Former DC Mayor's Robbery Called 'Symptom of a Larger Problem'

Melanie Hunter | Senior Editor | Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Former DC Mayor's Robbery Called 'Symptom of a Larger Problem'

( - A gun rights group Tuesday said the recent armed robbery of D.C. councilman and former Mayor Marion Barry is the latest example of why gun control laws don't work.

Barry, who was robbed at gunpoint Monday at his apartment by kids who had helped him carry his groceries, said he often sees young people beg for money near his home and he lets them earn it by carrying groceries.

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) said Barry should never have been robbed nor should any citizen of the nation's capital. "Unfortunately, Barry and his anti-gun colleagues on the city council have steadfastly opposed repeal of the gun ban in the District," said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb.

"It is mind boggling that in the capital of the Free World, where the original Constitution of the United States resides, that the citizens of that city may not exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms," said Gottlieb in a press release.

Barry, who served four terms as mayor of Washington, D.C., served six months in prison after he was videotaped in 1990 in a hotel room smoking crack cocaine in an FBI sting. He will be sentenced later this month in federal court on his guilty plea to two misdemeanor counts stemming from his failure to file income tax returns in 2000.

"This may not mean much to Mr. Barry, because his crack cocaine conviction in 1991 disqualifies him from legally owning a firearm," said Gottlieb.

"But it would mean a great deal to law-abiding citizens without criminal records who desperately need the means to defend themselves against criminals who currently enjoy a risk-free working environment," he added.

Gottlieb called Barry's robbery "a symptom of a larger problem" and pointed to the ineffectiveness of the city's gun ban.

"Over the years, since passage of the notorious handgun ban, there have been anecdotal incidents of VIPs being mugged and hard evidence that disarming law-abiding citizens has done nothing to stop armed criminals from committing violent crimes," said Gottlieb.

"Barry, of course, could easily discuss this phenomenon, since he is walking proof that laws against smoking crack cocaine don't stop people from doing that, either," added Gottlieb, who urged city leaders to overturn the district's gun ban.

"It's time, to tell anti-gun city leaders like Barry that 'we've tried it your way, and it was a disaster; now let's try it a different way.' It is time for citizens in Washington, D.C. to once again be secure in their homes and businesses, and the only way to accomplish that is to make it possible for them to fight back," Gottlieb said.

"If the gun ban had worked, Marion Barry would still have his wallet," Gottlieb concluded.

Barry has vowed not to move from his home in Southeast Washington's Ward Eight, which he represents in the city council. Instead, he said he'll push for tougher gun control laws, the Associated Press reports.

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