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Graham, Crackers?

January 24th, 2007 · No Comments

DCist has a great editorial on city councilman Jim Graham’s nonsensical reaction to the shooting of a teenage girl at a local club. Short version: Taleshia Ford, 17, goes to see an all-ages go-go show at a U Street club. Some asshole (illegally) brings a gun into the joint, gets into an altercation with the bouncer, and Ford is killed when the gun accidentally goes off. Graham’s response: Pressure the liquor board to permanently revoke the club’s license, and push legislation to bar minors from bars or clubs where liquor is served.

As DCist‘s Martin Austermuhle points out, this is just a bizarre reaction on several levels. First, there’s no suggestion that Ford had been drinking, it’s not even clear whether the shooter had been drinking, and there’s no reason to think Ford’s being underage really had anything to do with the situation: If she’d been 24 and standing in the wrong place at the wrong time, the outcome would have been the same. Second, the club doesn’t seem to have done anything wrong here, unless Graham means to suggest that due diligence for bars and clubs (or maybe just those with predominantly black clientÃ?¨les?) includes screening patrons for (already illegal) weapons as a matter of course. Third, even if the club had dropped the ball somehow, and even if alcohol and the victim’s age had been factors in the killing, it seems awfully rash to enact such a sweeping policy change in response to a single event, however awful. Details on how to register your opposition to the proposal are here.

Tags: Washington, DC