Colorado’s Civil War

A recall election turned a local fight into the latest front in the national gun control debate

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Ed Andrieski / AP

Colorado State Senators Angela Giron and and John Morse who are facing recall elections.

All politics is local, the saying goes. But is it true anymore? Voters in Colorado may decide today.

Bigfoot out-of-towners have been pouring tons of money into two state senate districts, aiming to influence a rare attempt to recall sitting lawmakers. Though the recall effort began as a grassroots protest against the narrow passage of a gun control bill earlier this year, once the necessary petitions were signed and certified, the fight went national. One of the richest men in the world, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has pumped at least $350,000 into an effort to defeat the recall through his Mayors Against Illegal Guns organization. He is matched by one of the richest lobbies in Washington, the National Rifle Association, which has poured a similar amount into winning the recall.

And that’s where the politics of this unplanned late-summer brawl start to be really interesting. But to get the nuances we need to start at the beginning.

(MORE:  Red State, Blue State, Old State, New State: ‘Northern Colorado’ Tries to Secede)

Early this year, after President Obama made gun control legislation a key point in his State of the Union message, Colorado’s Democratic legislature mustered the votes to pass a bill expanding background checks and banning magazines that hold more than 15 rounds. When Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, signed the bill into law in March, many Coloradans suspected that he had at least one eye on some higher office, because Hickenlooper had never been known as a gun-control booster.

Nor had Colorado been known as a gun-control state: one organization that pushes for tougher limits on gun ownership gave the state a D on its report card; another granted one star out of a possible four. Hunting is a major pastime in the outdoorsy Mile High State, where highway signs just west of Denver point the way to Buffalo Bill’s grave. Revulsion over the mass shooting at an Aurora movie theater, the earlier Columbine High School rampage, and the massacre of little children in Newtown, Conn., pushed the bill through. But those events had less impact elsewhere than many pundits had predicted, and the Colorado Democrats who pushed the law found themselves at the head of a parade that had no tail.

The reaction was intense. People who wanted high-capacity firearms rushed to gun stores to beat the July 1 effective date for the new limitations. Applications for purchase permits jumped by more than 80,000 from the same period a year earlier. Sheriffs in 54 of Colorado’s 64 counties joined a lawsuit challenging the new regulations as unworkable and unconstitutional. And in two state senate districts, gun rights voters who felt their views had been scorned quickly collected thousands of signatures necessary to recall Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo. It’s the first legislative recall in Colorado history.

Why those two in particular? Because each one represents a wrinkle in the fast-changing fabric of Colorado politics. A generation ago, this was a state in relatively peaceful balance. The Democrats concentrated in Denver, Boulder and Pueblo, while Republicans were scattered across the high prairies and ranchlands and suburbs. Statewide races tended to be decided by personalities and the issues of the day; during much of the 1980s, Colorado’s U.S. senators were the liberal Democrat Gary Hart and the conservative Republican Bill Armstrong—an almost inconceivable spread in these days of regional polarization.

(MORE: Can Obama Turn Colorado Blue?)

As Colorado’s cities have grown, through migration and immigration, the Democrats have gotten the upper hand, though—at least for now. Four of the last five governors have been Democrats; both U.S. senators are now Democrats; and the party has a majority in both chambers of the state legislature.

Conservatives are feeling embattled in a state where they have always felt at home. In the rural northeastern part of the state, there’s a movement to secede from Colorado and set up shop as State No. 51. The recall efforts are a more pragmatic reaction, given the politics of the two districts.

Morse, the Senate president, represents the most conservative of Colorado’s big cities. Colorado Springs is home to a large number of military retirees and has been a magnet for evangelical Christians over the years. The fact that any Democrat can win there is proof of the shifting electorate, but Morse’s wins have always been squeakers, which makes him potentially vulnerable.

Ousting Giron is more of a longshot, according to polls, but what puts her at risk is the fact that Pueblo Democrats are not as reliably liberal as Boulder Democrats. Despite years of industry trouble, steelmaking is still the dominant private enterprise in town, and the steelworkers union is vital to the local party. It’s reasonable to think that blue-collar Democrats might feel differently about gun rights than their fellow partisans in the faculty clubs and organic food markets of Boulder.

These are the currents running beneath the storm of publicity stirred up by Bloomberg and the NRA. Eager to join the fray, defeat the gun lobby, and keep a firm grip on the statehouse, other big-money Democrats have opened their checkbooks, too—including Los Angeles billionaire Eli Broad, who is in for at least $250,000. All told, liberal groups and individuals have put more than $2 million into campaigns that normally cost less than one-tenth of that.

(MORE:   ‘Stand and Fight’: Scenes from the NRA’s Annual Meeting)

On the conservative side, some late money has been arriving to augment the NRA funds from Americans for Prosperity, a group associated with the billionaires David and Charles Koch. But it is unlikely that the right will match the left in total spending. Too many GOP office holders are nervous about the precedent that would be set by a successful recall. As recall organizer Tim Knight told Charles C.W. Cooke of National Review magazine: “The Republicans don’t want anything to do with us because they think, ‘Next they’ll recall us’.”

Can outside money drive a local election? And if so, which way will the election be pushed? Polling stations in both districts have been open for days, and they report heavy turnout. There is no question the new law kicked over a hornet’s nest of angry gun owners, which in turn has motivated the other side. But when the ballots are counted tonight, the deciding votes might well belong to Coloradans who don’t like having their politics turned into a national plaything.

78 comments
evenabrokenclock
evenabrokenclock

Why don't we do it in the road?  No one will be watching us. Why don't we do it in the road?

Aspblom
Aspblom

If there were not this diversity, there would not be this conflict

Aspblom
Aspblom

Diversity is what this is.. Love diversity or hate it, this is what it is.

TimeReader2013
TimeReader2013

This is a sad day for all elected officials. What's amazing is that the additional gun controls haven't even impacted us in Colorado. In practicality, additional control hasn't been a big deal. This recall is an expensive fuss about nothing - people throwing their weight around with their noses put out of joint. The 'right of people to hold and bear arms' was infringed from the moment tanks,grenades and nuclear bombs etc were invented. And rightly so, its just plain sensible to protect society. I person's individual rights always have to be balanced against protecting society.

tpaine
tpaine

And the results are in - Colorado spoke and they're both OUT.  Well done Colorado.  Well done.  Utopian socialists are NOT smarter than "we, the people."

doctorfixit
doctorfixit

Colorado - please get rid of your gun grabbers..

aConservative
aConservative

Calling all Liberals - calling all Liberals:

 "The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”  - 2nd Amendment to US Constitution after SCOTUS Heller decision of 2008.

14 words and just where do you Liberals see taxing, limiting, registering, controlling, background checks, "Assault Weapons ban", etc. and NOT infringing on this RIGHT?

Please enlighten me………..

RebelAliiance1
RebelAliiance1

"The Court stated that the right to keep and bear arms is subject to regulation, such as concealed weapons prohibitions, limits on the rights of felons and the mentally ill, laws forbidding the carrying of weapons in certain locations, laws imposing conditions on commercial sales, and prohibitions on the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. It stated that this was not an exhaustive list of the regulatory measures that would be presumptively permissible under the Second Amendment."

Read again Ozzy. "This was not an exhaustive list of regulatory the measures that would be permissible under the second amendment."

This can be found in the library of congress from the supreme court. So I say again its quite convenient that you leave this out when talking about how those in favor of gun control laws are not upholding the constitution.

Personally I thnk its more likely that a maniac will need to reload if his magazine has a limit than me ever needing an unlimited magazine to protect myself. I guess that's just me.

CameronRobert
CameronRobert

The NRA, the Republicans, Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas, should get a little of their own shooting medicine instead of innocent people all the time.

 And if the Rethuglicans continue to try and overthrow elections and seize power for themselves, they'll soon face a violent wake up call from the public.

RebelAliiance1
RebelAliiance1

Ozzyman the quotes are accurate and true. Google library of congress second amendment and you will find this ."The Court stated that the right to keep and bear arms is subject to regulation, such as concealed weapons prohibitions, limits on the rights of felons and the mentally ill, laws forbidding the carrying of weapons in certain locations, laws imposing conditions on commercial sales, and prohibitions on the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. It stated that this was not an exhaustive list of the regulatory measures that would be presumptively permissible under the Second Amendment."that is nearly word for word what was said. You are talking semantics when you say you can't buy a machine without a background check. Gun advocates push for no limits to magazines and while not fully automatic the weapons used in the school and movie theaters dispensed more rounds in a very short time than anyone needs to protect themselves. For the record I've voted both republican and democrat in my life and the only agenda I'm pushing is common sense. You say that it would be easy to craft a bill that ... No gun legislation easy when their exists such fearful and irrational opposition as you present and the is more dangerous for it. Honestly do you need more than 15 round to feel safe? Personally I think you are a coward if you feel so. If one of these maniacs has to reload it might save a kids or movie goers life. I've personally never heard of anyone need more that many rounds to protect themselves and don't think you can out muscle the us military.

JohnKaelin
JohnKaelin

It is not just about about gun control, it is about the fact that the right to keep and bear arms is a Constitutional right, and the right to self defense is a natural right.  A politician who, although he or she has sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution will vote to deny one Constitutional right can not be trusted with upholding the others.

Belarusa
Belarusa

This is a matter of native Coloradoans fighting against the hordes of idiot California liberals migrating to their state because they've finished ruining California and now want to turn a great mountain state into another California leftist hellhole clone. Liberalism is a plague, liberals are the vector and wherever they go, freedom dies.

Cleetus
Cleetus

Mr. Von Drehle should go back and rewrite this article, but this time he should consider having a factual article.  This recall election had little to do with gun control other than it happened to be those bills that cause this ruckus.  The reality is that the bill was drafted and passed in a manner that violated numerous procedural laws and processes.  People were not allowed to comment on the bill even though they were slated to speak.  In fact, they were not even allowed into the building.  The bills have been condemned by all but one sheriff in the state because they are not enforceable.  The sheriffs were going to testify to this effect, but they were not allowed to speak.  The normal commenting and discussion period was shortened to less than 24 hours and the list of law making rule violations goes on.  The primary problem was not the content of the bills, rather it was the manner in which these two Democrat politicians hijacked the normal process of promulgating laws in Colorado so that they could push through a bill they favored and did not want any democratic debate derail this bill.  In the future, it would be a good idea to write the truth about situations instead of pushing your liberal ideologies. And, you might want to mention that up until Sunday, the outside forces were outspending the recall effort, grassroots campaign by a rate of 8 to 1.  One would think that is something of a valuable statistic when discussing how outsiders are trying to influence state politics.  It makes one wonder why New Yorkers should have an interest in the laws and policies of a western state.

Ozzyman
Ozzyman

Holdsteady 76. You are wrong on most of your points. The SCOTUS ruling did not say they were protecting weapons only in common use at the time the amendment was passed. What they did say was banning a firearm in common use, such as handguns, was unconstitutional. They also stated specifically that this was not the case as shown below from the ruling.

"Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivo­lous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not in­terpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modernforms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.We turn to the phrases “keep arms” and “bear arms.”Johnson defined “keep” as, most relevantly, “[t]o retain;not to lose,” and “[t]o have in custody.” Johnson 1095. Webster defined it as “[t]o hold; to retain in one’s power or possession.” No party has apprised us of an idiomatic meaning of “keep Arms.” Thus, the most natural reading of “keep Arms” in the Second Amendment is to “have weapons.” 

You also show how little yo know about this subject with your statement about buying a machine gun without a background check. Class 3 firearms are very tightly controlled. There is simply no way a person can walk into a gun show, gun shop, or any place where it is legal to buy a firearm and walk out with a machine gun. In fact, the process to buy one takes several months, and requires an extensive federal background check.

Lastly, most gun owners do not oppose background checks or keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. What was proposed simply created a registry of legal gun owners that was felt to be more important than the stated purpose. It would have been very easy to craft a bill that would have made background checks effective and supported without the requirements to pay fees, go to a dealer, or have permanent records kept. Insisting on these provisions to the point of killing the legislation proves that this was an attempt at a registry, not keeping firearms away from criminals.

Holdsteady76
Holdsteady76

Having a few more rounds magazine isn't going to win you an arms race against a government that has spent more on its military for the last 50 years than most of the industrialized world combined. Who anyone call themselves responsible gun owners and not support background checks is beyond me. If you want to drive a cab you need to pass a background check, but not to buy a machine gun?As to the second amendment argument, people should look at the 2008 supreme court ruling protecting an individuals right to bear arms. In particular examine their comments they issued with their 5-4 ruling in which they stated They were protecting The sort of weapons "that were in common use at the time" the second amendment was ratified. They went on to say "Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on the longstanding Prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally Ill, or laws forbidding the carrying or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications On the commercial sale of arms. "These are the words of the highest court in the land are conveniently forgotten by those opposed to common sense gun laws when they choose to talk about how their rights are trampled. The fact is we should respect an individual s right to bear arms, but a lot of gun control legislation imagined or proposed is perfectly consistent with the courts ruling.

RuthSmith
RuthSmith

As a 40 year resident of Colorado, I think it is time to admit that  in the last few years we have evolved into the State of Cal-orado.

Randall_Flagg
Randall_Flagg

RickFischer, that is why any right thinking person better think twice when they hear the Kaliforicators are moving to their state. Unfortunately, because of job creation, Texas could be next.

RickFischer
RickFischer

At the heart of this is all the Democrats who screwed up California and took refuge in Colorado now using their vote to screw up Colorado in the same way. 

pauljacobsen1
pauljacobsen1

"When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe." - Thomas Jefferson

pauljacobsen1
pauljacobsen1

Grass roots organizations like the NRA need to defeat the big money liberals like Bloomberg who  are attempting to buy elections.


Dangoodbar
Dangoodbar

What about the other issues? 

When two people agree on everything only one of them is thinking and I want my representatives to be thinking. 

I mean gun safety is an important issue, but not that important especially when considering the minor issues involved, backround checks and clips over 15 rounds.  Most gun owners support backround checks and don't own clips with over 15 rounds anyway. 

What is really happening is a power play by the gun lobby to scare off any attempt at common sence gun safety.  But what bothers me even more is that I don't agree with my representatives at any level on everything.  So even if I disagreed with my representatives on this one issue, if I supported them before the gun safety bill passed I would still support them.  And the reverse is true. 

The real danger here and why I hope the recall is not successful is because representative government requires flexibility and to hold representatives to a pure standard any issue is to hold them to a pure standard on every issue which makes representative government impossible.   

jefnvk
jefnvk

There should be a better way to govern the divide between city and rest of the state.  Large cities need more home rule and less pushing things through state legislature.  Extremely large cities should be given charter like Wash DC, separate from any state.  To think both urban and rural areas need similar laws on guns (in all reality, on many issues) is crazy, unless you happen to be on one of the extreme ends.

aConservative
aConservative

Calling all Liberals - calling all Liberals:

 "The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”  - 2nd Amendment to US Constitution after SCOTUS Heller decision of 2008.

 14 words and just where do you Liberals see taxing, limiting, registering, controlling, background checks, "Assault Weapons ban", etc. and NOT infringing on this RIGHT?

 Please enlighten me………..

martyb
martyb

I would like to think that all responsible gun owners would abhor the loopholes that allow anyone, regardless of legal status, to purchase a handgun through a gun show, or straw purchase. I fail to see how limiting magazine capacity to 15 rounds will impact your ability to defend yourself. If you can't hit your target with 15 rounds, I would suggest that you find another means of defense.


madsatyrist
madsatyrist

@aConservative Funny how the founders didn't see it that way.  Might want to read up on the history of the militia in Boston, both pre and post Constitution.  Given they had requirements and restrictions on gun size, mechanics, workability, availability and so forth, the evidence is pretty much that the "militia" part of that statement was given a good deal more weight by the founders than by current gun rights standard bearers. 

GBM
GBM

@CameronRobert"Their own shooting medicine?"  Simple math 10,000 incidents of firearms violence / 60,000,000+ firearms owners says that maybe .02% are involved.  However criminals are not likely to have been counted as valid firearms owners so you can take that number down a notch.  Then subtract those where the firearms were used by law enforcement from that number or citizens in valid self defense. 

Then consider that the NRA has been pushing for decades to make firearms violence a federal offense to increase prosecution.  I don't see any news items involving the NRA, Scalia, Alioto or Thomas in the violence.  Nothing left to support your comments other than to assume pure prejudice and bigotry on your part.  Instead of attacking the innocent and responsible, work on focusing on the actual perpetrators.

GBM
GBM

@RebelAliiance1 First, only law abiding people obey the law and restrictions.  Criminals tend not to.  What's the penalty for having an illegal magazine when the rap is already murder?  But beyond that, a practiced shooter can reload before a teacher can grab another hand full of chalk to throw in self defense.  Then there is the New York reload--a second, third or fourth firearm.

A responsible person is responsible whether the magazine holds 5 rounds or 100.  The violent criminal is a violent criminal and not going to worry about the details.

Sig'N'Tell
Sig'N'Tell

@RebelAliiance1   Why would someone in the act of violating multiple laws (the maniac gunning down kids in your example) care about violating one more - i.e., the magazine capacity restriction?  More than 15 rounds could easily be necessary for self defense in the case of multiple attackers, since one shot often does not deter an attacker and not every shot hits its target, even with trained shooters.  Why do you think police carry multiple magazines with that many rounds?

GBM
GBM

@Belarusa I disagree with you only in that classic liberals are not authoritarians, but rather open minded.  Those currently running under the title of liberal are leftist authoritarians bearing no resemblance to true liberals.  Doing Business As, fictitious title.

madsatyrist
madsatyrist

@Ozzyman By that foolish arguement, nuclear weapons should be for sale to the public.

Belarusa
Belarusa

@Holdsteady76 You liberals continually demonstrate you are incapable of possessing common sense. This is why you think adding more and more restricitive laws that only affect law abiding people will do anything to fight crime. 

 Get bent, liberal.

vince1
vince1

@Holdsteady76 Comments is like this make me question whether 'everyone' should have the right to vote.  There should be a questionnaire on a ballot "Do you need a background check to buy a Machine Gun -- Circle Yes or No"  When people with a misguided understanding of the facts such as yourself, of no fault of their own (I blame the media) answer Circle No, your vote should go right in the trash for the simple reason you don't understand.  Same goes for Politicians that are legislating for things they don't understand, like "Using Clips up after they are shot" 

Here are a couple facts. not only do you need a background check to buy a Machine gun, you need to register that Machine gun with the BATFE.  You also need to submit finger prints and photographs.

The rest of your comments follow the same logic as "common sense gun controls".  There are no such thing!  The very thought that you can some how legislate Criminals and Evil Doers away from getting guns makes no sense.  It makes as much sense as abstinence as a way of teaching sex education.  

Criminals by their very definition break the law.  Do you think a criminal is not going to buy a gun off the street because it is illegal to do so.  Personally think that in the off chance these laws worked, all that would happen is you would create a market for guns to be smuggled in and sold via the same channels as all the drugs that come in to this country.  AND factoring in that it is no more difficult to make a machine gun than it is to make a rifle, I would wager to guess that instead of Hand guns, this new breed of criminal would be getting machine guns.

Lastly Very very very very few gun sales in this country happen without a background check.  I HAVE bought guns from gun shows and 95% of the people selling guns at gun shows are businesses that are selling 99% of the guns.  That means FFL Background checks for all transactions.  And people who have guns now are not selling them...  This administration has done more for gun sales then any other in history.

Belarusa
Belarusa

@RickFischer They're like a liberal locust plague, aren't they? They destroy one state and move on to the next like wheat fields. We are already feeling the effects of Californians here in Idaho too, though we are doing our best to fight their mindless liberal disease.

RuthSmith
RuthSmith

@pauljacobsen1 We now refer to Mr. Bloomberg as the Mayor of Colorado, he has already purchased the loyalty of our governor and the rest of Colorado Democratic Party.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@Dangoodbar What seems to be lost in this little debate is the cost of gun ownership.  These are the consequences of gun ownership over which people who propose to use firearms for "protection" can not control.

More Americans are dying from firearms per capita (and in real numbers) today than they were six years ago, an increase of about 20%.  Murder/suicide leads the charge.  Fatal, accidental shootings come in second.  Things like the young woman who was shot to death in a prank gone wrong, or the little boy who was shot by his friend when she found the family gun.  These things happen pretty much daily mostly because firearms aren't treated with the respect they demand.  The paradox being that if they ARE treated that way, they're pretty useless for "personal protection".

In analyzing the statistics of the consequences of gun ownership, the fact is, if you have a gun in the house, your chances of dying (not just being wounded) by a firearm are 500% (or 5 times)  to 2000% (or 20 times) HIGHER than for those who don't live in a home with a firearm.  The variables include age, gender.

Two things are absolutely certain: Having a gun will not protect youAnd having a gun will substantially increase your risk of dying from firearmsIn fact, all of the major pro-gun ownership arguments are false or misleading.

This is the truth, whether one wishes to believe it or not.  And the situation is getting worse as more and guns go into our society.  Guns are the leading cause of death within one year for people who buy one.  Usually, it's suicide.

Another thing to think about: The greatest killer of Americans over the course of the history of this country since the Constitution was written - including all sources, all enemies, all wars, all terrorist attacks in all locations all over the world where Americans have died at the hands of someone who isn't an American -  is other Americans by a 4:1 ratio.  In other words, for every American killed by someone who wasn't an American, four Americans died at the hands of another American.  By the end of the decade, the ratio will be 5:1 if current trends continue.

And we call the Middle East barbaric for the way they blow each other up.

This is the cost of gun ownership.  You have the right to your guns.  But it seems to me the best weapon anyone should ever rely on is their brains.  Because no matter how good of a shot someone is, a person with a brain will survive.  A person with a gun against someone with a brain will not.

DoubleTap
DoubleTap

@Dangoodbar I was wondering what exactly your source was for the beliefs of "most gun owners"  Because while I don't know MOST gun owners,  I personally know literally hundreds of gun owners.  I'd estimate that over 90% of them own magazines that hold over 15 rounds of ammunition.  I also have yet to hear a single one of them personally support expanded registration schemes, which is what the thinly disguised "expanded background checks" really are.  Neither of these laws have anything to do with "gun safety".  They are ineffective laws that only impact responsible gun owners while having ZERO effect on violent crime. 

 What is really happening in Colorado is that elitist East and West coast billionaires are tying to infuse their own statist politics into a state that is firmly entrenched in firearms ownership, hunting, independence, and personal liberty.   The NRA is not some evil empire or vast political/governmental entity.  They represent millions of individual American gun owners.  And this is EXACTLY the sort of grassroots movement that the NRA, the GOA, the NAGR, and others were intended to support. 

 Also, you might find it interesting that the marijuana lobby in Colorado is also closely watching the recall election.  Morse and Giron are both staunch marijuana prohibitionists and the "weed guys" want them gone just as badly as the "gun guys". 

Politics makes for strange bedfellows, but anti-freedom politicians need to be put on notice.  We've had enough and we're not going to take it any more.

RandyTownsend
RandyTownsend

@Dangoodbar : In short, what a crock. Everything immoral or dangerous that can be done with a firearm is already illegal, so there is no such thing as "common sense" gun control legislation. Any new restriction on gun owners is simply to deprive them the use/possession/ownership of certain firearms or accessories (unless you're a "law enforcement" officer - then the laws don't apply to you).  Yes, representative government requires "flexibility". It also requires absolutes: Some things elected pols just don't do. When that line is crossed, it is right, proper, and necessary to remove them from office. Don't agree? Then vote "No". But this representative government is not an entitlement of the office holder. Hopefully, a majority of Colorado residents will agree and send them both packing.

robertbauer2533
robertbauer2533

For many years, CA has limited semi-automatic rifles to 10 round clips. The recent election of super-majorities in both the CA Senate and Assembly has led to a more strident anti-gun stance. Senate Bill 374 would ban outright all semi-automatics with detachable clips - which is virtually all such guns.

Your 'minor issue' will come to your street someday, when the next evolution of social zealots finally succeed in criminalizing red meat, the use of petroleum in any form, and all GM foods. So move to California and see your future.

HenryCrum
HenryCrum

@Dangoodbar The recall is single issue politics. Many believe the laws that were passed should be unconstitutional. The politicians had in previous elections voiced opposition to gun control. Thus the outrage is over a specific issue. They may not care about the other issues, that one is enough.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@aConservativeI'm not actually a liberal, but I'll answer the question.  You have a right to keep and bear arms and no one has even remotely suggested they're going to take any arms you have from you.

There is no constitutional right to BUY ARMS.  The arms can be regulated in sales all they want.  Waiting periods.  Background checks (because it is illegal for a felon to own firearms).  This does not infringe on your right to KEEP IT OR BEAR IT once you have it.

And given that "arms" is explicitly undefined in the constitution, we have a long history of deciding what arms may and may not be owned by private citizens and under what circumstances.  As a private citizen, for example, you can't own a strategic nuclear weapon (banned by both federal and international law), but the right isn't prohibited.  The same goes for smaller weapons.  The most common "arms" that were kept and bared back in the day were swords and knives - both prohibited in most places today without much fanfare or objection (It's far easier to kill someone with a knife or sword than a gun - assuming one bothers to learn the weapons).

But the bottom line on "arms" definitions is that we can choose what arms can and can't be owned at all and have long precedent for it.  And in a sense, the Bill of Rights does not trump the rest of the constitution's intention.  The preamble of the constitution states it clearly: 

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

How one chooses to interpret promoting the general welfare may be subject to politics, but the facts are irrefutable: Guns don't promote the GENERAL welfare.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  Those who own guns, or associate with people who do, die or are injured from guns by several orders of magnitude more than those who don't.  Dozens of studies back this up.  The number one cause of death for people who bought a gun within a year is a gun.  On a general level, the second amendment TODAY is a detriment to the general welfare.

Furthermore, you didn't quote the ENTIRE second amendment.  As with most gun advocates, you entirely left out the reason it's there: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state..."

The percentage of gun owners who actually train in militias (whether well regulated or not) with their own arms is so minuscule as to be statistically insignificant.  And because of that, the second half of the second amendment becomes a direct threat to the security of that free state.  We hear about the fatal results of undisciplined, unregulated gun owners every day. 

The abortion debate has proven that there is no final word on any constitutional right.  The Supreme Court in Roe Vrs. Wade unconditionally stated that a woman has a right to choose (based on the 14th amendment's equal protection), and yet the conservative side is trying to stop that.  So the liberal side has the same kind of right to fight an amendment's interpretation because such things change over time.

I have no problem with gun ownership, myself.  But the fact is, without mandatory training and continuing education, inspections and regulation, the carnage is only going to get worse.  Gun rights advocates are demanding the right, without accepting any of the responsibilities of that right.

And that is the real problem.

tootiredtodance
tootiredtodance

@martyb thats your problem, you dont think.   u dial 911 and pray, Ill have my gun , thanks

jenjen330
jenjen330

@martyb Marty, you're looking at this backwards. 

People shouldn't be required to explain why their rights shouldn't be infringed, whether it's their Second Amendment rights or any other. It's up to the people who want to restrict people's activities to explain why that's a good idea. And, face it, the gun control arguments don't stand on their merits. 

That's why gun control advocates (like Obama) have to stand on the coffins of dead children and use them as a political soap box. Emotional arguments are all they have.

whatmeworry
whatmeworry

 . funny how you totally  have no clue about the second amendment. it was DUE to having a militia-a government force  if you will. That was the reason that keeping the private civilian arms were and still are a necessity  whereas you bow to kneel and scrape to your masters since you can't be trusted with a firearm. 

madsatyrist
madsatyrist

@robertbauer2533 And its chance of passing?  Pretty much nil.  Plus, you are worrying about people in another state. 

BobJan
BobJan

@allbuss @martyb  I can verify that too. Though what I was used to seeing was the VC all hopped up on dope. You would find dead ones with maybe 10 to 15 rounds in them from an M-60 but I think the first 2 or 3 did it and they were just still upright when they took the other ones. But a .45 and 14 rounds, I'd be skeptical of that.

BobJan
BobJan

@jenjen330 @martyb  I need an explanation for something and maybe you have an answer. When I served in Vietnam and had my M-16 if I remember right my clip held 20 rounds. Today our soldiers have mag's with 30 or 31 rounds. So if it's alright to expect someone in "combat" to be limited to 31 round mag's why should it be okay for "Johnny Rambo" to have a 100 round magazine?

GBM
GBM

@gfr7071 @Belarusa @Holdsteady76 It's interesting how hostile and hateful people who hate firearms owners are.  I can understand their concern when they expect firearms owner to be the same level of hateful person.

madsatyrist
madsatyrist

@aConservative @DeweySayenoff Tell you what, I'll just promote a tax of 500$ per pound for propellant powder.  At 7000 grains per lb, that's going to make a 22 cartridge cost about 50 cents after the other items are figured in.  Seems to me that's both effective, constitutional, and perfectly legal in every case.  If that's where you want to go with this, fine.  OFC, we could make it a 10,000$ per lb tax, that might work really well.

BobJan
BobJan

@allbuss @BobJan @jenjen330 @martyb  When I used it, most of the time it wasn't on auto. After that I carried an M-79 and a .45. And the M-79 was a one shot.  Like one person on this thread said, if you can't bring it down with 15 rounds, you're just going to waste the next 85. Have a good one.

allbuss
allbuss

@BobJan @jenjen330 @martyb 

Your M-16 was also fully automatic a civilian AR-15 is not. They limited your magazine capacity to limit weight and ammo waste.

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