdered by home invaders inside their quiet suburban house in broad daylight - that murder changed something inside me. If I see someone I don't recognize in my house I will hurt them as badly as I can and ask questions later because there are situations in which you don't get a second chance...knowing my friend and her husband, I imagine that they tried to reason and plea with their killers and that, obviously, didn't work. I hate guns and I loathe violence, but I'm not a pacifist, so stay the fuck off of my porch unless I know you.
If you kill someone I know, don't expect me to hold a candle during your execution.
MORE BAD NEWS
My Twin lives in Chicago and I sometimes entertain the idea of moving there- but it's getting very dangerous. Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has just offered to bring the National Guard into urban Chicago to halt the epidemic of violent crime brewing there- one recent Chicago weekend saw 36 shootings, including nine murders, and Chicago Public Schools officials say that over two dozen students have been killed by guns since last September. Over two dozen kids...why hasn't that gotten any significant national coverage? I'm guessing that none of the victims were white and/or wealthy. Just a guess...