Gun rights, voting rights clash in U.S. capital

Gun rights, voting rights clash in U.S. capital

This is a discussion on Gun rights, voting rights clash in U.S. capital within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Gun rights, voting rights clash in U.S. capital - Capitol Hill- msnbc.com Interesting to watch this...

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Thread: Gun rights, voting rights clash in U.S. capital

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Maverickx50's Avatar
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    Gun rights, voting rights clash in U.S. capital

    I carry to protect myself and my loved ones from the BG's. Not to solve societies problems. That said: if more carried the deterrent would only have a positive overall effect on those problems.


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    Gun rights, voting rights clash in U.S. capital
    To vote in Congress, D.C. may have to accept federally imposed gun laws

    WASHINGTON - The District of Columbia faces a dilemma: To obtain long-denied vote in Congress, it may have to accept federally imposed gun laws that city officials say would make its dangerous streets more so.

    Democrats in the House of Representatives who are trying to move the legislation also are in a quandary. Stripping out a gun provision inserted by the Senate risks raising the wrath of the National Rifle Association and losing the support of gun rights Democrats. Leave the gun measure in, and the desertion of gun control Democrats could kill the bill.

    The Senate passed legislation Feb. 26 to give the 600,000 people of the District a voting seat in the House, a right that Congress did not include in an 1801 law that established the parameters of the new capital. To offset the addition of a vote from solidly Democratic Washington, which is how the district is known to most people, Republican-leaning Utah was to be given an extra seat.

    The House had passed a similar bill by a comfortable margin in the past session. While opponents promise a constitutional challenge in court if it becomes law, Washington residents, who pay federal taxes and fight in the U.S. military, were closer than they have ever been to getting a real voice in Congress.

    The NRA's ongoing standoff
    House plans for a vote this week had to be put off. It remains unclear whether the bill will come up next week as Democratic leaders wrestle with a looming threat from the NRA to unleash its forces if the House strips out a Senate amendment that would dismantle the District's restrictions on rapid-fire, semi-automatic weapons and gun registration requirements.

    The NRA and its many allies in Congress have been targeting the nation's capital since the Supreme Court, in a historic 5-4 decision last June, affirmed that the Constitution's Second Amendment right to bear arms applied to private citizens and ruled that the District's 32-year-old ban on handgun possession violated the Constitution.

    MSNBC
    District officials have since rewritten their laws to accommodate the court decision, but the NRA insists that Washington residents still are deprived of their Second Amendment rights.

    City officials think otherwise. D.C. Council members who wrote the city gun laws are debating whether to withdraw support for the voting rights bill.

    "We are troubled that gaining one right of self-determination may come at the price of another," said Council Chairman Vincent Gray. "I find this move to gut our gun laws through the voting rights bill extremely offensive."

    Concerns of city officials
    Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District's nonvoting delegate to the House, said the Senate-approved provision to allow people who live within blocks of the White House to own military-style sniper weapons "is so reckless and radical that it puts at risk everybody from the president down to the kids that the amendment would allow to possess weapons."

    Democrat Norton is leading efforts to find a solution, including dealing with voting rights and guns in separate bills. Last year the House, with the support of 85 Democrats, easily passed a similar D.C. gun bill.

    That bill died in the Senate, and Republican Sen. John Ensign, author of the Senate amendment, said that should not be allowed to happen again. If taken off the voting rights bill, "there's no guarantee it won't get shoved off somewhere in the dark," he said.

    The NRA has not lobbied actively on the issue so far, but lawmakers widely fear that it would "score," or include in its ratings of lawmaker support for gun rights issues, votes for any Democratic attempt to bring up a voting rights bill that would exclude the gun amendment.

    "We will continue to pursue every legislative and legal option available to address the concerns" of Second Amendment supporters, said Chris W. Cox, the NRA's chief lobbyist.

    Bills boiling together
    The NRA feels emboldened after the Supreme Court decision last year, said Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak, a gun rights Democrat from northern Michigan who supported the voting rights bill in 2007. If there were an insistence that the gun and voting rights issue be linked, "I and others would probably support that."

    "The two issues now have joined. I don't see them coming apart again," said Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy, who also backed both the D.C. gun bill and the voting rights bill in the past.

    On the other side is Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, elected to Congress on a gun control agenda in 1996 after a gunman opened fire on passengers in a Long Island Railroad train, killing her husband and gravely wounding her son. She said she and others would not be able to vote for the voting rights bill if the gun provision were attached.

    "It's a sad situation," she said. "We're caught in a box here." The NRA's ties to lawmakers are too strong, she said: "If the NRA says jump, they jump."
    She forgot to mention when the Brady Bunch says jump, her and the anti-gun legislators ask "How high"?

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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    I don't know what the heck is going on up there, but evidently they have a different copy of the Constitution than I have, because mine clearly states that the House and Senate shall be made up of Representatives of the several states. Art. I Sec. 2, 3.

    Last time I checked, Washington D.C. was not a state.
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    They make it sound like gun ownership is the result of lobbiers instead of a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.
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    I only wish our gun loby supported by the NRA really did have the political clout that this story attributes to it.

    In reality it's not the gun loby but that those (EDITED) realize the public, left, middle, & right own guns and want to keep them for fun and protection.
    I carry to protect myself and my loved ones from the BG's. Not to solve societies problems. That said: if more carried the deterrent would only have a positive overall effect on those problems.

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    "We are troubled that gaining one right of self-determination may come at the price of another," said Council Chairman Vincent Gray. "I find this move to gut our gun laws through the voting rights bill extremely offensive."
    Your ability to vote has nothing to do with my ability to be armed against crime, though your inability to acknowledge the Constitution directly affects the inability of the People to defend themselves within your city (district) borders. "Extremely offensive" doesn't begin to cover it. You, the City Council, should go to some trouble to understand the meaning of that.
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    Geeez, I get so disgusted by all of the incompetents we have up in D.C.
    Fist off, It's a God given, Constitutionally protected right for us 'TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS'.
    Second, it's unconstitutional for Washington D.C. to have a vote in the House. An amendment to the Constitution would have to be passed.

    Where am I wrong?


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    You are missing the point, the whole reason to add the DC Representative is to add the 60th Democrat so that ALL their bills will pass without any opposition. The rest is just smoke screen.
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    This is a first. usually it is an anti 2A stipulation that ends up being a poison pill.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtD View Post
    I don't know what the heck is going on up there, but evidently they have a different copy of the Constitution than I have, because mine clearly states that the House and Senate shall be made up of Representatives of the several states. Art. I Sec. 2, 3.

    Last time I checked, Washington D.C. was not a state.


    My money is on the Second Amendment Enforcement Act being attached to kill the senate bill.


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    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chachy View Post
    You are missing the point, the whole reason to add the DC Representative is to add the 60th Democrat so that ALL their bills will pass without any opposition. The rest is just smoke screen.
    The bill is for a House of Representatives seat, not a Senatorial seat.

    Of course, it requires a Constitutional Amendment to allow representation is the US Congress. The Constitution specifically excludes Washington D.C. To link this issue to a gun issue is EXACTLY what is wrong with the legislative process.

    I am usually not in favor of Constitutional Amendments and most have done demonstrable harm to this nation. However, I would support an Amendment to provide representation to those in the District. I would also support representation for the permanent territories of the US such as St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, and Guam. There is nothing special about 435 representatives and the formula used to apportion the seats is convoluted, to say the least.

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    Distinguished Member Array P7fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    The bill is for a House of Representatives seat, not a Senatorial seat.

    However, I would support an Amendment to provide representation to those in the District.
    Not I. We'd probably end up with Marion Berry elected to the House.

    I'd support an amendment that one must be educated and informed to be able to vote though.



    "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." -Thomas Jefferson

    "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder." -Michael Savage

    GOOD Gun Control is being able to hit your target! -Myself

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    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P7fanatic View Post
    Not I. We'd probably end up with Marion Berry elected to the House.
    What we have now is probably worse. Pelosi? Americans deserve representation. That is the foundation of our government.

    I'd support an amendment that one must be educated and informed to be able to vote though.

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    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    I am usually not in favor of Constitutional Amendments and most have done demonstrable harm to this nation. However, I would support an Amendment to provide representation to those in the District. I would also support representation for the permanent territories of the US such as St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, and Guam. There is nothing special about 435 representatives and the formula used to apportion the seats is convoluted, to say the least.
    I agree with this, as long as they would be required to pay the same federal taxes that we do. I know they pay a few, but other than DC, they don't shoulder the full burden that those of us in states pay. Although with their lower median income, with DC exlcluded, they would probably end up getting more in welfare than they'd give back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    However, I would support an Amendment to provide representation to those in the District. I would also support representation for the permanent territories of the US such as St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, and Guam. There is nothing special about 435 representatives and the formula used to apportion the seats is convoluted, to say the least.
    I would not support such an Amendment, but I agree that an Amendment or the statehood process are the only constitutional ways to get representation for DC in the House. I also believe that, if the American people accept a vote in the House for DC from congressional vote (unconstitutional though it would be), two votes in the Senate are on the agenda next.

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