Brauchler Flip-Flops, Faceplants On Guns

Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler (R).

An in-depth story in the Vail Daily by freelance reporter David O. Williams could spell big trouble for GOP attorney general candidate George Brauchler: after taking fire from fellow Republicans for supporting “red flag” legislation to get guns out of the hands of dangerous persons with mental illness, Brauchler appears to be backtracking in order to shore up base Republican support heading into the general election:

Brauchler last month said Colorado’s background check law, passed in a package of gun bills during a heated 2013 legislative session that led to the unprecedented recall of two Democratic lawmakers, “has some value to it because we’re able to stop people who shouldn’t get guns.”

But in a 2017 Denver Post story surveying the positions of various candidates for governor (before he dropped out to run for attorney general), Brauchler said he opposed the background check law. He also opposes the 2013 law limiting magazine capacity to 15 rounds…

Opposing every one of the gun safety laws passed in 2013 by the Colorado General Assembly is an article of faith among Republicans, but the shift in public opinion that occurred this year after a mass shooting at a high school in Florida gave Brauchler a bit more space to side with the overwhelming majority of the public who supports common-sense measures like tightening background checks.

But as of now, Brauchler is back to dissing the 2013 universal background check law:

“That universal background check bill would have done nothing had it existed on July 19 (2012) or before for our shooter in Aurora,” Brauchler said. [Pols emphasis]

As for the magazine limit law, by far the most reviled by gun rights supporters of any of the measures passed in 2013? Here’s what Brauchler says now:

Brauchler said Holmes’s gun actually jammed after 65 trigger pulls and malfunctioned because he didn’t properly clean his weapon after practicing with it several times in the mountains.

“So, do I think that changing the magazines might have given someone a better chance? Maybe,” Brauchler said. “But this guy practiced changing out the magazines quickly. His problem was he did not anticipate a jam, had never experienced a jam and didn’t know the immediate action drill to clear a jam was, so that kind of providential turn of events did more, in my opinion, than any magazine capacity ban would have done.”

Longtime readers will recall when former GOP Sen. Bernie Herpin, who briefly held recalled Senate President John Morse’s seat in 2013-14, claimed it was “a good thing” that the Aurora theater shooter had used a 100-drum magazine, because of the fact that the weapon eventually jammed. This contention is severely undercut by the reality that 65 rounds were fired successfully through that weapon before it jammed, resulting in the majority of the bloodshed in the shooting. Whatever practice the shooter may have had changing magazines, that still would have been preferable to firing off 65 rounds with no interruption whatsoever.

The fact that we are obliged to explain this to the prosecutor in the trial of the shooter shows the extent of the gun lobby’s dogmatic control over Republican politics–to the extent that something as obvious as “yes it would have been better if the Aurora shooter had not been able to cook off 65 rounds in a row” can’t be admitted to by someone who absolutely knows better. Of course a few seconds after every 15 rounds could have made a difference. It’s absurd to suggest otherwise.

Though unsuccessful in persuading fellow Republicans to go along, Brauchler had some credit coming for his support of the “red flag” bill, even though it was toxic to his base of support. This nonsensical denial of the obvious devastating effect of a high capacity drum magazine in the Aurora shooting undoes that goodwill entirely, and makes Brauchler look like just another hapless tool of the gun lobby.

And it’s easy to see why survivors and families of the victims are begging voters to not promote him.

34 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlue says:

    Fuck George, you can't even shake the etch a sketch right.

  2. Moderatus says:

    Brauchler's point is exactly right. A jam takes far longer to resolve than changing a magazine. Colorado Pols has a job to do, and that's to smear Republicans no matter what. Brauchler is further left on guns than most Republicans and still Pols gives him no credit. That should tell you all you need to know.

    • unnamed says:

      So, a jam after firing 65 shots as opposed to having to reload after 15 rounds, giving people precious seconds to get away when he has to reload.  Seconds those people didn't get because Holmes was able to fire 65 shots before his gun fired.

      Why should Pols give Broccoli credit?  He's a flip-flopper, he flipped on gun laws and flopped back to his earlier position.  Giving him credit would be like giving a craven Republican toady for being #nevertrump until Trump became the nominee and had his nose up his ass ever since. 

      Oh!  I just figured out MAGA!!  MAGA=Many Are Getting Arrested!!!

      • Negev says:

        Good luck with those precious seconds….

        I have yet to enter a gun store in Colorado that currently does not offer at least 30, if not 60 and 100 round magazines right off the shelf. If you think a mass murderer is stuck with 15 round mags you are sadly mistaken

        • bullshit! says:

          Cool bro. Fight the power!

          One thing though, if you bought one you can never call yourself a "law abiding gun owner" again. I hope it was worth it.

          • Negev says:

            I bet that makes a mass murderer lose sleep at night.

            • unnamed says:

              So, you're saying that you're a mass murderer?

            • Moderatus says:

              They'll never get it. They hate the constitution.

              • RepealAndReplace says:

                Exactly what part of the constitution do they hate? The Second Amendment, which qualifies bearing arms by individuals to well-regulated militias?

                You're an idiot. And you boy George flip-flops on gun control. Does he too hate the constitution?

              • unnamed says:

                We definitely don't hate the First Amendment or the Emoluments clause.

              • MichaelBowman says:

                Yeah, Nutter.  We so hated that (living) document that we were pleased when we set our slaves free; let women and colored-folk vote.  When African-Americans could be 5/5 of a person.  

                Even Scalia agreed there are limits on the 2nd (even though the purpose of the 2nd was to keep slaves on the plantations). Does the name Heller ring any bells in that empty head of yours? 

                • Negev says:

                  Scalia also stated in Heller that the Constitution protects weapons that were in common use.

                  How many of a type of gun do you think it takes to be considered "in common use"? 

                  • MichaelBowman says:

                    Paint me silly, but I wouldn't consider AR-15-types common use.

                    I'd guess we differ on that opinion (and I’m not anti-gun)

                    • Negev says:

                      I know you're not and I appreciate your input. What would be your criteria to determine what common use is in this instance?



                    • MichaelBowman says:

                      Given that less than 1/3 of Americans own a gun (and half of all guns are owned by only 3% of John Q. Public), I'm not sure how you apply the term common in a legal sense across an entire populace.

                      Not being snarky – it just doesn't seem to pass a smell test that anything in that world is common in any sense of the definition, particularly when the Second Amendment would/should theoretically imply some safeguards to every citizen beyond the 3%/one-third (arguably implied in the Heller decision).

                    • Negev says:

                      I can't argue with the numbers, however 100% of the population has a constitutional right to bear arms, whether they choose to do so or not does not change the proportion when determining what arms are in common use. 

                      Take guns out of the equation for a moment. Go to the ski area one weekend and count the number of snowboarders – you can see more skiers than snowboarders, maybe equal or perhaps more but you can't deny that you are not mesmerized when you see a knuckle dragger coming down the mountain, snowboards are in common use there. But they only equate to .01% of the population. The fact that 320,000,000 people don't use them does not detract from the fact that of those who associate with winter sports, they are common.

                       So in the gun world the AR15 has been deemed  "the most popular rifle in America" , 4 out of 5 of "Americas favorite guns" are AR platform rifles, and there are more AR15s in the country than motorcycles on the street.

                      I know its easy to suggest snowboarding is not protected by the Constitution, but race certainly is. Would you feel the same if the black population (12%) were offered less Constitutional protection because they represent less of the population than gun owners?

                      Honestly I believe the rights protected by the Constitution were founded precisely to combat the manner in which you calculate you determination. I too, am not being snarky and again appreciate your input. 

                    • MichaelBowman says:

                      Well actually, about the same percentage of southerners owned slaves as Americans who own a gun today.  Slave ownership was clearly common in the southern states; we as a nation decided that commonality didn't work for us. 

                      Again, you know I'm not anti-gun; the individual right, which might surprise our pet troll, wasn't enshrined at Independence Hall, but one decade ago in the 5-4 Heller decision. 

                      I'm not a lawyer, don't want to be a lawyer and have no plans of being one on tv.  I have family members who own AR's and two of them really believe they need them to protect themselves when the gummit does come for them.  <sigh>  I realize you may think it's a slippery slope but there is a short list of common-sense regulations we can put in place that is supported by an overwhelming number of voters.  

                      Long term I think the gun industry 'digging in' will someday lead to the very same scenario we are living in real time now with the oil and gas industry over setbacks.  There are real, practical, safe permitting constructs that could probably be agreed to by an overwhelming number of voters.  But when your position is 'I'll frack in my back yard (and maybe even yours, too) if I want to', you end up staring down the barrel of 2,500ft. setbacks.  (pun intended)

    • bullshit! says:

      We know you're a willfully ignorant stooge Moderanus. I expect more from a DA.

    • spaceman65 says:

      I give him credit–credit for costing the taxpayers millions in an unsuccessful attempt to secure a death verdict in the Holmes case.  Would've been quicker to pile up the cash and burn it.  He should not have a law license, dishonest SOB




      • Voyageur says:

        Not everyone loves them some Holmes as much as you do, Spacy.   A majority of Americans still supports the death penalty and if you don't at least try for it in the case of a ruthless thrill killer like Holmes , then when should you seek it?

        • notaskinnycook says:

          Sorry V,;  
          You can't have that one. There was more than sufficient evidence presented at the trial to prove Holmes is crazier than a peach orchard boar. He was an untreated schizophrenic.
          And if anyone on this forum should want him punished if he was sane, it is I. If you remember my mentioning it at the time, it happened on our wedding anniversary, and our nephew missed being there by a cat's whisker. One of the people who was killed was a friend of his, in the group he was supposed to have joined at the cinema.

          • Voyageur says:

            I am probably the only poster here who has actually sat on a death penalty jury.  It takes a lot out of everyone.  I'm not for or against the death penalty for holmes, simply because I did not hear all the evidence the jury did.  But the brutality and sheer number of Holmes murders does make Brauchler 's decision to seek the death penalty a defensible one.  

            • Voyageur says:

              Ps, skinny, the jury disagreed with you.  He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity but the jury convicted him on all 24 counts of murder and 140 of attempted murder.  They did, however, find his mental illness mitigation enough to spare him a death penalty.  It takes only one juror to do that.

  3. RepealAndReplace says:

    Both Ways Brauchler?

  4. davebarnes says:

    How many even know who the AG candidates are?

    How many people are going to vote on anything other than party line?

    The outcome of this race will be solely determined by Jared's margin.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      davebarnes —

      Yeah, party line voting will impact the race.

      But there will be some "no party" folks who will independently consider the AG race.  The "Law and Order" "lock-'em-up" or "gas-'em now" types will gravitate to Brauchler.  But even in that crew, some will be skeptical of flip-flops on guns and on running (or not) for governor. Their vote may go to Bill Robinson to make a Libertarian and hard-core Second Amendment statement.

    • Voyageur says:

      Simply not true, Dave.  Republicans managed to win this office three times even as Ritter and Frackenlooper won fo r the Democrats.

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