City Desk

Mendelson the Marksman

At-Large Councilmember Phil Mendelson, as chair of the D.C. Council's committee on public safety and the judiciary, is the guy pretty much responsible for writing the the city's new gun laws in the wake of the Heller Supreme Court decision.

And Mendo, it will come to no surprise to anyone, is not much of a gun guy, having, by his own account, fired a weapon only twice in his life. So he decided he needed to, ahem, give it another shot.

Last weekend, Mendelson ventured out to Maryland to visit an outdoor firing range at the invitation of Ricardo Royal, a D.C. native and local firearms safety instructor who had testified at one of Mendelson's committee hearings on the gun bill earlier this summer. (Read more about Royal.)

Mendelson says he fired 10 rounds from a .22-caliber revolver. His impression? "The gun was too heavy!" he says.

Come on, Mendo. We're not talking a Dirty Harry .44 here.

In any case, you can see the results above, which LL found yesterday posted on the door of his Wilson Building office. Mendelson said he went shooting in search of "understanding" about guns and gun safety programs—he completed a brief safety class before shooting.

What struck Mendelson most about his excursion? "There were about 17 people [at the range]," he says, "and 14 of them were women."

So does Mendelson have plans to purchase a newly legal handgun to protect his Cleveland Park domicile? "Not at the moment," he says.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
  • IMGoph

    either way, he doesn't appear to be too bad of a shot for a rookie.

  • Ray Vaughn

    I'm surprised and totally shocked that any politician had the nerve to attend & admit that he did by showing off his target results. Pretty good for a rookie, I might add. At least he was open enough to attend the safety briefing and actually do some shooting. It's hard to develop laws about something you know nothing about. Most condemn shooting automatically, ignoring that it's a college and Olympic sport though you'd never know it from watching biased Olympic coverage. I challenge the Maryland Legislature including the Governor and Lieutenant Governor to follow suit & contact CAFE or Md.10th Cavalry Gun Club for a free range day. Legislators who don't have first hand knowledge are like 1st graders trying to drive a car. All you get is one, glorious mess.

  • “gunner”

    i would hope that mr. mendelson takes note of the fact that the people he met at his range visit are the law abiding folks who are not a problem with guns. the ones he needs to worry about don't frequent legal ranges and gun clubs, though he can meet them on any dark street in the city, nor will they be concerned with obtaining concealed carry permits while they're relieving him of his wallet. i suggest he go after the thugs and thieves and leave the honest folks, and their guns alone.

  • jimmyjet

    It's OK if Mendelson doesn't purchase a firearm. Remember, firearm ownership is a right and he is free to accept or reject that right. There are plenty of cops in D.C. If he has a problem, he can just call 911. The cops will be there as soon as possible and take the report. Of course, if they take a little too long, they'll be able to draw the chalk lines too.

  • Skipper

    Dingleberry Mendelson doesn't live in Cleveland Park anymore. He's ditched his wife in Mclean Gardens and is shacked up with another policy wonk in Glover Park.