Founders’ views have been ignored as state Democrats push gun laws
I dislike starting columns with quotes from famous people too often. However, given the actions of our Legislature this week, this one seems appropriate:
“No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” — Thomas Jefferson, draft of the Constitution of Virginia.
I recognize that quoting the Founding Fathers to people in favor of limiting the Second Amendment is a little like quoting the Bible to atheists; it not only doesn’t make them listen, it makes them upset. After all, how much respect can you have for the framers of the Constitution and the Founders of the republic when you so malign an important portion of that document?
It’s surprising, according to progressives, that we can even understand this dead-white-male jibber-jabber from so long ago. Why, some liberal pundits have volunteered that the document is so old that it’s quite the head scratcher as to what it might mean.
So, it’s only natural this week that the statists we have allowed to dominate Colorado’s legislative process proceeded to lay their fluffy bedspread of monocracy over one of the natural rights cataloged in our founding documents.
Let’s bear in mind the Second Amendment is the second most important thing the Framers thought should be in the Bill of Rights — not a penumbra, shadow or ink spot to be newly discovered by archaeological-minded justices — and it’s as worthy of defense as some freshly detected right championed by the left.
Some might say that limiting magazine size in firearms is a small price to pay for safety. The fact that there’s not a crumb of evidence to indicate that it makes anyone safer seems beside the point.
During the past week’s hearings on many of the gun bills passed by the Democrats, practically every firearms-related tragedy was brought up as an example of why the legislation was necessary. Regrettably, the proposed laws would have had about as much effect on most of those examples as they would have had on the Hindenburg or the Titanic.
This is not to say that some rights cannot be constrained. However, in the case of a right this fundamental, it has historically and rightfully required an overwhelming need on the part of society to constrain that right, and the limitation must be narrowly tailored and directly related to solving that overarching need.
Restrictions passed by the Colorado Senate on citizens’ right to self-protection are so removed from that standard, they pale to insignificance in its face.
Even with heavy, out-of-state pressure for the magazine-limitation bill, the Senate vote passed only 18 to 17, with state Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo being the apparent swing vote while two of her Democrat colleagues voted with Republicans.
The senator from Pueblo managed to muster the courage to make this vote while complaining she had received a “threatening” letter from the general manager of her hometown newspaper. Some droll individuals think this complaining has something to do with attempts to insulate herself from print criticism of her vote.
Conversely, the County Sheriffs of Colorado — a statewide association representing sheriffs statewide — believed it had received a message that a pay increase which requires approval by the Legislature might be in doubt, given the association’s opposition to the gun bills.
Meanwhile, the bill to limit magazine capacity must be returned to the state House of Representatives because it had received some minor changes in the Senate.
The bill originally passed the House on a 34-31 vote, but now Rep. Mike McLachlan, Democrat from Durango — mentioned in this column previously as a freshly minted representative winning election by a gnat’s whisker on a platform of being a pro-gun Democrat — is not so sure how he will vote this time. There is talk of recall in his district and probably fewer trips to Denver from Durango after 2014.
Readers may recall the representative received a phone call from Vice President Joe Biden a few weeks ago, and the Veep’s sterling rhetoric apparently made him drop his pro-Second Amendment positions like a used Kleenex.
No matter what happens with these bills, the revelations about of legislative progressives are complete. Now, let’s just see if everyone remembers it for a year or so.
Rick Wagner writes more on politics at his blog, The War on Wrong.