Republicans are eager to shut down this Colorado gun bill. Here’s why their dream could backfire big time.
Will police support of the red flag bill in Colorado increase the odds of it passing? Maybe, but Republican leaders don’t want to approach the topic.
Assistant minority house leader Cole Wist, among others, is wanted by their liberal allies to shut up about taking guns and changing gun laws in Colorado. Conservatives fear that minute threats to change gun laws will boost strict gun regulations down the road – not among Democrats, as some on the left hope, but rather among Republicans.
Everett tweeted recently: “Another vote in defense of our civil liberties. No on HB 18-1436. Twitter will only let me tag 10 of my colleagues, but many more joined me in defense of your civil liberties #coleg #copolitics”
In response to many comments, Everett fired back saying: “I care about arbitrarily taking away people’s rights and removing due process, when they haven’t done anything wrong. I think Ben Franllin sad it best, ‘Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.'”
Trump supporters consider the second amendment under siege. They are livid that Democrats have attempted to seize it – and indeed ‘shall not be infringed’ is ever more important.
Why this stringent stance on firearms? Because these politicians see Republicans beginning to score using that strong political tool.
Conservative backed organizations are teaching voters that if Democrats take full control in Colorado, they will likely vote to remove the second amendment. They warn of a group of liberals that is extreme against the second.
The House is able to vote on the bill and sign it in by a simple majority, meaning it would require a 2/3 vote in the Senate to actually form legislature that would send the second amendment packing.
Not only do conservatives hope threatening second amendment messages will increase fundraising; they also hope the messages will help raise support of those voting in the House and Senate of Colorado. They hope that fundraising and awareness will help elect Republicans into Colorado government.
These Republicans are spot-on. Gun supporters consider their rights under attack. They are furious that Democrats have attempted to block their rights.
Trump supporters also think the media are out to support the “gun-grabbing liberals”. A large majority of Republicans think journalists and news sources make up stories about gun laws in an effort to sway the public. They are also increasingly skeptical of small gun laws that liberals say have no intention of harming any portion of the second amendment.
A Gallup poll shows only 46 percent of the country thinks gun laws in this country should be made more strict. Some 42 percent of Republicans Would definitely vote for or definitely vote against a candidate for Congress solely based on their stance on guns.
Pew Research Center also reports a similar trend: nearly 4 in 10 Americans view gun ownership as a positive thing in self-defense and live in a house with a gun.
In short, Republicans may be overlooking the possible benefits of this gun law in Colorado, designed to keep police and loved ones safe. Any hint of a gun-grabbing agenda will send the president’s furious backers charging to their lawmakers, if not even further. Could our students and police officers be safer because of this proposed, “Red Flag Bill”? It certainly could have prevented prior shootings.
This is important because although Republicans view it as a negative thing, this bill has the potential to save lives. Historically, this law, if in place, could have put the police in action in confiscating the guns at the house of Nicolas Cruz, the infamous Parkland School Shooter.
The NRA praised gun supporters for turning down the bill in a statement saying: “Thank you to NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters who continually contacted their lawmakers in opposition to this anti-gun measure”. In essence, the NRA and its supporters shut down a bill designed mainly to protect law enforcement. Will it impact their voter base in upcoming elections?
Previously, Connecticut, Indiana, California, Oregon, and Washington were the first to include civil gun seizure orders, and if the bill passes the Colorado House and Senate, it could be added to the laws in Colorado as well. Was the choice to shut down the bill the smartest? It is hard to say for sure.
Democrats hope to turn the tables in November. Instead of conservative activists driving the turnout, progressives expect the anti-gun fever that has sparked so many demonstrations over the past year to translate into a blue wave in November. They think the promise to impose gun regulations will add fuel to the left’s fire. With more millennials voting, the anticipated “blue wave” might not be too out of reach. Approving this bill might have helped conservatives in Colorado gain popularity amongst voters on-the-fence, without giving up a large portion of their gun rights.
House Majority Leader Alec Garnett has pushed for this bill saying, “The status quo isn’t good enough for CO.” He is looking to change gun laws in Colorado and set an example for the nation.
Nonetheless, many on the left are charging ahead, encouraged in part by donors, Garnett, Cole Wist and Lois Court. Guns will play a major role in upcoming elections, and that may be why representatives and candidates are taking such sharp stances on gun control and how guns should be handled.
Though just recently, Garnett has been pushing for this bill, he thinks that this bill is a necessary start in preventing gun violence in Colorado.
Some think that talk of legal encroachment on the second amendment is the stuff of right-wing fantasy and a useful strategy as Republicans try to fight off a Democratic wave. What began as political exaggeration with conservatives has now entered the Republican mainstream.
When the principal vocalist for this bill was police in Colorado, the bill seemed like it contained bipartisan support. But Republicans shocked many by voting 3-2 on party lines, effectively shutting down the bill, creating what many described as a let down for victims of gun violence and a potent mistake.
In addition, most recently, the Boulder City Council voted unanimously to ban assault rifles. Will Republicans pass gun legislation to prevent shootings in schools and concerts and movie theaters and parks? Will it be effective in putting an end to mass shootings, or will it just be another swipe at the second amendment?
Only time can tell.
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