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Taxation without representation, just this once

We're expecting the long-dormant D.C. voting rights bill to rise again once Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) settles on gun-rights language that the city could handle. (The GOP's insertion of language stripping many of the city's gun rights laws had stalled the bill last year.) I put the question to a few tea party activists -- did they support a D.C. vote bill if it rolled back some gun restrictions? The answer: No.

"How do you buy the wrong thing by giving up the wrong thing?" asked Dick Armey of FreedomWorks. "The D.C. gun control laws are in violation of the Second Amendment, and they say we will less violate your constitutional rights if you give us what is unconstitutional? This is a city. It's a district. It's not a state. If they really have this concern, let this city return to being part of Maryland. In the marketplace you always trade away what you value less for what you value more."

JoAnn Abbott, a key organizer of the 2009 D.C. tea party -- she'd spent this year delivering to Capitol Hill a copy of Virginia's bill opting out of the health care mandate -- agreed with Armey. "I think they ought to give D.C. back to Maryland -- they'd get all the rights, all the voting, they'd get to elect a couple of Democrats. Virginia took back our part. Maryland can take back its part."

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By David Weigel  |  April 16, 2010; 3:20 PM ET
Categories:  Tea Party  | Tags: Dick Armey, Eleanor Holmes Norton, FreedomWorks, Gun Control, Gun politics, Law, Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, Tea Party protests 2009  
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