- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 24, 2010

The hustle and bustle along the District’s Florida Avenue and its arteries Thursday morning betrayed what occurred less than 24 hours earlier when urban desperados shot a father and son.

For drivers of white-paneled trucks and vans, store owners and warehouse laborers awaiting deliveries, and customers in search of fresh meat, produce and retail goods, Thursday morning was business as usual in the city’s wholesale district, but manned police patrol cars and ubiquitous yellow crime-scene tape told a different story.

It’s the story of a city whose leadership wants to deny Second Amendment rights to its citizenry and business owners, while, at the same time, play liberal politics on behalf of the “perps” who prey on ordinary people as they go about their daily lives.

By all accounts, the family that owns and runs Lida Wholesale off Florida Avenue were going about their day when gun shots rang out about 2:30 Wednesday afternoon. Two gunmen left the father mortally wounded and his son facing life-threatening wounds.

Police chased the getaway car, but the perpetrators got away, at least for now.

About the only thing in dispute is whether the victims confronted the bad guys themselves - unarmed. Witnesses said the victims were shot as the gunmen fled.

Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier warned shopkeepers. “First and foremost, if you are in an establishment and a robbery occurs, give up what it is they are in there to get, particularly, the cash,” WTTG-TV Fox 5 quoted her as saying.

Her advice is of little comfort to D.C. residents and business owners who face some of the strictest handgun-control laws in America.

No one can predict what could have happened had the storeowner or his son popped a round or two at the perpetrators. No one can predict how armed storeowners, warehouse laborers or customers would have reacted to the gunfire.

There is the possibility that, fearing for their own lives and property, legitimate gun owners would have taken matters into their hands.

We don’t know. We don’t know because, even after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the city’s tough anti-gun laws in 2008, Democrats are still saying that private handgun ownership would undermine the rights and safety of D.C. residents.

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton says a revised D.C. gun bill making the rounds on Capitol Hill is “far more dangerous” than an earlier version passed in the Senate.

“The Second Amendment Enforcement Act would: … permit D.C. to regulate, but not prohibit, the carrying of guns in public, openly or concealed,” Mrs. Norton, a Democrat, said in a June 22 press statement.

Nowhere in the release does Mrs. Norton, the city’s only elected voice on the Hill, express the need for and the right of residents to defend themselves against the kind of violence that broke out Wednesday afternoon.

She doesn’t even mention that the families victimized by a mass drive-by shooting in April ought to have the right to bear arms should they so choose. Mrs. Norton does mention that she arranged for the victims’ relatives to meet with House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, another Democrat, and other anti-gun rights activists to help stop the new gun bill.

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