Safety First

Over the summer, an important initiative was launched to make our nation's capital an even safer place to live, depending on how quickly you can purchase a bullet-proof vest.

But, you may well ask in italics, doesn't Washington, D.C., already have nine separate police forces, as well as daily over-flights by F-15 Eagles and armed helicopter gunships? Absolutely, I would reply from inside my home, since I seldom venture out and attract the attentions of armed helicopter gunships. (CO-pilot: Hey, the guy in that backyard is either igniting a barbecue grill or a thermo-nuclear device! Should we call this in? pilot: Nah. We'll handle it. Eat lead, possible terrorist!)

Given these considerable protections, it may seem surprising that Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch wants to ensure an even greater level of security by repealing Washington, D.C.'s 27-year-old ban on handguns, thus enabling citizens to "better protect themselves."

It's about time.

D.C.'s archaic gun law—barely enacted by an overwhelming majority of city voters—prevents a law-abiding D.C. resident from defending himself from an intruder who, in broad daylight and disguised as a possible mail carrier, might attempt to open his front door unannounced. The point is, citizens have a right to protect themselves from strangers who attempt to invade the sanctity of their homes or, in the case of Jehovah's Witnesses, their front porches.

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Sojourners Magazine November-December 2003
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