Writing in the Christian Science Monitor, Dante Chinni wonders over the motivation of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Texas Republican, who introduced legislation that would eliminate most of the district’s gun laws. He writes, “What inspired the plucky Texan to decide to suddenly stand up for all of us? It probably wasn’t the mayor or the police commissioner or the school superintendent, who all announced they oppose her idea. And the decline in the city’s homicide rate didn’t suggest a drastic need for change. No, in the end, she says, she introduced the ‘D.C. Personal Protection Act of 2005’ because of her ‘constitutional responsibility to oversee the District of Columbia,’ she said at a news conference to announce the legislation.
“Apparently those of us living in the nation’s capital are being denied our Second Amendment rights and, well, she’s just trying to help. There are more than a few questions about the good senator’s beneficence. There’s the fact that the courts have decided that laws like the District’s, which prohibits handguns, aren’t any sort of violation of the Constitution, so we aren’t really being denied anything – that’s probably why the senator and her friends aren’t going to court to have the D.C. rules thrown out. There’s the argument that putting more unregistered guns, including semiautomatic weapons, in people’s hands is probably not a sound way to increase safety in a densely populated, high-crime municipality. But perhaps the most confounding part of this proposal is this: why is the Republican Party, the party of states’ rights, deciding that in this case the federal government should supersede the will of the people living in the District? When did the GOP suddenly become the party that believes the federal government knows best?”