A Message on Last Night's Shooting on Columbia Road
I wrote this message in part while on the scene on the 1300 Block of Columbia Road, where last night 6 people were shot. One has died and one is in critical condition, with the others stable.
Here is an livestream of the briefing from Commander Emerman of MPD's Third District, who I remain in close contact with.
It is beyond time to put an end to the epidemic of gun violence in this country, and I will not stand by while the residents of Columbia Heights are again visited by the horrible shadow of violence. I have a duty and obligation to protect our residents' right to safety, security, and health, and I continue to take action to fulfill that duty.
In DC, we believe in fighting for the most effective gun control measures we possibly can. Despite the difficulty in getting studies funded on gun violence in this country, we know that the difference between a place with a lot of shootings and a place with very few has little to do with the number of disputes, the level of crime, or mental illness. It's about the number of guns, which cause ordinary conflict to spill over into violence.
Unfortunately, to be a city committed to ending gun violence in the America of 2019 is to be wading against a strong tide. As your Councilmember, I stand with my colleagues, the Mayor, and our justice system to continue to enact and enforce the strongest policies we can. If you look at the latest updates from our Gun Recovery Unit, you can see both the scope of the problem as well as what we're doing about it on a daily basis.
Just this week, the first semi automatic weapon was confiscated by MPD under the powers given by the "Red Flag" law I introduced to the Council. I hope that law can continue to save lives. While we continue to enact strong gun control policies, coordinate police deployment with MPD, and invest heavily in violence and gang prevention programs, there will always be more we can do.
This will be an uphill battle if our national leaders continue to treat gun violence as an acceptable problem, but it's a fight that myself and the rest of the DC Council are committed to. My heart goes out to the Columbia Heights community and the families of the victims. I'll save the energy I would put into thoughts and prayers, and instead continue to put that energy into concrete action.
My inbox is always open should you want to reach out.