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John Wayne's Holster: San Francisco Considers Handgun Ban
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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

San Francisco Considers Handgun Ban

This November, residents of San Francisco will go to the polls. In addition to a bland list of candidates, there will be a gun control measure - Proposition H - on the ballot.

The gun-control measure was proposed by City Supervisor Chris Daly, and is endorsed by Supervisors Michela Alioto-Pier, Tom Ammiano, Bevan Dufty, and Matt Gonzalez. Mayor Gavin Newsome has not weighed in on the issue yet. According to Daly, the measure was drawn up in an effort “to figure out a way to turn back the tide of violence." San Francisco experienced a 28% rise in homicides in 2004.

If Proposition H passes, San Francisco residents will be prohibited from exercising their Constitutionally guarenteed right to keep and bear arms. It will ban the purchasing or distributing of firearms or ammunition within the city. Residents presently owning firearms would have 90 days to turn them over to authorities. Firearms would still be permitted for police officers, security guards, the military, and any government employee carrying out the functions of his or her employment.

I don't know about you, but this is starting to sound a bit like a police state to me.

I think any sensible person would agree that reducing crime is a good thing. But one must seriously question the logic behind Prop H. Although it may sound nice to some, the pertinent question is whether or not it is realistic? Will Prop H accomplish its intended goals?

From a practical point of view, Prop H makes little sense. It is oblivious to reality! It assumes that criminals are just going to throw up their hands and turn their guns over because the law says they can’t have them. Well I hate to break it to you, but that ain’t gonna happen! Criminals will continue to buy and sell firearms with no regard for the law.

Prop H will only take guns away from law-abiding citizens, reducing their capability for self-defense. Take the recent situation in New Orleans as a case in point. In the looting and mayhem that followed Hurricane Katrina, only armed citizens were able to defend themselves against the looters and thugs that rampaged the city. The unarmed were at the mercy of their assailants.

If this reasoning doesn’t convince you, take a look at gun control in action. Washington D.C. banned hand guns in 1976. How successful have they been at reducing crime? The answer is that they have not been successful at all. Washington D.C. has one of the highest rates of violent crime in the country, with a homicide rate that is almost eight times the national average! For comparison, in 2003 D.C. had a murder rate of 44.2 murders per 100,000 citizens, while San Francisco had a rate of 8.9 per 100,000. The numbers seems to be telling me that gun control is not working!

What do the San Francisco police have to say about this? They deal with violent crime on a daily basis. If gun control offered a workable solution to lowering the homicide rate, they surely would support the measure. But they don’t support it, because experience tells them that it doesn’t work! Some have even made the case that the ban could make San Francisco a destination for criminals, as they would likely face less resistance from their victims.

Propostition H makes no sense. It is founded on ill logic. Gun control has been tried in Washington D.C., and it doesn’t work. Prop H will not stop criminals from getting guns. It will only disarm law-abiding citizens, making them prey to felons. As the old saying goes, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns!

When you boil it all down, Proposition H sounds a lot more like Preparation H to me!


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