Insert witty quip about bloody shirts here:

9 News – The conversation on gun control is getting louder (than) ever since the theater shootings this summer. Many victims of the shooting and their families say now is the time to take a stance. They’re lobbying the legislature to pass stricter laws during the coming legislative session. […] Representative Beth McCann and Representative Rhonda Fields are co-sponsoring a bill that would ban the sale and possession of assault weapons and high capacity magazines. McCann says the bill is still in the early stages, but it’s coming along.

“I’m looking at legislation to address banning the sale and possession of really assault weapons. I’m really targeting these weapons that seem to be designed to shoot as many people as you can in a short period of time,” McCann said.

Here’s the problem with that concept, as I outlined in my article about assault weapons: these guns aren’t actually being used to commit many murders. The ones they are involved in are certainly high profile, but it’s a statistically insignificant proportion of total murders committed. I’d give their statement more credibility if they started with a handgun ban rather than an AWB. Not saying I wouldn’t still rip it to shreds from a legal, moral and statistical point of view, just that it would make more sense.

And what’s a “really assault weapon” anyway? Is that something that has a shoulder thing that goes up?

McCann says she and Representative Fields respect the second amendment and they’re being careful in writing the bill because they don’t want to impact the rights of hunters and people trying to protect themselves. However, the legislators say there are certain weapons that don’t need to be accessible to everyday people.

Slight issue: AR-15 rifles are quickly becoming the hunting rifle of choice in the United States.

Seriously, is there any better rifle for hunting in most states? You can quickly change calibers, change sighting systems, even change barrel length and you don’t need a trip to the FFL. Forget for a second the fact that the Second Amendment isn’t about hunting, these representatives do indeed appear to be lying through their teeth when they claim that an assault weapons ban won’t impact hunters or people looking to defend themselves.

As always, down near the bottom of the article the journalist trots out the requisite “other side of the argument” and grabs a quote from one of the pro-gun bunch:

Gun owners, like Dudley Brown, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owner’s says the question isn’t if people need certain weapons. He says it’s about freedom.

“Banning guns won’t do anything to stop crime. I have yet to see any solutions that would have even the slightest effect on crime,” Brown said.

Many gun owners say it’s not the guns that are killing people, it’s the deranged people who get them. Attaching the rights of those owners who didn’t break the law isn’t the way to go.

Attaching rights? I’ll let that typo go for now, since there’s a paragraph here that’s absolutely screaming for attention:

An Edison Research poll conducted for the AP shows that the majority of Coloradans are fine with the way gun laws are now. Representative McCann says the results of the poll aren’t consistent with the feedback she’s been getting so she’ll continue to push for stricter laws. Governor Hickenlooper says he welcomes the conversation on gun control, but says it goes hand in hand with the conversation on mental health.

These public servants are elected by the people and sent to represent their constituent’s views. So it makes perfect sense that these elected representatives would completely ignore polling data about what their voters want and defer to the vocal minority of complaints they’ve been getting instead.

Democracy at work. Moral of the story: contact your representatives.

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59 Responses to Colorado Legislature to Consider Assault Weapons Ban

  1. We really need to start a movement requiring anyone wanting/wishing to hold public office undergo a common sense test………

    Again, let’s pass a LAW, because we all know how much the criminals always obey the law!!!!

    • We don’t need a “movement” because we have elections. If we, the people, don’t require common sense from our pols then we will get exactly the government we deserve.

  2. And yet the AR played such a small role in the shooting since it jammed. I guess that part of the story isn’t consistent with the feedback she’s receiving either.

    • Notice how the banners never mention that little fact, only the fact that it had a “100 round clip”. In fact, I have never seen any report as to how many rounds he was finally able to fire from his rifle before he tossed in favor of his handguns; I suspect it was less than half.

  3. All good points in rebuttal to this plan, Nick. Here we go again…Reps McCann and Fields grab for the low-hanging fruit (Ban Assault Weapons [whatever those are]) instead of tackling the true (and difficult) issue of how to keep crazies from obtaining guns to attempt and sometimes commit mass killings. Same old…same old…I recall that in Civics Class it was stated that the Constitution was designed to protect Minorities from the “Tyranny of the Majority”. Now it looks more and more like we have swung in the opposite direction too far, which is probably why so many of us in the Majority believe the US (The greatest experiment in Human Freedom ever devised.) is falling into the trash heap of History.

    • It can’t be done. The UK, Germany, Norway, Finland etc. have all had mass shooting events in recent years and they have far stricter gun control laws than we do. For instance, a taxi driver went on a spree with a shotgun in the UK in 2010.

      You cannot prevent a crazy person from getting weapons. Crazy people can be stopped by good people using their own weapons, though. There are a couple of ways you can make that more likely to occur: put cops everywhere (police state) or encourage responsible citizens to arm themselves and take charge of their own safety.

      McCann is simply going for a power grab while claiming it’s for the public good. This is incrementalism at its finest. Let’s say that tomorrow assault weapons are banned in CO or anywhere else. What happens when Little Bobby and Billy decide to shoot up their school with handguns? Inevitably, more calls for gun control. But wasn’t banning assault weapons enough? No, because now there is some other devil to fight and we must ban it, for your own good.

      This is seen as progress. The pro-gun left certainly has their work cut out for them.

  4. The last go-round gun control legislation would meet a quick end in committee in the Republican controlled House. Unfortunately, they lost control of the House and are now in the minority in both the House and the Senate. Our only hope now is that there are enough Democrats who oppose additional gun laws in the legislature that the Republicans can form a coalition to stop nonsense like this.

    • One of the primary reasons the democrats have been able to re-take both houses of the legislature and the governorship is that they’ve been smart enough to tell their pro-gun control members to STFU. So my guess is that the dem leadership will pat Reps McCann and Fields on the head and say ‘thank you for your concern’ and that is the last we’ll hear of it.

      Governor Hickenlooper has never been a huge friend of gun owners but AFAIK neither in his current role as governor nor in his previous one as mayor of Denver has he done much to antagonize gun owners, either. Hick is a smart democrat who knows that pissing off gun owners in CO is a no-win proposition: Even if it buys him the vote of every anti-gunner in the state (votes he would likely have gotten anyway) it will antagonize a huge portion of the voting public. The last CO politician I recall trying to “take on the gun lobby” was Dottie Lamm, circa 1998, and she lost badly to Republican Bill Ritter.

      • “Governor Hickenlooper has never been a huge friend of gun owners but AFAIK neither in his current role as governor nor in his previous one as mayor of Denver has he done much to antagonize gun owners, either.”

        Wasn’t he a named cross-appellant (as mayor of Denver) in State of Colorado v. City and County of Denver (Colorado Supreme Court Case No. 04SA396)?

      • I think you mixed up your Bills. Owens was a Republican, who I believe signed the current concealed carry legislation. Ritter was a Democrat, former Denver DA, and no friend of the gun owner.

        I think you’re correct in supposing that Hick won’t want to antagonize gun owners. He’s no fool, and if anything is a small d democrat.

  5. Nick’s last sentence nails it on the head. Every day, as pro gun advocates, we should be communicating with our representatives.

    These attacks are relentless. One email to your state and federal rep’s is not enough. Stay in CONSTANT communication. Take a moment to be informed. Show the name or number of the proposed legislation. Easy to find on many sites that monitor this stuff.

    It can make a difference.

  6. The timing of this push is fairly telling. Things are not going
    Colorado U’s way. The state declares students can carry and
    everything the school does to deny this is stymied. In arguments
    between students and faculty, many professors come off as
    ill educated weasels. My guess is the school is behind this push
    via favors/threats. If an AWB passes it would be a bit
    easier for the school to then argue why carrying on campus
    is bad.

  7. As a Colorado resident, this is the first I’ve heard of this. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was just about the last, too.

  8. Case in point:
    The Theater had a 100% gun ban making the perp a defacto law breaker when he opened the door. Proving once again that gun bans are 100% useless in preventing crime (see Chicago).

    • Amen.
      There’s a simpler, much more effective way to stop wackos from slaughtering innocent people — ban the “gun free zones” they choose to turn into “victim rich/murderer safe zones”.

      Footnote #13 from a paper “Multiple Victim Public Shootings” by Lott and Landes:

      “. . . the recent rash of public school shootings . . . raise[s] questions about the unintentional consequences of laws. ALL the[se] public school shootings took place AFTER a 1995 federal law banned guns (including permitted concealed handguns) within a thousand feet of a school. . . . “

      “It is interesting to note that during the 1977 to 1995 period, [prior to the federal law, a total of ] 15 shootings took place in schools in states WITHOUT right-to-carry laws and ONLY ONE took place in a state WITH this type of law. There were 19 deaths and 97 injuries in states WITHOUT the law, while there was one death and two injuries in states WITH the law.” (EMPHASIS ADDED)

  9. Colorado Constitution Article II, Section 13
    The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.

  10. Another well intended (maybe) but idiotic and shortsighted attempt to fix something that’s not broken. Some one might want to whisper in these lawmakers ears something like: “Psst, I think millions of those horses already left the barn a long time ago…….”

    Either they are really that dumb, which I doubt, or this is just about garnering politiKal cherry points. I don’t think that this AWB attempt will go anywhere.

    What I really worry about is Obamacare. Every treatment and prescription that we get in the future will be in a federal database. How long before a question like this one shows up in the NICS form 4473: “During the last five years, have you ever been treated for or been prescribed any medication for anxiety, insomnia, depression or any other mental health issue?” And they do not need Congress to approve that.

    J.

    J.

  11. “Representative McCann says the results of the poll aren’t consistent with the feedback she’s been getting ….”

    That would be due to the fact that the only people she actually talks to are fellow members of the chattering classes, who hate guns.

    And who cares what the masses want? The ELITES like Ms. McCann know what is best for us! Shut up and eat your vegetables.

  12. I guess Colorado’s foray into liberty by re-legalizing the recreational use of certain plants was just an anomaly. It seems the politicians are still hell bent on descending into tyranny.

    • The legislators had nothing to do with that foray into liberty. It was a referendum voted on directly by the people.

      • Exactly my point. Some bureaucrat screwed up down at the vote counting office. But the politicians will be damned if they’re gonna let a bunch of measley tax cows get in the way of “progress.”

    • Weed is an approved vice while gun ownership is not. That is Progressive way. There are good vices to be enouraged and bad ones to be prohibited. Progressives what to control what you eat or smoke because of the “healthcare” costs but are ok with sexual practices that are equally costly to society. One is approved while the other is frowned upon.

  13. Having lived and worked as an LEO in the neighboring state of Wyoming in the 1980s, the mixed attitude about guns in Colorado always puzzled me.

    Too many Californians and Easterners in general must have moved there.

    Reminds me of an article I read years ago titled, “The Californication of Montana”. They had the same problem, for a while, but after one winter, most moved on.

    Too bad.

    • my brother lives in idaho and there’s a kalifornication of a certain county there that is home to former and current (for vacation homes) kalifornia-ites and other east coast liberal elitist debauchery. no need to make mention of the county. a picture is worth 1000 words 😀 http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/2012/results/idaho

      Truly sad how they infect comparatively free states with the very ideas that led to a undesirable climate that caused them to move from their previous states to begin with.

  14. Around 1990, Denver passed its own version of an “assault weapons” ban.

    In the early 2000s, there was a lawsuit by the city of Denver concerning the right of the State of Colorado to pre-empt local gun control laws. Specifically, whether municipalities could still prohibit concealed-carry and “assault weapons”. (Colorado became a “shall issue” CCW state in 2003).

    The state Supreme Court ruled that Denver could not prohibit concealed carry, but could prohibit assault weapons.

    If, for the sake of argument, the State of Colorado does pass an “assault weapons” ban, could local governments pass ordinances making “assault weapons” legal in their municipality?

    • The municipalities derive their powers from the state, so a municipality can no more legalize something that the state has proscribed than a municipality could legalize prostitution, gambling or drug sales (note that the 3 municipalities that do allow gaming – Cripple Creek, Blackhawk and Central City – were were specifically granted permission to do so as a result of State law.)

      So the short answer is “no they could not.”

      However, all of these decisions WRT Colorado gun laws pre-dated McDonald. But any future restriction on ownership of weapons would have to survive a McDonald challenge (not to mention a challenge to the state RKBA which is part of the CO Constitution.)

    • The “assault weapons” ban went down based on state pre-emption, but the “high capacity magazine” ban somehow survives. So, you can own a scary looking rifle if you live in Denver, but your magazine can’t hold over 20 rounds.

      However, there is an exemption for passing through Denver with them for hunting or target shooting.

  15. If I may…
    The word “Rights” in essence, identifies the natural status of each person, only becoming relevant with the presence of another person or persons.
    For the purpose of ‘understanding’ the concept of “Rights“ consider the following:
    “If you were the only person in existence on the whole of the planet, what “Rights” would you have?“
    Obviously from this position, absent the existence of any other person who could somehow affect your otherwise ‘natural status’ — the word “Rights” would become wholly meaningless and insignificant.
    Recognition of the ‘natural status‘ of every individual, in societal context that is the “Rights” of each person, is the very basis upon which the most evolved system of government ever devised as been fashioned and established — embodied as that of the American Constitutional Republic form.
    The primary purpose for institution of government under the Constitutional Republic form is to “Secure Rights”.
    What “Rights”? Exactly those same “Rights” a person would have without the existence of any government at all.
    Under the terms and conditions of a Constitutional Republic, individuals have “Rights”, persons in government have ‘powers’, and only those ‘powers’ afforded to them by Consent of the governed.
    Now. Consider the following:
    If you were the only person in existence on the whole of the planet, what ‘Rights’ would you have?
    Would you have the “Right” to ownership of your own body as your first order of property?
    Would you have the “Right” to the benefits of your own labor?
    Would have the “Right” to own other property such as land, and the “Right” to own possessions?
    Would you have the “Right” to Self-defense?
    Would you have the “Right” to keep and bear arms?

    • Samuel Beckett provided a description of the situation.

      From “Waiting for Godot” :
      ******
      ESTRAGON:

      We’ve lost our rights?

      VLADIMIR:

      (distinctly). We got rid of them.

      Silence. They remain motionless, arms dangling, heads sunk, sagging at the knees.

      ******
      I doubt if any rights will be taken from us. We will simply have a democratic majority convinced it is “in their best interest” to get rid of those troublesome rights which cause us so much pain.

    • I have “rights” regardless if there’s anyone around to aknowledge them. My “rights are” always there so long as I live. If I’m the only person on the world it simply means I don’t have to worry about any humans intruding on my “rights”.

  16. So, under a Constitutional Republic form of government, individual persons have “Rights”, persons in government are afforded few and limited ’powers’, and only those ‘powers’ granted to them by consent of the governed.
    Each State has a Constitution, that is a Compact, a legally-binding Contract between persons in government and the Citizens of that State. Said Constitution provides a framework for the operation of government, and written provisions declaring and enumerating certain specific “Rights” of the people of that State. Such declarations serve several purposes, among them, as written laws specifically limiting ‘powers’ afforded to government and as statements of certain “Rights” persons in government are bound to protect and defend.

  17. “Slight issue: AR-15 rifles are quickly becoming the hunting rifle of choice in the United States. Seriously, is there any better rifle for hunting in most states?”

    You have to be kidding! Do you actually hunt? For how long exactly? I have hunted my entire life and I have seen exactly zero AR-15s in the field. Better rifle for hunting? Well an M70 Winchester for one. Or how about a Kimber 84M? The list goes on but doesn’t include any ARs, not with any real hunters which you obviously are not to say such a thing. It speaks volumes of about your lack of knowledge of ballistics not to mention ethics. People like you do not belong in the hunting field and I am serious.

    Your comment is as inane as some of the gun control people’s propaganda. They constantly show a total lack of knowledge of guns, you show a total lack of knowledge of hunting. An AR is a terrible choice as a hunting weapon except in very exceptional circumstance and specific game. Most real hunters would shy away from anyone carrying an AR.

    BTW, I own an AR but I don’t use it for hunting and I don’t need hunting as an excuse to own it. It is my right to own it. You say the 2nd Amendment isn’t about hunting and say so yourself yet you try to tie ARs, which were never designed for hunting and are not hunting weapons to hunting as a reason for their use by civilians. Very strange.

    My guess is your interest in hunting comes from your interest in guns and your interest in guns comes from gaming or movies. Most real hunters I know have hunted since childhood and are fishermen too. Hunting and fishing are the same thing to them, just different tools used. And yes, they appreciated nice guns just as they appreciate and Orvis CFO III fly reel or a Sage rod.

    If you tell me you have hunted your whole life, well sorry I will not believe you. No real hunter would call an AR a hunting rifle. Most would be disgusted with anyone using such a weapon hunting.

    Gun rights are something that I am all for but hunting ethically is also a cause of mine and you are exactly the type of person I want to stop. I will not at all be surprised that you can’t understand why since I doubt you think about the consequences of your actions to the animals you hunt or to the traditions of ethical hunting.

    You should stick to speaking about self-defense issues and stay away from hunting. Oh, BTW, exactly how many self-defense shootouts have you been in that make you such an expert on the subject, outside of video games that is? Yeah, I thought so.

    • FLAMED DELETED The AR is a great all around rifle, for just about any game on the continent. You can get one in .308 Win, .300 Black out, .243 Win and the list goes on. Which one of those cartridges has not the ballistics for most game? Any one of them is fine for deer and the .308 Win has taken game up to the great bears. If a person cannot afford multiple rifles in multiple calibers, an AR in .308 Win would be a good choice.

      • I really do not like ARs but it can be a good hunting rifle for someone that dose not have the cash to buy both a hunting rifle and a Defence gun. The AR also offers ease of use and care.

    • “Most would be disgusted with anyone using such a weapon hunting.”

      I don’t give a damn what the effete hunting crowd thinks of my guns. My Mosin is my hunting rifle and it was never intended by its creator to be used for that. It’s an implement of war re-purposed.

      Deal with it.

    • I am going to give Jim the benefit of the doubt and say he is really talking about the AR-15. Only a couple of states allow you to use NATO 5.56 for hunting anything except varmints and nuisance critters like feral pigs. I think he would agree that AR patterned weapons in hunting calibers are ok.

      Like Jim I have never seen an AR-patterned rifle used during deer season (doesn’t mean that people don’t use it). I have seen M-1s and M-1As however.

      • Feral pigs must be pretty small in some parts of the country if you can take them with 5.56 or .223. Around here, they run up to 350 lbs, and a caliber that small will just make them angry. Then again, California doesn’t allow you to take deer with a .223 either, and most of those are pretty small.

        • You can kill the children with a 5.56.

          The only state that I know that allows you to take deer with small bore is NY. I know there are a couple of other states but I just don’t know which ones.

          Milsurp: you can a decent bolt gun for less than an AR.

      • I am not a hunter, but a quick search of the interwebz seems to indicate that NC has no rifle caliber restriction for hunting. Pistols must be .24 caliber or larger though when going after deer or bear. I don’t think it would be ethical to use .22LR, but it appears to be legal. For our small deer .223 / 5.56mm could well be sufficient.

    • It doesn’t matter what you think is “ethical” Jimbo. If someone wants to hunt with an AR and it’s legal in their state, they have a right to do so and your opinion means jack. If they make an unethical kill or let a wounded deer go without tracking it, the game wardens will take care of that and it’s none of your business. Not everyone can afford those artisan crafted Remcheserby rifles in some oddball hunting caliber with the $1,500 glass anyway.

    • I’m not going to respond line by line, since that would take too long and I can’t be bothered.

      All I’ll mention is that this kind of mentality, that there’s a “right” hunting rifle and anything that breaks tradition is bad, is what is driving away prospective new hunters.

      “An AR is a terrible choice as a hunting weapon except in very exceptional circumstance and specific game. Most real hunters would shy away from anyone carrying an AR.”

      That’s your opinion and you’re welcome to it, but its that kind of mentality that is causing some serious damage to the image of hunters in the views of the upcoming generation of shooters. Criticizing and demonizing the chosen tools and techniques of new shooters instead of offering helpful advice to guide them is not the way to go.

      • +1 Nick.

        What is wrong with hunting with an AR? If that is the only rifle/long gun a person has, then by all means go hunting with it as long as you follow your local laws. It may not be ideal, but it can get the job done in the hands of a capable shooter.

        As previously mentioned also, there are various calibers accomodated by the AR platform like 22lr, 6.8SPC, 6.5G, 300BLK, 308Win, 458Socom, 50Beowulf, etc. A person is not limited to 5.56/.223 only, which is a common misconception of the AR15.

        If you have access and funds to buy a more appropriate long gun for hunting, by all means go ahead and use whatever bolt gun of specific caliber you choose.

        Is it ideal to commute in a V8 truck or a Hummer H2? Not really, but it is done by millions of Americans everyday. What’s more ideal is a 4-cyclinder compact car, but that is not the choice of many drivers in the US.

        This is a free country. Hunt with whatever you prefer or whatever you have available.

    • the AR is a very practical, safe, reliable, and accurate weapon for use in hunting.

      be vewy, vewy quiet. im hunting fudds.

    • Your belief in “hunting” sounds very odd to me, almost like Marisa Tomei character in “My Cousin Vinny”: “BAM! Do you really think the deeyah gives a fu** what pants you’re wearin’?!”
      Why would the deer care what style gun killed it?
      The only part of hunting, that I consider *SPORT*, could be done *WITHOUT* a gun at all, that is finding the animal, and getting close enough to make a clean kill with whatever weapon is used.
      Does your friends shy away from those using AK47s/SKSs as well? Even though the rounds are adequate for most deer size game?

      In years past, I’ve used an AR-15 to kill several deer, and around 30 wild hogs without loss of a single animal. (Disability has since taken me out of the field, but shot placement is the main reason for any hunting success.)

  18. Yeah, pass a law….wait…wasn’t the guy already breaking a law, or many laws, when he went on his shooting spree? I wonder why those laws didn’t stop him.

  19. “After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people
    who didn’t do it. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a society where the only people
    allowed guns are the police and the military.”

    — William S. Burroughs

    Btw, Colorado is surrounded by states without AWBs and is probably swimming with normal capacity magazines. So ban flash-hiders and telescoping butt stocks. Have fun.

  20. Have to ask how the legislator look in Colorado?? For most parts if a republican holds leadership in one it wont happen. Whats your take Mr. Leghorn??

    And of course they dont listen to the people they think there National Socialism is too important than letting people rights get in the way.

    • After the first of the year the Democrats will control both houses in the legislature and the governor’s office.

  21. People and companies could leave the state if such a ban became law. I wonder how much Magpul contributes to Colorado’s tax base and employment statistics?

  22. It has become quite clear to me (after reading and listening to the anti-gun crap these people are spewing) that they fully expect us to hunt geese with clubs, hunt moose with bolt action .22’s and defend our property with rocks, as long as there isn’t a pistol grip or “that folding thing in the back” attached to either.

    Hunting deer however has been left alone entirely. You are expected to hunt deer with the front of your car/truck, as it has always been.

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