The fiction versus reality of guns in Colorado

On SaturdayВ The Denver Post’sВ Jordan Steffen reported that “Almost 1,000 people gathered outside the Colorado state Capitol.” Based on the pictures taken by Andy Cross, its difficult to see howВ The Denver PostВ derived its estimate of 1,000 people. Counting approximately 40 people in the front row and then counting 10 to 12 rows back, it seems a generous estimate would be about 500 people.

Leaving aside the numbers, Steffen’s reporting also failed to address the fundamental disconnect between what gun owners are protesting and what state lawmakers and President Obama are proposing.

Many [attendees] held up signs with messages such as “Party like it’s 1776″ and “Registration is the first step to confiscation.”

Gohlke, a competitive shooter, drove up from Colorado Springs to attend the rally, she said.

“I’m worried that Obama is going to take my gun away. I’m not only worried as a competitive shooter but as a woman who would like to defend myself,” Gohlke said. “The more laws there are, the more criminals there are going to be.”

State Rep. Chris Holbert, R-Parker, spoke at the rally[...]

“The Second Amendment serves as a defense against tyranny, and I will not compromise on that issue,” Holbert said. “I am not going to compromise on the Second Amendment.”

In reality, President Obama’s plan would:

  1. Close the background check loophole to keep guns out of dangerous hands (polls with 83% support in Colorado)
  2. Ban military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines (polls with 62% support in Colorado)
  3. Help schools invest in safety
  4. Improve mental health services for young people

Contrary to all the fear mongering, nobody is trying to take people’s guns away; a registration system has not been proposed; there is no looming tyrannical threat; laws only create criminals if people choose to break the law; and the Second Amendment right to “bear arms” is only being compromised against its own provision for “a well-regulated militia.”

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2 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    Good post. The point about “a well-regulated militia” can’t be overstated. These statements are contrary to that notion..

    “I’m worried that Obama is going to take my gun away. I’m not only worried as a competitive shooter but as a woman who would like to defend myself,” Gohlke said. “The more laws there are, the more criminals there are going to be.”

    “The Second Amendment serves as a defense against tyranny, and I will not compromise on that issue,” Holbert said. “I am not going to compromise on the Second Amendment.”

    These folks must then support the notion of an un-regulated militia…which would not be in keeping with the 2nd. Ignorance and fear just don’t mix well…

  2. The current Supreme Court does not recognize “a well-regulated militia” as the defining reason for a 2nd Amendment (and if you’re not a textualist/originalist, it isn’t these days – irony of ironies).

    However, if a case were presented for background checks, I think even this court would agree that it is helpful to the concept of a well-regulated militia.

    Assault rifle bans may very well go a different route under this court (and under the philosophy presented last week on Thom Hartmann’s show, which states that the 2nd Amendment was a sop to the slave-owning states to ensure that the Federal government couldn’t disarm the state militias through its centralized control of them).

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