Representative Souder has had enough. "Shutup," he says. It's for your own good.
In today's Post, Represenative Souder, a Republican representing the 3rd District of Indiana, published a letter to the editor.
In his letter, he seems to be upset that a democratically elected body (the Washington City Council) is working to fix its gun regulations in the wake of District of Columbia vs. Heller. He claims to be standing up for the rights of Citizens of the District by calling for the US Congress (which DC Citizens have no part in electing) to override the elected DC government by writing its own legislation.
Mr. Souder, we live in a republic. And while the citizens of our nation's capital don't have full voting rights, we have every right to determine our own future. Just like the citizens of Indiana. So we can choose to re-elect the city council if we agree with them on the handgun issue, or we can elect councilmembers who will overturn it. We can also wait to see what the courts actually say. The one thing we can't do, however, is let you tread on us.
In 1963, 10 years before the city of Washington would receive a locally elected mayor and council, President John F. Kennedy travelled to an island of democracy in Eastern Europe. There, standing in front of the Brandenburg Gate, standing in the shadow of the Wall, he said that the proudest boast in a world of freedom is "Ich bin ein Berliner." This phrase, said Kennedy, is the boast of "all free men, wherever they may live."
Oh, how I long to say that phrase.
Berlin was an island of freedom in a sea of totalitarianism. Washington is surrounded by the lapping waves of freedom, and while they haven't built a wall to keep us in, they haven't given us the vote either.
Representative Souder wrote his letter in response to a Washington Post editorial, published last Friday, criticising his ploy to subvert the rights of Washingtonians. The well-written editorial points out that Mr. Souder would likely not stand for this sort of interference in his own district, but then this never has been about democracy. What it is about is getting the NRA's endorsement.
So while gun violence claims the lives of too many people each week in DC, Representative Souder courts votes in Indiana. While citizens of the District cry out for representation, Mr. Souder looks for ways to subvert the little power they have.
Representative, your methods are despicable. You took an oath to uphold the Constitution and the ideals for which it stands. Your parlimentary games sink to below the level of the Stamp Act and the other Intolerable Acts. At least when Britain passed the Quartering Act they weren't doing so against their own words of honor. Thinking that you know what's best for the People is the same fallacy that King George III fell victim to.
Playing politics with the voting rights of almost 600,000 Americans is unacceptable.
This proposed legislation, along with other Congressional overrides of the local government of DC smacks of the tyranny iherent in the reviled Massachusetts Government Act. This government, one made of the People, by the People, and for the People, is supposed to stand for something. It is supposed to be a shining city on a hill, a beacon of hope in a world without freedom. But here, in the shadow of the Capitol's Dome, that light is dimmed. And legislation like Mr. Souder's proposal make it still darker here.
I agree with one thing in Mr. Souder's letter, though. "The time is now for Congress to step in to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans."
Where is our right to vote, Mr. Souder? When will you stand up for that right?
How many years can a mountain exist
before it's washed to the sea?
How many years must some people exist
before they're allowed to be free?
And how many time can a man turn his head
and pretend that he just doesn't see the answer?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind,
the answer is blowing in the wind.
How many times can a man look up
before he sees the sky?
How many ears must one person have
before he can hear people cry?
And how many deaths will it take
'til he knows that too many people have died?
The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind,
the answer is blowing in the wind.
(from "Blowin' in the Wind" by Bob Dylan)