Leave D.C. Alone

Like a lot of D.C. residents I’m continually disappointed by the failure of Congress and the government generally to grant us representation in Congress. Democracy is supposed to be a shared value, but when it’s black people that will almost certainly vote for the Democratic party suddenly Democracy is something we hope Iran achieves, but not something for the residents of our Capitol city.

Recently I’m finding that I’m equally annoyed at the willingness of Congress to overrule DC’s right of self determination at a whim. You don’t have to like our current gun control laws, but we know they’re Constitutional so it’s simply indefensible to use Congressional authority to override them. Not only do Republicans routinely mettle in the affairs of the city without any legitimate interest, but pretty much all of Congress seems fine with it. Whereas Democrats pretty uniformly support DC voting rights, I’ve never anyone suggest Congress shouldn’t have authority to mess with DC’s laws.

While the authority does reside in the Constitution, it’s nonetheless completely illegitimate when done for any reason not effecting Congress. Give us the same rights as any other region. If there is a legitimate security concern ask the Department of Homeland Security to write a report on it and only then override DC’s laws if there is an actual problem, as opposed to a chance to make Conservative Democrats vote on gun control.

I think focusing more on self determination would help remove the Democrats vs. Republicans aspect of the debate, and hopefully personalize the issue more for DC residents and our fellow citizens across the country.


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