It is not a coincidence that a black market in D.C. handguns has been going on for decades and that the handgun ban in D.C. has been in effect for 32 years. The handgun ban itself gives rise to a black market in handguns, just as making drugs illegal has given rise to a black market in drugs.
There are two lessons to be learned from this.
First, making guns illegal gives rise to collateral crime — theft of guns. Why is this? Because the illegality makes the price of guns in D.C. artificially high, making it extremely profitable to steal them in Virginia and sell them in D.C. (The drug war has produced a similar cascade of collateral crime, such as muggings, thefts, and robberies in order to get the money to pay the exorbitant black-market prices of illegal drugs.)
Second, real criminals don’t give a hoot about gun-control laws. In other words, a robber or a rapist in D.C. isn’t going to say to himself, “I can’t use a gun to commit this crime because that would be illegal.”
Is it any surprise that Washington, D.C., has been called the murder capital of the United States? After enacting their gun ban 32 years ago, D.C. officials should have initiated a nationwide advertising campaign proclaiming: “Attention robbers, murderers, muggers, burglars, rapists, and thieves! Come to the most glorious model city in the country — Washington, D.C. — a gun-free zone, one where people are prevented from defending himself from you.”