sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

July 1, 2005

posted by soe 4:37 pm

Help! Rudi is torturing me and the cats with a cd version of the MP3s that Dan uploaded to his site from an old tape from the band they had in high school. If you’d like to have sympathy pains with me, please head over to Rudi’s or Dan’s sites and check out what I’m being put through.

If we had a dog, he’d be howling along by now and fitting in nicely.

Of course, someone might have similar reactions to reading the poetry I wrote in high school…

Category: arts. There is/are 1 Comment.

half a million people agree
posted by soe 10:55 am

Once upon a time, there was a city. The half million people who lived there asked not to have guns roaming their city. They felt that guns increased the likelihood of crime, already a problem in their hometown. In a rare instance of civic agreement, the clamor was nearly unanimous. A bill was passed. There was much rejoicing.

Thirty years passed. During that time, the crime rate went up (as it did in many cities), but, gradually, it went down again. The citizens remained in favor of the ban. The mayor supported it. The city council supported it. Local Republicans supported it. Even the chief of police supported it.

So, this story ends happily, right?

Well, no.

Because, you see, a Congressman from Indiana (500 miles from the city) and a Senator from Texas (1,400 miles from the city) decided that the citizens should have guns. And these two officials decided this even though they would fight tooth and nail to not inflict random laws that were unpopular and dangerous on their own constituents.

And why was this a big deal? Elected officials from far away have no power outside their own jurisdiction, so what a senator from Alaska feels would be best for Baton Rouge, for instance, is of little consequence. Right?

Generally. But not in this city.

You see, this city is Washington, D.C., and, in addition to having no voting rights in Congress (you remember that from high school civics, right?), Washington also does not have final say over its own laws.

So when Rep. Mark Edward Souder and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson get together and decide they feel like altering our laws, they have that right and we, the residents and duly elected officials of the city, do not. And yesterday the House passed the measure — for the third time.

In previous years, the measure has not passed the Senate, but Hutchinson (who seems to feel she would sleep better at night if someone could shoot her) and Souder tied it to a spending bill that must be passed, making it more likely that the Senate could approve it.

This is where you come into the story. If you live outside of Washington, D.C., and in one of the other 50 states, you have voting representation in Congress. It’s too late to do anything about the House. But it’s not too late to influence the Senate. So please call or email your senators on behalf of me and the other 550,000 residents of Washington, D.C. Ask them to vote down Senate Bill 1082 IS, otherwise known as the “District of Columbia Personal Protection Act,” or any version of the bill that is presented as an amendment to the federal spending bill. Remind them you want them to be focusing their energies on making your state better and not on forcing an unwelcome and dangerous law on people who are perfectly capable of making their own laws. Remind them this is a double-standard they should not uphold.

Section 4 of the Act entitled “An Act to prohibit the killing of wild birds and wild animals in the District of Columbia,” approved June 30, 1906 (34 Stat. 809; section 1-303.43, D.C. Official Code) is amended by adding at the end the following: “Nothing in this section or any other provision of law shall authorize, or shall be construed to permit, the Council, the Mayor, or any governmental or regulatory authority of the District of Columbia to prohibit, constructively prohibit, or unduly burden the ability of persons not prohibited from possessing firearms under Federal law from acquiring, possessing in their homes or businesses, or using for sporting, self-protection or other lawful purposes, any firearm neither prohibited by Federal law nor subject to the National Firearms Act. The District of Columbia shall not have authority to enact laws or regulations that discourage or eliminate the private ownership or use of firearms.” [Emphasis mine]

Remind them that if Congress tried to restrict your state from enacting laws, as this bill does for D.C., that you’d be furious. And be furious today for me.

And give this story a happy ending.

The House bill that the amendment is attached to is HR3058, which the Senate will probably consider sometime after the July 4 holiday break. The amendment is not as far-reaching as the original Souder/Hutchinson bill, but does forbid the use of federal funds (all D.C. budget monies are considered federal funds) to enforce section 702 of the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975.

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