For century’s gun violence has been a major issue in America.
In 1990, the nation’s capital was better known as, murder capital, with a recorded 472 homicides. The next year, the number went up to 482 homicides, ranking D.C. as the city with the most homicides nationwide.
In 2013, D.C became the grounds of one of America’s deadliest shootings. A 34-year old former Navy Reservist Aaron Alexis shot and killed 12 people and wounded three inside the Washington Navy Yard in Southeast Washington, D.C.
“America is the most violent place on earth.”
Every year the location, amount of victims, and motives change. But easy access to weapons that help carry out these deadly crimes stays the same. A group in Baltimore attempted to try out a new method to contain gun violence even if it was only for 72 hours.
Cease Fire was a grassroots movement that called for no killing in the city of Baltimore for 72 hours. The movement has gathered participants and media attention nationwide. This movement was suggested to keep peace amongst neighborhoods and stop killing. But the Cease Fire didn’t last 45 hours without someone murdering another in Baltimore.
Erricka Bridgeford, organizer and leader of Cease Fire, said she believes there is a good system that makes sure that there aren’t guns in inner-city streets.
“America is the most violent place on earth,” Bridgeford said.
The Second Amendment grants citizens the right to bear arms and everyone that wishes to own a gun does not have the intent to kill, forcing cities impacted by gun violence to carefully examine gun control and gun laws.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
“America believes if we disagree we can just drop a bomb…the way we push violent music, violent images, violent language..it is built into almost everything,” Bridgeford said.
In the District, the permit requirements are stricter than most places in the county.
To apply, individuals must be 21-years of age, must not stand convicted of certain weapon offenses. There must be no history of violent behavior or mental negligence, and individuals cannot appear to suffer from a physical defect, among other factors.
Applicants must also complete an extensive background check, 16 hours of firearms safety training and at least two hours of range training with a $75 fee.
The law requires applicants to submit good reason, or proper need to carry a gun, such as fear of injury or carrying valuable items.
D.C Attorney General Karl Racine announced in a press conference that the city will not appeal the courts decision to strike down the city’s “good reason” requirement.
“After weighing the consequences of an adverse decision on our city and indeed across the county including neighboring jurisdiction..and extensive review with stakeholders and experts in the field I decide not to seek review of the D.C circuits decision”, said Racine via The Washington Post
With the law in place, 77 percent of the city’s permit applications have been rejected, according to the Washington Post. Once it is officially ruled out, applicants will no longer need to submit proof of good purpose.
While Racine says this is for the betterment of future gun laws to come, Bridgeford says we need to take a look at the source of the problem.
“There is so much that needs to be dismantled”, said Bridgeford.
“We need to take a look at how things get created, how these semiautomatic weapons are ending up on our streets and hold people accountable for that,” Bridgeford said.
On average, the Metropolitan Police Department recovers nearly 16,000 guns year, according to dc.gov.
“The rest of the firearm requirements in the District of Columbia are robust and remain in place, they are in facts sensible regulation..and we pledge to continue to enforce the District gun laws”, says Racine.
Firearms continue to account for 3 out of 4 homicides in the district and in the world.