Thursday, March 26, 2009

Guns and Roses and DC Voting Rights - An Interesting Proposal

With all this talk of guns, sometimes you need to stop and smell the roses. Or, at least that's one proposal from DC Councilmember Kwame Brown. He proposes a "Rose Amendment" to the DC Voting Rights Act. The premise? If DC is going to take a hit to its gun laws, then the state of Nevada should take a hit to its legalize prostitution. The proposed amendment fights back against Sen. Ensign's amendment that repealed all of DC's gun laws by making legalized prostitution - a BIG business in Nevada - all but illegal.

"Guns" for "roses". Get it? Read the letter:

Representative Steny H. Hoyer
House Democratic Majority Leader
H-107, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton
2136 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Majority Leader Hoyer and Congresswoman Norton:

The residents of the District of Columbia are wholeheartedly dedicated to achieving full statehood with representation in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The DC Voting Rights Act is an important step towards achieving that goal. As you know, there are still representatives who would withhold even a single vote in the House from over a half a million United States citizens. They have used a legislative maneuver in an attempt to override the will of District residents and their local government.

I propose we challenge the irony of Senator John Ensign’s (R-Nev) introduction of the gun amendment by introducing an amendment of our own. I recommend you co-introduce the “Roses Amendment.” The “Roses Amendment” would revise the Mann Act by prohibiting US citizens from crossing state borders to solicit sex in states where prostitution is legal. The amendment would further prohibit these states from using the Internet as a portal to advertise or solicit prostitution. Furthermore, the amendment would make it illegal to complete financial transactions where electronic data or information is shared with any entity located outside of the state for which prostitution is legalized. The federal government would be within its constitutional authority to regulate this type of interstate commerce.

As have other states, District residents have fought to rid our community of prostitution in an effort to revitalize our neighborhoods. If elected officials from states, namely Nevada, can introduce legislation that alters the local laws of the District, I believe the District should offer an amendment that imposes our moral values on such states where prostitution is legal.

As a local elected official, in addition to having full federal representation, I believe that citizens have the right to determine the best means by which to secure the safety of themselves and their families. If we must compromise our local governing authority in order to satisfy the moral arguments of a few representatives, I believe it is reasonable to ask them to consider our moral values in return. Therefore, I believe we should fight guns with roses and continue moving the DC Voting Rights Act forward. Please consider discussing this strategy further with your colleagues, District officials and representatives of local voting rights organizations.


Kwame R. Brown

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty
Chairman Vincent C. Gray
At-Large Councilmember Michael A. Brown
Members of the Council Committee on Statehood
Ilir Zherka, Executive Director, DC Vote


Mike Licht, said...

The Ensign Amendment explained (for visual learners):

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