I have a simple question for you. Why should anyone respect gun laws in the District of Columbia, when Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier regularly commits gun crimes?
Outside the Washington National Cathedral on Sunday, blacksmiths will “forge firearms into garden tools” as a symbolic enactment of this year’s theme, “Swords into Plowshares.”
The Children’s Defense Fund, which is cosponsoring the event, said in a press release that blacksmiths will be using “illegal guns confiscated by the police.”
The dramatic scene will follows a children’s church service in which the organization’s president Marian Wright Edelman will speak.
It is illegal in the District to possess a firearm that is not registered. When asked about the event, Police Chief Cathy Lanier’s spokesman said that, “These are not firearms. They are scrap parts only, and they are inoperable.”
That’s actually legally irrelevant. According to the District firearms laws written after the Supreme Court’s Heller decision in 2008, even a non-functioning firearm must be registered and can result in criminal liability.
The chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police for D.C., Kris Baumann, disagrees with the department participating in this event.
“We are supposed to be the police and, as such, the laws must be applied to everyone without bias,” the head of the 3,600 member union told me Friday. “The minute we become politicized in how we enforce the law, we become compromised and we lose public trust. This is not rocket science, and yet there appears to be no learning curve on this issue.”
If I was an officer in D.C., I’d demand the FOP to call on Lanier to resign. She’s destroying public trust in the department, which in turn puts officers at risk.