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Posted at 7:18 PM ET, 04/19/2010

A House vote for the District? Not at this price.

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Michael D. Brown
Washington

Finally getting the District a vote in the House is appealing [“Deal on D.C. vote in House to be revived,” Metro, April 15], but unfortunately it comes at too high a cost. D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) is right to have said that “it’s wrong, it’s undemocratic, and it’s insulting” to have to cede our right to self-determination to get back part of the rights that Thomas Jefferson said were ours at birth.

In addition, supporting legislation relinquishing our right to regulate guns in our community would be crazy. Three weeks ago, a drive-by shooting involving a 14-year-old resulted in four dead and five wounded. Is this really the time to take control of our gun laws away from the D.C. Council and turn them over to the National Rifle Association — especially in light of the fact that a federal judge just upheld the rewrite of D.C. gun laws after the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller?

After all the effort that has been put into this, I am sad to say, that if this bill does pass with the current gun amendment, it will be more of a victory for the NRA than for the people of the District. A half-vote is not worth our dignity, our right to self-determination or our public safety.
We want our full rights and we want them now. No deals that compromise our safety, no groveling for that which rightly belongs to us. It is time that we are recognized for the good American citizens we have always been. It’s time to make us equal. It’s time to make us a state.

The writer, a Democrat, is the shadow senator for the District of Columbia.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | April 19, 2010; 7:18 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., DC Vote, HotTopic, guns  | Tags:  D.C. gun rights, D.C. voting rights, District of Columbia v. Heller, Michael D. Brown  
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Comments

You had rather deny people their Constitutional rights than have a vote in the House? And you really think laws can keep guns in control?

Both idess are silly.

Only a mature society can have guns and still be civil. Look at Switzerland. They can have any sort of weapon in their homes and still have very little gun crime.

Best to use guns as an indicator of how civilized we are. When everyone who wants a gun can own one and we still have a peaceful society, we will have arrived. Until then, we need to balance laws and guns.

But remember - laws will not keep guns away. Not any more than they will control drugs or even alcohol.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | April 20, 2010 5:59 AM | Report abuse

You had rather deny people their Constitutional rights than have a vote in the House? And you really think laws can keep guns in control?

Both idess are silly.

Only a mature society can have guns and still be civil. Look at Switzerland. They can have any sort of weapon in their homes and still have very little gun crime.

Best to use guns as an indicator of how civilized we are. When everyone who wants a gun can own one and we still have a peaceful society, we will have arrived. Until then, we need to balance laws and guns.

But remember - laws will not keep guns away. Not any more than they will control drugs or even alcohol.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | April 20, 2010 6:00 AM | Report abuse

The District is not now and never will be like a state. If you want to vote, make it a County in Maryland - Columbia County.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | April 20, 2010 6:02 AM | Report abuse


As is always the case in this town, perfection has become the enemy of the good.

Once D.C. has a real vote in the House, its Representative [no longer a mere Delegate] will be able to bargain with more clout.

The D.C. gun laws only affect law-abiding citizens, not criminals (like those described). If D.C. does not seize the moment, well, it may not come along again for an awfully long time.

Take the deal. Get the Vote. Now is the time.

-

Posted by: WashPostSucks | April 20, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

It is a poor trade-off. DC gets a 1/436 share of the House and a 0/100 share of the Senate, and in exchange cedes the right to govern itself.

What part of "taxation without representation" is not clear? DC residents should have the right to representation on both sides of the Hill and in their own local laws.

Posted by: AxelDC | April 20, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Coming back from Florida I heard a couple of self important capital hill puke libs talking about how silly this is. That guns have caused to many deaths in the hands of black men, that blacks should not have guns and they are not needed in DC. To Lilly white self important pukes I may add.

The right to bear arms is a constitutional right not one the states or district can take away. Yet the residents of the District are willing to do so despite the carnage in the streets. All one has to do is look at the level of crime since gun control was enacted and see it has exploded.

The right for a vote in the senate or house is not a constitutional right and in fact the Washington was set aside as a non-political district. If you want a representative in the house or senate move to MD or VA.

Posted by: Pilot1 | April 20, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The point isn't about gun control. It's about Congress, particularly Republicans, trumping the will of DC voters to attempt their radical social experiments on a public unable to vote them out of office.

You think ceding local self-governance is a fair exchange for 1/436 of the House and 0/100 of the Senate?

Posted by: AxelDC | April 20, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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