Getting a Gun in DC

It is now possible, thanks to assistance from Heller and no thanks to a lot of red tape by the District of Columbia, to legally own a handgun and keep it in one’s house if one lives in Washington, DC.

As Christian Davenport writes, it’s still not easy:

It took $833.69, a total of 15 hours 50 minutes, four trips to the Metropolitan Police Department, two background checks, a set of fingerprints, a five-hour class and a 20-question multiple-choice exam.

The writer is hardly a weapons aficionado:

I’ve been surrounded my whole life by people who see guns as a cause of social ill, not a cure. But what if they’re wrong? I live in a dangerous part of a dangerous city. I’ve heard gunshots from my bedroom window clearly enough so there was no mistaking them for firecrackers. And then, about a month or so ago, my wife went out to her car and saw the glass on the ground and then the shattered window. Nothing can make you want a gun more than that sickening, helpless moment when you realize you are more vulnerable than you had thought.

When he’s all done with his story (well worth reading) he’s learned a bit about himself:

The act of firing the gun is a genuine thrill, and the gun itself is, I realize, an alluring work of art. The metal is sleek and smooth, the trigger tight, the sight a precise, simple and altogether new way of looking at the world. I take the gun — my gun — out of the box and, knowing it’s unloaded, pull the trigger. I love that satisfying snap as the hammer drops and the cylinder clicks into place, ready to fire once again. The gun’s weight, once solely the cause of angst and discomfort, now feels impressive.

My wife is adamant that that thing can’t stay, and makes a compelling case that it’s more likely to cause harm than to save us from it. And the more I think about keeping it, the more I’m convinced that the range is where the gun belongs. Not here at home, where it feels out of place, an intruder that shakes our sense of peace more than bolstering it.

Maybe it’s the wrong decision, maybe I’ll later regret it, but the gun is going back. And so am I . . . to the range, where I’ll shoot rented firearms. I think I’ve found a new hobby.

Dare I say that this is exactly what Fastidious was talking about? Someone chose to walk in the opposition’s shoes before discounting everything out of hand.

2 thoughts on “Getting a Gun in DC

  1. Well, I have no experience with buying, owning, or handling a gun in D.C., but I second the notion of discharging a firearm as a “genuine thrill.”
    I can’t even recall an experience where firing a gun was a disappointment. Even with ammo being scarce, and thus, their prices being high, I still try to find time to go shooting with Fastidious whenever we get a Saturday to ourselves. But now that college football is back, well. . ..

    Keep up the good work.

    1. Cosby,

      Thanks for reading. Shooting is indeed thrilling (and a very useful skill to boot). Don’t let college football entirely supplant your regular Saturday adventures. Cold weather will do that soon enough . . .

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