Colorado Republicans Treat High Schoolers Like January Sixers

Senate President Steve Fenberg addresses East High students on gun safety legislation.

As the Denver Post’s Capitol reports Nick Coltrain and Seth Klamann reported yesterday evening, for the second time this legislative session, the students of nearby East High School marched to the Colorado state capitol building to demand in the wake of gun violence on and near their campus that lawmakers pass stronger gun safety measures:

Hundreds of students from at least five Denver high schools, reeling from another school shooting, filled lawmakers’ offices and surrounded them in the hallways of the Capitol on Thursday to demand safer schools.

The rally was in response to the second shooting at East High School in as many weeks, but violence at any school affects every school, students said. They chanted slogans like “protect schools, not guns” from the Capitol steps…

On Wednesday, two administrators at the school were shot by a student, according to law enforcement. The student suspected of shooting the administrators was found dead by suicide hours later in Park County.

Students arriving at the state capitol to lobby lawmakers in favor of stronger gun safety laws yesterday, continuing today with Denver Public Schools closed for a “mental health day,” met two very different partisan reactions. Sympathetic Democrats welcomed students’ support for four gun safety bills moving through the legislature, and Sens. Chris Hansen and Rhonda Fields promised in response to news that the East High shooter may have utilized an untraceable “ghost gun” to introduce a new bill to ban them completely in the state.

According to a number of witnesses present, however, the interactions between East High students and Republican lawmakers were somewhat less cordial:

Got that, kids? Sen. Larry Liston was “happy” to be “berated” with your “rude and impertinent” “unannounced” grievances about your friends and administrators getting shot. What makes you think Liston can help? It’s not like lawmakers pass laws, right?

As for Republicans who hid in darkened offices as though high school students were January 6th insurrectionists, that’s just rank cowardice. For one thing, these students all went through the capitol’s metal detectors, which is more than we can say for clueless Republican lawmakers with a habit of fumbling their guns in a building where no one else can possess them. Why would armed Republican legislators be afraid of high school students who didn’t even smash any windows to get in the building like January 6th “sightseers?”

As one of Colorado’s longest-serving backbencher safe-seat Republicans, this is far from Larry Liston’s first offense when it comes to general disdain for children. Back in 2008, then-Rep. Liston drew scorn and was forced to apologize after he flat-out called unwed teen parents “sluts” in a debate over teen pregnancy rates. It’s not something Liston would be likely to repeat today, especially in earshot of Lauren Boebert, but we can see that time hasn’t made the kids any more welcome on Larry Liston’s lawn.

This time, Liston and friends helped turn a crowd of East High kids into lifetime Democratic voters.

11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Gilpin Guy says:

    Good article Pols.  And Repubs wonder why their candidates are tanking in local and statewide races.  Ignoring the problem doesn't work any better than promoting 'more guns' solutions for winning over skeptical voters.

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    Why are you shitting on Liston. He talked with them. Was he perfect, no. But he didn’t run away. Call out all the ones that hid.

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Liston has also opposed the turn to the far right by the MAGA-controlled Republican party apparatus in El Paso County.

    • Washopingmylastpostwouldbemylast says:

      To save Liston the effort and embarrassment of shitting on himself?

      Our GOPberts sure love all their endangered little children, huh? Right up until the time they learn to think and dare to speak . . . (and ask questions those “very important people” don’t want to hear.)

      Oh, the impudence!

      (“Can’t you kids see that I’m very busy here working on not solving the problems that I didn’t create? Why don’t you go away now, come back when you’re older and are able to make some substantial campaign contributions? . . . Would anybody like a sticker?”)

  3. JohnInDenver says:

    I'm wondering if Dave Williams has thought to do some polling of what the citizens aged 18-25 want. 


    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Only if each kid to be polled owns at least three guns, one of which must be an AR-15 assault rifle.

      • Washopingmylastpostwouldbemylast says:

        So Williams did commission that 18-25 polling, and got exactly the kind of results you’d expect?

        Good to see Patrick Neville’s firms back from exile, and in action working and earning in the Williams’ GOP camp!  Republican voice-of-the-[real]-people democracy in action!

    • Lauren Boebert is a Worthless POS says:

      Why bother? If he commissioned such a poll it would probably show widespread opposition to his positions on many issues. And if the poll became public, he would need to denounce it as "fake news" or a "liberal hoax."

      Just save yourself the money, Dave.

  4. Budded says:

    As terrible as their behavior is, the silver lining to our GQP acting this way, rejecting any interaction outside of their bubble, is that these kids and their families and friends will never vote for them, if they even would've in the first place.

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