Controversial House Bill 1048 passed on a 37-28 vote, with four Democrats joining the NRA and 33 pro-death, pro-gun profit Republicans in support of the measure. The bill would eliminate the state’s background checks on gun sales for firearms.
Tea Party sponsor Mark Waller (R- Colorado Springs — but you knew that) justified the bill, stating it simply eliminates a “duplicitous system” because the FBI already performs background checks through federally-licensed dealers.
Representative Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora), who lost her son and his fiance to gun violence, urged legislators to defeat the bill, saying, “We should be doing everything we can to preserve and protect life”.
Democrats and pro-life advocates need to band together to defeat this pro-death bill, which was clearly written to increase profits for gun manufacturers. Gun checks at the state and federal levels sometimes create slightly different results, creating a much-needed second-opinion before putting firearms in the hands of persons who may be mentally ill, or may have criminal records. The evidence that a second gun-check is effective in reducing gun sales to potential criminals is obvious — if the bill didn’t prevent an occasional sale (profit), the NRA would not be pushing this piece of legislation. And they are.
As a woman who grew up surrounded by rifles, I have nothing against guns. My father worked in a factory during the week, but on evenings and weekends, he and my brothers hunted and fished in the Michigan woods, regularly bringing home dead things to eat to supplement the family food budget. Dad loved guns; my brother does even more today. In fact, he and his wife and seven children pose every year in front of their Christmas tree for their annual holiday photo, with their new gifts of camouflage and rifles (probably why I converted to Judaism and became a vegetarian as an adult). My Dad was the biggest hunter-enthusiast I’ve ever known, and he would have clearly renounced this bill.
I am disappointed in the four Democrats who voted for this bill, and I urge all Coloradans — whether Democrat, Republican, Unaffiliated or Independent, to defeat this pro-death bill in the Colorado Senate. In the state that suffered huge losses in the Columbine shooting, we know better than to cut corners by putting guns in the hands of people who should not have them.
Denver Resident Michelle Schoen, a two-time survivor of senseless gun violence that killed family members, agrees:
My 20 month old son, RJ, was murdered by a mentally ill teenager in 1991… In 1994, my brother (20 years old) was shot to death (the entire left side of his face blow off) with a shotgun, owned by someone who wasn’t required to pass a background check, in a state where a background check was not required. This bill sickens me to my core.