Dutch Ruppersberger: Congressman

Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger was born on January 31, 1946 in the city of Baltimore, Maryland. (http://dutch.house.gov/) Currently, he represents his native state as a member of the United States House of Representatives. He presides over the 2nd Congressional district of Maryland and has done so since 2003. As a member of the Democratic Party, Dutch has won the majority of elections he has participated in for selected government positions. In 1994 and 1998 he was elected to the office of Baltimore County Executive. (http://dutch.house.gov/)

Following his two terms as county executive, Ruppersberger decided to run for Congress. He began his first term in 2003 after gaining over 54 percent of the votes in the election for the 2nd Congressional district of Maryland. Ruppersberger turned his victory in 2002 into to more success, being reelected in 2004, 2006 and 2008. (http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/electionInfo) In each of these four consecutive elections, Dutch has received a progressively higher amount of votes.

In 2002 he recorded 105,718 votes (54%), in 2004 he gained 164,751 votes (67%), in 2006 he earned over 69% of the vote and in the latest election of 2008, he recorded his highest ever vote total gaining 198,578 in sum. (http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/electionInfo) These four consecutive decisive victories for Ruppesberger affirm his popularity amongst the very diverse population of Maryland’s 2nd Congressional district. Mr. Ruppersberger also is assigned to very prestigious Committee duties within the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Congressman serves in one of the U.S. government’s most important economic sectors, the Appropriations Committee. Amongst the several duties of the Appropriations Committee, its main focus is funding for several sectors of the federal budget. Along with several other Congressman and government officials, under the Appropriations Committtee, Mr. Ruppersberger helps to budget and finance government programs involved in agriculture, defense, energy and water, foreign operations, homeland security, science, transportation and several other areas. (http://dutch.house.gov/) He is also on several subcommittees.

He does work for the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, and the Legislative Branch Subcommittee. He is also a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence. (http://dutch.house.gov/) This group focuses on the gathering and examination of intelligence information. Theinformation found by the committee is crucial to homeland security and protection from terrorist threats. (http://dutch.house.gov/) Dutch is also involved with several subcommittees that have goals of national security.

He is the Chairman of the Technical and Tactical Intelligence Subcommittee. He also has a seat on the Terrorism, Human Intelligence, Analysis, and Counterintelligence Subcommittee and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. (http://dutch.house.gov/) The 2nd Congressional district of Maryland, which represents over 662,200 inhabitants, is located in the central part of the state, mostly along the western banks of the Chesapeake Bay and expanding inward, encompassing parts of 3 counties and a major city in the state of Maryland. (http://dutch.house.gov/) Although its boundaries are contiguous, the Maryland 2nd is not uniform in shape and it weaves in and out of the City of Baltimore, Harford county, Baltimore county, and Anne Arundel County.

The population of the district is marked by diversity in many demographic areas. This part of the “Old Line State” harbors a varied assortment of races, but whites and African-Americans represent the majority at 67 and 23 percent respectively. Both people of the Asian and Hispanic are also well represented in the district, each exceeding over 15,000 people residing in the area. (http://fastfacts.census.gov/servlet/).

The median age in the area is 35.4, according to latest United States census. (http://fastfacts.census.gov/servlet/). The overwhelming majority of residents in the area fall between the ages of 25 to 45 years old, at over 30% of the population. (http://fastfacts.census.gov/servlet/). The median family income in the area was measured just above $44,000, which is above the United States average.

(http://fastfacts.census.gov/servlet/). Congressman Ruppersberger’s record on votes regarding gun laws and gun control in general is very clear-cut. He has a stance that is in favor of heavy gun regulation and a voting record to prove his stance on the issue. Since elected in 2002, the Congressman has voted on six pieces of legislation that have concerned gun issues. (http://www.votesmart.org) In every one of these votes he has voted against the loosening of gun regulations and policies involving firearms.

For example, in 2003 Congressman voted nay to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which would “prohibit civil liability actions from being brought orcontinued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages resulting from the misuse of their products by others,” according to the text of the bill. (http://www.votesmart.org)

Again he showed is resolve to protect against loose gun regulations in 2006 when he voted nay to the Trigger Lock Amendment. This bill’s purpose was to prevent funding from being used to regulate that guns being sold with safety locks. These votes in favor of gun control clearly portray the Congressman’s stance on gun issues. (http://www.votesmart.org)

According to an article from the Washington Post written in 2001 and updated again in 2006, after compiling a survey with participation from 5,000 residents of Maryland in regards to gun ownership, only 21% of the people responded yes to the question, “Are any firearms now kept in or around your home? Include those kept in a garage, outdoor storage area, car, truck, or other motor vehicle."

These results indicated that gun ownership is not as prevalent in Maryland as many other states, with only five other states having a lower percentage of gun ownership. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/health/interactives/guns/ownership.html) After a close examination of the 2nd Congressional District of Maryland’s representative, residents and overall cultural landscape a very easy conclusion can be made as to whether Mr. Ruppersberger will vote yea or nay to an upcoming bill ready to pass through Congress.

According to the text of the legislation, the purpose of the bill is to make it unlawful for any licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer to sell, deliver, or transfer a handgun to an unlicensed individual without an extended mandatory waiting period. After examining Congressman Ruppersberger’s voting history on gun control issues, he is very clear in his stance. He is in favor of regulation of the firearm industry in almost every way, shape and form.

This bill specifically targets gun manufactures, merchants and sellers of firearms, and Mr. Ruppersberger’s stance on gun control does not change, even when the producers of firearms are in question. He voted nay to both the Firearms Manufacturers Protection Bill and the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which aimed to protect these very manufacturers from liabilities regarding misuse of their weapons. (http://www.votesmart.org/)