Mag Limit Crazy Talk: A Trip Down Memory Lane

UPDATE #2: As expected, Senate Bill 15-175 passes the GOP-controlled Colorado Senate. After one more roll call vote, the bill heads to the House to die.


UPDATE: Debate now underway:


Today, the GOP-controlled Colorado Senate is set to debate and pass on second reading Senate Bill 15-175, legislation repealing the 15-round limit on gun magazine capacity passed by the Democratic-controlled General Assembly in 2013. A lively floor debate is expected to begin shortly.

As we have documented in this space, the gun lobby and allied Republicans have consistently relied on wildly hyperbolic predictions about what the magazine limit law would do in order to fire up public opposition and derail the national debate over gun safety. Today, as the Senate debates the repeal of the magazine limit, we’d like to share few clips of video about the magazine limit bill that we want to see, you know, justified.

Here’s one to start with: in March of 2013, then-Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman proposed that the Department of Natural Resources be “shut down,” since hunters will not be coming to Colorado–“because you can’t bring your weapons here.”

As we know back here in reality, the number of hunting permits issued in Colorado has surged since the passage of the 2013 magazine limit. It would appear that hunters figured out that what Cadman was saying wasn’t true in the least.

And then there’s Sen. Kent Lambert, who claimed in 2013 that “we have banned, effectively banned gun ownership, from the citizens of the state.”

Is there anyone out there willing to defend this ridiculous statement today? Even Sen. Lambert himself? Are we going to hear about this claim while Lambert argues for repealing the magazine limit? Will Lambert apologize for outright lying to panicky gun owners?

Of course he’s not going to apologize–but there’s no denying that both Cadman’s and Lambert’s statements were completely ridiculous and unjustified in hindsight. Hunters continue to hunt. Hundreds of thousands of guns are legally purchased by Coloradans every year. Compliant gun magazines were available after the magazine limit took effect, just like they did in other states–Colorado was hardly the first state to limit magazine capacity after all.

Another principal source of falsehoods during the 2013 debate over gun safety was Jon Caldara, director of the Independence Institute. In this video, which spread virally during the 2013 debate, Caldara said flat-out that if the magazine limit passed, “almost all guns in Colorado will never be able to get a magazine again.”

There’s no nice way to say it, folks: Republicans openly lied about the magazine limit bill in 2013, and as a direct result turned the debate over this legislation into an irrational paranoia-fest. There is a easy line to be drawn between the extreme disregard for factuality during the gun safety debate in 2013 on the part of Republicans and gun lobby allies, and death threats made against Democratic legislators who supported these bills.

Read that last sentence again, and understand that as the press savaged Democrats over the smallest misstatements and gaffes during the debate over these bills, the nonsense you can watch above was barely even reported by the local media–much less questioned.

And that is the real travesty here, folks. The lawmakers, pundits, and lazy journalists who allowed these lies to take hold are the ones who should be explaining themselves today.

8 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Craig says:

    Don’t know if the Dems are smart enough, but they should do what we did when we defeated the partial birth abortion bill in the Colorado House (then controlled by Republicans, but we nevertheless collected 40 votes against).  They need to choose one spokesman and then sit down and shut up.  The spokesman needs to go at the end with a single message.  None of the things they said will happen happened and none of the things they say today will happen.  The only thing that will happen is that folks like the Theater Shooter will have to load more often.  Then the spokesperson should sit down and let the Republicans continue to froth at the mouth to prove just how crazy they are.

  2. JeffcoBlue says:

    Fucking liars, protected by the local media. It’s disgusting.

  3. Big Time says:

    You know who doesn’t like magazine capacity limits?

    Cliven Bundy & Gang. 

    What was Cliven Bundy’s beef? The Feds stole the state of Nevada’s land and has no jurisdiction over that land, according to some cockamamy “Constitutional Sherif” nonsense.

    You know who agrees with Cliven Bundy’s ideas about the constitution?

    1. Certain Colorado sherrifs … that a) want to repeal the 15 round mag limit, and b) aren’t enforcing the current law.

    2. Certain Coloradans who tried to secede from the state recently and wanted to use oil & gas rights in their part of the state as a basis of their new state, among other things. 

    3. The Koch Bros. and their oil and gas cronies

    And you thought this was all about “freedom” and the right to carry 100 round ammunition drums … more like “freedumb” lovin’ useful idiots being used to pry open public lands for oil and gas interests. 

  4. Davie says:

    It’s almost like the story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.  The press appears embarrassed (or afraid) to point out the far-beyond-the-pale hyperbole spouted by the GOP Gun Nutters.  

    As if it would reflect badly on the reporters for simply doing their jobs…  Maybe their editors and publishers simply tell them that it is impolite to point out brazen lying on the part of our elected “leaders”

  5. Davie says:

    Psychologists attempt to explain the GOTP’s behavior in the context of Obamacare failed predictions of doom.  Same effect as with the Gun Nutters and their inability to face the truth, by doubling down on their lies:

    Why Congress’ Obamacare Doomsday Cult Can’t Admit It Was Wrong

    In the 1950s, the psychologist Leon Festinger became fascinated by a Chicago woman pseudonymously named Marian Keech, who convinced herself and a surprising number of others that the world was about to end in a biblical flood.

    When aliens didn’t arrive in spaceships to save Keech and her followers on Dec. 21, 1954, as she predicted, it did not, at least as far as Keech’s followers were concerned, reveal her as a fraud.

    But it did inspire Festinger and his colleagues, who infiltrated Keech’s group, to formulate one of modern psychology’s most important new schools of thought — the theory of cognitive dissonance, which they detailed in the 1956 book When Prophecy Fails.



    The way cognitive dissonance works is that when people are confronted with information that contradicts either their beliefs or actions, they feel discomfort. To feel better, they either have to modify their beliefs and actions, or find some way to discount the disconfirming information. And the more effort someone invests in a particular action or idea, the greater the lengths they will go in crafting justifications to ease their discomfort.

    Will it get better? Unfortunately, the answer is No:

    As far as how long it might take for Obamacare’s elected prophets of doom to recant their predictions, Aronson offered one of his own.

    “About as long as it takes for hell to freeze over, with global warming,” he said.

  6. Zappatero says:

    Republican talk radio has completely infiltrated the (I’ll go with…) thinking and attitude taken by Republican legislators both in Denver and DC: sarcasm and hyperbole have replaced rational thought and reasonableness at almost every turn.

    The press enables it by not reporting how far off the rails R’s have gone, and many D’s encourage it by pretending “both sides do it” and that Republicans can be negotiated and reasoned with to achieve sensible, middle of the road solutions.

    Not. Gonna. Happen.

    All Republican talk radio, and a majority of R’s, hate government, hate Democrats (whom they call far-left liberals and go from there), hate large parts of our multi-dimensional society, hate the “takers” (brown skinned and poor ones, not white skinned “receivers” like Conrad Hughes Hilton III), hate union members, hate environmentalists, and hate anything they can’t understand.

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