- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Lawmakers inevitably know what is best for us, because most of us are just too darn stupid to make smart choices in our lives, whether we choose to hang out in a smoke-filled bar or own a handgun, like Sen. James H. Webb Jr., or yap on a hand-held cell phone while motoring around the city.

Fortunately for us, we dont have to make those difficult decisions.

Smoking no longer is allowed in city bars, it has been against the law to own a handgun in the city since 1977, and it has been against the law to talk on a hand-held cell phone while driving since 2004.

All of this has been done to make our lives safer, richer and infinitely more fulfilling. The wisdom of our lawmakers is unassailable, as they are forever weighing how best to enrich our lives with tax increases, speed cameras, eagle-eyed meter maids and parking signs stuffed with footnotes, addendums and exceptions to the rule.

There are tomelike parking signs in the city that suggest parking is never allowed in a particular space, except between the weekday afternoon hours of 2 and 3 and only if it is sunny outside.

Anyway, our lawmakers are atwitter these days over a court ruling this month that overturned the gun ban. Our lawmakers have been perfectly happy with a handgun ban that allows the bad guys to be armed and the law-abiding people to be defenseless.

As you know, bad guys dont follow laws, whether it is the handgun ban or the ban on robbing the neighborhood convenience store. That is why they are bad guys. The good intentions of lawmakers are merely a source of amusement to them.

Our lawmakers blame the bad guy who is armed on the relatively easy access of acquiring a handgun in, for instance, Virginia, not quite accepting the fact that if there is a desire for a particular item, an underground market will form to provide citizens with the item they seek.

So if Virginias lawmakers followed the wisdom of the city lawmakers and issued a ban on handguns, rest assured that this would not lead to fewer handguns on the streets of the city. The bad guys still would have handguns, and the law-abiding people still would be at their mercy.

D.C. Council member Mary Cheh, Ward 3 Democrat, thinks the proposal to legalize handguns as a deterrent against the bad guys is a “dangerous, nutty experiment.”

She clearly is not in the camp of Mr. Webb, the Virginia Democrat who feels more confident with a loaded firearm at his disposal. It is up to Mrs. Cheh to decide whether Mr. Webb is a “dangerous” and “nutty” person.

“Its important for me personally and for a lot of people in the situation I am in to be able to defend myself and my family,” Mr. Webb said after his aides arrest Monday on charges of carrying a loaded gun into the U.S. Capitol.

The gun was registered to Mr. Webb. It is hard to say where Mr. Webb stands on the handgun debate in the city, because lawmakers are often notorious hypocrites. What is right for them is not necessarily right for you.

Mr. Webb might believe he is far more able to handle a firearm than you, although his aides arrest would indicate some degree of carelessness and confusion on the senators part. But who knows? Perhaps he is a victim of the vast right-wing conspiracy.

D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson, at-large Democrat, calls the court decision “public endangerment,” apparently in the belief that the large majority of law-abiding citizens in the city will take to shooting each other if given the opportunity.

That could be. But oddly enough, most people who live in the region do not suddenly feel threatened after crossing one of the bridges into Virginia.

It is not as if those “dangerous, nutty” Virginians are having duels at 10 paces. They spend most of their lives in traffic anyway.

City dwellers spend theirs in fear of the handgun-packing bad guy.

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