Give Us Liberty or Give Us Death!

Holocaust Muesum ShootingThe day after DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton withdrew her bill that would grant Washington, DC a full vote in Congress because it was being delayed with an amendment that that would scale back the city’s tough anti-gun laws a man armed with a shotgun walked into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in downtown Washington and opened fire before being shot and wounded himself by security guards.      

For decades the District of Columbia has fought for equal representation on Capitol Hill and with a bipartisan deal struck by Holmes-Norton last year that would have given the District one voting seat and an additional Congressional seat to Utah it seemed as though it was going to finally happen. But such does not seem to be the case now.

Republicans have attached an amendment to the voting rights bill that would water down the gun laws in DC. Holmes-Norton and other supporters of the legislation have now been backed in a corner in which they have to choose equality or lax gun laws. As a result, the bill is being withdrawn indefinitely.

No citizens should be asked to choose between safety and justice. Those two things should be synonymous in a democracy. The shooting today is another example of why strict gun laws are for the benefit, not detriment of society. Until Washington, DC residents are given a full voting member in the US Congress it will continue to be a gross representation of the very thing our founding fathers fought against- taxation without representation. Democrats have been forced to kill a bill because they want equality and not to see more people killed.

When Patrick Henry said “Give us liberty or give us death” – this is not what he meant.

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