|2:14 PM, Nov 27, 2015 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
How unusual is this year's GOP presidential race?
Consider this: Here's roster of the eleven men who've won Republican presidential nominations going back to 1944: Mitt Romney, John McCain, George W. Bush, Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Barry Goldwater, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Tom Dewey. Seven had previously run for the nomination before winning. Almost all were nominated after substantial time in public office or the public limelight; the two who might be considered exceptions (George W. Bush, who had only six years in office, and Mitt Romney, who had only four) were the sons of a former president and a former presidential candidate, respectively.
Or look at it this way: In the 18 presidential elections going back to 1944 and constituting the voting lifetime of all but the very oldest primary voters, a Bush has been on the general election ballot six times, Richard Nixon five times, and the voters have had a chance thrice to consider, in the primaries and/or the general election, Bob Dole, Ronald Reagan, and a Romney.
So this a deeply conservative party accustomed to the discipline of repetition and the comfort of familiarity. It always nominates a white male, usually middle-aged to elderly, who is well-credentialed, politically experienced and widely recognized by the Republican primary electorate.
But this year has of course been all topsy-turvy. The candidates who'd run before (Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee) haven't fared well. Nor have the "dynastic" candidates (Jeb Bush and Rand Paul), nor the ones with the most years in office (John Kasich, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, Bobby Jindal).
Instead, the four who now lead the pack include two men--one of them African-American--who've never held public office, and two young first-term Cuban-American senators. The other two most likely to sneak into final contention are a woman who's never held office and a second-term governor.
Who knows if all of this is good or bad for the party, a welcome change or a dangerous departure? And who knows how the traditional GOP primary voter--an older, white Nixon-Reagan-Bush-oriented fellow--will react when he actually shows up to vote, and there's no Nixon-Reagan-Bush type to default to?
One can construct all kinds of theories. But the truth is, this year much more than before, we really don't know.
1:04 PM, Nov 27, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
In his newsletter this week, the boss reported that "our friends over at National Review asked several contributors to write brief reflections for their 60th anniversary issue (by the way, congratulations!) about what book influenced us the most." The boss encourages everyone to take a look at the interesting symposium, featuring contributors like Elliott Abrams, Wilfred McClay, Garry Kasparov. And he reproduced his own answer to the question of what book may have influenced him the most. Here it is, for readers who may have missed that issue of National Review:
The Republic of Plato, translated with notes and an interpretive essay by Allan Bloom (Basic, 512 pp., $22).
In the fall of 1970, a freshman at Harvard with "sophomore standing" (easy to get in those days), I showed up for the first meeting of my sophomore tutorial in the Government Department. The teacher was a first-year assistant professor, Mark Blitz, and the six of us in the group were to spend the entire term reading Plato's Republic. Blitz told us to buy the Bloom translation and start reading Book One.
I remember opening the book in my dorm room the night before the next class, beginning to read Plato, making nothing much of it, and then turning to Bloom's interpretive essay--and seeing, really for the first time, what it was to read a text carefully. I went through the first few pages of Bloom's essay with an excitement and amazement I can still recall. One could say that it was the opening of an American mind.
In retrospect, I see that the unobtrusive education of my parents had prepared me for that moment. What's more, Blitz was a terrific teacher, so it may well be that I would have begun to learn to read Plato without the benefit of Bloom's essay. And the next year I took Harvey Mansfield's lecture course on the history of political philosophy; Mansfield dazzled and challenged from the podium in an incomparable way. But of the books I have encountered, I may well owe the most to what we students came to call Bloom's Republic.
12:16 PM, Nov 27, 2015 • By SAMUEL TADROS
In a move that has sent shockwaves throughout Egypt, the Coptic Pope, Tawadros II, travelled to Jerusalem Thursday at the head of a distinguished delegation of bishops from the Coptic Church. The short flight from Cairo to Tel Aviv can be measured in minutes; the psychological distance stretches back decades.
It is the dream of every Copt to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem before one’s death, and for centuries the Copts did. In the process, the Coptic community acquired a dozen churches and several monasteries in the Holy Land as well as partial rights to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. After the six-day war in June 1967, it became impossible to make the pilgrimage with Egypt and Israel at war.
Those who held hopes that the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel in 1979 would open the gates of Jerusalem to Coptic pilgrims were quickly disappointed as the late Pope Shenouda III (1971-2012) quickly made his decision known: No Copt would be allowed to travel to Jerusalem for the pilgrimage. Copts would only enter Jerusalem with Muslims, he declared. The decision was purely political, with the man once described as Egypt’s most astute politician reasoning that if Copts went to Israel for the pilgrimage, the rest of the Arab world would see them as traitors. Many sins could be forgiven in the Arab world, he presumably reasoned, but visiting Israel is not one of them.
Personal animosity may also have played a role. As a young man, Shenouda had fought in the 1948 war, and throughout his life he continued to hold the anti-Semitic position that Jews were responsible for killing Christ. And then perceived Israeli bias towards the Ethiopian Orthodox church in the dispute with the Coptic church over the Deir El Sultan Monastery further complicated matters.
For thirty plus years, Pope Shenouda held firm. Nonetheless, the lure of visiting Jerusalem continued to have its hold on the hearts and minds of Copts, and some decided to ignore the Pope’s ban and make the pilgrimage. The situation became embarrassing to a Pope known for his stubbornness. In the 1990s as the hopes of peace between Israel and the Palestinians encouraged more Copts to make the journey, the Pope decided to enforce his ban by prohibiting those travelling from receiving communion. Was redemption not possible? Well, one way was presented; those making the pilgrimage would then publish an apology in Egypt’s leading newspaper asking forgiveness from the Pope. Only then would they be allowed to take communion. The formula soon turned into a farce when tourism companies included the fee for the newspaper apology as part of the travel package to Israel.
...as world spirals out of control.3:45 PM, Nov 25, 2015 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with editor William Kristol on President Obama's vision: The U.S. as spectator.
This podcast can be downloaded here. Subscribe to THE WEEKLY STANDARD's iTunes podcast feed here.
3:06 PM, Nov 25, 2015 • By LEE SMITH
Sources in Beirut are confirming reports from various Middle East media outfits that Qassem Suleimani, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ expeditionary unit, was wounded in the fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo recently. Fighters from Hezbollah, according to sources close to the party of God, believe the Quds Force commander may be in a hospital in Tehran, or already dead.
According to AsrIran, an anti-regime website close to the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Suleimani was seriously injured along with two other personnel in an anti-tank rocket attack 12 days ago. Other sources say the wounds he sustained were not that serious. Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the war, told AFP that Suleimani was "lightly injured three days ago in the Al-Eis area in the south of Aleppo province.”
All lies, says the IRGC, which contends that reports of injuries are Israeli fabrications. Hajj Qassem is “in perfect health and full of energy," says IRGC spokesman Rameza Sharif. “Often, the Israelis write down their dreams in the form of news and spread them through their media in the cyberspace,” he said. “The fake news about Major General Qassem Suleimani’s martyrdom is of this sort.”
It’s certainly the case that there have been rumors of Suleimani’s death previously, but the overly animated nature of the Iranian denials is evidence of an anxiety that runs much deeper than the fate of the IRGC’s celebrity general. While pictures of Hajj Qassem at Middle East battlefields, from Syria to Iraq, have become a fixture of Iranian propaganda the last few years, the fact is that the regime’s Mr. Fix-It has a mixed record, at best.
As Israeli analyst Yossi Mansharof explained recently, the anti-regime opposition has long been documenting the numerous battlefield deaths of senior officers and other key figures close to the Quds Force commander—the “Curse of Suleimani,” they call it. If Suleimani has fallen victim to his own curse, then so eventually will the rest of the regime. The stark reality is that Iran and the Shiite International it has enlisted to fight in Syria will someday lose the war it has started in the middle of the Middle East. It’s simply a matter of numbers.
12:14 PM, Nov 25, 2015 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
I'm ready to concede that Donald Trump is the most anomalous figure I've seen in presidential politics. He has defied the laws of electioneering so many times-reversing his favorable-unfavorable numbers despite universal name identification; thriving in the wake of incidents that would have sunk ordinary campaigns-that I'm close to believing that Trump is a political singularity: a figure so dense that he warps the rules of space-time around him in ways the observer can't fully understand.
For exhibit #17, I present to you this CBS poll from over the weekend. What's interesting isn't (just) the Iowa top-line numbers, where Trump has turned aside Ben Carson's brief challenge and now sits on 30-percent support, which is a 9-point lead over the retired surgeon.
It isn't just that outside of Trump's supporters, another fifth of Iowa Republicans say that Trump is "ready to be commander in chief."
It's this: CBS asked Trump supporters--that is, not all Republicans in the survey, just the people supporting Trump--what their favorite thing about Trump is. And guess what percentage said that their favorite thing about their guy was "his faith and beliefs"? No, really. Guess. I'll wait.
You have that number in your head now? We're talking about the percentage of Trump supporters who say their favorite thing about Donald Trump is his faith and beliefs.
The number is zero.
How do you lead the field in Iowa-comfortably!--when not a single one of your own supporters are especially convinced of your "faith and beliefs?"
Beats me. But it's happening. For now. I still believe, as I have since the summer, that in order for Donald Trump to be the nominee, then everything we think we know about politics would have to be wrong.
Then again, I believe in the laws of physics, too. But they don't hold up in the presence of a singularity either.
9:49 AM, Nov 25, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
New Jersey governor Chris Christie directly challenged an account from presidential rival Donald Trump that "thousands" of Muslims in the Garden State cheered on the day of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
"Thousands of people did not cheer in Jersey City on 9/11. It just didn’t happen. I was there that day. Nothing like that was ever shown on the news. There’s no video of that. It didn’t happen," Christie told THE WEEKLY STANDARD Tuesday. "As I understand it, he says he saw it on the news. It didn’t happen!"
Christie had previously said Sunday he did not recall the incident Trump has recently described. At a rally last week, Trump said "thousands and thousands of people were cheering" in Jersey City as the World Trade Center buildings across the Hudson River in lower Manhattan. There were no reports of such a large celebration, although the Washington Post did report on September 18, 2001, that law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river." There have also been reports that in Paterson, about 20 miles northwest of Jersey City, a small group of teenagers of Arab descent celebrated in the streets.
But Christie says any celebrations in his state weren't documented on video and were much smaller—"a small number of people, allegedly"—than Trump has claimed. "As I said Sunday, that was a very emotional, difficult day for me, so I can’t say I have perfect recollection of the day, except for the things that I was really concerned about that day, which was the safety of my wife and my brother," he said. "But if that had happened, thousands of people in New Jersey cheering, and I’d been named U.S. attorney the day before, I think I would have remembered."
Christie, who gave an address to the Council on Foreign Relations Tuesday afternoon, spoke about New Jersey's "large Muslim-American population," the second largest percentage-wise after Michigan, in defense of his position that more Syrian refugees should not be allowed into the U.S. until the vetting process is improved. President Obama has criticized governors opposed to allowing in refugees in the wake of the ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris, and leading Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has said blocking those refugees engenders distrust among Muslim-American communities and law enforcement.
The justice stars in Hollywood revenge fantasies.7:49 AM, Nov 25, 2015 • By CHRISTOPHER J. SCALIA
Are you watching Scream Queens? Me neither. But I did catch a scene of the FOX slasher-comedy and was surprised to see that my father, Justice Antonin Scalia, made a cameo appearance. Sort of.
The show, set on a college campus, is about a murder spree waged by mysterious figures dressed as devils, and features Jamie Lee Curtis evading death as she did in 1978’s Halloween. The scene in question begins with Curtis re-enacting the famous shower scene from Psycho in which her mother, Janet Leigh, plays a character murdered by—I’d better not give anything away.
But Curtis avoids her mother’s fate, emerges safely from the shower, and is fending off the devils when a surprise third assailant arrives, wearing a different disguise. Curtis asks, “Are you supposed to be Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia?” (Give her credit for pronouncing his name correctly.)
The masked man nods his head before attacking her. But, a skilled martial artist, she thwarts him and his devilish companions. She takes particular delight in knocking the Scalia-guised assailant to the ground, punching him like Ronda Rousey Holly Holm and talking to him like Linda Greenhouse. Between every punch to the face, she makes a claim that, presumably, is meant to rebut something Justice Scalia has said.
“The homosexual lifestyle is not destructive to the fabric of American society!”
“The Voting Rights Act should be authorized in every state!”
“And the Affordable Care Act does not require people to eat broccoli!”
Why, it’s almost as if she’s speaking to the real judge.
I imagine that at both of the Scream Queen viewing parties around the country, people wondered who this guy was supposed to be. But the ideal Scream Queen viewer, the enlightened type the show’s writers congratulate themselves for attracting, stood up and cheered Curtis on. She’s not only a tough grrrrrrl, but she’s also striking blows for truth, justice, and progressivism! (Though they were probably disappointed that Curtis didn’t mention Citizens United. Oh well, gotta leave ’em wanting more.)
Yet the character’s righteous indignation comes off as particularly strange given that she hasn’t exactly been a beacon of morality. She has affairs with students; she decapitated her husband; and she framed her husband’s mistress for the murder. But hey, at least she’s not an originalist.
4:59 PM, Nov 24, 2015 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Ahmed Mohamed, the 15 year-old Muslim kid who was invited to the White House after he was arrested for bringing a clock that he allegedly built to school, has filed a $15 million lawsuit:
The son of Sudanese immigrants who lived in a Dallas suburb, the young robotics fan brought in a homemade clock to impress a new teacher at MacArthur High School.
Instead, Mohamed was accused of trying to scare people with a hoax bomb and escorted from the school in handcuffs.
His lawyers insist that the school, police force and city officials violated Mohamed's rights by wrongfully accusing and detaining him and then decided to "trash" him when the media got wind of the story.
"Ahmed clearly was singled out because of his race, national origin and religion," attorney Kelly Hollingsworth wrote.
Let's stipulate that zero tolerance rules in schools are asinine and Mohamed shouldn't have been arrested. Let's also stipulate that there are far better examples of kids getting harmed by zero tolerance rules than Mohamed, considering his clock really did look a heck of a lot like an IED. Seriously, start showing a "clock" that looks like that to people in public places and see if it doesn't start alarming people.
Further, why are journalists still referring to this as a "homemade" clock when it has been repeatedly and convincingly demonstrated that Mohamed didn't make the clock, but rather he took an existing clock out of its casing and brought it to school?
The willingness to ignore facts here to serve a politically correct narrative is pretty damning. Ahmed Mohamed and his family have since relocated to Qatar, not exactly a bastion of tolerance that encourages open inquiry. In any event, if the lawsuit does proceed, the discovery process should be interesting.
3:49 PM, Nov 24, 2015 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
While campaigning in New Hampshire recently, Hillary Clinton sounded a Donald Trumpian note on immigration.
“Look, I voted numerous times, when I was a senator, to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in,” she said, “and I do think you have to control your borders.”
Perhaps realizing the error of her ways, on Tuesday, the former secretary of state expressed regret for her remarks. But not for the reason you'd think.
Rather than apologize for the policy she espoused (liberals, after all, have for years decried the notion of building a “barrier” along the Mexican border) Clinton instead bemoaned her “poor choice of words”–in this case, “illegal immigrants.”
“That was a poor choice of words,” she wrote, “As I’ve said throughout this campaign, the people at the heart of this issue are children, parents, families, DREAMers. They have names, and hopes and dreams that deserve to be respected. I’ve talked about undocumented immigrants hundreds of times and fought for years for comprehensive immigration reform.”
It will be interesting to see if people were, in fact, more incensed by Clinton’s language than by the Trump-like policy of wall-building that she expressed her support for. If so, perhaps the Donald can expect support from the left if he starts talking about deporting the “undocumented” rather than “illegal immigrants.”
2:54 PM, Nov 24, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
As the administration at Princeton University prepares to consider removing the name of Woodrow Wilson from the institution's school of foreign affairs amid protests, one prominent parent of a Princeton student is speaking out. New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who is running for the Republican nomination for president, told THE WEEKLY STANDARD Tuesday that the Princeton administration's reaction to a sit-in protest by 15 students was "ill-conceived" and disappointing. Christie, whose oldest son attends Princeton, also called the protests going on at the university and other schools across the country "crazy" and connected to a "sense of lawlessness" perpetuated by President Barack Obama.
"If you don’t like the rules, they don’t apply to you. This is a tone that’s been set by the president of the United States, with sanctuary cities, with legalized recreational marijuana in certain states, even though it’s contrary to federal law," said the New Jersey Republican. "This is a guy who has allowed lawlessness to occur in this country, and we’re seeing the results of it."
The protests at Princeton are of particular concern to Christie—as governor of the university's home state, he is a member of the board of trustees.
A former U.S. president as well as one-time president of Princeton, Wilson's name and legacy are honored in several places on campus, including a residential college and the prestigious Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. But some students have pointed to Wilson's legacy of racist statements and opinions as reason to strip Wilson of these honors. Last week, 15 students staged a sit-in protest in the office of current Princeton president Christopher Eisgruber. The protest ended when Eisgruber agreed to consider their demands, which included removing a large mural depicting Wilson in the residence hall named for him.
"I am, quite frankly, disappointed in the administration at Princeton’s reaction to it," said Christie. "But I’m also an ex officio member of the board there, so I’ll express the rest of my opinions at our next board meeting. But I’m disappointed at the reaction. I think it was ill-conceived."
Asked about the role college administrators have played in perpetuating the current spate of protests, Christie blamed political correctness. "It's an overwhelming desire to be politically correct," he said.
Some reading & gift ideas from the boss.12:33 PM, Nov 24, 2015 • By JIM SWIFT
In this week's edition of the Kristol Clear-- which you can sign up for here-- the boss has some reading and gift suggestions for our devoted readers.
Here's an excerpt:
The Spirit of Thanksgiving
Happy Thanksgiving! And in celebrating Thanksgiving, why not pause to reflect on it? Thanksgiving seems to be a distinctively American holiday (with the possible exception of Canada). Other nations have independence days, memorial days, days commemorating the birthdays of their great leaders, etc.--but I'm not sure there's anything elsewhere much like Thanksgiving. And within the American tradition, Thanksgiving has always seemed to me an appropriate bookend to Independence Day. July 4th celebrates patriotic self-assertion, political independence and human self-government, Thanksgiving recognizes the other side of the coin, our dependence on something higher than us and our gratitude towards that higher being's beneficence.
Anyway, if you, like me, are at all intrigued by the meaning of these holidays, and you want to read up on them, there's a terrific resource available--at the American calendar section of the What So Proudly We Hail website created by the late Amy Kass, Leon Kass, and Diana Schaub. Take a look at the materials assembled for Thanksgiving. You'll be instructed, entertained, and might even find something to share around the Thanksgiving table, during halftime of one of the football games.
Independence Day (which you can read about here and Thanksgiving are, as I say, deeply complementary; but of course people do tend to fall into two camps, preferring either the assertive spirit of the one or the grateful spirit of the other. I've got to admit I'm probably in the Declaration camp, finding a special pleasure in honoring "that host of worthies, who joined with us on that day, in the bold and doubtful election we were to make for our country, between submission or the sword" (Jefferson's letter to Roger Weightman, June 24, 1826). But though a Declaration man, I think I still appreciate the spirit of Thanksgiving. And unlike so many others, I actually like turkey.
Holiday Gift Idea
The latest whining about an easily fixable 'problem'.11:10 AM, Nov 24, 2015 • By JIM SWIFT
Donald Trump has joined forces with Hillary Clinton and other presidential candidates to condemn the recent announcement that Pfizer, known for its erectile dysfunction drugs, is inverting in a merger with Allergan PLC to become an Irish company.
Well, technically, they are "reverse inverting" as Ars Technica notes:
by keeping ownership split somewhat evenly between the two companies. After the deal is complete, current shareholders of Allergan, which has the majority of its operations in the US, will own 44 percent of the mega company. The remaining 56 percent will be owned by current Pfizer shareholders.
Clinton and Trump seem to be mad about the deal for differing reasons. Here's Clinton:
For too long, powerful corporations have exploited loopholes that allow them to hide earnings abroad to lower their taxes. Now Pfizer is trying to reduce its tax bill even further. This proposed merger, and so-called inversions by other companies, will leave U.S. taxpayers holding the bag.
The fact that Pfizer is leaving our country with a tremendous loss of jobs is disgusting. Our politicians should be ashamed
Pfizer claims it has no plans to move jobs overseas, and will keep an "operational headquarters" in New York. Just as when Burger King inverted to become a Canadian corporation, you didn't see franchisees physically moving their restaurants to Mississauga to reap the benefits.
Clinton, however, is correct: Pfizer is trying to reduce its tax bill, and yes, it will save the company money.
While Trump's criticism seems to fit in line with his populist views, Clinton's is a shadowy defense of keeping America's "worldwide" tax system. A system that the Tax Foundation observes is "very rare."
The overly simple description of a worldwide tax system is that the U.S. expects its corporations to pay income taxes on its foreign earnings. But in practice, that only applies if and when they bring that money back to the United States. (Few do.)
That's because, as the Tax Foundation notes:
Taxing foreign income penalizes expanding both foreign and domestic investment, which are compliments (making foreign consumers rich enough to buy our stuff can only be a good thing).
9:15 AM, Nov 24, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new poll of Iowa Republicans shows Texas senator Ted Cruz moving into a close second to Donald Trump in the race for the presidential nomination. The Quinnipiac poll of 600 likely GOP caucusgoers found 25 support Trump while 23 percent support Cruz.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who led Trump in some Iowa polls last month, has fallen to third place with 18 percent. Rounding out the field is Florida senator Marco Rubio with 13 percent, while the remaining candidates poll at just 5 percent or less.
The Quinnipiac poll is the second this week to show Cruz moving in behind Trump among Iowa Republicans, and the Texas senator appears to be on the rise in the Hawkeye State. According to Quinnipiac, Cruz has a large lead among self-described Tea Party voters with 42 percent to Trump's 23 percent. He also leads among white evangelicals—a core group of support for Carson—with 27 percent to Carson's 24 percent. A plurality of those who call themselves very conservative support Cruz at 38 percent, and he even edges out Carson with Republican women 26 percent to 23 percent.
In addition to his rise in the polls, the Cruz campaign has touted its superior organization skills in the state, including a network of pastors and home-schooling parents.
8:01 AM, Nov 24, 2015 • By WHITNEY BLAKE
The nation’s capital, a top terrorist target, has received new advice should it come under a Paris-style attack. Instead of waiting for police to arrive, D.C.’s police chief is advocating a more aggressive -- albeit unarmed -- approach.
On CBS’s 60 Minutes, Police Chief Cathy Lanier told Anderson Cooper that potential victims caught in the crossfire should take proactive measures to avoid becoming actual victims:
Cathy Lanier: I always say if you can get out, getting out's your first option, your best option. If you're in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it's the best option for saving lives before police can get there. And that's-- you know, that's kind of counterintuitive to what cops always tell people, right? We always tell people, "Don't-- you know, don't take action. Call 911. Don't intervene in the robbery"-- you know-- you know-- we've never told people, "Take action." It's a different-- this is a different scenario.
Anderson Cooper: You're telling them that now though?
Cathy Lanier: We are.
However, it is unclear how one is supposed to “take the gunman out” and save lives. Washington, D.C. arguably has the strictest gun control laws in the nation. In accordance with the city’s gun laws, Chief Lanier literally stands between all law-abiding citizens and their ability to carry concealed weapons in the nation’s capital. She personally issues or denies concealed carry permits, and to date she has granted just 45 of them on a narrow “good reason” litmus test.
And she has only done so begrudgingly (i.e. by a recent court order). Gun ownership in Washington, D.C. became legal in 2008 as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court Heller decision. However, registered firearms amounted to very expensive paperweights for years, as carrying the firearms in public remained illegal.
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