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D.C. gun ban is D.C.’s business

Washington, D.C., has plenty of troubles. Murder and mayhem are all too regularly a part of life, especially in the neighborhoods far from the monuments (to shopping or to the nation) and the Capitol.

The city is one of the most dangerous in America, a fact that is a source of constant embarrassment to those who run it and live there. That’s especially unfortunate for actual Washingtonians, because included among those who run it and live there are hundreds of men and women who care less about D.C. than about their own political futures.

Take Virginia Sen. George Allen, for example. When he was governor, Allen regularly railed against Washington for trying to usurp the state’s prerogatives.

That basic defense of local rights, though, is hard to square with the mischief he’s now making on the D.C. government’s long-standing ban on handguns. Whether that ban is a worthy one or not is immaterial (and, frankly, given the sky-high murder rate in D.C., it’s clear the ban isn’t working); it was and is the choice of Washingtonians, to the loud chagrin of the National Rifle Association.

But Allen, who has his eyes on the White House, and Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, think they know better than D.C.’s voters, and have introduced legislation that would overturn the ban. It would also position Allen as the darling of the pro-gun crowd a couple years before the first presidential primary.

That’s the kind of political intrusion that makes Washingtonians wonder whether they’re living in a democracy or merely hosting one.

Allen knows better than this. He knows that there are certain things that the federal government should leave to the states, or to the cities. In his stump speeches, he extols the virtues of trusting free people to decide what’s best.

Apparently, such a philosophy doesn’t extend to D.C., which no Republican will win in a quest for the White House. Given that, Allen — as ambitious a politician as Virginia has seen in quite a while — has apparently decided to let his aspirations get the better of his political philosophy.

*FW Note:

Does an American citizen have the right to keep and bear arms to defend himself where the need may arise or only where the "authorities" decide it's appropriate?

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