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Thread: Washington Post - Deal on D.C. vote in House to be revived on Capitol Hill

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    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/14/AR2010041403637.html

    Deal on D.C. vote in House to be revived on Capitol Hill

    By Ann E. Marimow
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, April 15, 2010


    Congressional leaders intend to resurrect a D.C. voting rights bill as early as next week, despite opposition from many city leaders to an amendment that would eliminate most of the District's gun-control laws.

    The final details of the bill were being worked out Wednesday, but House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said he expects the legislation to clear the House and to include some version of the pro-gun language that has bogged down the measure since last year.

    Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), the city's non-voting House member, and congressional leaders said they are negotiating to weaken the gun amendment language. But Norton said she is unwilling to sacrifice the opportunity to win a long-sought voting seat for the District by insisting on a stand-alone bill.

    "This is the best chance we've had to get a House vote for D.C. in my lifetime," Norton said. "Nobody would leave it on the table because it's not at all clear when there will be another chance."

    The time is right, Norton and other advocates said, because the bill's prospects could diminish if the Democratic majority narrows after this year's midterm elections and if the release of 2010 Census figures undercuts the legislative deal.

    A year ago, the Senate passed a D.C. voting rights bill for the first time since 1978, but lawmakers attached language that would wipe out most local gun laws and restrict the D.C. Council's power to enact new ones. House leaders shelved the legislation when it became clear that it would be difficult to block the gun amendment.

    Under the measure, the House would add two members: one to the overwhelmingly Democratic District and the other, temporarily, to Republican-leaning Utah. That seat would then go to the state next in line for a representative based on the 2010 Census.

    Last year, many city leaders, including Norton, fiercely opposed loosening the District's gun laws. And on Wednesday, council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) denounced the possibility of a trade-off. "It's wrong, it's undemocratic and it's insulting, and we should not kneel down on our basic principles just to get this bill through," she said. "It's way too bitter a pill that we should be forced to sacrifice our public safety."

    A spokeswoman for council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D), who is running for mayor, said he would not support the initiative if it removes the council's right to legislate firearms restrictions. "He believes the majority of our citizens would have our gun laws remain, not be weakened," spokeswoman Doxie McCoy said.

    Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), however, said he told Norton Wednesday that he would help her move the bill, even if it includes what he considers objectionable gun language. "We've had great momentum on voting rights, and we need to move forward," Fenty said in an interview with NewsChannel 8.

    A recent Washington Post poll finds broad support (83 percent) among District residents for legislation that would give the city a full voting member in the House. Support spans differences in race, sex, age and geography, dipping below 80 percent only among conservatives (71 percent) and those in the lowest income and education categories, according to the poll, conducted in January.

    Nationally, almost six in 10 respondents said they favor D.C. voting rights legislation in a 2009 Post-ABC poll.

    After the legislation stalled last year, Norton relaxed her position and tried to negotiate a compromise that would save sections of local gun laws. But she was unable to get city officials to sign off on a deal. She was criticized privately and publicly last summer for appearing to hold out for unanimity among District leaders.

    But in an interview this week, Norton said it had become clear that she would not get a vote on a stand-alone voting rights bill. As important, she said, the strength of the National Rifle Association, particularly among conservative Democrats, made it increasingly likely that the pro-gun lobby would be able to repeal local gun laws with or without a voting rights bill.

    Former representative Tom Davis, the Virginia Republican who originally drafted the D.C. vote bill, said the window for passage is closing because Republicans could make gains in the November elections and because the political compromise could deteriorate with the reapportionment of House seats based on the census.

    "You're never going to get the perfect bill," Davis said. "This is a one-time opportunity that expires at the end of this Congress."

    Ilir Zherka, executive director of nonprofit DC Vote, agreed with Davis. He said that anytime a District-related issue goes to the floor, there are attempts to weaken the city's powers of self-government known as home rule.

    "The threat or reality of whatever amendments might be offered are not enough for us to back down," he said. "That can't be a reason for us not to move forward."

    Joshua Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said that if the gun amendment affects new city restrictions passed in response to the landmark 2008 Supreme Court ruling on handgun possession, he expects council members to push back.

    "The city deserves a representative in Congress absolutely," Horwitz said. "But they also deserve the right to pass their own laws regarding public safety."

    If the measure is successful in the House this time, there are differences with the Senate version that must be reconciled.

    The vote also could be complicated by a Justice Department report last year that concluded that the measure is unconstitutional. But Attorney General Eric H. Holder, who supports the effort, obtained a second opinion that the bill could be defended.

    First lady Michelle Obama said President Obama backs the bill. In an interview with WRC-TV (Channel 4) news, she said the president "is a supporter of the rights of citizens here in D.C. to have the vote, and I don't think there's much convincing that you have to do there. We just have to get it done."

    Polling analyst Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.





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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    buster81 wrote:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/14/AR2010041403637.html

    Deal on D.C. vote in House to be revived on Capitol Hill

    By Ann E. Marimow
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, April 15, 2010


    Congressional leaders intend to resurrect a D.C. voting rights bill as early as next week, despite opposition from many city leaders to an amendment that would eliminate most of the District's gun-control laws.

    The final details of the bill were being worked out Wednesday, but House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said he expects the legislation to clear the House and to include some version of the pro-gun language that has bogged down the measure since last year.

    Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), the city's non-voting House member, and congressional leaders said they are negotiating to weaken the gun amendment language. But Norton said she is unwilling to sacrifice the opportunity to win a long-sought voting seat for the District by insisting on a stand-alone bill.

    "This is the best chance we've had to get a House vote for D.C. in my lifetime," Norton said. "Nobody would leave it on the table because it's not at all clear when there will be another chance."

    The time is right, Norton and other advocates said, because the bill's prospects could diminish if the Democratic majority narrows after this year's midterm elections and if the release of 2010 Census figures undercuts the legislative deal.

    A year ago, the Senate passed a D.C. voting rights bill for the first time since 1978, but lawmakers attached language that would wipe out most local gun laws and restrict the D.C. Council's power to enact new ones. House leaders shelved the legislation when it became clear that it would be difficult to block the gun amendment.

    Under the measure, the House would add two members: one to the overwhelmingly Democratic District and the other, temporarily, to Republican-leaning Utah. That seat would then go to the state next in line for a representative based on the 2010 Census.

    Last year, many city leaders, including Norton, fiercely opposed loosening the District's gun laws. And on Wednesday, council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) denounced the possibility of a trade-off. "It's wrong, it's undemocratic and it's insulting, and we should not kneel down on our basic principles just to get this bill through," she said. "It's way too bitter a pill that we should be forced to sacrifice our public safety."

    A spokeswoman for council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D), who is running for mayor, said he would not support the initiative if it removes the council's right to legislate firearms restrictions. "He believes the majority of our citizens would have our gun laws remain, not be weakened," spokeswoman Doxie McCoy said.

    Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), however, said he told Norton Wednesday that he would help her move the bill, even if it includes what he considers objectionable gun language. "We've had great momentum on voting rights, and we need to move forward," Fenty said in an interview with NewsChannel 8.

    A recent Washington Post poll finds broad support (83 percent) among District residents for legislation that would give the city a full voting member in the House. Support spans differences in race, sex, age and geography, dipping below 80 percent only among conservatives (71 percent) and those in the lowest income and education categories, according to the poll, conducted in January.

    Nationally, almost six in 10 respondents said they favor D.C. voting rights legislation in a 2009 Post-ABC poll.

    After the legislation stalled last year, Norton relaxed her position and tried to negotiate a compromise that would save sections of local gun laws. But she was unable to get city officials to sign off on a deal. She was criticized privately and publicly last summer for appearing to hold out for unanimity among District leaders.

    But in an interview this week, Norton said it had become clear that she would not get a vote on a stand-alone voting rights bill. As important, she said, the strength of the National Rifle Association, particularly among conservative Democrats, made it increasingly likely that the pro-gun lobby would be able to repeal local gun laws with or without a voting rights bill.

    Former representative Tom Davis, the Virginia Republican who originally drafted the D.C. vote bill, said the window for passage is closing because Republicans could make gains in the November elections and because the political compromise could deteriorate with the reapportionment of House seats based on the census.

    "You're never going to get the perfect bill," Davis said. "This is a one-time opportunity that expires at the end of this Congress."

    Ilir Zherka, executive director of nonprofit DC Vote, agreed with Davis. He said that anytime a District-related issue goes to the floor, there are attempts to weaken the city's powers of self-government known as home rule.

    "The threat or reality of whatever amendments might be offered are not enough for us to back down," he said. "That can't be a reason for us not to move forward."

    Joshua Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, said that if the gun amendment affects new city restrictions passed in response to the landmark 2008 Supreme Court ruling on handgun possession, he expects council members to push back.

    "The city deserves a representative in Congress absolutely," Horwitz said. "But they also deserve the right to pass their own laws regarding public safety."

    If the measure is successful in the House this time, there are differences with the Senate version that must be reconciled.

    The vote also could be complicated by a Justice Department report last year that concluded that the measure is unconstitutional. But Attorney General Eric H. Holder, who supports the effort, obtained a second opinion that the bill could be defended.

    First lady Michelle Obama said President Obama backs the bill. In an interview with WRC-TV (Channel 4) news, she said the president "is a supporter of the rights of citizens here in D.C. to have the vote, and I don't think there's much convincing that you have to do there. We just have to get it done."

    Polling analyst Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.



    Politicians are hilarious they act like its a no brainer everyone wants, but have to push it thru before they are removed? LOL.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member buster81's Avatar
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    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/16/opinion/16fri4.html

    The Gun Lobby’s Colony


    Published: April 15, 2010
    Cravenness and horse trading are too often the political reality in Washington, but a deal now in the works is particularly cruel.

    Congress is poised, finally, to give the tax-paying citizens of the District of Columbia what they have been so long and so unfairly denied: a representative with the power to vote. But the gun lobby has extracted too high a price: the scuttling of vital local gun controls intended to keep the capital city’s residents safe.

    The district’s — nonvoting — representative, Eleanor Holmes Norton, has reluctantly accepted this extortion. “The strength of gun forces in Congress has grown, not diminished,” she declared in explaining why she felt forced to abandon her long fight for a measure free of gun lobby abuses. She estimates that her cause and the Democratic majority may only be weakened in the next election. And she feels the gun lobby is powerful enough to oppress the district with a stand-alone measure.
    That all may be true. But it is not inevitable and certainly not enough reason to hand the gun lobby this pernicious victory.

    The legislation would intrude on home-rule prerogatives by repealing the district’s restrictions on semiautomatic weapons, rolling back requirements for registering most guns and even dropping existing criminal penalties for owners of unregistered firearms.

    House Democratic leaders previously opposed gun control attachments, but they, too, seem ready to accept the measure, inserted in the Senate’s version of the D.C. voting bill by John Ensign, a Republican of Nevada.

    As usual, bipartisan majorities stand by to do the gun lobby’s bidding. It has already been endorsed by the Democratic majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada. It is a cynical, sickening compromise.

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    If Holmes Norton doesn't like the gun deal, she can just reject her becoming a voting member...oh...wait...

    She doesn't give a rat's patutie about the gun issue. She just wants power for herself and her party--as evidenced by her selling out her "principles" for a vote.

    I disagree totally with her "principles." I just hate self-serving hypocrisy more!

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    Once again, a politician is revealed for the duplicitous, two-faced, amoral ***** they all are.

    The truth is that Eleanor Holme Norton would support ANY bill that gave DC the vote, regardless of her "principles" on "gun control". If Congress put in an amendment that made DC like Kennesaw GA--that REQUIRED all residents to own firearms, but guaranteed DC a vote in Congress, Norton and her cadre would put their full support behind it.

    They KNOW that "gun control" doesn't work to reduce crime. If it did, then Baltimore and DC would not have had homicide rates that are 3 times the national average for the last 2 decades. They KNOW that the only people that are restricted by gun control are law-abiding, hard-working honest citizens.

    The fact is, that the REAL reason places like DC and Baltimore keep these nonsensical, unconstitutional "gun control" laws on the books is two-fold:

    1) it creates a universal condition of "forced victimhood" unop the entire law-abiding population, and thereby keeps them under the control of a criminal, felonious, and amoral regime, and
    2) it removes all possibility that the general populace will be allowed to effectively exercise their Constitutional rights and dissolve the criminal regime that presides over them...

    I hope they pass this bill. I think that DC citizens deserve a vote in Congress. But if we're going to give them the vote, we need to treat them like FULL CITIZENS of this nation, and ensure that they are guaranteed all the REST of their constitutionally enumerated rights as well.


    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggressionand this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dc/..._block_dc.html

    Senator threatens to block D.C. voting rights bill

    Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a leading sponsor of legislation to give the District a vote in the House, dampened expectations for voting rights advocates Thursday when he announced opposition to a bill scheduled to move forward as early as next week.

    Hatch, whose support for the effort had been critical to its success in the Senate last year, said he would filibuster a bill and vote against it if the measure passes the House.

    Under a political compromise, the bill would add two seats to the House: one to the overwhelmingly Democratic District and the other to the Republican-leaning Utah. Hatch said in a statement that he objects to the House version of the bill that would create a statewide seat for Utah, instead of a fourth district seat.

    "Utah deserves an additional seat in the House, but like every other state it should have the freedom to elect its House members from regular districts," he said.

    Hatch said the bill would give one House member three times as many constituents as the three other representatives.

    "The solution to this ridiculous confusion is simply to let Utah elect its House members its own way."

    The bill's co-sponsor in the Senate, Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), remains committed to the legislation, his spokesperson Leslie Phillips said in an email Thursday.

    Hatch's announcement comes one day after House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the bill would come to the floor for a vote as early as next week.

    With Hatch's support last year, the Senate passed a D.C. voting rights bill on a 61 to 37 vote. The measure stalled in the House after lawmakers in the Senate attached language that would repeal most local gun control laws.

    It is unclear whether there would be the required 60 votes in the Senate to move forward with the bill if Hatch filibusters.

    "We don't know that we have them, but we think they are certainly within reach," said Ilir Zherka, executive director of the advocacy group DC Vote.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    With the trend in court cases favoring the Second Amendment, the Republicans would be absolutely stupid to fall for this trap. In a few more years, the DC gun laws will be gone or mostly gone on their own (with help from the courts). No reason to give up this perpetually Democratic, and unconstitutional seat in the House.

    The Democrats can see this, of course, and are trying to get something for what they are already sure they are going to lose anyway.

    Why are Republicans so stupid sometimes?

    TFred


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    TFred, Good point.

    I am not a constitutional scholar, but how can an ordinary bill change the number of representatives in Utah, thereby changing the number of representatives in the House? You'd think that would require a change to the Constitution or the following of whatever procedure is in place to reapportion based on population shifts.

    So, are we now going to have 437 representatives in the House? How will this affect the electoral college? 537 electors?

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    Regular Member buster81's Avatar
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    Some more thoughts: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...d=opinionsbox1

    Voting rights vs. gun laws


    The Post asked whether Congress should pass legislation giving D.C. residents a vote in the House, or whether amendments to the legislation that roll back the city's gun-control laws is too high a price. Below, responses from Tom Davis, Paul Helmke, Robert A. Levy, Wade Henderson and Kristopher Baumann.

    TOM DAVIS

    Former U.S. representative from Virginia; president of the Republican Main Street Partnership

    For voting-rights activists, the answer is clear. As distasteful as the gun amendments may be, the District should reluctantly accept them as the compromise for a vote in Congress. I say this because the Senate's coloration will change in November, and the 60 votes needed to pass voting rights for Washington simply will not be there for several more years at best. Moreover, the National Rifle Association has the votes now and will have the votes in the next Congress to impose gun rights on the city. The compromise that gives red Utah an extra seat to offset the blue one Washington will get also expires with this Congress.

    The worst outcome would be to allow this opportunity to pass and have the next Congress impose gun rights anyway. Senate Democrats are likely to lose at least three seats in the upcoming election and will lose the 60 votes needed to pass this bill, which they currently have. And the 2012 Senate election cycle has 21 Democrats facing reelection and only 12 Republicans, making further GOP (and anti-voting rights) gains probable.

    Voting rights for the D.C. delegate to Congress are too important to put off for another generation. Those who advocate waiting for the perfect bill do not understand the political realities and do their constituents a disservice by pretending otherwise.

    PAUL HELMKE

    President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

    After the Supreme Court struck down the District's handgun ban, the D.C. Council enacted common-sense laws to keep guns from criminals and ensure gun safety. D.C. homicide rates are at their lowest level in decades. A federal court recently ruled that D.C. gun laws are constitutional and protect public safety. Now political leaders are faced with a false choice between sacrificing the city's gun laws and obtaining voting rights in Congress. They should not take the trade.

    Illegal guns continue flooding into the District from states where it is too easy for dangerous people to get deadly weapons. Rather than strengthen atrociously weak federal laws that allow many sales at gun shows without background checks, Congress would force the District to abandon its ability to regulate guns.

    The gun lobby's amendment would endanger residents and tourists and threaten national security by repealing the District's ban on sniper rifles that can penetrate armored vehicles. It would make it legal for teenagers to possess assault rifles, weaken restrictions on gun possession by drug criminals and the mentally ill, and repeal safe-storage laws.

    Democratic leaders should not force the District to sacrifice its ability to protect its residents from gun violence. And President Obama, who has so far abdicated any leadership role on preventing gun violence, should veto any repeal of the District's lifesaving gun laws, lest his legacy be tarnished with the deaths of more innocents lost to gun violence he will have helped enable.


    ROBERT A. LEVY

    Chairman of the Cato Institute

    Residents of Washington, D.C., like residents of every other jurisdiction in the United States, should have voting representation in the House of Representatives. The District government should also be permitted to enact its own gun regulations without interference from Congress.

    But the crystalline pronouncements of the Constitution trump those policy preferences.

    First, voting representation is accorded only to states. The District is not a state. Congress's exclusive legislative authority over the District does not supersede other constitutional provisions. Congressional representation must be conferred by constitutional amendment -- the same process that granted Washington presidential electors. So the pending voting rights bill is unconstitutional.

    Second, the D.C. Council has constructively banned firearms in the city. According to The Post, gun registration entails fees of $834, four trips to the Metropolitan Police Department, two background checks, fingerprints, a five-hour class and a 20-question examination. Moreover, gun dealerships are nonexistent due to prohibitive restrictions. Because the city is blatantly circumventing the Supreme Court's decision in the Heller case -- in which I was co-counsel to the plaintiff -- remedial action is required. Out of respect for home rule, I would rather see a judicial remedy than a congressional remedy. But if the courts don't liberalize the District's gun laws, Congress should, voting rights bill or no. Home rule is not a license to violate the Constitution.

    WADE HENDERSON

    President and chief executive of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

    Voting is the language of American democracy -- if you don't vote, you don't count. Yet for more than 200 years, residents of the District of Columbia have been denied this fundamental right. Even though we pay federal taxes, fight in wars and fulfill all other obligations of citizenship, we still have no say when Congress makes decisions. Without representation, the District is not just a capital -- it's a colony. As a native Washingtonian and lifelong advocate of civil rights, I have dreamed of the day when the District of Columbia would enjoy full representation.

    Unfortunately, the fulfillment of voting rights that we are so close to realizing has been sullied by an attempt to undermine the very democracy this legislation is meant to foster. Without a single vote by District residents, an amendment to the bill would overturn a purely local ordinance regulating firearms possession. We strongly oppose this effort to interfere in local D.C. affairs.

    But, as it has done throughout history, the civil rights community recognizes that it must sometimes accept difficult trade-offs in the name of long-term progress. Given the fundamental importance of gaining a vote in Congress for D.C. residents, we are prepared to move forward with the bill.

    KRISTOPHER BAUMANN

    Chairman of the D.C. Fraternal Order of Police

    Supporters of D.C. voting rights should not scuttle that effort in order to maintain restrictions on legal gun ownership in the city, particularly given the evidence that restrictive gun laws are not the answer to addressing crime in Washington. For more than three decades, the District government has relied on the city's gun ban as an excuse to avoid developing true crime-fighting strategies. While the gun ban was in place, there were more than 30,000 registered firearms in the city. Neither the police department nor the U.S. Attorney's office has any record of a registered gun having been used in the commission of a crime. The problem is not individuals who legally own guns; the problem is criminals and our failure to take strong measures to protect law-abiding citizens. If local politicians and Congress are truly concerned about crime, we need to get serious about imposing mandatory minimum sentencing, ending the revolving door for adult and juvenile violent offenders, and addressing the underlying causes of crime.

    Passage of the law proposed by Congress will provide two benefits: (1) the likely court challenges to the law will bring the District's status and ability to obtain representational rights to judicial resolution; and (2) politicians will be forced to stop making excuses and focus on more effective ways to fight crime.



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    Regular Member buster81's Avatar
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    I just re-read my last post, and chuckled at the obvious mouth foaming, ear smoldering hatred from Helmke contrasted with the well thought out piece from Kristopher Baumann.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    The whole issue of DC voting "rights" just raises my blood pressure.

    Businesses may choose to prohibit firearms, and as we all know, this does not violate our Second Amendment rights, because the government does not compel us to enter that business against our will. As far as I know, each and every resident of the District of Columbia has chosen to live there of their own accord. I don't know of any case where the government compels someone to establish residency in DC.

    I would also hope that most of these residents can find and read a copy of the US Constitution. It should not be a great surprise to anyone that not living in a state means you cannot vote.

    It's as simple as it can be: If you want to vote, move to a state!

    TFred

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    TFred wrote:
    The whole issue of DC voting "rights" just raises my blood pressure.

    Businesses may choose to prohibit firearms, and as we all know, this does not violate our Second Amendment rights, because the government does not compel us to enter that business against our will. As far as I know, each and every resident of the District of Columbia has chosen to live there of their own accord. I don't know of any case where the government compels someone to establish residency in DC.

    I would also hope that most of these residents can find and read a copy of the US Constitution. It should not be a great surprise to anyone that not living in a state means you cannot vote.

    It's as simple as it can be: If you want to vote, move to a state!

    TFred
    I couldn't agree more. I can only imagine that if this were to pass we would quickly see Guam, Puerto Rico, The Northern Marianas, US Virgin Islands, and every other territory suing for House voting rights under equal protection.

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    Add this to the list of other unconstitutional laws the CONgress wants to pass.

    Ignorance breeds ignorance...as one poster stated--the residents of DC need to read the Constitution--this was well-established before any of us were born...DC IS NOT A STATE, WAS NOT INTENDED ON BEING A STATE, AND SHOULD NOT BE A STATE...nor enjoy the voting as a state.

    They need to crawl over to MD, as I do not want to add the burden of welfare recipients to VA's rolls. MD is a nanny state--go there.

    Soo tired of the "No taxation without representation" DC "residents" have on their license plates. Pisses me off everytime I see it......makes me want to shout "MOVE IDIOT!"

    I still don't understand the desire to live in D.C. Can anyone explain it to me?

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    buster81 wrote:
    TOM DAVIS

    Former U.S. representative from Virginia; president of the Republican Main Street Partnership

    Moreover, the National Rifle Association has the votes now and will have the votes in the next Congress to impose gun rights on the city.

    It's astonishing to me that the words 'impose' and 'rights' can be used in the same sentence.

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    rhenriksen wrote:
    buster81 wrote:
    TOM DAVIS, Moreover, the National Rifle Association has the votes now and will have the votes in the next Congress to impose gun rights on the city.
    It's astonishing to me that the words 'impose' and 'rights' can be used in the same sentence.
    It's all about control, be it from the right-NRA or from the left. Every political issue is like a slice of baloney, with one side up in the light of day and the other side down, slimy, green and hidden. The NRA gun controllers are the downside of gun control, with BCPGV the media's favorite.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Second Amendment says, "shall not be infringed."

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    rhenriksen wrote:
    buster81 wrote:
    TOM DAVIS

    Former U.S. representative from Virginia; president of the Republican Main Street Partnership

    Moreover, the National Rifle Association has the votes now and will have the votes in the next Congress to impose gun rights on the city.

    It's astonishing to me that the words 'impose' and 'rights' can be used in the same sentence.
    Astute observation.

    The RKBA is a real right and cannot be imposed, only restored--as opposed to some things that have been lately mischaracterized as "rights". These "rights" have indeed been imposed, the imposition being the abridgment of the rights of others in order to grant the new "right" to some.

    Bottom line: You are correct. If someone says that a right is imposed, one of the two words is being misused.

  17. #17
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Breaking news today, the DC vote effort appears to be dead for this year.

    http://news.google.com/news/search?&...&scoring=n

    Of particular amusement or disgust, depending on your frame of mind at the time of reading is Eleanor Holmes Norton's absolutely maniacal rant on the matter. I really want to ask her how is it that we uncivilized citizens of Virginia have kept from unleashing murder and mayhem in the streets of our cities with a long-existing legal framework similar to what the District would have if these bills were passed into law.

    TFred

    http://dcist.com/2010/04/norton_stat...e_of_dc_vo.php
    D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton has just released the following lengthy statement on today's sudden announcement that the D.C. House Voting Rights Bill will not come to the floor for a vote this year after all.

    “After working for a full year to bring a clean D.C. voting rights bill to the House floor, while continuing to negotiate a gun compromise, I made the most difficult decision last week to begin moving forward with the D.C. voting rights bill. It appeared that despite a gun amendment, our best chance to pass D.C. voting rights was this year because the 60 Senate votes resulting from our pairing with Utah disappears after the 2010 census becomes effective, and large majorities in the House and Senate cannot be assured in the current political climate. However, new developments in both the House and Senate have now made it difficult to pass the D.C. House Voting Rights Act right now.

    “First, concerning developments in the House, over the weekend, the Democratic House leadership and I were shocked and blindsided to receive an updated NRA-drafted House gun bill, which would have been significantly more harmful to the city than the Senate (Ensign) gun bill. I cannot agree to these egregious changes, not only because they make the already bad gun attachment to the D.C. voting rights bill even worse than I thought was possible, but also because the new sections will surely bring down the support we have had of anti-gun Democratic Senators. Senate Democratic support was already in doubt because some Democrats had said they would not vote for the final bill if it contained the Ensign gun amendment. I had hoped that some changes I requested in the Senate gun amendment would hold their support, but three outrageous provisions in the updated NRA-drafted House gun bill virtually guarantee the loss of some Senate Democratic support, and therefore of the D.C. voting rights bill.

    “The existing Senate gun bill eliminated important gun safety laws in the District, but the changes in the House gun bill would directly proliferate guns throughout the District. First, the District would be barred from prohibiting or even unduly burdening the carrying of firearms by persons, either concealed or openly, in public, an unthinkable provision for both hometown D.C. and official Washington. Second, the bill would permit the District of Columbia police chief to issue concealed carry licenses and severely limited the chief’s discretion to refuse to do so. To make matters even worse, I also learned yesterday that we will have difficulty defeating a potential Republican motion to recommit, using their right to offer one amendment on, the gun bill. We believe that such an amendment would allow persons to carry firearms, either concealed or openly, without permits, taking away even the police chief’s limited discretion to deny such permits. Consequently, a person in the District would be able to walk on the streets carrying an assault weapon slung over her shoulder or with concealed weapons. Third, the District of Columbia would not be able to prohibit guns in city-controlled buildings or structures, unless they had certain security measures to identify and exclude unauthorized or hazardous persons or articles, such as guard posts, metal detectors, or card-based or biometric access devices. Under this provision, for example, D.C. might not be able to ban guns at public and charter schools, recreation centers, and many other public buildings that do not have such security measures. Fourth, residential or commercial building owners in the District would not be able to prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms by tenants. Considering that almost all of the commercial space in the District of Columbia is leased and that most residential housing here is leased, almost every commercial office building, as well as all rental housing units, could be filled with persons possessing guns. These provisions are so over the top, they are unworthy of serious consideration.

    “Concerning developments in the Senate, even if we had not faced this new, unexpected NRA-drafted House gun bill, we were surprised last week by the vocal and strident opposition of Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to the House version of the D.C. voting rights bill, and today’s statement by Susan Collins joining in opposition (R-ME). I admire and have worked closely for many years with Senator Hatch on many issues, including the D.C. voting rights bill. Senator Hatch has argued forcefully and with great principle that Constitution permits Congress to grant the District a House seat. We have always known that Senator Hatch opposed Utah’s temporary additional fourth being elected at-large, as opposed to redistricting, but we had hoped to be able to reconcile the House and Senate bills, as well as to encourage Republican Senators to support the D.C. House voting rights bill on principle. However, we did not anticipate Senator Hatch’s harsh opposition to the House bill on at-large grounds, nor did we expect him to ‘filibuster and vote against this bill, and…urge…Senate colleagues to do so as well.’ Senator Hatch’s filibuster of the bill almost surely will have the support of his Republican colleagues, leaving us without 60 votes.

    “With the invaluable and indispensible leadership of DC Vote, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and coalition of legions of allies I have fought a fight that is part of my DNA as a third-generation Washingtonian, whose great grandfather settled here as a runaway slave from Virginia. Our city cannot give up now, and we are fortunate to have the continuing strong support of our Democratic leadership. We have begun to develop new strategies to get a voting rights bill through the Congress that can pass, but I will have public meetings before bringing forward new approaches to achieve voting rights. We have developed a strategy for advancing budget and legislative autonomy this year.

    “As I said last week, gun forces have the votes to take out our gun laws on another bill, and be assured that they will try to do so. I have successfully fought them off four times in the past until they came upon the voting rights bill. I will return to the trenches where I have always fought for my hometown to do all I can to turn back these aggressors. At the same time, I am full of promising ideas about how to move forward not only on voting rights but on every right D.C. residents are entitled to as American citizens. I ask only that my constituents work with me to achieve these goals.”

  18. #18
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Simply astonishing, the defective thinking that is going on here... I had to comment.

    TFred

    http://www.usnews.com/blogs/robert-s...ghts-push.html
    Gun Control Squabble Kills D.C. Voting Rights Push
    April 20, 2010 03:27 PM ET | Robert Schlesinger

    By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

    You would have thought that a Democratic president and large Democratic congressional majorities would have cleared the way to secure fundamental rights for the more than half a million Americans living in the capital of the free world. But you would be wrong.

    House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced today that that chamber won't consider a bill which would grant the District of Columbia a voting congressional representative. They won't bring it to the floor this week and probably not this year. Sorry, D.C. residents, you'll have to remain sub-citizens for the time being. But your money remains good--we'll continue to take those tax dollars, thanks very much. And you're welcome to keep sending your sons and daughters into the armed forces.

    Hoyer, one of the few good guys in this fight, pronounced himself "profoundly disappointed" and he should be. And a large number of his colleagues, especially voting rights supporters more interested in using the issue as a proxy for gun control squabbles, should be deeply ashamed of themselves.

    Some background: With around 600,000 residents, the District of Columbia is as populous as Denver and Las Vegas. And it has more people than do Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, Atlanta, Portland, or Wyoming. Imagine the outrage if any of those locales were suddenly cut out of the congressional map.

    The Obama ascension, along with the large Democratic majorities, gave voting rights advocates hope: Surely not even the Democrats could bungle this opportunity. The legislation would have added two members to the House: One from Democratic D.C. and one from reliably Republican Utah, thus making sure that neither party gained an advantage from the voting rights.

    But then the gun fanatics got involved. You see the district has restrictive gun control laws. When pro-gun senators added a provision to the version of the bill which would have eviscerated those laws, the debate stopped being about D.C. voting rights and became a proxy for gun control. Gun advocates (who had already gotten the Supreme Court to knock out the district's gun ban) saw an opportunity to further weaken gun control laws. Gun control advocates who ostensibly support D.C. voting rights declared they would vote against the bill rather than give an inch in the guns battle. If voting rights advocates were smart they would have swallowed hard and made whatever deal necessary to secure their rights (as D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty said they should).

    But as usual this shooting match overshadowed an enduring injustice (and this bears repeating): that more than half-a-million Americans living in the capital of the free world are denied the most basic American right, representation before their government.

    So shame on cynical gun nuts for suborning this issue to their agenda. And shame on pro-D.C. gun control fanatics who think their issue is more important than U.S. citizens having the right to vote. Most of all shame on Democrats for bungling this. (I won't even bother denouncing Republicans, who for the most part display no interest in the issue--they at least get points for honesty.)

  19. #19
    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    TFred wrote:
    Simply astonishing, the defective thinking that is going on here... I had to comment.

    TFred

    http://www.usnews.com/blogs/robert-s...ghts-push.html
    Gun Control Squabble Kills D.C. Voting Rights Push
    April 20, 2010 03:27 PM ET | Robert Schlesinger

    By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

    ....
    But as usual this shooting match overshadowed an enduring injustice (and this bears repeating): that more than half-a-million Americans living in the capital of the free world are denied the most basic American right, representation before their government.

    So shame on cynical gun nuts for suborning this issue to their agenda. And shame on pro-D.C. gun control fanatics who think their issue is more important than U.S. citizens having the right to vote. Most of all shame on Democrats for bungling this. (I won't even bother denouncing Republicans, who for the most part display no interest in the issue--they at least get points for honesty.)
    More than half a million Americans have been denied the basic human right of meaningful self defense in their own city and a nations constitutionis raped by rabid gun control advocates who insist on urinating on our constitution and turning our capital into a victim disarmament zone.

    So shame on cynical columnists who report opinions as fact and distort truth while worshiping at the altar of political correctness.

    As US citizens DC residents have a meaningful right to vote at the presidential and local level. At the federal representative level they do not havesenators or a representative because they are not a state. Guam, Puerto Rico and other non states do not have senators or congressmen either.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

  20. #20
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    I have a REALLY simple solution to ALL these problems--the voting issue AND the 2A issues in DC.

    Congress should declare that all the non-Federal-Governmental areas of DC are once again part of Virginia.

    All Federal buildings will retain "Federal Enclave" status.

    The Government maintains it's status as a sovereign enclave overseen by Congress, with it's own police/security force, DC residents get their vote, the DC gun laws are abolished under VA's State Preemption laws, and all is well...

    I've solved the problem in one sentence. So there... :P
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggressionand this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

  21. #21
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Dreamer wrote:
    I have a REALLY simple solution to ALL these problems--the voting issue AND the 2A issues in DC.

    Congress should declare that all the non-Federal-Governmental areas of DC are once again part of Virginia.

    All Federal buildings will retain "Federal Enclave" status.

    The Government maintains it's status as a sovereign enclave overseen by Congress, with it's own police/security force, DC residents get their vote, the DC gun laws are abolished under VA's State Preemption laws, and all is well...

    I've solved the problem in one sentence. So there... :P
    Ha, we don't want them!! Geographically, the land is part of Maryland... let them deal with it!

    TFred

  22. #22
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    Dreamer wrote:
    I have a REALLY simple solution to ALL these problems--the voting issue AND the 2A issues in DC.

    Congress should declare that all the non-Federal-Governmental areas of DC are once again part of Virginia.

    All Federal buildings will retain "Federal Enclave" status.

    The Government maintains it's status as a sovereign enclave overseen by Congress, with it's own police/security force, DC residents get their vote, the DC gun laws are abolished under VA's State Preemption laws, and all is well...

    I've solved the problem in one sentence. So there... :P
    Bad plan! VA is already a swing state adding every DC lib to the rolls would be bad juju.

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