Wednesday, April 21, 2010

With a gun to its head, Wash D.C. surrendurs its seat

Rosa Parks sparked a civil rights revolution in America when she refused to give up her seat.

The people in the District of Columbia, a territory of the US, fed up with the shootings that have turned D.C. into a murder capital, have had to again give up any hope of having a seat on the Federal floor of the House of Representatives because they refused to give up their gun control laws.

Ardent supporters of having the seat in the House backed out, saying "they pulled the bill because of an amendment that would have repealed most of the District's gun-control laws".

Congressional leaders shelve D.C. voting rights bill
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) abandoned the long-sought legislation with the blessing of Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), who had pushed for the measure.

Norton said the "egregious changes" by Reps. Travis Childers (D-Miss.) and Mark Souder (R-Ind.) would "directly proliferate guns throughout the District," in addition to eroding support for the bill among liberal Democrats, particularly in the Senate. Norton said that legislation would have restricted the District from prohibiting concealed or openly carried firearms.

The decision by congressional leaders Tuesday to shelve a D.C. voting rights bill, just days after announcing plans to move ahead, scuttles what supporters say was the best opportunity in a generation to give the District a voting seat in the House of Representatives.

"The price was too high," Hoyer explained during a news briefing in which he said he was "profoundly disappointed" at "his inability to get this legislation passed."

As Hoyer was making his announcement Tuesday, D.C. Council members at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue were decrying the gun amendment during a breakfast meeting. They called it an infringement on the city's limited powers of self-government and spoke passionately about District residents who have died from gun violence, including the four teenagers killed in a drive-by shooting on South Capitol Street last month.
Guambat is acutely sensitive to the quest for representation in the US government by another US territory. Being a Guam resident, and along with a population soon to be in excess of 200,000 citizens, Guambat also has no direct representation on the House floor. He can't even vote for President.

You'd think, in such circumstances, especially in D.C. where most Congresspeople have to go to work, they'd want to keep guns out of the hands of angry and other dysfunctional people. Remember what the Boston Tea Party led to.

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