The District of Columbia Voting Rights Act of 2009, giving the U.S. citizens of the District of Columbia representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, passed in the Senate. But partisan opponents appended an unrelated “poison pill” amendment, a provision to throw out local DC gun laws.
Many congressmen face a dilemma. They want to end two centuries of congressional neglect and give DC citizens something even residents of Baghdad have, voting representation in their national legislature. On the other hand, they do not want to overturn local laws established by the duly-elected city government, critical laws concerning public safety.
Congress: vote “yes.” But add one more amendment to the bill first, one that requires a gun shop in the new Capitol Visitor Center.
The palatial new U.S. Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) has two gift shops; it seems to have two of everything, all gold-plated and congressionally-mandated. One of those gift shops would make a dandy firearms store. U.S. firearms manufacturers could issue special Capitol souvenir handguns (compact, for the tourist trade), and the shop window could display a weekly rotating exhibit featuring the work of custom gunsmiths from each state. What a wonderful boon to economic recovery that could be!
Certainly Congress won’t object to a gun store in their neighborhood. They have no problem putting guns in ours.
If Congress in its wisdom decides to strip both amendments from the bill before passage, well … so be it. It will disappoint Capitol tourists, but Americans will just have to console themselves with righting an injustice two centuries old, and finally living up to our principles of Democracy.
Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
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