Washington, D.C. Is A “Failed State,” Say Groups Challenging Gun Ban

Crime is so out of control in Washington, D.C., that it is a “failed state.” That’s the gist of a brief filed by private investigators and security guards in the Supreme Court, challenging Washington, D.C.’s ban on handguns and functional firearms.

The brief cites many examples of how Washington’s large but incompetent police department and its 911 operators have responded with callous indifference to crimes in progress in the District, resulting in murders and rapes. Washington became the murder capital of America in the years after the D.C. Council enacted a gun ban.

The brief notes that former Mayor Marion Barry allowed many incompetents, illiterates, and criminals to become police officers during his long years of misrule. But it doesn’t explain the reason for one of his many disastrous decisions: his decision, supported by his “human rights” division, to reduce the passing score on the police exam from 80 percent to 35 percent correct.

That happened partly because the District feared “discrimination” lawsuits, alleging that the exam had a “racially disparate impact” on minority applicants, in that minorities failed the exam at a higher rate than whites. By cutting the score from 80 percent to 35 percent, the District eliminated any “racially disparate impact” on minorities, even as it simultaneously virtually eliminated literacy as a requirement for police officers. (The brief also doesn’t note the fact that members of the D.C. police department have killed far more innocent citizens — especially minority citizens — per capita than other big city police departments like New York City and Los Angeles).

In another brief, George Mason University law professor Nelson Lund, a textualist who often narrowly construes the Constitution, argues that the text of the Second Amendment does indeed protect an individual right to possess guns, based on the meaning of its words at the time of the Founding Fathers, and longstanding rules of construction.