Friday, August 29, 2003

In Cortez, Colorado the city council has tabled an ordinance that would ban the open carry of firearms on all city owner property.

Before you think the city council felt guitly about trampling on the Rights of citizens to bear arms, keep reading.

"After hearing of court proceedings against other municipalities over their weapons ordinances, councilors voted Tuesday to table proposed Ordinance 999, which would ban the open carry of firearms in any area under city ownership and control."

uh-huh. So the threat of legal action caused the tabling - not a sudden epidemic of respect for Rights.

"It has nothing to do with the ownership of firearms or the ability to purchase firearms,' (Cortez Police Chief Roy) Lane said."

Nope. But it has everything to do with the carrying of firearms, which is referred to as 'bearing' in the Colorado & U.S. Constitutions respectively.

In the debate over what to do with the proposed ordinance, Councilman Jeff Gardner advised to table it. His logic was that the carrying of firearms had never been a problem before, so why make an issue of it now & risk potential legal action.

Next comes my favorite part:

"Long contended that the likelihood of a lawsuit was slim, which prompted an unidentified member of the audience to call out, 'Wanna bet?'."

Score: Statist police chief zero - anonymous citizen 1

But the foolishness continued.

"(Mayor Cheryl) Baker assured attendees that the ordinance was not aimed at responsible gun owners because, she said, responsible gun owners don’t typically feel the need to tote guns through parks.
'It (the ordinance) isn’t the ‘tip of the iceberg.’ People focus on the gun issue and pass the (federal) Patriotic Act, which ripped off far more of your civil rights than this ordinance would be doing,' she said."

Now granted, I am no fan of the Patriot Act, but the Patriot Act seemed to have merely built on pre-existing law. Not much newe was added by it. However a city council telling you that you must be defenseless in a park is the tip of the iceberg. Local laws banning weapons lead to state laws - not because there's some notorious plot a-brewin', but because it causes complacency. People get used to not having certain freedoms, so they don't fight as hard against new threats to those freedoms.
But yes, responsible gun owners do tote guns through parks. The reason you don't hear about it is because they are responsible gun owners.

"Councilman Joe Keck motioned to table the ordinance, pending the outcome of the Thornton case, but other members did not want it kept in limbo for what could be years. A time limit of 120 days was set in an amended motion. After that time, the ordinance will come under review.
Long was the lone voice to speak against tabling the ordinance. 'The threat of a lawsuit should not dictate public policy,' he said."

I guess the threat of violating a constitutional prohibition on the legislative power wouldn't be a deterrant either. In 120 days the Cortez city council will take up the debate over this law again. It's passage or failure depends solely on the putcome of a lawsuit filed against the city of Thorton, Colorado. Hopefully Thorton will have the court tell them they cannot keep citizens from carrying arms. But if not then I wouldn't be suprised to see Cortez pass this ordinance the day they hear the outcome of Thorton's case.

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