Tuesday, April 08, 2003

A few days ago Colorado state senator Ron Teck had second thoughts about a proposed fee for buying arms in Colorado. It seems that voters swamped him with complaints about being charged a fee for a state imposed background check that duplicates a federally imposed background check in order to purchase a constitutionally protected item.
Enter the Denver Post.

"Ten bucks is a small price to pay for a right so many Coloradans hold so dear."

Of course if it was a measley $10 fee to publish an article in a paper that nets the author several times that I'm sure their attitude would be different. I will refrain from ranting about the immorality involved in charging a fee in order to exercise a Right.

"After all, it's 10 bucks. Why should everyone else in the state bear gun-owners' burden?"

Perhaps because the state imposed the background check in the first place. But aside from that, it seems that everyone in the state enjoys some amount of the benefits caused by citizens who own & possess arms. For every burglar that's shot, apprehended or merely scared away by a gun owning citizen there's at least 2 non-gun owning citizens who benefit. How you may ask? Well, assuming the criminal is not apprehended or killed thereby taking away his/her particular threat to society, it tends to make the criminal community in general more apprehensive about committing confrontational crimes. It doesn't eliminate it, but it does hinder it. If a criminal gets shot in a certain neighborhood while committing a confrontational crime, then not only is that criminal less likely to be able to come back & commit a crime but the criminal community in general is less likely to pick a house or a person in that neighborhood. Would you want to rob a house in a neighborhood where the homeowners are known to have arms especially when they're also willing to use them?
So even if only 3 residents out of 100 have arms in a neighborhood the other 97 benefit.
Colorado's population is roughly 4.5 million. The cost of the background checks are roughly 1.3 million per year, depending on the amount of people who purchase arms. That equates to roughly $.29 per person. The Denver Post is complaining about .29 cents per person per year to cover a redundant background check that is mandated by the state. Considering the societal benefits of civilian gun ownership I think the non-gun owners are getting off pretty cheap. I'm sure that sensible people in England would jump at paying .29 cents a year to have the protection from crime that civilian gun ownership affords.

"Sen. Ron Teck, a Grand Junction Republican, normally is one of the legislature's saner denizens. But on this one, he caved to pressure from the gun lobby, which no doubt blanketed his e-mail, filled his voice-mail and threatened his pocketbook."

What they really mean is citizens who own guns or are thinking of purchasing one called the mentioned senator & informed him of their oppossition. I believe 'gun lobby' can also be used to describe any person or group that opposses any gun control law that the Denver Post supports.

"Some gun owners argue that since the state requires the background check, it should pick up the tab.
Using that theory, shouldn't the state also then cover the $15.60 it requires us to pay for our drivers' licenses? What about the hundreds it can cost to register a vehicle? Those fees also are government mandates."

That's a damned fine point. Hopefully someone in the legislature will introduce a bill to eliminate those aforementioned fees. But for the purpose of our discussion driving is not recognized as a Right. Legally it falls under the category of Privilege.While I think there are good arguments for driving being a Right rather than a Privilege the state does not wish to view it as such since it would hurt their revenue potential. A fee may be imposed on a Privilege, but not a Right. Now owning & possessing arms is a constituionally acknowledged Right. It's mentioned in the U.S constitution as well as the Colorado constitution. & as we must purchase our arms then the state has no legal authority to charge a fee, nor should it.It can be taxed at the same rate as other items are taxed (i.e. a percentage of the retail price) but a special fee or tax may not be imposed upon it.

"A lawmaker prepared to challenge the gun lobby should run a late bill resurrecting the fee - and then disconnect his or her voice-mail."

So the Denver Post feels a legislator should sever all ties with his/her constituency in order to pass laws they feel are appropriate. How democratic of them.

The Denver Post cares much more about furthering their political agenda than it does in seeing that the Rights of the people are not stepped upon by the legislature. If you subscribe to them I urge you to cancel your subscription. In any event I urge you contact them.

Here is the page that lists contact info for the Denver Post.
For your convenience below are the contacts for the editorial dept.

Editorial Page
- Sue O'Brien, editor of the editorial page, sobrien@denverpost.com (303) 820-1935

- openforum@denverpost.com (Letters to the editor - to be considered, letters must include full name, home town and daytime phone number)
- Phone: (303) 820-1331
- Fax: (303) 820-1502

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