Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

Guns For Votes

Posted in guns, law, politics by allisonkilkenny on February 28, 2009


alexis-shootingThe 600,000 residents of Washington, D.C., have long been without Congressional representation.  They were only allowed to vote for President for the first time in 1964 because of the 23rd Amendment that gave the district 3 electoral votes.  But the District still lacks representation in Congress.

In 1801, the District was annexed from Maryland and Virginia and was left without elected representatives.  D.C. residents have protested their disenfranchisement from the nation over the last two centuries in a variety of ways.  In 2000, new D.C. license plates read, “Taxation Without Representation.”   

Today, the Senate voted 67-31 for a bill that would give the District a single seat in the Congress and would create an additional seat that would go to a state based on population.  As it stands, that state would be Utah.  Utah typically votes Republican and the District typically votes Democratic.  But there are strings attached to the bill.

The bill includes an amendment that would repeal local District gun control laws.  Nevada Senator John Ensign (R) sponsored the amendment that would repeal gun control laws in the District.  The District currently bans semiautomatic guns.  The bill would also restrict the District’s ability to make laws concerning gun control in the future.  

Senator Ensign said his goal with the amendment was to “remove the tremendous barriers and burdens on law-abiding citizens” but Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) of California called the amendment “reckless” and “irresponsible.”

It appears that if the citizens of D.C. want representation in Congress, they will have to trade their current laws on gun control to get it. Despite opposition from the residents of D.C. to the stripping of their gun laws, the House is expected to pass the bill next week and President Obama has promised to sign it.  

There are more obstacles ahead for the bill.  Opponents like Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky, insist that the Constitution on Congressional representation is clear: “only states elect members of Congress.”  The District of Columbia is not considered a “state.”

The bill will probably wind up in the Supreme Court to test its Constitutionality. 



Among other things, the amendment’s wacky provisions would make it much harder for police to trace crime guns by repealing all registration requirements. The amendment also would bar Washington from enacting laws or regulations that may discourage private gun ownership or use, including by children or felons. It would lift a ban on gun possession by anyone voluntarily committed to a mental institution in the last five years and end a ban on .50 caliber sniper rifles and military-style semiautomatic assault weapons. All of this under the phony guise of complying with last year’s Supreme Court ruling.



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  1. Fred said, on March 17, 2010 at 10:58 am

    This is a response to NYT: .50 caliber is NOT a sniper rifle nor would it be a preferred choose. Additionally, the DC government would reduce crime much more effectively if they enforced their own laws and kept repeat offenders in jail then wasting their efforts to restrict lawful gun ownership. AND, criminals don’t follow gun laws!!!! The NYT is hell bent to keep DC a gun free zone which amounts to a killing field for criminals.

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