Question: Did the murder rate really triple under the Washington, DC, gun ban?

Answer: Yes. The murder rate was 26.8 homicides per 100,000 people in 1976, when the ban became law. That would be its lowest rate for the next 30 years. It peaked at 80.6 homicides per 100,000 people in 1991.

Question: What’s the highest the murder rate has been in gun happy West Virginia in that time?

Answer: 6.9 homicides per 100,000 people.

Question: So why did Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post write: “The practical benefits of effective gun control are obvious: If there are fewer guns, there are fewer shootings and fewer funerals. As everyone knows, in the District of Columbia — and in just about every city in the nation, big or small — there are far too many funerals. The handgun is the weapon of choice in keeping the U.S. homicide rate at a level that the rest of the civilized world finds incomprehensible and appalling.”

Answer: Ignorance.

Ouch. The rest of Robinson’s piece isn’t really so bad, though.

UPDATE: Scott Ott comments on the gun photo accompanying Eugene Robinson’s piece: “Whoever’s holding that gun needs to get his finger away from the trigger. Perhaps we need to offer handgun safety courses for reporters and photographers. I don’t want anyone to get hurt while covering this story. It’s funny that the price tag is still on it. I think they wanted their readers to know that the pic was snapped in the store…they didn’t actually purchase the weapon. It’s a nice looking 1911. WaPo has inspired me to head back to The Golden Trigger (my local shop) to have a look at one of those.”