Really Bad Timing For House GOP “Gunmageddon”

UPDATE: A new Quinnipiac poll today shows the danger for Colorado Republicans:

American voters support stricter gun laws 66 – 31 percent, the highest level of support ever measured by the independent Quinnipiac University National Poll [Pols emphasis], with 50 – 44 percent support among gun owners and 62 – 35 percent support from white voters with no college degree and 58 – 38 percent support among white men.

Today’s result is up from a negative 47 – 50 percent measure of support in a December 23, 2015, survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll.

Support for universal background checks is itself almost universal, 97 – 2 percent, including 97 – 3 percent among gun owners. Support for gun control on other questions is at its highest level since the Quinnipiac University Poll began focusing on this issue in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre:

67 – 29 percent for a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons; 83 – 14 percent for a mandatory waiting period for all gun purchases. It is too easy to buy a gun in the U.S. today, American voters say 67 – 3 percent. If more people carried guns, the U.S. would be less safe, voters say 59 – 33 percent. Congress needs to do more to reduce gun violence, voters say 75 – 17 percent.



Local gun safety group Colorado Ceasefire sounds the alarm about a hearing in the Colorado House State Affairs Committee tomorrow, in which three GOP-sponsored gun bills will be debated–bills that would seem to move in the opposite direction to popular sentiment on guns, after yet another horrific mass shooting at an American high school last week:

The House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee has scheduled a hearing on Wednesday, February 21st  (1:30 p.m. room 271) for 3 bills:

  • HB18-1037 (Neville/Neville) Guns in Schools – allows anyone with a concealed carry (CCW) permit to take their handguns into K-12 public schools.  Ceasefire is extremely super opposed to this measure.
  • HB18-1074 (Everett/Marble) Use of Deadly Force in business location.  This is the 13th year for this idea to come forward.  This is a Stand Your Ground bill, that is, it provides for immunity from criminal prosecution and civil liability for the use of deadly force if a business owner or employee felt threatened, no matter how slight.  Current law provides for self-defense, but without such blanket  immunity.  Ceasefire opposes.
  • HB18-1015 (Saine and Humphrey/Hill) Repeal Magazine Ban.  After the Aurora Theater and Sandy Hook Massacres, Colorado banned the sale and purchase of ammunition magazines over 15 rounds. The Aurora Shooter had a 100-round drum magazine.  This is the 5th year gun enthusiasts have endeavored to repeal the magazine ban.  Ceasefire strongly opposes.

Sen. Tim “Pa” Neville, Rep. Patrick “Boy” Neville.

For years now as the nation has been forced to reckon with outbursts of mass killing made possible by rapid-fire military-style semiautomatic weapons, a favored argument of supporters of gun rights is to argue that it’s “too soon” to have a discussion about the causes of mass shootings while the grief and emotion from the event is still proximal. It’s of course an entirely self-serving argument for gun rights supporters, since the visceral shock the public experiences in the wake of a mass shooting could lead to changes if allowed to take hold–while as time goes by, the shock fades and the more persistent passion of gun lovers reasserts itself.

Apparently in 2018, the gun-rights crowd has decided it’s not “too soon.”

Unfortunately, at a moment in history when the public is calling overwhelmingly for action to reduce gun violence, the gun lobby is proposing the most counterintuitive solution iaginable for gun violence: more guns. If the idea of allowing anyone with a concealed-carry permit, in a “shall issue” state like Colorado, to pack heat on the grounds of a school less than a week after 17 people died in a school shooting sounds like madness to you, you’ll be pleased to know the majority of the public agrees. There was an armed officer at Columbine High School in 1999, and at Arapahoe High School in 2013. The armed guard at Douglas High School in Florida last week never even saw the gunman.

At this point, we don’t even think it’s necessary to get into the weeds of why flooding school campuses with guns won’t stop mass shootings. And after the rapid-fire carnage at Aurora, Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, and now Parkland, Florida, no one needs to justify yet again Colorado’s 15-round limit on gun magazines. It’s enough to note that what Colorado Republicans are pressing ahead with even after last week’s killings is so far from an appropriate response to ongoing tragedy that it is offensive in the extreme.

And there should be a high price in votes to be paid in November.

39 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavieDavie says:

    In a chaotic environment during or after gunshots ring out, the last thing first responders (police, fire, medical) want to deal with is seeing multiple people wielding guns, and trying to figure out who the shooter(s) are vs. who are the Bruce Willis imitators.

    Not to mention the likelihood of collateral injuries or deaths from getting caught in a crossfire, or friendly fire

  2. ModeratusModeratus says:

    Patrick Neville survived the Columbine shooting. Who are you to question him?

  3. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    Slightly off topic, but still relevant. I hope it comforts their families a bit.:

  4. JohnInDenver says:

    Nice that the Republicans bring these bills while everyone is paying attention. It makes the brand association ever so much clearer.

  5. allyncooper says:

    I'm not going to get into the pros or cons of these bills because there's plenty of discussion on that.  Pols states the fact the armed guard at Parkland didn't even see the gunman. This is true because one armed guard at a 3000 student multi building campus is woefully inadequate, its really a joke. In addition, the mass murderer probably knew this since he had been a student there.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      Let me guess how much tax money that won't be spent on student education, will be used to make every school in America a fortress and how much more taxes you are willing to pay to achieve a 10 guards per thousand student ratio?  Oh that's right not a penny more of your taxes but you are an odious witch who delights in doing nothing and blaming everyone else.

  6. RepealAndReplace says:

    I remember back in 1999, in the aftermath of Columbine, the Republicans, led from that Great RINO, Bill Owens, had the good taste to pull their proposed gun bills during the closing weeks of the legislative session.

    What a difference 19 years make……..

  7. Gilpin Guy says:

    I wouldn't be surprised if the fat cats who own the majority of the stock in the gun manufacturers also own a controlling interest in the construction companies that will build Fortress America.  Manufacture an epidemic than make more selling snake oil as the cure.

  8. Gilpin Guy says:

    Who the decided that FREEDOM meant making people less free to move around and turning all of our public institutions into fortified compounds with expensive security details?  What a demented concept of FREEDOM

  9. Negev says:

    I keep hearing about new legislation that will prevent mass shootings and I wonder what would the optimal legislative action could be to accomplish this task. I wonder if we could brainstorm here together to see if we could administratively come up with a solution. Post up a law here that, given the hypothetical assumption you could enact immediately, would prevent mass shootings from occurring with perhaps a short explanation of why/how it would prevent.  I'll start:

    Full ban on all semi automatic weapons, military style or not, rifle and pistol,  with 100% confiscation of all existing such weapons, magazines and ammunition capable of being fired from these weapons, and any and all non registered materials to construct (barrels, stocks, bolts, ect) 10 year mandatory minimum felony jail sentence and forfeiture of all assets for anyone found in possession of such items. $1,000 cash reward for any citizen who turns in a person found to be in possession. 

    This would prevent mass shootings because there would be no weapons to do so. The penalty for non compliance would be greater than the value of ownership and those who did not comply would be removed from the public by financial incentive eliminating the opportunity for them to commit the crime. 

    What law would you enact to prevent mass shootings?


    • RepealAndReplace says:

      What law would you enact to prevent mass shootings?

      Why not learn from what others have successfully done. Take Britain, for example. They haven't completely eliminated gun violence but their mass shooting are relatively few and far between. (At least compared to ours.)

      And by the way, they have managed to prevent governmental tyranny without have every citizen armed to the teeth.


      • Negev says:

         …they have managed to prevent governmental tyranny without have every citizen armed to the teeth.

        Weeel, there's that one timesmileybut I get what you're saying. Not a bad idea. Thank you.


        • RepealAndReplace says:

          Right, because Massachusetts in 1775 was a virtual North Korea circa 2018.

          And since freedom cannot possibly exist without guns, explain:

          Everyone knows that the first thing the Communists did was take away private gun ownership, right?

          How exactly did the Berlin Wall come down without East Germans owning assault rifles? Or the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia? Or any of the other central European nations?

          And it's not just left wing totalitarian states that were brought down. Look at Argentina and Chile under Gaultieri and Pinnocet. No private ownership of guns then and there. Yet neither is still around. How was that possible without a well-armed militia?

      • MADCO says:

        but that was mostly tea and courtesy, yeah?

    • I'd go for allowing them, stored at ranges or other approved facilities, registered to the owner.

      We could go for Israel type laws: strict background checks on all owners including a mental health checkup and gun use/safety course, renewed every few years, register all guns, strict bullet limits (exempting those at the range), need-based only.

      There are so many options; all we need is a willing Congress.

      • mamajama55mamajama55 says:


        Universal database for ANY firearms sales (gun shows, internet, pawn shops, sporting goods stores, Walmart, etc).

        Waiting period. Right wingers want to put women through endless hoops and waiting periods to access legal abortion, but want basically instant gun ownership anywhere, anyhow, by anyone regardless of prior history.

        To stop mass murders:

        Flip the House. Democrats are more likely to enact gun limitations, including:

        Restrict access for people who have violent histories, such as domestic abusers. Thank you, Evie Hudak!

        Restrict access for people who have made credible threats, or have been reported multiple times to the FBI as the FLA shooter was. WaPo reports that this database has huge holes in it ; that needs to be fixed. Dems will order it; Repubs won't.

        License guns like cars; you use it carelessly and hurt/ kill someone, you lose legal access. This includes people who leave unlocked guns around for children to handle 1300 kids / year die in the US from this.

        Restore the regulation Trump deleted. Most mentally ill people are not dangerous to society, but for the few that are, they should not have access to guns. Like Emma Gonzalez said, "He would not have been able to kill 17 people with a knife."

        Allow legal, peaceful suicide. Those who are incurably ill should be able to die peacefully without trying to take others' lives or commit "suicide by cop".

        Gun obsessives' "rights" to blast away at a target, or to fantasize about being an anti-government posse leader does not supersede children's rightsto live their lives, nor to feel safe at school.

        So I have a question for you, Negev: Are you actually just trolling the "libz" so that you can report out on the Threats to Your Second Amendment Rights!!! – or do you actually care about what we think?

        I'm guessing the former, judging by your extreme "proposal" on restrictions on gun ownership, which is far more extreme than anything I've seen proposed on a liberal site.

        • MADCO says:

          "…instant gun ownership anywhere, anyhow, by anyone regardless of prior history."

          That's an overstatement.  

          "…instant gun ownership anywhere, anyhow, by white men and boys regardless… "

        • Negev says:

          Of course, Mama, I care what you think. I do realize it may come of as trolling, but at least concern trolling, but in all reality I want to prevent mass shootings, as they are the biggest risk to gun rights. We rarely hear about gun control legislation at any other time than after (another) mass shooting, so eliminating these tragedies from the equation would eliminate more restrictions.

          I fear that there is little more in terms of regulation possible other than my extreme "proposal", which I am certain you are aware is not my personal opinion of the right thing to do, rather the only effective manner in which to prevent mass shootings. Adopting Britain's policy is very similar to my proposal, albeit the Cumbria shooting took place killing 12 with a single shot .22 and a shotgun, thus making it clear that given the will, there is a way to mass shooting under extreme (assault weapon) bans.

          The Israeli Model is also presented, however it is not the number or style of weapon, it is the lack of misuse which keeps the society free of mass shootings (perhaps also a common enemy of Palestinians) which identify mass shootings as political violence rather than social violence, and the "proliferation of illegal weapons" among Israel's Arab minority is not accounted for and are "mostly kept for self protection or used in criminal purposes", which I believe would be considered similar to a mass shooting event. 

          Your suggestions, which I must say appear reasonable, to me as a gun nut, however are either already in place or do nothing to prevent mass shootings:

          Domestic abusers are prohibited from purchasing a firearm as defined on ATF Form 4473 which every gun purchase goes through currently.

          Credible threats have been provided to the FBI on the last school shooting. And the Florida night club shooting. And San Bernardino. There were no holes in the database, there were failures in enforcement.

          Registering guns like cars to prevent access after you hurt/kill someone offers little deterrent to a mass shooter determined to take their own life in the process.  

          Really mentally ill people are already prevented from purchasing a firearm, as also indicated on ATF Form 4473

          Suicide is not illegal in the United States

          So I conclude, based on the information and proposals set forth by what I would find the harshest critics of gun rights (no offense) that there is very little, if any law, that would prevent mass shootings. You can make it harder (single shot .22) you can rename it if there is an external existential threat, or you can exercise punitive measures, but I am not at this point convinced that any of these proposals, (other than mine) actually stop it from happening.

          Which brings us right back to root of the problem: The only way you will be able to stop mass shootings from happening is to eliminate guns. I feel that this is a well known, disturbing fact that the left fails to publicly proclaim while pretending the incremental legislation is somehow effective. This is also such a logically simple conclusion that even the dumbest red neck gun nut sees the end game and therefore is making a stand at every and any effort to whittle away at their perceived right to bear arms.  I say perceived right because it is clear there is a disconnect between the two sides as to what is a right and what is not. I do appreciate your correlation between gun rights and abortion rights as I believe the battle is very similar, so I ask a hypothetical once again to you, Mama, in an effort of civil discourse:

          If you could repeal the right to bear arms by also repealing the right to abortion, would you do it?  




          • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

            Breathtaking. 😱So sorry the massacre of 17 teachers and teenagers may interfere with your ability to purchase the weapon and ammo of your choice.  Life is tough all over.

            I don't deal in hypotheticals.  You may have to root out Elliot – he likes that kind of thing.

            • Negev says:

              It won't. We all know how this pans out. 

              You just dealt in hypotheticals. 

              • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

                Your parsing of every word and your smug assurance that you are right is pretty sickening from where I sit, Negev.

                Of course, it is nearly impossible to prevent all acts of violence. When we allow potentially violent people, such as yourself I presume, to possess weapons of mass destruction, we open the door to unlimited slaughter. 

                You remind me of the snake oil salesman who sells you one "health elixer" that makes you sick, so he can sell you another to make you feel better. You are saying here that if you can't stop all such attacks, you shouldn't try to stop any of them. How foolish.

                You are quite glib, Negev, and you make your arguments well. And, you are quite right that the only way to significantly reduce mass murder is to get rid of semiautomatic military weapons in the publics’ hands. So you arrogantly suggest that nothing will change because you and your "Brethren of the Gun Barrel" will never let that happen. The bought and paid for Trumpublican party will see to it that the right of gun manufacturers to sell guns shall not be infringed.

                Let's do this…

                Legislate a buyback program and then a full prohibition on semiautomatic weapons. No exceptions. If you don't think that will ever happen…I think you are wrong.

                I am presuming here that you have already prepared your clever response, telling me that trying to solve this problem by reducing "lethality" is futile and that Congress will never do it anyway…and it probably won't…until we ( the people ) throw out the people who do Wayne LaPierres' dirty work by electing a congress full of Democrats who will take this seriously, tell the NRA to "change or die", and finally take some action.

                • Negev says:

                  Not trying to be glib here, Duke, but let's face reality; We have been doing this ban dance for thirty years. Its not working. At this rate of gun restriction legislation it will take 100 years to get rid of semi auto weapons. I'm not saying nothing will change so don't try, I'm saying what has been done to try and solve this problem has failed, so let's try something different. 

                  What's foolish is believing you are somehow hoodwinking gun nuts into thinking you don't want to take their guns. It seems that you and I can agree on that at least as being the only way to significantly reduce mass shootings.  Why are you dicking around with this pidley-dink expanded background bullshit and just go for the final solution?

                  Because you can't pass it.  Again. Still. And the death count goes on. Duke if you really gave a shit about these dead kids you would stop playing the ban card that has failed you so many times before. 




      • RepealAndReplace says:

        including a mental health checkup…..

        That would never be acceptable. Look at the mental stability of the average Trump voter or lunatic dressed in a Paul Revere costume at a Tea Party rally. 

        They may be nuts but they are smart enough to know that they wouldn't pass the exam.

    • MADCO says:

      Mandatory training and insurance priced accordingly.

      No violent people get to acquire or own guns.


  10. RepealAndReplace says:

    Attention Gun Nuts…..

    Hide your guns! Trump is coming to get them!

    I'm reminded of the old saying from the 1970's: Only Nixon – because of his history of Red Baiting – could go to China.

    Perhaps 40 years from now, people will say that only Trump could implement gun control.

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