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Gun Rights on The Line

March 14, 2009
Washington Post

“I believe in the Second Amendment, I believe in the people’s lawful right to bear arms. I will not take your shotgun away. I will not take your rifle away. I won’t take your handgun away.” — Barack Obama, September 2008

The recent Senate vote to ensure that D.C. residents can purchase and own firearms without unreasonable restrictions and the House’s subsequent delay of legislation to give the District a voting representative — the result of pressure from centrist Democrats to include this amendment — were crucial victories for all Americans.

A sizable majority of the Senate, both Democrats and Republicans, agreed that D.C. residents’ constitutional rights were being violated by the city government. Democratic leaders in the House know that a strong majority in their own chamber, a majority composed of Republicans and pro-gun, moderate Democrats, reflects the overwhelming sentiment in our nation that unreasonable gun control measures are ineffective at combating crime and infringe on residents’ rights. This strong sentiment led me to sponsor the amendment, and it is why I believe House Democrats need to allow a vote.

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