Washington, D.C., Mayor Fenty Is Correct: Compromise on Guns to Get the Vote

Voting rights trump gun control.

By + More

By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Add Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty to the list of those willing to compromise on gun control in the District of Columbia in order to secure residents' fundamental voting rights.

As I blogged last week, I must reluctantly agree.

(But first let's take a moment and stipulate that it's an outrage that D.C. residents have to cut deals in order to secure that most fundamental right in our democratic republic: representation in the federal government.)

Fenty told the Washington Post that weakening the city's gun laws in exchange for a voting member of the House of Representatives would be a " tough call," but he conceded that it would be the right one.

"Hopefully, it will be resolved, and I think there's a couple of strategies in play," Fenty said during an interview for "Voices of Power," a Post online series about Washington power players. "But if we had to make that call on a close margin, I do believe a majority of District residents say: 'Give us the vote. Give us the vote, and we hate this gun law, but we'll find a way to get rid of that if necessary.' "

Some D.C. City Council members oppose compromise, preferring to stand on principle. But they neglect two things: First, there's nothing to stop the Congress from modifying the D.C. gun ban anyway; second the vote is more fundamental and more important than gun control. Period. (And that cuts both ways, gun- and blog-toting friends.)

On Facebook? You can keep up with Thomas Jefferson Street blog postings through Facebook's Networked Blogs.