Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The Colorado Freedom to Carry Act (House Bill 1281) has been indefinitely postponed by the House Committee for State, Veteran & Military Affairs.

Translated this means that a committee of 7 Republicans & 4 Democrats that can pass a bill about designating Yula marble our state rock failed to even allow a House vote on a law that would assert an individual Right.

More on this later. Right now I have to shop around for wholesale priced tar & fathers.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

From RMGO comes this:

"This Tuesday, the House State Affairs Committee will hear HB1281, State
Rep. Greg Brophy's "Colorado Freedom to Carry Act." It's a
Vermont/Alaska concealed carry bill, and it is by FAR the most pro-gun
bill ever offered in Colorado."

"Before Tuesday, we need everyone -- repeat, EVERYONE -- who cares about
our right to keep and bear arms to call a key member of the committee.
State Rep. Bill Sinclair is the chairman of the State Affairs committee, and THE key vote to getting this bill to the House floor."

RMGO also provides contact info for Rep. Sinclair.

"Call Rep. Sinclair toll-free at 800-811-7647 (or
directly at 303-866-2965) and POLITELY urge him to live up to his
and support House Bill 1281. You can only call the toll-free number
during work hours (a live operator transfers you to Sinclair's office),
but you can call the direct line and leave a voice mail at any time.
You can also e-mail Rep. Sinclair at: bill.sinclair.house@state.co.us "

They encourage you to call, as RMGO feels e-mail may not reach Rep. Sinclair in time.

Now here's the skinny: as far as a no permit required concealed carry law we're on our own. The NRA isn't going to help & neither is their Colorado affiliate CSSA. Why is that you may wonder? Well, they'll offer a host of reasons; the most popular being that this law won't pass & will just stir up the anti-gunners to pass more gun control laws. Of course there'll be the occasional excuse that a permit law is better than a no permit law because of the training requirement.

Now as to the second excuse - don't get me wrong; I think professional training is a wonderful thing. I just don't recall anyone ever justifying denying some the ability to speak on a political matter because he/she didn't have professional instruction in discourse. Similarly I fail to see how lack of state mandated training is a legitimate reason to deny someone the ability to defend themselves. If state mandated training is so vital, then it should be taught in the government schools. That way the registration process involved in a permit system is bypassed.

The registration excuse is also flawed because it seeks to make a Right conditional. Now the Colorado Constitution does recognize that owning, possessing & carrying arms for the defense of life & property is a Right, but it errs in that it differentiates carrying a concealed weapon as not being protected. Practically I can see no reason for a distinction between carrying concealed & carrying openly. The logic assumed at the time of most concealed carry laws' adoption was that an honest man wears his guns in plain sight, whereas a man up to no good hides his piece. If you'll look at it objectively it's not that far a stretch from the logic that says if you have nothing to hide you won't mind being search. After all if you're not up to something, then your private affairs should be visible to the public shouldn't they?

Nevertheless the U.S. Constitution does not have such an illogical provision in its assertion of the Right to Arms. Further the 14th Amendment makes the Right to Arms provision of the U.S. Constitution applicable to the states. (yes I know that the Supreme Court has not held so, but the rather heated explanation of the court being out to lunch when it came up with the incorporation theory is a whole 'nother topic). Requiring a permit therefore is a violation of the 2nd Article of the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution.

But whether a constitution declares it or not, we all have the Right to carry any arms in any manner we see fit. Requiring a permit or even a training class conflicts with that Right in that it places a burden on the exercise of said Right. Some will not be burdened much by this or even more restrictive requirements, but many - especially the poorer amongst us - will.

Now the first justification that these so called pr-gun groups give is just BS. First of all whether a bill stands a chance of passing or not is at least sometimes determined by the effort or lack of effort demonstrated by its proponents. They offer an almost self fulfilling prophecy & hope you won't realize that it?s almost a guaranteed outcome because of their inaction. If they'd actually develop a vertebra then the odds of many truly pro-gun bills passing would increase dramatically.

Secondly the idea that the anti's will leave us alone if we don't stir things up is ignorant. Let me repeat that: ig-no-rant. For anyone from back home that'd be ignent. That's the exact sort of ignorance that made the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 damn near miraculous. I wonder if perhaps they'd have told one of the Jewish resistance leaders to not fight the Nazi's cause the Nazi's might try to hurt them if they did?

Let me 'splain this to you: There is a faction of government & society that wants to disarm us. Not partially, not conditionally. They will settle for nothing less than complete & total civilian disarmament. They will accomplish this in great part due to the concessions that alleged pro-gun groups & people make. They simply will not be appeased. If they appear to be slowing down in their efforts it?s not because they're becoming satisfied with the level of gun control; it's because they're contemplating their next move.

What has been sorely lacking in the gun control debate is any offensive action on the part of pro-gun people, especially allegedly pro-gun people. We?ve been playing defense: reacting to the moves of the anti's. The best you can hope for is to stalemate your opponent with such tactics. Strictly defensive actions are not designed for winning the battle or even gaining ground; they're designed merely for surviving. But the problem is that in a contest of endurance, the defense will wear down quicker than the offense. Defenders have to be constantly ready to defend when they're not actually defending. Attackers can take a time out or two as long as they maintain the appearance that an attack is eminent.

But refusing to go on the offensive because it might provoke your enemies? That makes sense if you're a French military general, but not if you want to actually gain back some ground you lost, let alone win the bloody war.

According to Billll over at The High Road, a Colorado Rep. gave him the following reply when Billll urged support of the Colorado Freedom to Carry Act:

"Bill, Be careful what you ask for. I think the passage of this bill will
only excite the anti-gun people who will then go to the ballot with an
imitative banning all forms of concealed carry. Just look at what they
accomplished with Amendment 22, remember they have the numbers. It will only take a bill like this to really get them energized. Joe Stengel HD 38"

So here we have a Rep. who is not afraid of the anti's fighting the bill & defeating it, but getting pissed off if we win!
Rep. Stengall was one of the sponsors of the current Colorado Shall Issue CCW law. I do not know much about him or his record, but I can safely say that either he is sorely mistaken as to the nature of the battle we're engaged in, or he's more concerned with pleasing the NRA than doing the correct thing. In any case if his attitude doesn't change then you cannot count on him as an ally.

As I said - the NRA, CSSA & other alleged pro-gun orgs & people will not be on our side on this one. RMGO is the only local ally we have. On the national level we have GOA & KABA.com among a few others that will do for us what they can, but they cannot fight this thing for us.

If we win this thing it's going to be because of one thing: you getting off your ass & giving ultimatums. Politely, but pointedly explain to your Colorado congresscritters, friends, family & any alleged pro-gun or sportsman's groups you belong to that if they do not support this bill you will withdraw your support from them utterly & completely. & what's more important if a person of group fails to support this bill & it loses, withdraw your support. Get that "lesser of two evils" BS out of your mind. 98% evil may be better than 98.5% evil, but that's no excuse to support it. After all, bigamy is better than polygamy right? But would you stay with your spouse if their other spouse showed up one day?

Don't just sound serious: be serious. Offer to explain the situation if they're willing to listen. Do whatever you can to change their mind. Hell, if they're a tough sell & you think it'd help I'll be happy to make some time to try to persuade them through e-mail, over the phone &/or in person. But be clear to them & yourself that if they do not support this then you cannot support them in any way shape or form.

& don't neglect to support RMGO, GOA, KABA.com & other actually pro-gun orgs who are doing what they can in your place. Remember it's your freedom along with theirs that they're fighting for.

That is the only way we'll get our Right to carry recognized.

For more reading on why Shall Issue CCW laws are bad for gun owners, please look here.

For a piece explaining the difference between yelling fire in a crowded theater & concealed carrying of arms look here.

For a relatively brief discussion of why the Right to Arms is absolute look here.

For a good read from GOA on why no permit required laws are the best course of action look here.

& to keep up with the Colorado Freedom to Carry Act & other gun related bills in the Colorado legislature this year look here (courtesy of RMGO).

& once more, here?s the contact info for Rep. Sinclair

"Call Rep. Sinclair toll-free at 800-811-7647 (or
directly at 303-866-2965) and POLITELY urge him to live up to his
and support House Bill 1281. You can only call the toll-free number
during work hours (a live operator transfers you to Sinclair's office),
but you can call the direct line and leave a voice mail at any time.
You can also e-mail Rep. Sinclair at: bill.sinclair.house@state.co.us "

It won't be easy but it'll be impossible if you sit there all day reading this. Jump on the phone now. Don?t do this for me, or your neighbor or anyone else. Do it so you can have a taste of freedom that you might be able to pass on to your kids & grandkids. & please do it now.