Emily Miller of Fox 5 has been one of the few journalists attempting to holding government officials responsible for the outbreak of murders in the nation’s capital, and their attempts to pass the buck onto law-abiding gun owners in other parts of the country where citizens still have a practical right to bear arms.
D.C. is in a murder crisis this year. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Police Chief Cathy Lanier have been saying that “high-capacity guns” are a major cause.
But police sources tell me that they don’t track the capacity of seized guns, so they have no reason that is the cause for the spike in homicides.
“Guns continue to make their way into the hands of violent criminals,” said Bowser. “Unfortunately some of those guns have high-capacity magazines that inflict maximum harm.”
“Multiple of our cases have high-capacity magazines and multiple rounds fired making the shots more lethal,” said Chief Lanier.
Last week, I asked the chief to back up her claim.
“In D.C., over ten rounds is high capacity, but your department doesn’t trace what kind of magazine size guns have. I’m asking when you say high capacity, where are you getting that information?” I asked.
“From the guns that we’ve recovered,” Lanier responded.
“So I’m talking about 100-round drum magazines — that would be high capacity.”
She also added, “High-capacity magazines are magazines that are designed to enhance the normal capacity of a firearm.”
And yet, despite Lanier’s claims, Miller notes the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department has no documentation to support her claims, because magazine capacity isn’t one of the data points that the city tracks when a firearm recovered at a crime scene is cataloged.
The department tracks brand name, type, model number, serial number, caliber, barrel (presumably barrel length) and number of shots, which means the number of bullets recovered in the gun at the crime scene. There is no magazine capacity noted on the form.
If, for example, a Glock 17 was recovered at a crime scene with 9 bullets in the magazine, the department doesn’t have a mechanism on the form to track if there were 9 bullets from a standard capacity 17-round magazines, 9 bullets from the reduced-capacity 10-round magazines sold in restricted states, or 9 bullets in a 33-round high-capacity magazine.
The “high capacity magazine” blame game from Mayor Muriel Bowser and Police Chief Cathy Lanier is purely political, and isn’t supported by facts.
So what is responsible for the uptick in violence crime?
The police union seems to be pointing the finger right back at the city government for under-staffing the department, and at Lanier, for disbanding the vice unit.
Perhaps it’s time for District residents to consider putting grown ups in charge.