Colorado Dems lead the way on gun safety legislation; who will follow?

Go ahead: make my day.

The Colorado House passed four bills today:

• House Bill 1229 requiring background checks for all gun transactions;

• House Bill 1226 banning concealed weapons on campuses;

• House Bill 1228 instituting a fee for gun buyers to cover the cost of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to perform background checks; and

• House Bill 1224 limiting magazines to 15 rounds.

All of these seem to me to be modest and reasonable measures.  We’ll see what the Dem-majority Senate and Dem Governor John Hickenlooper decide to do.


While this debate was engaged last week, a local manufacturer of high-capacity ammunition magazines has threatened to leave the state if the 15-round limit is signed into law.  This is the kind of thing that usually brings Dems to their weak little scaredy-cat knees, but I think they should do a jujitsu move with this and ask if 200 jobs are really worth the health and safety of our schools, parks, and public spaces.  As this article by Dan Baum in the Wall Street Journal makes clear*, the NRA doesn’t in fact represent gun owners–it represents munitions manufacturers.  Why should we permit ourselves to be manipulated by the financial interests of one industry?

It’s downright un-American to ignore the public interest and let one industry run our politics.  I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, and will denounce anyone who argues with me on this point as an anti-American extremist who is recklessly unconcerned about the safety and well-being of elementary school students.  In fact, anyone who argues with me is anti-child and anti-student, and deserves to be denounced publicly for all to see as the child-hater he is.  He is a man who clearly enjoys wallowing in the blood of innocent first-graders.  Tolerating this kind of anti-child and anti-life argument at all is a grave moral failure and emblematic of the gross materialism and greed that feeds the gun industry.  But what else should we expect from an industry that profits from the blood of American children?

(D’ya see how I did that?  Do you see how easy it is?  Do you see, Democrats, how invigorating and uniting a dose of invective and high dudgeon can be?)  Gun safety advocates must do for guns what the Truth Campaign did for Big Tobacco:  ridicule it, mock it, and expose its greedy, venal heart.

*(The Baum article is an interesting read, but notice his obliviousness to the gendered nature of the gun problem:  he calls the gunnies “gun guys” without further comment, as though that term is self-evident–and it is!  He’s probably right that the gunnies are only inviting legislation like the four House bills passed today in Denver, but he’s also utopian about the gunnies’ ability to come together to form an effective self-regulating culture.  Gunnies buy into the Rambo fantasy in which a “good guy with a gun” can outgun everyone else.  These are not the kind of people who organize for public safety.  They are people who mistrust their neighbors, mistrust government, and put a great deal of misplaced trust in the capacity of their firearms as a bulwark for their liberties.)

15 thoughts on “Colorado Dems lead the way on gun safety legislation; who will follow?

  1. Hopefully, you have enjoyed thoroughly your moment of self delusion. This is a country that the sale of of semi-automatic rifles sky rocketed after the massacre of 6 year old kids at their school. This hysterical macho syndrome will defeat most attempts to even slightly lower the danger to kids and adults.


  2. They are people who mistrust their neighbors, mistrust government, and put a great deal of misplaced trust in the capacity of their firearms as a bulwark for their penile insecurity.



  3. Leslie–we’ve got that legislation too in Colorado, but it’s going nowhere because the Republicans don’t run anything (for now).

    Koshembos is too cynical even for me. I think it’s worth trying to fight the absolutely insane gun culture in the U.S. Gun safety legislation worked in Australia after their horrible 1996 massacre. I say it’s too defeatist not to give it a try.


  4. A munitions manufacturer “leave[s] the state” if the bill passes. Sounds like win-win to me. If bank and train robbers started leaving Kansas after the territorial legislature cracked down, I’d call that productivity. Maybe the guy could set up shop in Schenectady? If Michael Bloomberg and some of his plutocrat contemporaries are serious about rolling out their bankrolls to steamroll the guns-and-ammoplex, he would have his HR people on hand wherever these layoffs happened to hire people for as quickly as they hand in their name badges and leave the premises. Three squares and a three-screen terminal to not-make-guns sounds like a growth industry to me.


  5. Schenectady is a no-go for Magpul: Gov. Cuomo already signed a law limiting the magazine capacity in NY.

    I was interested to see that the ban on guns on campus passed with such a large margin. I was also interested to learn that my uni spent $25,000 lobbying for the ban. Of all of the measures, this is the one that will likely have little if any effect, unless my uni is going to spend a HELL of a lot more than $25,000 installing security checkpoints and metal detectors on campus.


  6. From Wikipedia: “Magpul Industries Corporation is a designer and manufacturer of polymer firearms accessories and concept firearms.”

    What the HE-double toothpicks is a concept firearm? No wait, don’t tell me, I don’t want to know. In any case, Magpul also manufactures iPhone cases and scantily clad girlie calendars. Nil sine nuda feminam and all that.


  7. So…last night on the news, there was a story about a pizza store owner who packs a sidearm to work every day…and only hires employees (delivery drivers) who will do the same. Maybe necessary in some neighborhoods, but not so much in suburban northern Virginia.

    This guy also gives a 15% “Second Amendment discount” to any customer who is also wearing a sidearm or –weenies!– presents a gun permit.

    As a non-gunnie…I would have no interest in paying a 15% premium on my pizza. I can only hope that he will soon be selling all of his product at a 15% discount.


  8. My state (California) is considering liability legislation. We already have an assault rifle ban and a magazine limit, and background checks are required at gun shows. And yet somehow we still have gun owners, so I call bullshit on the gun advocates saying these sorts of laws will lead inevitably to a loss of their second amendment rights.

    Anyway, I’m really intrigued by this idea- require gun owners to buy liability insurance and let the insurance actuaries sort out what makes a gun owner a higher risk. If we’re lucky, it would push people towards safer behaviors without requiring a lot of really detailed legislation. And in theory, it would be a self-improving system- as the insurance companies gather data on who is the bigger risks and why, they would adjust their premiums accordingly. I really hope that one of the states considering this manages to enact it. And then I really hope someone does a good study to find out if it helps.

    Also, I have to share the one promising idea I’ve heard from a gun advocate asked for some alternatives to the current proposals: subsidizing gun safes. Apparently they are really expensive.


  9. I agree that the insurance angle is at least worth a try. However, subsidizing gun safes? I say that if you can’t afford a safe, you can’t afford a gun, Jack!

    In any case, I’m pretty darn sure the insurance industry would figure out a way to incentivize the purchase of gun safes, so requiring insurance might accomplish the same goal without putting the government in the business of subsidizing anything more for gun owners.


  10. To me, it is a lesser of two evils situation. The way I look at it, I subsidize a lot of crap I don’t necessarily support. In a perfect world, people wouldn’t buy a gun if they couldn’t afford to properly secure it. In practice, a good gun safe is several hundred dollars to over one thousand dollars, so there are a lot of people who won’t do that. If helping people buy a gun safe will help keep their kids from shooting themselves or other people, I’d be willing to do it. Particularly if it is part of a package of laws that gets us limits on magazine size, or introduces liability insurance, or other things like that.


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