Letter that I have in today's Washington Times
Though Steve Chapman's column "A pointless handgun ban" (Commentary, Thursday) was otherwise extremely well done, as usual, he is wrong in saying, "The murder rate dropped in Washington, D.C., after it outlawed handguns...."
The ban started on February 5, 1977. The District's murder rate was 26.8 per 100,000 persons in 1976, and it rose to 27.8, 28, 27.4, 31.5 and 35.1 in the following five years. Though the murder rate has gone up and down since then, since 1976 it has only once fallen below what it was before the ban. Indeed, the overall violent crime rate soared from 1,481 to 2,274 per 100,000 persons in the five years after the ban.
JOHN R. LOTT JR.
American Enterprise Institute