- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 1, 2010

Deborah Simmons is right in standing up for the right of Washington residents to own guns (“Killing tests D.C. anti-gun mentality,” Web, News, June 24).

In Washington, 75 percent of births among blacks, 63 percent among Hispanics and 8 percent among whites are outside of marriage. While in the long run, we have to ensure that more children grow up with both parents in order to provide a more stable and safe environment, in the short term, we need to ensure the safety of all Washington residents. It is obvious that a lack of legally registered firearms has not made our city a safer place to live.

I support allowing Washington residents to own handguns. I do not subscribe to the belief that the lack of legally registered guns makes Washington safer; just the opposite is true. Research has shown that serious crime has been reduced in states that allow the carrying of concealed weapons (something not allowed in Washington). In just the past two weeks, two store owners near my Lincoln Park neighborhood have been killed during robberies. Also in the past two weeks, there have been at least nine other homicides in Washington and about 90 assaults with a deadly weapon.

We must do more to ensure the safety of all Washington residents and workers. Those who carry guns illegally must be given jail time. Our laws must be modified as needed to ensure that this happens. Those who wish to own a handgun for self-protection should be able to register to do so without an excessively burdensome process.

RICHARD URBAN



Candidate, Independent

D.C. Council at-large

Washington

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