Friday, February 20, 2015

Colorado Corrections

Sebastian has some suggestions for what can be done to win Colorado back. Bless his little Yankee heart.
First, at least he's thinking enough about us trapped behind enemy lines to try to give us some supportive advice, and I really do appreciate that, and hope he (or none of y'all) will take this as me ripping him down. But there are a few corrections necessary:

As well as Sebastian's post linked above, I refer you to two previous posts of my own: Bloomberg's Money Was Well Spent and The Audio Of The First Round Of 2015.They both concern the pro-gunowner bills in Colorado so far this year.

SB15-032 (.pdf) was not a constitutional carry bill. It was a permitless carry bill. The difference is thus: this bill would have eliminated the permit requirement to carry a concealed handgun for anyone over 21 and "granted" the same "authority" and imposed the same limitations as a concealed carry permit. A constitutional carry bill would have simply eliminated the prohibition on carrying a weapon. With constitutional carry, a 20 year old could slip a 4" knife in her purse  (currently it's 3.5" for a concealed blade) & not have to hand it over to a "peace officer" if she is for some reason detained. With this bill, a 20 year old who only owns a knife would be out of luck if that knife had a blade over 3.5 inches. This bill is an improvement, but it's not actually constitutional carry.

Almost all the house bills were shot down 6-5. One was lost by a 7-4 vote. That means 1 republican, in this case Dan Thurlow, voted with the anti-gunowners. I can speculate as to why, but I have nothing definitive.

Sebastian dislikes Dudley Brown, head of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. That's cool - I don't really care if folks don't like someone. Hell, I don't even care if folks don't like me. But RMGO has been the only pro-gunowner group in this state since I've been here. The NRA's state affiliate, The Colorado State Shooting Association, has been milquetoast at best, and outright hostile at times. When actual constitutional carry bills have been brought up in the past, we weren't busy fighting the anti-gunowners, we were busy fighting gunowners, mainly permit holders and instructors, and the CSSA (and at times the NRA itself ). I refer to you this very old (and of course very long) post of mine comparing Colorado's then brand spankin' new "shall issue" ccw law to the may issue it replaced and the better carry bill it stepped on. Also if you really want to know the sordid history of gunowner groups in this state (at least where it concerns RMGO and the CSSA and NRA) this piece by Ari Armstrong called A House Divided is worth the time.

I am not concerned if anyone thinks that Brown is personally a great guy or the biggest jerk in the world. What is important is that Brown knows Colorado politics and he almost always advocates the most principled position available, certainly more principled than the CSSA or the NRA to date. And by principled I mean having the most respect for the Right to own and carry weapons. I've disagreed with him a time or two, and it's not likely he and I will go out golfing any given weekend. But he and RMGO have been fighting for more freedom for me and everyone in Colorado. The NRA and CSSA for the most part haven't.

So no; Brown isn't a false prophet. Flawed perhaps, but not false. Until someone shows me an alternative RMGO is the only pro-gunowner organization in Colorado. Driving folks away from them, unless it can be shown that they've been supporting gunowner control, is counter-productive if you're pro-gunowner (which not all gunowners are).

Now, Sebastian says we must find republican "...candidates who can win in that state’s more socially liberal political climate."

Isn't that just precious?

That's been tried. That's how we wound up where we are. And it deserves a post of its own.

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