Taxation without representation. September 4, 2007Posted by Lindsay in Constitution, Criticism, History, Media, Violence.
In an op-ed published in The Washington Post, the mayor of Washington, D.C., Adrian M. Fenty, and District Attorney General Linda Singer, summarizing their arguments for why the city should be able to ban handguns in Washington, D.C. Such a ban has been in place since 1976, until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned it earlier this year on the grounds that it was unconstitutional. This was a mistake. Although Republicans allowed the Federal Assault Weapons Ban to expire in 2004, there are a multitude of similar laws at the state level around the country. Clearly, the “right of the people to keep and bear Arms” does not have any stipulations about what kinds of arms the people can keep. The second amendment itself places no upper or lower limit on what kinds of arms the people have a right to wield, nor does it prohibit the states from imposing such limits. In this light, the city of Washington has every right to maintain its ban of handguns, which are uniquely dangerous because of their ability to be concealed easily, and the massive body count they have allowed criminals to almost effortlessly amass.
Naturally, the last line of defense for the pro-gun crowd on this case will be whether or not D.C. has the full rights of a state. Unfortunately, home rule in the District of Columbia has its boundaries. Congress still has the right to impose or repeal any law it so chooses regarding the District of Columbia. However, in this case, it has, for the most part, remained silent, to the citizens’ benefit.
For all of the bad press the city of Washington gets — whether its crime or our school system — we can at least say that we’ve evolved enough to the point where we can protest “taxation without representation” just as our forefathers did without giving both ourselves and criminals the deadly means to reenact the revolutionary script.