John Morse’s Revenge Continues

Former Colorado Senators John Morse and Angela Giron (D).

As the Denver Post’s Anna Staver reports:

A national gun control group is hoping to flip control of the Colorado Senate and other key races in the state by injecting $650,000 into campaigns and efforts to mobilize Democratic voters.

“The politics on this issue have shifted dramatically in favor of gun safety — and nowhere is that more true than in Colorado,” Everytown for Gun Safety President John Feinblatt said. “We are proud to support candidates up and down the ballot who will put public safety ahead of gun lobby priorities.”

Democrats hold a safe majority in the Colorado House of Representatives, but Republicans control the Senate by a single seat. Senate Republicans blocked a “red-flag” bill during the 2018 legislative session that would have let law enforcement confiscate weapons from people in the midst of mental health crisis. Sen. Tim Neville, R-Jefferson County, fought to kill the red-flag bill and was the sponsor on another proposal to remove the permit requirement in order to carry a concealed weapon.

In 2013, following mass shooting tragedies in Newtown, Connecticut and (especially) the July 2012 mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, the unified Democratic majorities in the Colorado House and Senate debated and passed a landmark package of gun safety bills: most controversially, laws requiring background checks on most transfers of guns including private sales and a limit on magazine capacity at 15 rounds.

These laws provoked an intense backlash from national pro-gun organizations like the National Rifle Association and the hard-line National Association for Gun Rights headed by local gun rights extremist Dudley Brown. Brown, who believes there should be no pre-sale checks on gun purchases of any kind, and allied local groups flush with NRA cash initiated a recall election in September of 2013 that successfully recalled two Democratic Senators: Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo. A third Democratic Senator, Evie Hudak of Arvada, voluntarily resigned rather than putting her swing district (and herself) through the pain of a recall.

Since that time, though, all of the gains made by Republicans as a result of the events of 2013 have been retaken by Democrats. The successors for Morse and Giron both lost their seats in 2014, and fringe-right Sen. Laura Woods held Evie Hudak’s former seat for only two years before being ousted by Rachel Zenzinger in their second matchup in 2016. And despite annual attempts by Republicans to repeal the laws passed in 2013, they remain on the books. In the meantime, the ongoing and worsening tragedy of mass gun violence in America has shifted the politics of the issue to the point where Democrats in Colorado and elsewhere no longer fear taking the gun lobby head-on.

In 2013, Jon Caldara of the Independence Institute predicted the recalls would create a “wave of fear” among Democrats across the land, and for a few years, yes–it probably did. We submit to you that those days are over, and history will record that it was Morse, Giron, Hudak, and everyone else who tried to reduce the impact of gun violence instead of make excuses for it who were on the right side.

And yes, flipping the Colorado Senate would be a powerful way to say so.

10 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. unnamed says:

    Taking out Tim N-Evil-le would be a great way to come full circle on this revenge tour.

  2. Moderatus says:

    Liars! Leroy Garcia, who succeeded Giron, opposes the 2013 gun laws. Do you want to poke this bear again right before the election Colorado Pols? I don't recommend that

    • Mike W. says:

      Hmm, what was that? Taller Coffman 2022? Or are those ten point leads for Crow fake news? You're running out of steam there bub.

    • unnamed says:

      Is your girlfriend going to save the day for the Colorado GOP by coming into the Governor's race?  She'd do better than your current candidate.

    • mamajama55 says:

      I remember exactly what Leroy Garcia did and did not endorse on the gun law changes.  I was actually mad at him at the time for his not fully endorsing the laws that Giron and Morse were crucified for.

      Leroy Garcia was against the >15 magazine ban, but for the background check, and for the domestic violence restrictions. As a former paramedic, I'm sure he saw plenty of the effects of gun violence.  As a Marine combat veteran, and a hunter, he respected guns as tools and knows all about gun safety.

      So wrong again, Moderatus. A little research next time, perhaps?


  3. Negev says:

    history will record that it was Morse, Giron, Hudak, and everyone else who tried to reduce the impact of gun violence instead of make excuses

    ….aaand since that effort gun violence has risen 35% in Colorado. Nice try. 


    • allyncooper says:

      And history records (actual data from the Colorado Dept. of Public Safety) that from 2013 to 2017 gun violence increased 48.51 %.

      Colorado's population increase from 2013 to 2017 was 6.65%

      Objective data indicates the laws passed by Dems had absolutely no effect reducing "gun violence", but did manage to get three Democratic legislators shit canned. Real history records actual facts and data, not wistful thinking.


      • Voyageur says:

        The Democrats acted with honor and courage. To me, it wasn't worth it, considering the callousness of their Republican foes.  

        You have to choose your fights in politics.  To me, Tabor reform, health care, k-12 education and above all , higher education are higher goals than token gun law reforms that don't seem to have done any good in practice.

        • mamajama55 says:

          It was never really about guns, or crime.  The myopic gunheads were cynically used to gin up enthusiasm via the recall elections. But the people in charge understood that nobody was actually coming for their constituents' guns.

          What this "gun law debate" has always, always been about is partisan political control of the Senate. In 2012, Democrats controlled the Senate 20-15. After Morse and Giron were recalled and Hudak resigned, it was Dems 18- Rs 17, a thin margin which was easily overturned in 2014,  giving us years of moronic bills that died in committee, ridiculous facial hair, and  a culture of sexual harassment as a legislative norm.

          But that era is coming to an end this year.

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