A threat to safety and democratic rights

An email from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence:



Today, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that the District of Columbia Voting Rights Act would be pulled from consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives because of the chamber’s inability to stop a National Rifle Association (NRA) amendment that would have effectively gutted the city’s gun laws. “The price was way too high,” said Hoyer, who indicated he made the decision along with D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.


The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) applauds Majority Leader Hoyer and Delegate Norton for making this hard decision and for acknowledging that the bill was a threat to D.C. residents’ safety and democratic rights. It is a tragedy that a bill that would have extended voting representation in Congress to American citizens who richly deserve it was undermined by the NRA’s insidious agenda.


A recent decision by a federal judge upheld the District of Columbia’s new gun laws as constitutional and torpedoed the NRA’s claims that these regulations are arbitrary and tyrannical. Nonetheless, the NRA pressed ahead and put their petty, partisan agenda ahead of the civil rights of 600,000 patriotic Americans. Their goal was to drive a wedge between D.C. residents, but in the end we emerged unified and more determined than ever.


CSGV has been committed to obtaining full democracy for the District for 40 years. Our president, Mike Beard, was the first executive director of Self-Determination for D.C., a national coalition that was instrumental in passing the Home Rule Act in 1973. In recent years, we have been proud to advocate for voting representation and political autonomy for District residents.


We would like to thank the many individuals and organizations who stepped forward to protect the principle of self-determination in the District. Among them were the 13 members of the D.C. Council, ROOT (Reaching Out to Others Together), the League of Women Voters, DC for Democracy, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the D.C. Democratic Party, and—most importantly—family members who lost loved ones in the March 30 mass shooting in Southeast Washington.


I find it very telling CSGV calls the repeal of the oppressive D.C. gun laws “a threat to … democratic rights”. I didn’t know we had “democratic rights”. We have civil rights. We have voting rights. But “democratic rights” is something new to me. A quick Bing search indicates it is not a common U.S. phrase. My suspicion is that CSGV knew use of the more common “civil rights” would have yielded laughter and claims of ignorance and/or bigotry. And of course in the next paragraph they overlook the fact that the NRA is very concerned with civil rights. But despite all nine Supreme Court justices agreeing with the NRA that the right to keep and bear arms is a constitutionally protected individual right CSGV is willing to push for the clearly unconstitutionally representative for D.C. in the U.S. Congress. Apparently the U.S. Constitution is irrelevant to their agenda as is safety. If they were concerned with resident safety they would recognize that violence crime is much lower just across the political boundaries on all sides of D.C. where gun laws are more relaxed and that in the last year after D.C.’s fun laws were found unconstitutional violent crime reduced rather than increased as the anti-gun people predicted.


It would seem to me that a rational person would observe that the correlation between restrictive gun laws and high crime is positive in D.C. and that the relaxing of gun laws coincided with reduced violent crime. A rational person would be willing to relax the gun laws even more yet at every turn they fight for more restrictive laws. I can only conclude CSGV does not have rational people or they are not concerned with resident safety as they claim.


I have to smile at them anyway because as they whine about people being allowed restricted access to firearms I’m preparing for over 100 ordinary people to play with guns and explosives for four days. My accomplishments in the next few days will be on television (and has been before and the show was even nominated for an Emmy) and reach thousands of times more people than their pathetic news release.