Tuesday, March 02, 2004

DC: not Utah

Here in the District of Columbia, there is no shortage of people out to screw us over. In addition to our astronomical tax rates, our lack of congressional representation, and toxic levels of lead in our water, we endure senators using the district as a personal laboratory for their pet issues. Against the recommendations of our non-voting congressperson, DC has become a guinea pig for vouchers, and if Orrin Hatch has his way, all our crime problems will be addressed with a repeal of DC's ban on handguns.

Because, Lord knows, the one thing we need in this city is more guns! Our "congressperson," Eleanor Holmes Norton, joined DC Mayor Anthony Williams in visiting Sen. Hatch to register their strident opposition to this proposal. It is rather embarassing that our city leaders have to go and beg a congressman from Utah to heed their recommendations for DC's well-being. Hatch said he would take it under consideration. It's an insult.

After the most recent schoolyard slaying of a DC student, Mayor Anthony Williams went to Ballou High School and listened to the grief, the rage, and the roaring accusations for six hours. What are the odds that Orrin Hatch would visit Anacostia High School to explain in person why more guns would address the needs of students already dodging bullets after football practice? How often has he been within earshot of the people who are losing their sons and daughters? Well, certainly he has no obligation; after all, these aren't his constituents! Exactly. Let the DC government, what there is of it, set the course for public safety. Senator Hatch, keep your mind on Utah unless you plan on facing the realities of your abstract policy principles.

Word is that the Senate is backing off from this proposal. Let's hope so.


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