Skip to comments.CSGV TELLS TEXANS TO BUTT OUT OF DC GUN POLICY
Posted on 05/20/2005 4:00:28 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
WASHINGTON Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Executive Director Josh Horwitz today accused a pair of Texas lawmakers of playing cheap political games with the District of Columbias gun laws at the expense of democracy in the nations capital.
Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, both Texas Republicans, held a news conference to announce the introduction of the District of Columbia Personal Protection Act of 2005, which would repeal the citys gun laws, in the Senate.
The citizens of the District of Columbia should have the power to decide by democratic means whether and how firearms will be regulated in the city where they live, Horwitz said. The names of the people pushing to repeal Washingtons gun laws have never appeared on a ballot in the District of Columbia, yet they feel free to tell DC what to do.
Last September, the U.S. House passed an earlier version of the bill, introduced by Reps. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) and Mike Ross (D-Ark.), on a 250-171 vote, but the Senate did not act on the proposal. November elections have emboldened the gun lobby to push the issue more aggressively, and Souder and Ross reintroduced the House bill in March
The District of Columbia Personal Protection Act is perhaps the most important example of how Congress continues to trample on the rights of DC voters to make basic decisions about their government whenever they find it politically convenient, Horwitz said, noting that DC residents do get voting representation in either house of Congress.
Sen. George Allen, the chairman of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, appeared at the press conference, and Horwitz said he does not think it is a coincidence that Hutchison is preparing to run for governor of Texas.
George Allen is going to encourage politicians whose constituents live thousands of miles away to monkey around with DCs gun laws as an easy way to score points with the gun lobby, Horwitz said. This is a transparent attempt to pander to a special interest group without having to worry about the people who have to live in DC.
If Kay Hutchison is so concerned about crime, theres plenty of work to do back home in Texas, which has the twelfth highest violent crime rate of all states and has two of the ten most dangerous large cities in the country, he said.
Morgan Quitno Press, which compiles statistical comparisons of cities and states, ranks Texas No. 12 in violent crime (table at www.morganquitno.com/CR05sam2.pdf). It rated DC No. 2, Dallas No. 5, and Houston No. 9 on its list of most dangerous cities with more than than 500,000 people (table at www.morganquitno.com/cit05pop.htm).
An oxymoron, of I ever heard one.
Um, a brief note to the clueless gun grabbers. DC is subject to the federal government, that is, to the senate and the house of representatives. When it comes to policy for DC, senators and reps aren't "butting in" - they're the well-established and recognized controlling legal authority.
I thought the Constitution already decided that, unless DC isn't part of the US. Come to think of it, it wouldn't be such a bad thing if it weren't.
Isn't this Josh Horwitz doing the same thing? Has his name appeared on a DC ballot? I'm sure he'd have no qualms about pushing even stricter laws against self-defense on DC residents.
So? You people feel free to tell us that we shouldn't be allowed to have firearms. You feel free to lobby lawmakers to pass more gun control laws. Shut up.
What? "Democracy" is just a buzzword used to get morons, also known as CSGV supporters, worked up.
Op-Ed Challenges "Guns Equal Freedom" Formula
Gun lobby threatens our very way of life
The price extracted by guns is simply too high
By JOSH HORWITZ
SPECIAL TO THE REVIEW-JOURNAL
When the National Rifle Association's top lobbyist, Wayne LaPierre, addresses the crowd at "FreedomFest 2005" at the Bally's/Paris Resort in Las Vegas today, he will be preaching a message that has served his organization well: guns equal freedom.
As LaPierre puts it, "The Second Amendment is the fulcrum of freedom in our nation, because freedom and the Second Amendment are mutually interdependent. They are the 'chicken and the egg;' neither can exist without the other."
LaPierre can expect a friendly reception from the right wing activists at FreedomFest. Aggressive support for gun rights provokes none of the intramural squabbling that sometimes threatens to divide social conservatives and their libertarian allies in the GOP.
By framing the gun debate as a choice between protecting liberty and the illusion of safety, the gun lobby has painted itself as a defender of basic American values.
Too often, gun control advocates walk into the trap and concede that values like democracy and independence must be sacrificed to fight gun crime.
"At what point will Americans agree that the price exacted by guns -- the gun lobby's 'price of freedom' -- is simply too high?" asks Josh Sugarmann of the Violence Policy Center.
This formulation is not smart politics, because Americans rightly treasure freedom. More importantly, it fails to hold LaPierre and the gun lobby accountable for a philosophy that is at odds with freedom and the institutions that support it.
The most recent example of the tension came last month, when Florida Gov. Jeb Bush signed a bill that allows people to use deadly force -- including guns -- when faced with a violent threat, even when a confrontation could be avoided by simply walking away. The new law goes far beyond self-defense, which was already a well-established right in Florida, to invite vigilantes to substitute their judgment for the judicial system.
David Kopel, a leading gun rights theorist, acknowledges the potential tension between an expansive right of self defense like the one embodied in the new Florida statute and the rule of law, but dismisses the concern out of hand, arguing that "people's taking the law into their own hands has always been a core principle of the American legal system, and the American attitude toward guns is simply one manifestation of that principle."
This warped conception of popular sovereignty is at the root of the most egregious anti- democratic proposition advanced by the gun lobby: that citizens need to arm themselves to safeguard political liberties against threats by the government.
Kopel has called guns "the tools of political dissent," and LaPierre wrote in 1994 that "the people have a right, must have a right, to take whatever measures necessary, including force, to abolish oppressive government."
As famed legal scholar Roscoe Pound observed, however, "A legal right of the citizen to wage war on the government is something that cannot be admitted. ... [because] bearing arms today is a very different thing from what it was in the days of the embattled farmers who withstood the British in 1775. In the urban industrial society of today a general right to bear arms so as to be able to resist oppression by the Government would mean that gangs could defeat the whole Bill of Rights."
The standoffs at Ruby Ridge and Waco -- often cited as proof that the government can and does abuse its power -- illustrate why armed resistance is a dead end. Randy Weaver and David Koresh may have had good reasons to distrust the government, but they had no right to use private arsenals to keep the police at bay. Our system includes democratic safeguards, such as juries, that do not rely on the private force of arms.
After the Oklahoma City bombing, the gun lobby toned down its rhetoric, casting an armed citizenry as a deterrent to oppression rather than a potential rebel force against a democratic government. "The Second Amendment is America's first freedom because it is the one right that protects all the others," LaPierre says.
This argument sounds reasonable but is no different in substance that what gun rights absolutists were saying before Oklahoma City. If they believe in the right to take up arms to resist government policies they consider oppressive, even when these policies have been adopted by elected officials and subjected to review by an independent judiciary, then they are opposed to constitutional democracy.
When LaPierre talks about guns and freedom, he wraps himself in a flag that the NRA is simultaneously ripping to shreds. Protecting vigilantes from criminal prosecution and urging citizens to stockpile weapons for a showdown with the government are more than just threats to public safety -- they are threats to our democracy and our way of life.
Josh Horwitz is executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, a non-profit advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.
### The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence was founded in 1975 and is composed of 45 civic, professional and religious organizations and 100,000 individual members working to reduce gun violence. Our mission is to stop gun violence by fostering effective community and national action. For more information about the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, visit www.csgv.org.
[Since these guys are making a big stink about the threat of guns to Democracy, I'm going to look up some quotes by our Founders and others about the dangers of Democracy. Being armed against oppressive democracy is as good as being armed against oppressive dictatorship, IMO. What if the U.S. Congress approved of concentration/death camps for dissidents, for example, and the President signed this abomination into law, and the law was OK'd by the "independent" judiciary. What then? --TSR]
Washington, D.C. has some 85% people of color.
Ain't that sweet. The representative from D.C. is not allowed to sponsor legislation the House of Representatives (she can sit on committee and participate in debate, but gets no vote on legislation) and they have no Senators. So in effect, if we follow this logic, no one can ever change D.C.'s gun laws!
Abe Lincoln locked many dissidents up.......
Good! Let's put it up for a vote then. For, as far as I know, the D.C. gun ban has never appeared on a ballot in D.C.
How big is DC? Even Texas' largest towns ranked lower than DC.
Any CSGV demo-shills lurking on this thread, listen up:
Dr. Will Durant, referencing a Republic: "Man became free when he recognized that he was subject to law."
May 31, 1787, while addressing members of the Constitutional Convention Edmund Randolph said, "We meet here today to provide a cure for the evils under which the United States labored; that in tracing these evils to their origin every man had found it in the turbulence and trials of democracy...."
1787, Elbridge Gerry, said: "The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want (that is, do not lack) virtue; but are the dupes of pretended patriots."
June 21, 1788, Alexander Hamilton: "It had been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience had proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity."
Alexander Hamilton: "We are a Republican Government. Real liberty is never found in despotism or in the extremes of Democracy."
Samuel Adams: "Remember, Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself! There never was a democracy that did not commit suicide."
James Madison: "... democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths."
John Marshall (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1801 to 1835): "Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos."
Herbert Spencer, English philosopher: "The Republican form of government is the highest form of government; but because of this it requires the highest type of human nature -- a type nowhere at present existing."
Thomas Babington Macaulay: "I have long been convinced that institutions purely democratic must, sooner or later, destroy liberty or civilization, or both."
Dryden: "No government had ever been, or ever can be, wherein timeservers and blockheads will not be uppermost."
1795 Immanuel Kant: "Democracy is necessarily despotism."
1850, Benjamin Disraeli, (British House of Commons): "If you establish a democracy, you must in due time reap the fruits of a democracy. You will in due season have great impatience of public burdens, combined in due season with great increase of public expenditures You will in due season have wars entered into from passion and not from reason; and you will in due season submit to peace ignominiously sought and ignominiously obtained, which will diminish your authority and perhaps endanger your independence. You will in due season find your property is less valuable, and your freedom less complete."
Disraeli 1870: "The world is weary, of statesmen whom democracy has degraded into politicians."
James Russell Lowell: "Democracy gives every man the right to be his own oppressor."
W. H. Seward: "Democracies are prone to war, and war consumes them."
Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors."
188? Governor Seymour of New York: "The merit of our Constitution is not that it promotes democracy, but checks it".
Oscar Wilde: "Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people, by the people, for the people."
H. L. Mencken: "The most popular man under a democracy is not the most democratic man, but the most despotic man. The common folk delight in the exaction's of such a man. They like him to boss them. Their natural gait is the goosestep."
Ludwig Lewisohn: "Democracy, which began by liberating men politically, has developed a dangerous tendency to enslave him through the tyranny of majorities and the deadly power of their opinion."
Englishman, G. K. Chesterton: "You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution."
1931, The Duke of Northumberland: "The adoption of Democracy as a form of Government by all European nations is fatal to good Government, to liberty, to law and order, to respect for authority, and to religion, and must eventually produce a state of chaos from which a new world tyranny will arise."
Archibald E. Stevenson: "De Tocqueville once warned us," he wrote, "that: If ever the free institutions of America are destroyed, that event will arise from the unlimited tyranny of the majority. But a majority will never be permitted to exercise such unlimited tyranny so long as we cling to the American ideals of republican liberty and turn a deaf ear to the siren voices now calling us to democracy. This is not a question relating to the form of government. That can always be changed by constitutional amendment. It is one affecting the underlying philosophy of our system -- a philosophy which brought new dignity to the individual, more safety for minorities and greater justice in the administration of government. We are in grave danger of dissipating this splendid heritage through mistaking it for democracy."
28 Nov 1998, Steven Earl Newberry: "Democracy and Mobocracy are synonyms for a form of government in which the majority (mob) rules, and which by definition, guarantees the absence of minority rights."
15 Nov 2002, Steven Earl Newberry: "Democracy is a noose around Freedom's neck, gradually choking the dreams our founding fathers once had for this country. Democracy itself is not truly to blame, but when applied by people who have no conception or respect for the basic principles of individual's rights and freedoms and no understanding of the intentions our founding fathers had when they established our Constitution and our republican form of government, democracy becomes a great threat to our freedom and the overall health of our country. Excessive taxation is only one of the symptoms of what has become a cancerous disease caused by the rampant and uncontrolled application of democracy, which is now and has for some time, been slowly destroying the building blocks of every individual's freedom. Through excessive taxation, we have all become slaves to our government. Excessive taxation creates a cannibalistic economy that feeds upon itself . Woe be it to those who are still here, when the plate of taxation is barren and has created an economy that has nothing left to feed on."
"guns equal freedom."
This writer's bizarre thesis seems to be that something has changed in society such that we are no longer afforded our God given right to fight against tyranny.
Guess we just have to shut up and submit. NOT!
But, they need to know that their "customers" aren't armed. Imagine if every rapist went out to work knowing that every one of his potential "cutomers" might actually have a pistol? It would be chaos!! Josh's folks wouldn't be able to conduct their trades in their home terrirory, they'd have to go to Maryland. So, let's be reasonable here and look at it from the point of view of the folks that Josh is for and his blind belief about guns. Remember, even the folks who believe the earth is flat love puppies and support other folks who want the same outcomes.
I suspect the article that these quotes came from is well worth the time to read, if one has it.
That's part of the gun control logic: that was then, this is now...