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Pro-Gun Control Legislators Voted Out In Colorado Recall Elections

Gun Flag

In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings in December, Colorado was one among many of the states that enacted some form of gun control legislation, much to the consternation of groups such as the National Rifle Association. As a result of the Colorado effort, though, gun rights organizations went forward with recall efforts against legislators who had voted in favor of the legislation and were able to successfully get recall elections on the ballot for two such legislators. Last night, to the surprise of many, those recall elections were successful, including the one directed against the Democratic State Senate President:

COLORADO SPRINGS — Two Colorado Democrats who provided crucial support for a slate of tough new gun-control laws were voted out of office on Tuesday in a recall vote widely seen as a test of popular support for gun restrictions after mass shootings in a Colorado movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.

The election, which came five months after the United States Senate defeated several gun restrictions, handed another loss to gun-control supporters. It also gave moderate lawmakers across the country a warning about the political risks of voting for tougher gun laws.

The recall elections ousted two Democratic state senators, John Morse and Angela Giron, and replaced them with Republicans. Both defeats were painful for Democrats – Mr. Morse’s because he had been Senate president, and Ms. Giron’s because she represented a heavily Democratic, working-class slice of southern Colorado.

In an emotional concession speech, Mr. Morse called the loss of his seat “purely symbolic” and defended the record of the last legislative session as “phenomenal.”

“We made Colorado safer from gun violence,” he said afterward, as his supporters trickled away from a hotel ballroom here in his district. “If it cost me my political career, that’s a small price to pay.”

For advocates on both sides, the stakes in Tuesday’s elections were far bigger than the fates of two state politicians. As money and national attention poured into Colorado, a state of hunters that has been stained by two mass shootings, the races became a symbol of the nation’s bitter fight over gun control, with one side bolstered by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York and the other by the National Rifle Association.

While both sides campaigned vigorously, knocking on doors, holding rallies and driving voters to the polls, gun-control advocates far outspent their opponents. A range of philanthropists, liberal political groups, unions and activists raised a total of $3 million to defend Mr. Morse and Ms. Giron. Mr. Bloomberg personally gave $350,000.

It was not enough to help Mr. Morse overcome the conservative outrage that erupted this winter as Colorado’s Democratic-controlled statehouse passed several gun laws over near-unanimous opposition from Republicans and Second Amendment advocates. Among other things, the new laws require background checks for private gun sales and limit ammunition magazines to 15 rounds.

Mr. Morse’s hand was on the tiller during much of that debate. A former police chief, he said he found himself in a position of not just rounding up votes, but actually explaining the mechanics of guns to fellow Democrats. He brought a magazine to show his colleagues how it worked. In an emotional speech in March, as the debate reached its peak, Mr. Morse stood on the Senate floor and spoke of gun violence and “cleansing a sickness from our souls.”

His opponents pounced on the remark, framing it as a sign of Mr. Morse’s disregard for his gun-owning constituents, as well as a symptom of the widening gap between Colorado’s urban Democrats and its rural Republicans.

Mr. Morse represented a slice of Colorado Springs that straddles those fault lines. His district is closely split among Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters. And on Tuesday, despite huge voter-turnout drives and Obama-style neighborhood canvassing, more of Mr. Morse’s opponents showed up to cast him out.

The passions ignited by the vote were on full display on Tuesday, as opposing sides lined up side by side outside polling places here in Colorado’s second-largest city. They spoke of knowing survivors of the mass shooting inside the Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colo. Two of Mr. Morse’s sisters held up a banner, and complained that their brother’s opponents were twisting his record and his words in bitter attack ads.

Over at The Washington Post, Sean Sullivan discusses the consequences of what this means for the gun control movement:

It’s not every day that you see an incumbent recalled from office, let alone someone as high-profile as a state Senate president. The message the defeat of Morse and Giron sends to legislators all across the country is unmistakable: If you are thinking about pushing for new gun-control laws, you could face swift consequences.

“You could almost call it the bellwether state as far as what’s going to happen down the road as far as gun-control and Second Amendment rights,” Republican George Rivera, who will fill Giron’s seat, told The Fix late last month.

The particulars of Tuesday’s elections prompted some gun-control advocates to argue that the results shouldn’t be over-read. For one thing, voters didn’t receive mail ballots automatically, a substantial change of protocol in a state where the majority of voters cast their votes via mail. For another, the losses don’t mean Republicans will control the Senate; nor do they mean the gun laws that Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) signed into law will be repealed.

“This election does not reflect the will of Coloradans, a majority of whom strongly support background checks and opposed these recalls,” said Bloomberg in a statement distributed by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group he co-founded. “It was a reflection of a very small, carefully selected population of voters’ views on the legislature’s overall agenda this session.”

But it shouldn’t go overlooked that the two districts where voters cast ballots tilt more Democratic than Republican. And the anti-recall side easily outraised the pro-recall interests. The Democratic losses are a reflection of the fact that enthusiasm was squarely on the opposite side of Morse and Giron.

“The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is proud to have stood with the men and women in Colorado who sent a clear message that their Second Amendment rights are not for sale,” the NRA’s political arm said in a statement.

While the long-term significance of the election will assuredly be be debated, it’s hard to argue against the proposition that lawmakers in other states will have Colorado somewhere in their minds the next time a push to tighten gun laws begins ramping up.

In the larger debate over gun laws, Tuesday was another victory for the NRA and its allies, who earlier this year demonstrated the power they wield in the campaign to prevent the passage of tighter gun restrictions in Congress.

In the specific context of Colorado, it’s unlikely that this will have an immediate impact on the state’s gun control laws. Even with these two losses, Democrats will still hold a one seat majority in the State Senate as well as a majority in the lower house of the legislature. Additionally, Governor Hickenlooper is likely to veto any effort to repeal the recently enacted gun control laws as long as he’s in office. However, next year is an election year and Hickenlooper will be up for re-election along with at least some portion of the state legislature. No doubt, this victory will embolden gun rights groups in Colorado and elsewhere, who will see it as a sign that the time may be ripe for them to make the type of political gains necessary to change the laws that were passed only a few months ago. It’s also likely to serve as impetus to similar organizations in other states as we get closer to mid-term elections that will decide not only the makeup of Congress but also control of Governor’s Mansions and Statehouses throughout the country

What was particularly significant about this victory, though, was the fact that the victory came even though gun control groups from outside the state had outspent gun rights groups in the two elections:

[T]he anti-recall side could hardly plead the underdog on this one. Bloomberg contributed $350,000, philanthropist Eli Broad kicked in another $250,000, rank and file gun control supporters sent countless checks from across the country and the broadening of the race to other issues brought in other progressive groups, such as Planned Parenthood.

This was supposed to have been the big test for Bloomberg’s group and other gun control advocacy groups that have sprung up in the wake of Sandy Hook. Previously, that side of the argument was massively outspent by the NRA and other groups. This time, though, the tables were reversed and, still, the gun rights groups were able to pull off a victory. Granted, there are several caveats to take note of here. Gun rights groups had carefully selected the legislators that were targeted in the recall to ensure they were from areas where voters sympathetic to their arguments resided. Additionally, recall elections typically result in far lower turnout than General Elections, thus making it easier for a smaller group of voters to have an disproportional impact on the outcome of the election. Finally, as David Kopel notes in a lengthy post at The Volokh Conspiracy that is worth reading, there was much more at issue in these elections than just the gun control issue, not the least of them being the manner in which many gun rights advocates felt as though State Senate Democrats had conducted hearings on the legislation in a manner that shut their voices out of the process.

Notwithstanding all of those qualifications, though, it’s fairly clear that these recall victory will be seen, and should be considered, as victories for the the gun rights side of the ongoing argument over gun control. Where it heads from here only time will tell.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    Notwithstanding all of those qualifications, though, it’s fairly clear that these recall victory will be seen, and should be considered, as victories for the the gun rights side of the ongoing argument over gun control. Where it heads from here only time will tell.

    It’s a victory for the cult of gun ownership too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  2. JKB says:

    One significant showing is the margin of loss in the “safe” Democrat district. Pueblo is a blue-collar district but voted out the tag-along senator (the senate leader restricting testimony and encouraging caucus not to read or listen to communications from constituents) with a resounding “hit the road”. And not even Bloomberg’s money, Obama’s organizers or Clinton’s charisma could save either of them. And one of the grassroots groups that led this recall was started by three blue-collar guys. One much to the chagrin of Democrats, yet another plumber.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  3. Paul L. says:

    LOL So much for the progressives new conversation on guns prompted by Newtown.

    Dems please keep believing this talking point.
    Debbie Wasserman Schultz attributed the recall-election loss of two Democratic Colorado state senators last night to “voter suppression, pure and simple.”

    “Tuesday’s low turnout was a result of efforts by the NRA, the Koch brothers, and other right-wing groups who know that when more people vote, Democrats win,”

    Hope there is more Gun Control talk from the Dems in 2014.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 10

  4. Pinky says:

    To use a gun metaphor, keep your powder dry. Political issues are very rarely settled for good. Party affiliation is also rarely fixed – a lot of people have been talking about Colorado as having turned “blue”, as if that is somehow irreversible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  5. PD Shaw says:

    I’ve got no personal insight into Colorado politics, but drove around the state for a couple weeks in early June. The big story was that phone records revealed that Bloomberg and the Governor had worked together on the gun legislation, something the Governor had previously either denied or dissembled on. One possible take away here is that Bloomberg is not a nationally-respected figure (like say Brady) and his metropolitan, patriarchal paternalism hurts his cause.

    The other attacks I heard: “The legislature needs to represent more than Denver-Boulder.” And so-so promised to be pro-gun when they ran for election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  6. Mark Ivey says:

    They got re-called for limiting magazines to 15 rounds?? *sighs+

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

  7. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda: It’s a victory for the cult of gun ownership too.

    If liberty be a cult, then count me in. If the Constitution be a manifesto, then where do we begin…again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 12

  8. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    If liberty be a cult, then count me in. If the Constitution be a manifesto, then where do we begin…again.

    Liberty is not a cult, however for millions of gun owners, gun ownership is a cult.

    Also, when did ‘well-regulated’ get excised from the Second Amendment?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 9

  9. Snarky Bastard says:

    @JKB: Well a well regulated militia often regulates what types of weapons its members have — see Militia Act of 1792 for legislation that described what types of weapons were acceptable for a well regulated miltia.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  10. markm says:

    I am not a fan of recall elections but the system worked and the people have spoken.

    What works in NY doesn’t mean it will work everywhere.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  11. Paul L. says:

    @Snarky Bastard:
    The most advanced personal arms at the time.
    So the 1st amendment only applies to printed materials and not to TV,Radio and the Internet?
    @al-Ameda:
    What part of” Right of the People” and “Shall Not Be Infringed”. do you not understand?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 10

  12. PD Shaw says:

    @Mark Ivey: The Colorado law also banned guns with features that were believed would allow after-manufacture conversion to hold more than 15 rounds. Gun rights organizations and the Sheriffs argue that these features are so common that most guns would be banned, particularly semi-automatic handguns. It could be the law is just written like crap and is ambiguous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  13. Jeremy says:

    @al-Ameda: “Well-regulated” in the Second Amendment means that the militia is well supplied and well trained, not that the government passes regulations to ban or control guns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 9

  14. Pinky says:

    @PD Shaw:

    A former police chief, he said he found himself in a position of not just rounding up votes, but actually explaining the mechanics of guns to fellow Democrats. He brought a magazine to show his colleagues how it worked.

    Now, why would you believe that these legislators wouldn’t put together a clear and beneficial law?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda: @Snarky Bastard:

    I suggest you both read the Heller decision

    But, no one is denying the the right of the legislature to administer the organized militia. But the first independent clause in the 2nd Amendment does not mean impose regulations upon nor does it negate the second independent clause. The one where the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    Moby Thesaurus words for “well-regulated”:
    arranged, businesslike, formal, habitual, harmonious, in hand,
    methodical, normal, ordered, orderly, regular, routine, steady,
    symmetrical, systematic, uniform, usual, well-ordered

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  16. al-Ameda says:

    @Paul L.:

    @al-Ameda:
    What part of” Right of the People” and “Shall Not Be Infringed”. do you not understand?

    Okay, fun game – What part of “well regulated” do you not understand?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

  17. grumpy realist says:

    All right, everyone! Party time! Who’s going to get the poll rolling on a) the number of “accidental” shootings we have in Colorado over the next year, b) the number of deaths, and c) what will be done about them?

    I’m volunteering: a) 500 shootings, b) 40 deaths, and c) nothing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  18. al-Ameda says:

    @grumpy realist:

    All right, everyone! Party time! Who’s going to get the poll rolling on a) the number of “accidental” shootings we have in Colorado over the next year, b) the number of deaths, and c) what will be done about them?
    I’m volunteering: a) 500 shootings, b) 40 deaths, and c) nothing

    Deal me in, $20 on the following:

    (a) Accidental shootings: 666 (3 by professional; athletes)
    (b) 166 deaths (0 professional athletes)
    (c) Action taken: Complain that Obama wants to confiscate our guns

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  19. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    arranged, businesslike, formal, habitual, harmonious, in hand,
    methodical, normal, ordered, orderly, regular, routine, steady,
    symmetrical, systematic, uniform, usual, well-ordered

    Who wants orderly regulation of gun purchases? That would be terrible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  20. Pinky says:

    @grumpy realist:

    and c) what will be done about them?

    What would you do about them?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    Now that the Colorado gun lobby has unseated the two, they will immediately get to work on legislation to issue guns to the blind.
    What could possibly go wrong?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  22. grumpy realist says:

    @Pinky: Well, I’d start off by making sure that guns don’t get into the hands of people who a) are wacko, b) have been convicted of any crime involving anger management issues, c) have any history whatsoever of carelessness with machinery, or d) are convinced that A Gun Is The Best Way To Solve Everything. I’d register guns and have a gun owner be responsible for anything that happens to someone via his gun.

    Unfortunately, the Second Amendment was written for a period of time when the population of the US was much smaller than it is now. You could be an absolute ass with a gun and probably only kill yourself. Now it’s much easier to kill other people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  23. Paul L. says:

    @al-Ameda:
    Note the comma before the right of the people to keep and bear arms

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state being the reason for the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  24. JustAnotherPoster says:

    Oh for Pete’s sake. All this chatter about introductory clauses and the meaning of a militia is moot. Settled law. Read the Heller decision here: http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/07-290.pdf

    You don’t have to agree with it, but it’s a waste of time to infer that the ‘militia’ question is still open for interpretation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  25. James Pearce says:

    @Bob @ Youngstown:

    Now that the Colorado gun lobby has unseated the two, they will immediately get to work on legislation to issue guns to the blind.What could possibly go wrong?

    Ha!

    Of course, even though the recall effort was successful, the law still stands. So….high fives all around, I guess.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  26. Pinky says:

    @grumpy realist: Not very realistic. How would you make sure that guns don’t get into the hands of such people? A history of carelessness with machinery – really? And how would you determine who thinks that a gun is the best way to solve everything? Do you think you could register all guns, or even a significant portion of the ones used to commit crimes? In what legal way aren’t gun owners already responsible for their guns? It just doesn’t sound like a plan. It sounds like a warm intention, a good one, but nothing realistic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  27. wr says:

    @JustAnotherPoster: “You don’t have to agree with it, but it’s a waste of time to infer that the ‘militia’ question is still open for interpretation. ”

    Except, of course, that this court made up this interpretation after a couple hundred years’ worth of courts disagreed, so if there was a liberal court with as much contempt for precedent and the notion of settled law as this one it could be thrown out.

    Or are right wing decisions holy writ, while liberal ones are temporary?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  28. JustAnotherPoster says:

    @wr:

    Yes, Court opinions can and do change. You and others are welcome to argue that Heller was wrongly decided, but to argue that it hasn’t been decided is a waste of everyone’s time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  29. JKB says:

    @James Pearce: Of course, even though the recall effort was successful, the law still stands.

    So true, but this election put the fear of being voted out of office in the politicians. And everyone knows, the best way to manage politicians is to appeal to the self-interest.

    Oddly, unlike capitalism, where the self-interest of the many combine in the open market to create a lot of good, the self-interest of politicians seldom comes together to do anyone but themselves and their cronies any good.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  30. Matt says:

    I find the “pro gun control” label to be as appalling as the “pro-life” label. It implies that the other side is “anti-gun control” or “anti-life” and that’s just stupid. Especially considering that those on the “pro-life” side tend to support the death penalty. Most non “pro-gun control” are actually for gun control of the reasonable variety.

    Never underestimate the number of gun owning Democrats out there. I’ve voted Democrat for the most part because the Republican party lost their minds during the Clinton era.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  31. grumpy realist says:

    @Pinky: If you have a prior history of getting into bar fights and pulling out a gun and waving it around, I think you’ve got someone who shouldn’t have his hands on a gun. One of my friends learned how to shoot growing up in Connecticutt. The basic training he received is the following: don’t carry a gun around unless you intend to use it. Don’t wave it around; know exactly what you are aiming at. Don’t aim it at anyone or anything unless you are intending to shoot it/him. And don’t shoot at a human unless you aim to kill.

    Basically, a gun is an extremely dangerous piece of machinery that can kill many people within a short period of time. Why shouldn’t we insist that the people who have such instruments are sensible, mature adults with training and experience? We don’t allow people to fly planes with passengers without being licensed to be at least a pilot. We don’t allow people to operate large tractor-trailors without getting trained and licensed. Why should guns be any different?

    I realize that my limitations are far stricter than would be accepted by most Americans, but it would avoid a lot of deaths.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  32. Matt says:

    @Bob @ Youngstown: Can we stop with the stupidity? You can be declared legally blind and get disability while still having good enough vision to drive and engage in most normal activities. The world isn’t black and white and words don’t always mean what you think they do when used in law. So spend a little time to inform yourself before spouting off.

    @Pinky: Indeed all we get is a lot of platitudes but actually legislating what grumpy demands is much tougher and getting it to work effectively is even harder.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  33. Matt says:

    @al-Ameda: There already are orderly regulations for gun purchases. Have you even bought a gun? Last time I did I had to submit to a background check with the ATF and provide IDs to assist with that check.I was able to pickup the gun that same day but most states have some sort of waiting period on top of the background checks.

    What more order would you like?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  34. Matt says:

    @grumpy realist: Well if someone did what you said they would be arrested and convicted of a felony and thus lose their right to gun ownership. Even with a CCW you cannot bring a gun into an establishment that sells alcohol (walmart included).

    Hell I’m not aware of a state in the union where you can wave a gun around in public and not break a law. Even in the state of Texas you would be arrested.

    Seems to me that your problem is the lack of enforcement of our current gun laws. We would be in agreement with that issue.

    I also would like a FOID like all states to adopt a foid like licensing system. The problem is the Democrats will do everything they can to make it as difficult as possible for people to pass or possess guns (either via ridiculous fees or requirements). You could see some of these attempted when Illinois was debating a CCW bill not that long ago.

    Most gun owners would be accepting of a licensing concept if not for the threat of anti-gun nutters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB:

    If liberty be a cult, then count me in.

    If being a pussy is the badge of liberty, you can wear it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Who wants orderly regulation of gun purchases?

    Me. But then, I wear the mark of the beast.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Paul L.:

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state

    OK, I will give you the well regulated militia clause. Now, name one. (Please oh please say NG….) JUST ONE.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  38. wr says:

    @JustAnotherPoster: Okay. One might say the same about Roe v. Wade, and that doesn’t stop right wingers from trying to undo it. So what’s your point?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JustAnotherPoster:

    Settled law.

    Obviously enuf, you have not noticed all of the “settled law” that the Robert’s court has unsettled…

    In other words DS, there is no such thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  40. wr says:

    @Matt: Quick, name one gun control law that the gun fetishists are in favor of. I mean, besides legislating that every citizen be armed.

    Your side is completely opposed to any form of gun control. Period. You got a problem with that? Great, stop supporting them. But try to stop fooling yourselt…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  41. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Matt:

    It implies that the other side is “anti-gun control”

    And just exactly how in the HELL would you describe the NRA???? As a terrorist organization? Because they sure as hell seem obsessed with seeing to it that everyone who wants a gun can get one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Matt:

    Most gun owners would be accepting of a licensing concept if not for the threat of anti-gun nutters.

    IT HAS SHARP POINTY TEETH!!!!

    Matt, I am a long time gun owner. I would never join the NRA. For the record? I recently purchased a .357. The checks???? Were a joke. And no, I was not laughing. Just weeks ago, some few miles from my home an asshole with a gun blew a floaters brains out on a gravel bar because “He was peein’ on MY land!”

    Nobody with an ounce of common sense would say this man should have had access to a gun. Indeed, I have yet to talk to a local who thinks this asshole should not have been stopped from possessing a gun. But according to you and yours, we should not try to stop people like him from getting one because waiting 3 hours or 3 days or 3 weeks or whatever is SUCH A BURDEN.…..

    Would a longer waiting time have helped? Maybe, maybe not, but it could not have hurt.

    PS: By the way, how you feeling about your hero George Zimmerman these days??? When you finally do lose your so called “gun rights”, at least you know who to blame: A 250# pussy with a Kel-Tech 9mm and a grudge against “these punks”, you know, unarmed black teenagers with Skittles and Tea.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  43. James Pearce says:

    @JKB:

    So true, but this election put the fear of being voted out of office in the politicians.

    Most of the Dems who voted for the law knew that by doing so they might lose their seat.

    Because while Dems often suffer the wrath of politically active gun owners, they don’t fear them.

    That’s the Republicans you’re thinking of….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  44. OzarkHillbilly says:

    By the way Doug, I am offended by the pic of the gun on the flag. We don’t need guns to enforce our freedoms these days. (I know, I know, there are legions of “patriots” with AR-15s waiting to be slaughtered in the name of Liberty) Not really complaining, just saying there HAVE TO BE better images to encapsulate this moment.

    Do I know of one? Yeah, it is a pic of a mushroom. ;-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  45. JustAnotherPoster says:

    @wr: If I went around and argued that Obamacare was unconstitutional I’d rightly be called a crank, because it’s settled law. If I argue that the Court made a mistake in Obamacare and I look forward to the day it rectifies that mistake, I’m expressing an opinion.

    For the last time, you’re welcome to ‘undo’ Heller, but until that time it’s settled law and arguing that it isn’t is foolish, a waste of time, and appeals only to low information voters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  46. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Paul L.: Oooh ohhhh! I’ll play. So you agree that gun owners should have current and/or prior service in a well regulated militia in order to participate in the right granted by the 2nd amendment. The amendment reads that one is linked to the other. Why are all these non-militia/ non-NG/ non-Military people walking around with weapons? What role do they play in ensuring a free state…beyond merely possessing guns,which, anyone that knows anything about the nature of combat and specifically guerilla warfare knows offers almost nothing other than feel-good security? Seriously, the tyrannical government scenario is a joke. Armed citizens are no match force on force with a professional military. Unless you’ve studied and trained in guerrilla warfare tactics of which less that 10% is force on force armed engagement–you’ve got no shot. Carry on in fantasy land however, you give those of us that know a good chuckle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  47. Matt says:

    @wr: I’ve already named a bonanza of stuff I’m for but you don’t care. You have this cartoonish view of gun owners and you won’t admit being wrong. You’re as bad as the nuts on the right when you talk to them about abortion or welfare..

    @OzarkHillbilly: THe leadership of the national NRA are a bunch of nutcases these days and I wish they would stop sending me shit in the mail. I’ve told them to stop I’ve “trolled” their push pulls and yet I still get crap in the mail.

    Back in the day the NRA was a respectable organization that used their member’s money for gun handling education classes and such. Now those classes have been neglected so they can go on this jihad against Obama. Lots of the non leadership in the NRA are good people who just want to ensure that people know how to handle guns safely.

    @OzarkHillbilly:Matt, I am a long time gun owner. I would never join the NRA. For the record? I recently purchased a .357. The checks???? Were a joke. And no, I was not laughing. Just weeks ago, some few miles from my home an asshole with a gun blew a floaters brains out on a gravel bar because “He was peein’ on MY land!”

    You know you can say the same thing about a variety of activities that require a license. Just last week an idiot in a car caused a fatal accident that killed himself and 10 other people here. Truckers directly cause thousands of deaths a year. Alcohol use causes hundreds of thousands of deaths a year. Idiots who “drive” cause tens of thousands of deaths a year.

    So basically according to you we shouldn’t allow anyone to drive or drink any form of alcohol or take any form of drugs or basically live because even the act of living causes our own death.

    Nobody with an ounce of common sense would say this man should have had access to a gun. Indeed, I have yet to talk to a local who thinks this asshole should not have been stopped from possessing a gun. But according to you and yours, we should not try to stop people like him from getting one because waiting 3 hours or 3 days or 3 weeks or whatever is SUCH A BURDEN.…..

    What part of waiting for a background check and the waiting period to end do you not understand? Illinois has fairly long waiting periods yet Chicago which up until recently had an almost total gun ban had some of the largest gun murder figures in the country? There already are waiting periods in most states and at the least a waiting period for the the background check. What would making the wait take longer to do? Increasing the waiting period would of done nothing with the situation you presented.

    How would you propose a law be written to stop this situation you brought up?

    PS: By the way, how you feeling about your hero George Zimmerman these days??? When you finally do lose your so called “gun rights”, at least you know who to blame: A 250# pussy with a Kel-Tech 9mm and a grudge against “these punks”, you know, unarmed black teenagers with Skittles and Tea.

    You’re a closed minded emotional cripple. Really there isn’t much more to say to someone that is as delusional as you. Get back to me when you actually decide to talk to me and not the cartoon you’ve created in your head.

    I’ve said many times that Zimmerman should of been tried and convicted of manslaughter. When they announced the charges I knew that he wouldn’t be convicted because the way the law is worded pretty much made it impossible for the prosecution to win.

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  48. bill says:

    @Paul L.: that wacky broad just kills me with her idiocy. “voter suppression” is what hillary is going to pin her campaign on if she runs in’16. they rely on idiots who think people are being deprived of their right to vote.

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  49. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    @Matt:

    Can we stop with the stupidity? You can be declared legally blind and get disability while still having good enough vision to drive and engage in most normal activities

    In Iowa the fact that a person is completely, utterly, profoundly and irreversibly blind does not disqualify that person to be permitted to carry a concealed firearm.

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  50. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    @Matt:

    Even with a CCW you cannot bring a gun into an establishment that sells alcohol

    Sorry Matt, your wrong again. In the Great State of Ohio civilian concealed carry IS permitted in establishments that sell alcohol.

    The Ohio code was revised two years ago to permit it. According to the gun rights groups the majority of states permit concealed carry by civilians in bars and restaurants (their argument why Ohio should permit CC.

    (Notice, I didn’t suggest that you were stupid!)

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  51. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    @Matt,

    Can’t let this pass…. the firearm homicide rate in Chicago…

    Chicago … had some of the largest gun murder figures in the country

    The states with the highest firearm homicide rates are(in order): Louisana, Mississippi, Alabama,Missouri, Maryland, Delaware,Soth Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Askansas.

    Illinois doesn’t even make the top 10.

    For city ranking, New Orleans tops the chart at 23.7 (more recently 19) homicide by firearm deaths per 100,000 population.

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  52. bill says:

    @Bob @ Youngstown: if he said by “rate” maybe, but chicago has the highest number of murders period in the country- yes they beat nyc without even coming close to the populace 9kudosto stop and frisk?). and try not to cherry-pick the rest without mentioning washington dc…..really?

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  53. bill says:

    @Bob @ Youngstown: if he said by “rate” maybe, but chicago has the highest number of murders period in the country- yes they beat nyc without even coming close to the populace (kudos to stop and frisk?). and try not to cherry-pick the rest without mentioning washington dc…..really?

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  54. fred says:

    This is a disgusting result and means that DNC must replace Wasserman Schultz and others who have done an awful job telling the general public what Democrats agenda is. The party should take back congress next year but will not unless they improve their messaging and education of the public and replace many at the party hq. DNC and Pres Obama and Hilary should act NOW to make changes.

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  55. rudderpedals says:

    @fred: It’s called electionengineering (ratf@cking). DWS was obviously referring to the manner in which the balloting was held, that is unlike other elections this one unusually did not allow mail-in ballots.

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  56. KM says:

    @Matt:

    I’ve always found the car analogy gun owners pull out to be a very strange one indeed. Unless the trucker you mentioned was AIMING with the DELIBERATE intent to injure or kill, you are being purposefully misleading. Car accidents kill, yes. However they are accidents – as in, unintentional. Dead is still dead, mind you, but they didn’t go out drive with the sole purpose of running someone over.

    Someone who pulls a gun, on the other hand, clearly intends some harm. That’s the damn thing’s purpose in life. So really you are either arguing that all fatal car accidents are murder attempts or all fatal gun incidences are oopies gone wrong. Notice the use of the word accident – to quote my favorite movie:

    ” Hey, why can’t we say “accident,” again?”
    “Because “accident” implies there’s nobody to blame. “

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  57. Pinky says:

    @KM: I’m so embarrassed that I had to look that quote up! I recognized it but I couldn’t place it. I guess I don’t have that movie memorized anymore.

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  58. KM says:

    @Pinky:

    That’s OK – it just gives you another excuse to watch it tonight! Always worth it…

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  59. Matt says:

    @Bob @ Youngstown: The same law also covers those that aren’t. But sure focus only on those that are and not the innocents that would be effected.

    @Bob @ Youngstown: You are correct Ohio amended their CCW about a year ago to allow them in bars. Congrats on finding one state that allows for that. Still doesn’t change the fact that if you drink and pull out that gun and wave it around you’re committing a felony. Which was the original situation as presented by the fellow I was responding to.

    @Bob @ Youngstown: Reading comprehension is your foe here. I said SOME of the highest not the HIGHEST. What’s interesting though is on the FBI crime database Illinois only sent a limited set of data which means the FBI doesn’t even know for sure about the murders in Illinois. Despite the limited data set from Illinois the vast majority of the murders were committed in Chicago and the total number of murders put the state in 8th place

    Alabama isn’t in the crime database for the FBI so I won’t accept that one. Louisiana had 29 more deaths then Illinois. Mississippi, Maryland, Delaware (really? They had all of 41 murders), South Carolina, Tennessee Georgia, Arkansas and Missouri are clearly behind Illinois in gun murders. Hell some of those states are way behind in murders total vs Illinois’ gun murders. I have no idea why you find math so hard but you’re not even close in some of your examples.

    Facts they are hard.
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-20

    California of course has the lead in total murders and shockingly most of them were committed with guns in-spite of having the toughest gun control laws on the books. Then again the amount of people murdered with hands in California is 3x higher then any other state.

    @KM: Yet these people are grouping and linking gun accidents all the time as evidence that we don’t have strong enough gun control. So What exactly are you trying to say here?

    So I think what you’re trying to claim is that when I cut myself with a knife on accident while cutting stuff that it’s not really an accident because knives were only meant to kill?

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  60. Matt says:

    I’m in moderation hell :(

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  61. Matt says:

    I read the bill and it clearly says that consuming alcohol while carrying is illegal and that establishments can posts lawful signs prohibiting CCW in their establishment.

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  62. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Matt:

    I read the bill and it clearly says that consuming alcohol while carrying is illegal and that establishments can posts lawful signs prohibiting CCW in their establishment.

    If, by the “bill” you mean the “law” in the Ohio Revised Code, your reading is correct. However what you originally said was:

    Matt said: Even with a CCW you cannot bring a gun into an establishment that sells alcohol

    So you see why I pointed out your error. The gun rights groups in Ohio worked very hard to get the law changed to allow carry in class D liquor establishments. I don’t have a handy list of all the other states that have similar laws, but I believe that there are some 30 states that allow carry, but not carrying while drinking in an serving establishment.

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  63. bill says:

    speaking of chicago!

    so concealed carry will be legal, not that the gangs even bother registering their guns…..but the law abiding citizens will be able to protect themselves legally.

    In Chicago, the City Council on Wednesday quietly rescinded a local gun-registration system that had been in effect since 1968

    so concealed carry will be legal, not that the gangs even bother registering their guns…..

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  64. Jack says:

    @Matt:

    I also would like a FOID like all states to adopt a foid like licensing system.

    Count me out. IL has a FOID card and criminals in Chicago run rampant with firearms. Therefore, it does nothing to prevent criminals from obtaining a firearm and only affects law abiding gun owners. The only thing that will reduce the number of criminals using guns is to reduce the number of criminals.

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  65. Matt says:

    @Bob@Youngstown: You know you only took a snippet of what I typed and ripped it out of context so you could have some sort of “victory”.

    The situation is as I stated earlier in that most CCW setups don’t differentiate between a walmart which carries alcohol and a bar. So when you legalize CCW in establishments that sell alcohol you nail the convenience stores and bars at the same time. Much like with the blind situation there is more going on here then you wish to admit..

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  66. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Matt:
    I simply want to correct your assertion that :”Even with a CCW you cannot bring a gun into an establishment that sells alcohol”

    There are many jurisdictions that allow civilian concealed carry permitees to bring a gun into establishments that sells alcohol. (OH, NC, IN, AZ, PA, NJ, NY, to name a few)

    I am looking for a NOT looking for a “victory” here, just trying to correct your statement.

    Personally I think that generally firearms should be strongly discouraged in environments here there is drinking (including sporting events). But that’s just my opinion.

    The state data I cited is from the CDC, their tables are very clear with regard to homicide by firearm (as distingushed from suicide by firearm, or overall firearm deaths)
    http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/fatal.html
    That CDC data was compiled in a report format and is available at:
    http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/AmericaUnderTheGun.pdf

    Use of a rate (as in Firearm homicide death rate per 100,000) is the most reasonable way to establish comparisons between jurisdictions.

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  67. Matt says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    I simply want to correct your assertion that :”Even with a CCW you cannot bring a gun into an establishment that sells alcohol”

    No you’re simply butthurt because I called you out on your incredibly dumb statement about the blind “controversy”. Now you’re just being petty about it.

    There are many jurisdictions that allow civilian concealed carry permitees to bring a gun into establishments that sells alcohol. (OH, NC, IN, AZ, PA, NJ, NY, to name a few)

    That’s only partially what I said and you know it. Now can you wave a gun around (in an implied threatening manner)in those establishments in those states while in an establishment selling alcohol?

    Personally I think that generally firearms should be strongly discouraged in environments here there is drinking (including sporting events). But that’s just my opinion

    Why? If the one with the gun is drinking then I entirely agree but if the gun handler is just walking through the establishment to buy some chips then there’s no issue. Rule number one of CCW course I took here was to retreat whenever possible and to avoid conflict. Your assumption that every CCW holder is some vigilante that is barely held back from whipping out their gun is just not true.

    The CDC uses incomplete and old data. I prefer to use the FBI crime database as it’s much more up to date and an almost complete look at all crime. Sadly there is no source of completely true data on crime rates as individual departments can manipulate data for their own gain. I don’t know if you’re aware that the NYC police department has gotten in trouble for discouraging to outright refusing to take reports of some crimes.

    Use of a rate (as in Firearm homicide death rate per 100,000) is the most reasonable way to establish comparisons between jurisdictions.

    Only because you find it to be favorable for your argument. You argued against a completely different statement and now you wish to move the goal posts to make your counter true.

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  68. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Your original statement was remarkably inaccurate, so I remarked on it.

    I make no assumptions about concealed carry licensees, except that they have complied with the laws that regulate the issuance of a licensees. Beyond that, there is no evidence that they are of higher moral character, or immune from anger issues.

    What I do have a problem with is the argument that some of the carry rights organizations make to the extent that as a patron of a establishment that serves alcohol that they are armed to protect other customers.
    ****************************************
    The notion that a sherriff MUST issue a gun permit to a person who is completely blind (and otherwise qualifies) is ludricous. As one blind purchaser expressed it “I can recognize light and dark, but otherwise have no sight. However, I can point in the direction of noises that I hear.” Regardless, it is my right under the constitution.

    That’s what it is really about is exercising constitutional rights. So, until federal or state laws are changed that will restrict his rights, he is entitled to his gun permit.

    I think an interesting parallel is the restriction (of said constitutional right) of persons who have been adjudicated mentally disabled. Such persons are not permitted to purchase and in most states are disqualified to get a firearm carry permit.

    So what is the difference, sight disabled and mentally disabled, the one can get a carry permit and the other cannot?

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  69. Matt says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLmNHdc0_y8

    It’s just not worth responding to drek like this.

    So what is the difference, sight disabled and mentally disabled, the one can get a carry permit and the other cannot?

    The difference is blindingly obvious. The fact that you can’t see such an obvious truth means that I’m wasting my time with you.

    Good luck with your limited facilities.

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  70. Bob @ Youngstown says:

    @Matt:
    Name calling is the last refuge of those who cannot logically disprove an opposing point of view.

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