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DC gunban repeal effort dies

Discussion in 'Legal' started by spartacus2002, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. spartacus2002

    spartacus2002 Participating Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Richmond, VA
    After all, it's for the children... :barf:


    D.C. Gun Ban Repeal Is Set Aside
    Senator Drops Effort for Now, Will Await House Action This Fall

    By Spencer S. Hsu
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, September 21, 2004; Page B01

    Idaho Republican Sen. Larry E. Craig announced yesterday that he has abandoned a bid to seek a repeal of D.C. gun laws in a Senate committee, and Senate GOP leaders indicated that they did not have time to get bogged down in a debate over gun limits in the weeks before Congress adjourns for the fall elections.

    Craig dropped his effort as opponents of the proposed repeal, including parents of District residents killed by gunfire, lobbied senators and held a news conference on Capitol Hill. A similar proposal has been introduced in the House and has more than enough co-sponsors to pass that chamber.

    "If the U.S. Capitol can be handgun-free, why can't we?" asked Hannah Hawkins, director of the Children of Mine Center, a youth services agency in Anacostia. She was joined at the news conference at the Dirksen Senate Office Building by other youth advocates, parents, the Metropolitan Washington Council of the AFL-CIO and business groups led by the Greater Washington Board of Trade.

    "There is nothing honest, there is nothing just, there is nothing compassionate in these bills," said Lori Kaplan, executive director of the Latin American Youth Center in the District. "They are a blatant attack by people who do not live in this city, and who do not care about the quality of life in this city, on the self-determination for those of us who do."

    Advocates for repeal of the District's long-standing bans on handguns and semiautomatic weapons argue that the gun limits are unconstitutional and that they have been ineffective at combating crime.

    Craig spokesman Dan Whiting acknowledged yesterday that the senator lacked the votes to pass the repeal as an amendment to the District's 2005 budget at a meeting today of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Whiting said gun supporters in the Senate instead will wait for House action on a D.C. gun ban repeal authored by Rep. Mark Edward Souder (R-Ind.). GOP House leaders have promised a floor vote on Souder's bill this fall.

    "We don't want to take any wind out of their sails. We're going to let the House act first and go from there," Whiting said. Aides to Craig and gun rights lobbyists said the senator could try to amend the District budget bill when it reaches the Senate floor.

    But Amy Call, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), said such a floor amendment probably would trigger an unwelcome standoff with Democrats by reviving a fight over a 10-year-old nationwide assault-weapons ban that expired last week. President Bush has said he supports the ban; Democratic challenger John F. Kerry has argued that Bush did nothing to push Congress to extend it.

    "At this point, we want to move all the appropriations bills as expeditiously as possible," Call said. "We want to get our work done, and having an assault weapons debate is probably not going to move something expeditiously."

    In an interview yesterday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) promised just such a debate if Craig pursues a repeal of D.C. gun laws. She said that if Craig introduces the repeal on the Senate floor, she will revive a bid to extend the national ban on 19 types of semiautomatic weapons. Feinstein garnered 52 votes in the 100-member Senate in March to extend the national ban, though the legislation to which the ban was attached was eventually scuttled.

    "I think it is reprehensible that the people of the District enact their own laws, and then the gun lobby comes along and is going to use the Senate as a vehicle to abolish them," Feinstein said. "This will create a major, major impediment on the floor if he does it, I promise him that."

    At the news conference, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said the D.C. gun ban repeal was being pushed by "irresponsible extremists" and would fail in the Senate.

    After the event, members of a group called Citizens to Save D.C. Gun Safety Laws lobbied at the offices of Craig and the Senate assistant minority leader, Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), who are among 33 co-sponsors of a Senate bill to roll back the D.C. gun limits. The activists included Marita Michael, mother of Devin Fowlkes, 16, who was shot to death outside Anacostia High School in 2003, and Kenneth E. Barnes, father of Kenneth Barnes Jr., 37, who was killed in his U Street clothing store in 2001.

    Lawmakers "choose to put guns on the street. They choose to put the rifles on the street that killed all these people," Michael said.

    Whiting said the group had a cordial meeting with Craig's chief of staff, Michael O. Ware. He noted that Craig lives in the District when Congress is in session and added, "There's nothing extreme about the U.S. Constitution."
  2. Skirmisher

    Skirmisher New Member

    Jun 5, 2003
    It is not unusual for people living the midst of violence to feel that allowing citizens to legally have guns would be detrimental and increase crime. Thinking as a potential victim and visualizing self defense is a foreign concept to them. Guns are evil. The police can protect you. These beliefs has been etched in stone. The people who have family and friends shot death do not think as victims. The survivors of an attack usually do not like the helpless feeling and think about self defense tactics, usually about buying a gun and getting trained to use it.
  3. whoami

    whoami Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Peoples Demokratik Republik of New Jersey
    There's a quote....can't remember the movie but sure do remember the quote, that hit my head the moment I read these things....

    "Man, you need to wake up and smell what you shovellin'!"

  4. RavenVT100

    RavenVT100 Participating Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    'tis from Die Hard :D
  5. Graystar

    Graystar Participating Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    Brooklyn, NY
    This refers to the effort in the Senate...I believe there's still an effort being made in the House, right?
  6. Brett Bellmore

    Brett Bellmore Active Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Capac, Michigan
    Set. Aside.:banghead: LOSING the vote wouldn't be so bad, because it would get some anti-gunners on record, and we could take them down, but that's the real point of not holding the vote: There are Republican members who are privately anti-gun, publicly pro-gun, who really, seriously do NOT want to have to cast votes that would tell their constituents where they really stand.
  7. Partisan Ranger

    Partisan Ranger Active Member

    Apr 16, 2003
    In my view, there is nothing more compassionate than giving back law-abiding people in the District the right to defend themselves from thugs.

    Is there any more positive proof that gun control is futile than the District of Columbia?
  8. nico

    nico Senior Member

    Dec 1, 2003
    Baltimore/Laurel, MD
    . . . in other news, the Washington Post has learned that the sky is indeed blue.
  9. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 26, 2002
    Yes. Set aside as this was never going to go anywhere in this Senate. There are still 52 Senators who think it is OK to ban guns based on silly cosmetic differences. I am skeptical that any of them are going to approve a repeal of the DC gun ban.

    Don't we already have the anti-gun votes in the Senate on record? See votes #16-30 of the second session of the 108th Senate?


    I guess I don't see where risking the Senate passing a semi-auto ban, especially after all the work we have done to see it sunset, is a good trade when we all know that they have the votes to pass one in the Senate.

    As I noted earlier, there were 14 votes on gun issues in March. Republicans voted on every one of them so you can get a clear idea of where they stand. I am skeptical that killing this bill is some secret Republican conspiracy to avoid having to make a vote on RKBA given the fact that they already have a number of votes this year.

    It seems more plausible to me that realizing that with 52 votes in favor of a ban on semi-autos, the Republicans realized that nothing good would come of this bill until AFTER the election and have postponed the bill in the hopes that there will be more pro-RKBA votes in the Senate after November.
  10. armoredman

    armoredman Elder

    Nov 19, 2003
    proud to be in AZ
    Why is it shot down? Because the closet antis can't stand the thought of legal guns ON THIER TURF!
  11. Beren

    Beren Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 30, 2002
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Let's focus on picking up more pro-RKBA Senators this fall. It's the only way to change Feinstein's math and ensure we can continue to restore sanity to firearms ownership laws.
  12. rl2669

    rl2669 New Member

    Aug 5, 2004
    two ideas...

    I have heard two theories on the DC gun ban repeal action -

    One was that some on the anti side were willing to go along with it to forestall a pro-RKBA Supreme Ct ruling that might come otherwise.

    Another was that it might be used as a vehicle to have another AWB for the rest of us.

    In any event neither will come to pass immediately - sure glad I don't live in DC or even within 1000 miles of it.

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