Annie, Grab Your Guns...
||ABC Channel 7 (WJLA - DC)
||Wednesday, July 6, 2005
Will you get a handgun for your home if Congress overturns the city's ban?
How about a shotgun or rifle? You know you can have those long rifles now as long as you keep them stored and taken apart in an inoperative state.
Call Barney Fife, but the Notebook thinks we're on to something here.
If Congress does away with gun control for the District, everyone can have one.
Imagine all those checkpoints around Capitol Hill. It will be perfectly legal for you to have a gun or shotgun sitting on the front seat as you travel through the area en route to your home or place of business. That should make the police officers relax.
I'm sure the Secret Service wants guns commonly carried by citizens wandering around the District, hanging out and getting drunk in downtown bars. Maybe they'll fire off a few rounds to let off steam as they head home.
More seriously, of course, is the fear that illegal trafficking of guns will balloon if the gun control laws are eliminated.
D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton scoffed at the idea of releasing more gun freedom in the Nation's Capital even has it continues to add security checkpoints, barriers and bunkers. Surely, the various police departments -- federal and local -- don't want more guns, she argues.
In fact, Police Chief Charles Ramsey was about as emphatic as he could be when he testified on Capitol Hill (also known as Bunker Hill these days) about guns.
"You know how you can help my officers," he said pointing his finger at the congressmen, "don't pass this bill."
The bill the House passed simply allows you to have a working-order gun in your home. It's not clear what the Senate will do, although Norton has some hope it won't do anything.
Start searching eBay and the want ads, though. The days of the OK Corral may be on the way. You sure don't want to be the only one on your block without a gun. The Notebook wonders if he'll be allowed to strap on a six-shooter and saunter into the Wilson Building.
That ought to make for some really good reality TV.
Going, going, gone. The Wrecking Corporation of America has done its job. The old D.C. Convention Center is no more. The implosion and removal of the 800,000 square foot center began last October.
In one neat recycling event, the corporation ground up the massive footings for the old convention center to use as base material for the new parking lot that will occupy the space until the city decides exactly what will be built there.
If you haven't taken a moment to look at the vast open space that was a convention center site, be sure to do so. It's a little amazing to see so much open space in the heart of town. The architecture of the surrounding buildings takes on wholly different characters.
Splish, splash. Mayor Anthony Williams plunged into the Anacostia Recreation Center pool last week to unofficially kick off the city summer. (Note to staff: the mayor does his cannonball with his face toward the water. With a cannonball, your butt is supposed to hit first, that's what makes the big splash. See you in 2006).
Europe likes us. Several hundred demonstrators began their July 4th holiday weekend by protesting on Freedom Plaza. The rally for D.C. voting rights was targeted at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization Security and Cooperating in Europe (OSCE for short).
The parliamentarians passed Delegate Norton's amendment calling on the United States to grant voting rights to citizens of the Nation's Capital. America, as proponents point out, is the only democratic nation in the world that denies voting rights to citizens of the capital city.
Norton and other voting rights advocates see the non-binding resolution as an effort to embarrass the United States into action. "With voting rights bills pending in the House with no chance whatsoever of consideration," she said, "yes, an embarrassment to our country could be instrumental in moving our rights forward."
The voting rights demonstration itself was an orderly affair. On Freedom Plaza the demonstrators erected a series of voting machines surrounded by a chain link fence. A sign read "DC Residents: Keep Out! By Order of Congress."
Tourists passing by on tourmobiles and on foot seemed a little perplexed by the demonstration. It was clear that many of them were unaware of the city's voting rights status. Or didn't care.
Parade end notes. Mayor Anthony Williams was absent from the annual Palisades July 4th parade. It's kind of a must-see for city politicians who are running or are considering running campaigns. So chalk up one more minor sign that the mayor is not running for reelection. It's nothing official, just another telling little tidbit.