The March for Our Lives and the fight for gun sense has special resonance for DC residents.
Before entering the race for shadow senator, I had planned a protest for March 19th to tell Senator Marco Rubio (FL) and Representative Tom Garrett (VA-5) how angry I was.
Both Rubio and Garrett have introduced bills that would effectively nullify DC’s existing gun laws. The “Second Amendment Enforcement Act” in the Senate and House is an ugly monster of a bill that tramples uncaringly over DC rights. Among other things, this bill:
- Tells DC it cannot legislate guns. Period. No right to make local laws to protect local citizens.
- Effectively removes gun-free school zones and public buildings, unless schools make other *expensive* security investments such as metal detectors or biometrics.
- Would allow out-of-state residents to carry guns in DC schools.
- ..and so much more
On March 19th I organized Indivisible Capitol Hill (which I co-lead) and Americans for Self-Rule to bring families to the Hill and politely ask the offices of Senator Rubio and Rep. Garrett to repeal these bills. It was just a start.
But it helped spread the word to other families that these bills exist and threaten our safety and right to self-governance. We had kids writing messages asking Congress to protect our schools. We had parents volunteering to deliver messages to Rep. Garrett’s Charlottesville office directly. And my daughter Maggie proudly held a sign when Congresswoman Norton addressed our group afterwards.
So on March 24th, when we joined the Rally for DC Lives at Folger Park and then the million-strong crowd at the Rally for Our Lives downtown, I felt conflicted. Part of me felt proud, and empowered, and ready to push change forward, in support of gun sense legislation nationally. We desperately need that to happen for the safety of all Americans. But I also felt frustrated all over again that Senator Rubio faces *no penalty* and *no constituent anger* for introducing a bill so harmful to our DC students and DC residents. The March for Our Lives won’t change that. Only DC statehood can.