In Which Jon Caldara Lies Like a Cheap Rug

A video from Jon Caldara, president of the right-wing Independence Institute, makes some pretty shocking allegations about House Bill 1224, the bill to limit magazine capacity now on its way to the Gov. John Hickenlooper's desk.

In this video, now spreading virally in conservative circles, Caldara proudly shows off his Glock 19 9mm pistol, and the 15-round magazine that originally came with it. As Caldara explains, there is an extender cap available for his Glock's 15-round magazine, which raises it to 17 rounds–making the magazine illegal under 1224, both because of its capacity and its ability to be "readily convertible" to an illegal capacity. This does summarize closely enough the effect of House Bill 1224 as we understand it, and it's probably right that the magazine he's holding won't be sold in Colorado after the legislation takes effect. Of course, Caldara's existing magazines won't be confiscated, and he can continue to possess them. He doesn't say that.

And then Caldara concludes with an absolutely false statement.

If this law passes, almost all guns in Colorado will never be able to get a magazine again.

Be assured, there is no truth to this claim whatsoever. In the case of Caldara's Glock 19, there are magazines available right now that comply with the law, and do not accept the extender clip he showed in his video. They are the magazines sold today for these guns in states where magazine capacity is limited. What's more, Republicans have hypothesized the meaning of "readily convertible" far beyond any reasonable interpretation–experts tell us that in practice, it will boil down to whether the magazine was designed to be easily extended. In states where these magazines have already been restricted, amazingly the law of supply and demand prevails, and legal magazines amazingly appear on gun store shelves despite all the weeping and gnashing of teeth!

Through this long debate over gun safety legislation in the Colorado General Assembly, we have repeatedly documented incidents of outright deception from opponents–from Republicans claiming that background checks will "criminalize private sales" to Sen. Randy Baumgardner's insistence that hammers kill more people than guns, and countless others. This has been done for the express purpose of agitating low information pro-gun conservatives, and has significantly worsened the already irrational reaction to these bills.

We believe that Jon Caldara is a smart man, and that either he or somebody on his staff (like Dave Kopel, the II's "gun expert") could have taken the two seconds to discover that "post-ban" magazines, magazines which are not compatible with the extender clip he demonstrated in this video, are available in states that have limited capacity. We think the chances Caldara does not know that are pretty remote.

Which means he is lying on purpose. Today, GOP lawmakers are helping spread this video to their own constituents, along with every conservative mouthpiece in the state. At this point, they are not interested in justifying these outlandish claims, only in spreading them as far and wide as they possibly can. Caldara knows more conservatives will see his video than will ever see its debunking or correction, and most of them won't believe the debunking anyway. If anything, it's becoming tough to shame the absolute shamelessness taking place here.

We just hope it comes to an end soon.

15 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Aristotle says:

    Elliot? If you wanted an answer to the question "Do we disagree with this analysis [sic]," this should provide it for you with unmistakable clarity.

  2. ArapaGOP says:

    Who is going to check the thousands of magazines to see if they can be readily converted? This law is a total morass.

    Caldara is not actually lying either, Pols admits that he won't be able to buy the standard commonly used magazine for his gun.

    The poll numbers must look bad given how hard Colorado Pols is working to contain the outrage.

    • Aristotle says:


      They already sell the new magazines in CA and NY. They'll just sell those here.

      • ArapaGOP says:

        The 10 round CA magazines? What about our 15 round limit? Sounds like a back door to even more restriction than you told the public.

        What happens when people die? Does the public know the magazines are surrendered to the government on death, and can't be sold with the gun when they sell their guns? This bill is going to shock people when they realize everything it does! And Democrats have kept the lid on it through the liberal media until it's too late.

    • BlueCat says:

      The poll numbers do look bad, ArapG… for your side. That's why your side is trying so hard to stir up nonsense hysteria as hard as they can.  With unept trolls like you, it's not liiking good.

      Oh and you never answered my last question to you.  If it's all about liberty and the belief that second amndment rights are absolute, why no hysteria over long standing regulations that the Supreme Court has never had a problem with?  Heck, they didn't even have a problem with the ban on semu-automatics that was in place for 10 years and was never struck down as unconstitutional. Apparently the interpretation has always been that while we have the right to bear arms that doesn't mean any type of arms in any environment.

      Why not call the fact that you can't board your filight with an AK47 an assualt on liberty?  Why no hysteria over the ban on fully automatic weapons? Why don't I hear from you that it's no wonder people like Sain are saying over the top things considering  the assualt on our liberty inherent in our not being allowed to shoulder our favorite rocket launcher when we go for a walk?

      Or do you indeed recognize that, as with every other right, the right to bear arms is not absolute for the simple reason that no rights are absolute. Yelling fire in a crowded theater, etc., you must know the drill. Of course admitting that would deflate your entire phony argument which, apparently, even you loonies aren't  don't really believe in anyway.

      • ArapaGOP says:

        You should listen to what Bill Clinton said about this. You are turning people who don't care and don't vote into passionate voters against Democrats. This could be the different in 2014, and I don't care how many polls of New Yorkers you have to say different. We will send Bloomberg packing

        • BlueCat says:

          That was then. It's a different world.  In Clinton's time being accepting of gay marriage was radical.  Now it's ho-hum. Cute, though, how you place so much hope in our supposed deification of Clinton. I guess it's because you guys deify Reagan even though he couldn't possibly make it through a contemporary GOP primary and times have changed since the 80s. But you still haven't answered my question. Did you think I wouldn't notice?

          I suppose it's because you can't.  It's because the right to bear arms has always been regulated and the Supreme Court has never ruled that it can't be.

          Once again no Supreme Court has taken the view that the right to bear arms means any arms, anywhere, under any circumstance and that, little ArapG, is why you can't take your AK47 on the plane or your shoulder mounted rocket launcher to the Broncos game and also, most important in this particular discussion, why your arguments that any regulations constitute assaults on liberty don't hold water.


        • Duke Cox says:

          We will send Bloomberg packing

          You mean the one who is term limited and isn't running again??

          You must be saying that you have started a fund to help him pay for his next vacation…that must be what you mean…right?

  3. gaf says:

    Caldera implies the market system will not work in Colorado to provide a supply of the legal magazines. Just ignore the conflict with his usual praise of the wonders of the market.

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