Bob Franken

Gridlock at the Intersection of Gays, Guns and the Voters

Isn’t it appropriate that a battle over gun rights, or lack thereof, is used to shoot down totally unrelated legislation?

What comes immediately to mind is legislation that would have granted residents of Washington, D.C., full voting rights. Anyone who lives here gets tired after a while of the “No Taxation Without Representation” rant.

After centuries, it seemed it might change. Congress was poised to pass a bill and President Obama would sign it.

But at the last minute, opponents attached an unrelated amendment that would greatly expand gun rights in the District — which favors restrictions. It was truly a deal “killer.”

Maybe it’s time for the gun-control people to fire back.

The Washington Post reports that gun-control supporters in the Senate are fighting a bill that would require any state or jurisdiction, no matter what gun laws are on its books, to allow visitors from anywhere else in the U.S. to carry a concealed firearm, as long as they have complied with the rules back home, no matter how loose.

The bill looks to be on track to passage, but opponents might be able to stop it with a deadly weapon — an amendment — of their own. Perhaps gay rights would be an appropriate issue. If, for instance, the pro-gun people want to take their states’ rules (and their guns) anywhere, surely they will support that same principle when it comes to recognizing the rights of same-sex couples when they travel from states that permit legal unions.

Now that would cause an uproar. Already the homophobes resist recognizing anything but man-woman marriage. It’s doubtful they’d go along with this, not even if it’s a pistol-packin’ gay couple.

However it works out, those of us who live in D.C. won’t have a vote.

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