Thursday, July 07, 2005

D.C. Gun Laws and a Modest Proposal

I just love it when newspapers take two only slightly related topics, massage them for awhile, and put them in the same article under a misleading title. That’s too close to what I do here particularly when I mix home improvement blogging with gun blogging.

This morning, the Boston Globe has an article that deals with Washington, D.C.’s gun law and its possible revocation or defunding. Mayor Anthony Williams wants state rights for the District thus allowing his government to continue infringing the rights of District residents.

Then the article goes on to discuss how Washington has no representation in Congress. An organization named the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) improbably is calling for the United States to give full representation to District citizens. I say “improbably” because last I looked Washington, D.C. is not in Europe. Maybe certain of its denizens wish they could live on oh so enlightened Paris, but they don’t.

Two slightly related topics, one article. Let’s look at both parts.

Mayor William’s city has a law that bans handgun ownership at all unless one registered a handgun before 1976. There are strict regulations on long guns and all guns must be disassembled and locked up. Thus, self defense with a firearm is effectively made illegal. Still, something must not be working since the District has a very high gun crime rate.

Red State legislators have noticed that District residents have been denied their Second Amendment rights and want it corrected either by revoking the law entirely or not allowing Federal funds to be used in its enforcement. District officials are squealing that they should determine their own course, that they should be able to have their own laws, and that they should be treated like a state.

Enter part two of the article. The OSCE desires representation for D.C. Of course, this would mean two more Senators from an extremely liberal city and one or more Representatives. Just what the Democrats would love.

Let’s get radical here for a moment. Let District residents have their representation, but as citizens of Maryland. The city could be called Washington, Maryland. Their gun laws would be subject to Maryland’s state laws and the citizens would have representation. We could kill these two birds with one stone.

It would be easier to do than it seems. D.C. once included land that was ceded back to Virginia, so with proper planning it can be done.

Of course, we would still need a District of Columbia. It would include the Mall, White House, Capitol, Library of Congress, monuments, and Federal office buildings around the Mall. There would be no homes (other than the White House) inside the District. Any Federal buildings located elsewhere in D.C. would simply be based in Maryland.

I see few disadvantages to just giving the residential parts of D.C. to Maryland. True, Maryland would skew even more blue, but it does now anyway. Advantages include granting representation to current D.C. residents, reducing Federal tax dollars that now flow to D.C., and it just makes sense. Maybe it’s time.

NOTE: While writing this, I checked the web and Say Uncle has a post based on the Boston Globe article. And, so did Alphecca (I really must start posting in the mornings). Go read their posts.

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