Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Gun Control Measures in St. Louis and D.C. Reveal Disregard for Public Safety

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones (Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

In the face of escalating violent crime rates and seeming disregard from key government figures, it's becoming increasingly evident that anti-gun policies primarily serve to burden law-abiding gun owners. This trend is glaringly evident in the actions of lawmakers in St. Louis and Washington D.C.

Recently, the St. Louis NBC station disclosed text messages from Mayor Tishaura Jones that were accessed via the state's public records law. In these messages, Jones confided in her father that stringent gun control measures, like those in Chicago, do not necessarily curb gun violence. Instead, she emphasized the value of investing in social initiatives.

This private viewpoint starkly contrasts her public demeanor and actions. Jones co-chairs the Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns, a group funded by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, which forms part of Bloomberg's broader anti-gun organization, Everytown for Gun Safety. In this role, Jones has been an advocate for a host of gun control measures, ranging from criminalizing private gun transactions to advocating for a federal "Red Flag law."

Despite Washington D.C. having some of the nation's strictest gun laws, authorities have shown little motivation to prosecute firearm abuses. In a 2021 report from the city's Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), it was found that a small number of high-risk individuals accounted for a significant portion of all gun violence in the district.

Moreover, a 2023 D.C. Sentencing Commission report showed a troubling trend: many firearm-related arrests from 2018-2022 either did not result in charges or were dismissed without a conviction. The individual case of a Kentucky social studies teacher, shot to death during a robbery, serves as a poignant illustration of these troubling statistics. The suspected assailant, with a known criminal history, had violated his release conditions multiple times.

These incidents in St. Louis and Washington, D.C., demonstrate that gun control measures often bear little correlation to enhancing public safety. They highlight a troubling pattern wherein politicians exploit these measures to divert attention from their governance failures, often at the expense of their political opponents' supporters.

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