GOP Gives Guns to The Mentally Ill?

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.

About nancycronk

Nancy Cronk is a longtime community activist and women's leader living in Arapahoe County. Six months before the historic "red sweep" election of 2014, she was recruited to run as a "placeholder" in HD37, and managed to bring in 40K from 500 small donors, and 42% of the vote -- just one point lower than the previous candidate who ran in a presidential year.

17 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ProgressiveCowgirl says:

    Would you mind changing the use of “crazy?” I know we all use it to refer to people like Frank McNulty, but coming from my background working with the disability community, “crazy” is considered a hurtful and ableist term when used to apply to people who actually ARE diagnosed as mentally ill. I’m sure you don’t intend in any way to insult the mentally ill individuals who face additional challenges every day in their lives and work (and I agree, most of them should probably not be gun owners — as most mentally ill individuals who are in treatment and have learned to advocate for their needs would probably also agree) but this is one of those hypersensitive things like the “r-word” with me, both because of my work and because I have people in my family who are challenged by mental illness.

  2. Middle of the Road says:

    that voted for this bill, just in the interest of balance and fairness, ho ho.

    Edward Casso of Commerce City

    Wes McKinley of Cokedale

    Ed Vigil of Fort Garland

    Sal Pace of Pueblo

    And it’s being sponsored in the Senate by Democratic Senator Democrat Lois Tochtrop , clearly another “pro-death, pro-gun profit” legislator.

    • nancycronk says:

      but with the exception of one other bill by Wes MicKinley, they’ve consistently been on the people’s side of other bills, as far as I’ve noticed. “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”.  

    • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

      I can’t wait for that guy to get caught taking bribes. #*$%*@#$ fake cowboy.

    • Gray in Mountains says:

      guess he is reaching for CD3 votes. He is still better than Tipton

      • rocco says:

        I was too, and with Lois for co-sponsoring in the State Senate.

        But in Sal’s defense, like you said, he’s got to coddle the CD3 demographic, and the last thing a Democrat that’s actually got a 50-50 chance in that district needs is for a typically uninformed electorate being sold a bill of goods like “he’ll take yer guns”. Or “He’s anti-2nd Amendment”.

        A “no” vote wouldn’t have changed the outcome, but it would have been fodder for the bad guys.

        • droll says:

          Meaning I’d like to officially add him to the wtf list.

          I’ve never really appreciated folks using meaningless votes (in this case, technically, as you point out) to run to a perceived side, like Pace is presumably doing. It makes me feel uneasy. But it’s not my district and never has been. Also, Tipton. So yeah. Awkward. Unless he just really didn’t like the bill, in which case he needs to pay better attention to what he’s voting on.

          • rocco says:

            Your point is all too valid. I suppose after a while a person starts asking what’s the point of even being in that hot seat.

            On a National platform, Senator Clinton voted to give Bush his Iraq Authorization, knowing voting her conscience would have been disasterous, given the ginned up national war fever.

            I guess if this idiotic ALEC/NRA attempt to sell guns, swamp the FBI and eliminate local checks fails, as it should, in the Senate, Pace wins, and the Democrats take the House back in November, all will be fine.

            I don’t know if I really believe that, but oh well, it’s the way it is.    

  3. droll says:

    Sorry, that would be “GOP Gives Guns to the Shit-for-Brains.”

    Your title, “GOP Gives Guns to The Mentally Ill?”, is still offensive, perhaps more so than the original. No one is “giving” anyone a gun and the mentally ill are only diagnosed after someone notices and gets the person help, useless for your average any kind of check.

    And can you source the word “duplicitous” for me? Or at least at the [sic].

    I feel happy that no one was raped in this story, but sad that you’ve, once again, managed to turn a piece against a bill I don’t like into a shit show.

    There’s something wrong with you. Argue things based on fact, not the nearest issue you feel will lead to outrage. Can you even tell the difference?

    • nancycronk says:

      It’s cool if you don’t like something I think, or I write, but it’s really not cool to make everything personal. Have a good day, Droll.

      • droll says:

        That’s personal.

        Asking for clarification about your diary is not. But no comment? Stop shitting all over the place and I’ll stop commenting on your shit. Fair?

        • bullshit! says:

          I’m not sure I should even ask, but what’s up with that sig line? Either explain that shit or look as creepy as whoever said it…

          • droll says:

            But no one “said” it, that’s why it’s not in quotes.

            In a diary about the “an aspirin between the legs” moron, a random, tragic, rape was brought up as an argument for easy access to birth control (the child happened to be ten, so by tragic, I mean unbelievably tragic and heartbreaking). I reported the comment because it stepped over a line for me and was told it was fine because there was a link and no picture. Libertad was recently boxed for calling Obama a “silverback”, even though his douchebag comment did contain a link, but no picture.

            Neither thing should have been said, nor were they related to what was being discussed. Therefore, if one is punished for offensiveness and the other not, I’m led to believe that one is offensive and the other not, or not as much.

            • nancycronk says:

              One of those rights is access to health care. Another is insurance-covered contraception. The third, AND THE ONE I WAS REFERRING TO, was the right to have an abortion. You are the only one on Pols who didn’t seem to get that droll. Must you always sit in judgement of every other blogger and bully them?

              • nancycronk says:

                my comment was in regard to someone saying “supporters of Planned Parenthood should lighten up”. No, there are many tragic stories associated with the rights I mentioned above, and many more, and the entire conversation is gravely serious. NO ONE SHOULD LIGHTEN UP. EVERY WOMAN, AND DECENT MAN, SHOULD TAKE THE THREATS TO WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE AND HEALTH CARE RIGHTS MORE SERIOUSLY. IF WE DON’T WE’LL LOSE THEM.

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