“We don’t appreciate being heels,” Clark* said, pointing out the pain it takes to tell an elderly widow who is living alone “that even though your husband bought the gun legally and registered it properly, you can’t keep it. Why that makes an innocent citizen a crook.”
It was a theme heard often in D.C. today, and surprisingly, it seems to gall policemen more than anybody else.
“You’re not controlling guns, you’re controlling people,” said Sgt. Jimmy King, a veteran robbery squad investigator.
“Honest citizens, the little old lady who’s not hurting anybody anyway is the real victim. We’re not stopping these bums killing each other, us, or committing armed robberies.”
Like most officers, King believes the court is the real answer.
“The court is not enforcing the laws we already have on the books,” he said, explaining: “There’s a law on the books today which allows a five-year additional sentence for any crime committed while armed, but it’s not enforced.”
King’s sentiments were echoed throughout police headquarters and by officers on the streets.
“I don’t know why they bother to make new laws, they don’t enforce the old ones,” said Fourth District Officer Andrew Way as he wrote a parking ticket yesterday.
D.C.’s Gun Registration
Dec. 2, 1976
*Officer David Clark, one of two officers in charge of registration for the Gun Control Section of the D.C. police.
Brief of The International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), The International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI), Maryland State Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police, Southern States Police Benevolent Association, 29 Elected California District Attorneys, San Francisco Veteran Police Officers Association, Long Beach Police Officers Association, Texas Police Chiefs Association, Texas Municipal Police Association, New York State Association of Auxiliary Police, Mendocino County, Calif., Sheriff Thomas D. Allman, Oregon State Rep. Andy Olson, National Police Defense Foundation, Law Enforcement Alliance of America, and The Independence Institute as amici curiae in support of respondent in D.C. v. Heller.
[The police in D.C. were not always parroting what the Mayor told them to say.–Joe]