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Poll: Is Fenty Right on Gun Amendment?

Washington mayor Adrian Fenty says District residents want a voice in the House, even if the city loses control of its gun laws in gaining it. Do you agree?

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  March 20, 2009; 10:24 AM ET
Categories:  Gun Ban Case , Mayor Fenty , Voting Rights  
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I chose the second option, but I don't like the wording. This isn't about whether we're safe. It's about home rule.

The Ensign amendment doesn't just repeal local gun laws. It permanently strips our local government of the authority to pass new gun laws -- that is, it effectively repeals part of the DC Home Rule Act of 1973.

It makes no sense to gain a House vote at the price of giving up home rule. One step forward and one step backward is not progress -- especially when there's a fair chance the House vote will be unconstitutional, leaving us with only the step backward.

Posted by: KCinDC1 | March 20, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

So called "home rule" regarding the restriction of gun rights is irrelevant; the constitution takes precedence. Look back to the 1960's when various states and localities wished to continue to maintain segregated schools. The government swooped in and overturned home rule. I doubt that many in DC would complain about this and yet they wish to defy the constitution under the guise of "home rule" in THIS case ! This is not only totally illogical but it's unethical as well ! The rights of the people in DC are far more of a concern than the rights of the DC GOVERNMENT !

Posted by: gjdagis | March 20, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Gjdagis, in the 1960s, Congress did not strip the states of their ability to pass laws related to education. They simply enforced the Supreme Court ruling. If the current gun laws are unconstitutional (something which has not been established), then by all means send in the national guard if necessary to keep them from being enforced.

The Ensign amendment goes far beyond making DC's gun laws constitutional. It effectively limits DC to only the one-size-fits-all federal gun laws, which might be fine for rural regions but are not appropriate for an urban area. DC's laws would be laxer than Virginia's. It prevents DC from having even restrictions that Justice Scalia specifically listed in his ruling as laws that would be constitutional.

Posted by: KCinDC1 | March 20, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I said no because the Congressional dictum on handguns is merely the first of countless future dicta we helpless subjects of the District of Columbia will have to suffer at the whim of Members of Congress. If we give in on this one, we will surely be presented by more and even worse restrictions (if that is at all possible) on home rule. If we are to be kept in chains, I'd prefer them hanging right out there in full view rather than being something hidden. Hidden captivity is no less captivity for being out of sight - only that it is a bit more difficult to write into law and a great deal more vile. History will record just how the taxpaying, military-serving residents of the District of Columbia were ill-treated by Congress for their own campaign benefit, and history will call us – SUBJECTS!

Posted by: Mmemagpie | March 21, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

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