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March 06, 2023 11:20 AM UTC

Colorado GOP State Representative Threatens Civil War

  • by: Colorado Pols

MONDAY UPDATE: This morning, Rep. Matt Soper requested a moment of personal privilege in order to address his threats of civil war in response to the introduction late Friday of a state-level assault weapons ban bill.

We say “address” because despite Rep. Soper’s remarks containing the word “apologize” twice, there’s very little in the way of actual contrition in Soper’s words:


SOPER: Madam Speaker I’d like to ask for a moment of personal privilege.

SPEAKER: So granted, please proceed.

SOPER: Thank you Madam Speaker. Members, over this weekend, some of you may have noticed that I acted out of character on Twitter. And I feel that, uh, it’s my duty to explain why. Normally I’m known as being rational and reasonable, and choosing my words very carefully. They were chosen carefully. [Pols emphasis] But I do want to apologize for a couple of words that were in the Tweet, because I do think it’s important that um, we choose our words carefully.

I do want to say to this body, firearms and guns are very important to my constituents. [Pols emphasis] And that was all I heard about over the weekend. I had been at a chamber dinner on Friday night, and that’s all that was talked about. My reorg meeting on Saturday morning, that’s all that was talked about. Reading through the bill, there was a personal element also, with me, and uh I acted accordingly. That doesn’t change my position but I do want you to understand that firearms are something that are near and dear folks on the Western Slope and throughout rural Colorado. But I do want to, uh say to this chamber, I should have chosen a couple of different words that were included there. And my apologies.

Soper doesn’t specify which words he should have chosen differently, but we assume it’s either “invade,” “murder,” “tyrant,” or “civil war.” Or it could have been the Anglicized “defenceless,” or “disarms” plural instead of “disarm.” Maybe he’s just sorry that he posted a picture of himself firing a ridiculous old-timey musket. But what really matters is that guns are “very important” to the Western Slope. Despite the fact that Soper chose his words carefully, he’s sorry someone might be offended. Maybe.

It’s also important to note that Soper isn’t deleting the Tweet that he is sorry about.

All in all, this is truly one of the most disingenuous non-apologies ever entered into the public record.


On Friday, a much-anticipated assault weapons ban bill was introduced in the Colorado legislature, where it awaits a substantially less certain fate than a leadership-sanctioned package of gun safety bills introduced last month. A number of Democrats considered authoritative on the issue have come out in opposition to an outright assault weapons ban at the state level, including Sen. Tom Sullivan of Centennial, questioning its efficacy and enforceability in a state where local law enforcement widely disregards the magazine limit passed in 2013.

So, there’s that side of the argument. But then there’s the response from GOP Rep. Matt Soper, who for some reason we’ve never understood is considered one of the more agreeable members of the House GOP micro-minority:

The first thing to understand here is that the legislation as introduced does not ban possession of any currently legally-owned weapons, only new sales and transfers–which means no one is coming to take the Western Slope’s guns. Threats of civil war have become commonplace from characters like election conspiracy theorist and would-be hangman Joe Oltmann, but a sitting elected Republican representative threatening civil war takes the rhetoric to a disturbing new level. To any others on the Western Slope girding themselves for an invasion and murder spree across the Continental Divide, speaking on behalf of the entire Front Range: that’s not in our summer vacation plans.

As readers know, a significant number of state representatives and senators carry concealed weapons inside the Colorado State Capitol building every day, occasionally fumbling them and mislaying them in public places–though ordinary citizens with concealed-carry permits cannot, and the building is fully secured by the Colorado State Patrol. We don’t know for certain whether Rep. Soper comes to the building armed, but the sponsors of legislation Soper is threatening civil war over might consider it question worth asking.

It’s not “red flag” worthy. Don’t even take that bait. But it is outrageous, deeply irresponsible, and in the beforetimes when the political culture was not so numb to outrage it might even have ended a legislator’s political career. It’s been years since Colorado Republicans had the courage to excise Jim Welker from their midst, and unless House Minority Leader Mike Lynch says very clearly otherwise, Soper joins Reps. Scott “There Is No” Bottoms and Ken “Skin” DeGraaf as the public faces of a party in an increasingly menacing spiral toward the unthinkable.

If you’re a Republican and this is not how you want to be remembered, you’d better do something.


32 thoughts on “Colorado GOP State Representative Threatens Civil War

  1. For some reason I thought that Soper was one of the less crazy members of the GOP House caucus.

    Maybe he just got a wide hare up his ass and went off the deep end?

      1. Perhaps it’s that being a Republican with the associated chronic denial of reality is detrimental to one’s mental health, and the the longer someone remains a Republican the higher the risk factor they have for eventually developing untreatable dementia???

        1. Perhaps not. I've been a registered Republican almost the entire time since I was old enough to vote in 1972. Dementia does not run in my family.

          1. The alcoholics and smokers in my family like to recall stories about the matriarch who smoked cigars and drank shots everyday of her adult life, until she passed at age 103.

            You might be right.  Sounds like you’d probably be either the among the first, or alternatively the very last, to notice.  wink

            1. Alcoholics and smokers in my family; on both sides, there were one or two; didn't last long. The ones who emphasized being healthy did. 

  2. Right wingers are so panicky, paranoid, and filled with rage – it must be exhausting to live that way constantly believing that everything is out to get you and living with your fear and anger constantly cranked up to 11.

    They just can't wait for any opportunity to threaten violence against their perceived enemies, they're all on a hair trigger (and heavily armed to do it). They watch way too many movies and have convinced themselves they're all Rambo. They want to kill people and will jump on any perceived slight to convince themselves they can do it.

  3. I'm no gun expert, but that pic isn't an AR-15. My guess, by the amount of smoke, is a muzzle-loader. I haven't heard of any mass shootings by a lone assailant armed with a muzzle-loader, but maybe I'm just uninformed.

  4. Love this line: 

    "To any others on the Western Slope girding themselves for an invasion and murder spree across the Continental Divide, speaking on behalf of the entire Front Range: that’s not in our summer vacation plans."

    Whoever writes this stuff is a peach.  I wish I was half that creative a writer.

  5. I've not read the proposed legislation … but if it bars new sales of "assault" weapons in Colorado, I suspect that would become prime advertising material for the tourist offices of Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. 

    And there would be a corresponding increase the price of mailing lists [and their on-line advertising equivalents] for Coloradans purchasing ammunition or doing searches for the weapons.

    I continue to think a better approach would be to develop a licensing scheme similar to our transportation laws.  If someone wants to be an operator of a weapon, they need a license.  Operating a single shot .22 could be the equivalent of a basic driver's license.  As weapons involve higher speed, greater mass, and special uses, the equivalent restrictions for training, examination, and limited defined spaces would increase, too.

    1. I'd love your take on this blog post which may or may not have been written by me:

      tl;dr We need to do more to change the gun culture in America so that everyone knows that guns do not solve our problems. Laws do not change culture but they can prompt communities to change cultures. This can be done with local gun registries that benefit gun owners, community volunteering requirements for “defense”(1) firearms(2) owners and required disclaimers for gun industry advertisements….

      I think it's past time I do my annual "throw the blog post at representatives and hope" exercise.

      1. The point on “weapons in the armory” would sink it in the minds of too many. 

        My notion of firearms = vehicles and operators needing a license for both would allow people to maintain access. 

        At the very least, I want operators to demonstrate at least once they know the government has the right to set rules, know the rules, and demonstrate basic competence in a driving / hunting test.  I’d prefer routine and repetitive competency testing for BOTH vehicles and firearms (every 5 years for those under some age point, like 65 or 70, more frequent after)..

        By the same token, I wouldn’t mind a bit of glorifying the really good operators, similar to various sorts of praise handed out to vehicle operators. I’ve read about truck drivers with a million accident-free miles. Handing out medals to those who have shot 100,000 rounds without accident might encourage others to aspire to responsible gun operation, too.

  6. Just a tiny "I'm not trying to incite a civil war, mmmmkay?" might have helped Soper's non-apology slightly. As is, he said he chose his original words carefully, and nothing in his House statement expressly walked back the words he – might not have chosen carefully?

  7. He didn't even apologize for misspelling "defenseless."  Perhaps that's because he is still aligned with the Tories and King George III. 

    Although even the Tories know better than to put guns over people's lives. 

  8. Normally I’m known as being rational and reasonable, and choosing my words very carefully.

    Not anymore, chief.

    And if the "civil war" comes, I have little doubt that this candy-ass would spend it in the fetal position whimpering like a 3-year-old with a skinned knee.

  9. Look, I’m a Democrat and I own an AR-15. If anyone wants to forcefully take my rifle from me there’s going to be an issue. That being said, if anyone tries to forcefully take my dishes, my lawnmower, my underwear…. really if they try to forcefully take anything from my house there’s gonna be issues!

    I’m so tired of Republicans being constantly locked, loaded and “ready” for “war” at the slightest provocation that they invent. Fucking can it, dumbasses.

    NO ONE WANTS TO TAKE YOUR GUNS! You’re probably shit at taking care of them anyway.

    (“ready” and “war” are in quotes cuz they aren’t fucking ready for anything, especially not war. They just have hard-ons for pew-pews.)

    1. I think perhaps because so many of these knuckleheads think that the best thing you can accomplish with a gun is dozens of trophy heads on the wall, that they project upon gun safety proponents a desire to hang confiscated guns as trophies on our walls?

      But, I don't know that to any high degree of certainty.  Where the hell is Moderatus when we need the idjit perspective around here?

        1. Where the hell is Moderatus when we need the idiot perspective around here?"

          Crying like a baby because everybody vilifies his fascist party by telling the truth about them.

          Or even Roger Edwards.


          Maybe that nasty old man is succumbing to his dementia. 

  10. Fetishizing Violence and Guns, and Fantasizing about Killing the Libtards. It’s the Republican Way.

    As I mentioned the other day, although Fascism is an authoritarian political ideology, the PSYCHOLOGICAL foundation of Fascism is the fantasy of violently confronting the “OTHER”, whether they are jews, blacks, homos, immigrants, libtards, “world elites”, etc. (See Steve Bannon.)

    You can find this psycho-psychology even in sweet grandmas, who might not want to pick up a gun themselves, but are happy for their jack-booted son to go stomp some hippy’s ass.

    Is Soper a psychological Fascist? Well, he is amping up the fear and loathing, so he is certainly not AGAINST fascism.

  11. Is someone taking these threats seriously? I understand it’s not the intent of Democrats to yadda yadda yadda… Doesn’t stop Republicans and Conservatives from believing their perception is reality. At some point these threats will encourage people (whom Republicans will later disavow) killing in their name. 

    So why not create a list of names? Why not track Soper’s movement from the weekend. Why not interview those people he was with during the weekend that prompted this threat? 

    They keep saying “prepare for a civil war” nothing is more prepared like surveillance on those making threats.

  12. Since when did a law stop any group from righteously revolting against evil?  3/5's, Missouri Compromise, etc didn't stop a group of nits leaving the Union nor stop their demise as a Confederacy.  The civil war I worry about is a new thing that allows dipshits like Trump and Boebert get elected participate in a F troop coup attempt but never properly governing the majority that didn't elect them.  Something must give. 



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