Last week, the D.C. Democratic State Committee voted in favor of a resolution urging President Barack Obama to mention D.C. voting rights in his upcoming State of the Union address.
Now voting rights is an issue of considerable consensus in this town, particularly among the political class. But not complete consensus, it turns out. One DCDSC member of the 43 who voted came out against the bill.
That would be Lenwood Johnson, a Ward 1 resident and former treasurer of the group.
Johnson explains his vote this way: The Democratic State Committee, last year, approved another resolution, expressing the sense of the committee that the District shouldn’t accept a vote in the House of Representative if that meant, as it did at the time, allowing Congress to wipe out city gun laws. The way Johnson sees it, the DCDSC has its chance to ask for voting rights, and they blew it.
“It makes us look like a bunch of crackheads,” Johnson says. “They want everything for nothing, and that’s why I voted against it….Right now we have nothing: Congress is still setting our gun laws and we don’t even have a vote.”
It should be noted that Johnson brings some strong ideas on guns to this point of view. He’s been a National Rifle Association member since the early 1970s and says he’s “always been an advocate for gun rights.”
“I grew up in Virginia—-in the country in Virginia,” he says. “Need I say more?”
Johnson also informed LL that he in fact owns a gun, which he keeps in his home—-“and I take it out with me, too.” He purchased his piece legally from a gun dealer, but he hasn’t registered that weapon with the Metropolitan Police Department, as he’s required to do under the city’s current gun laws (as Gilbert Arenas now well knows).
“It’s no big deal with me, owning a gun or not owning a gun,” Johnson says, saying he “doesn’t understand” why he needs to take his firearm down to police headquarters and go through all the legal rigmarole. “I’m not going to register mine.”