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Colorado citizens have had much to digest and say about the issue of guns in the past week or so. Here are some of the high (or low) lights.

Background check repeal fails
Supported by a poll that shows 86 percent of Colorado voters support and approve of the background check bill passed in last year's legislative session, a Colorado state senate committee voted 3-2 in favor of rejecting a bill that would overturn the legislation. The bill was proposed by state Senator George Rivera (Pueblo), who took over for Angela Giron after she was recalled by a gun lobby supported recall in 2013.

http://www.denverpost.com/...

Arming school teachers
In the same poll, 50% of respondents told pollster Quinnipiac, that they would like teachers to be armed on school campuses - 45% did not.

http://www.quinnipiac.edu/...

This is an interesting finding that shows support for arming teachers. But keep in mind this is after a rash of school shootings nationwide, including one in Arapahoe, Colorado last December. While the results could be interpreted as voters do in fact want armed teachers, it also could have some "knee-jerk reaction" baked in.

The way the question is asked also invites ambiguity:

Do you support or oppose allowing teachers and school officials to carry guns on school grounds?
It could be that those polled interpreted "school officials" to mean trained resource officers many of whom are police or former police - rather than teachers - and many of whom already are on campuses. So, those polled also could have interpreted this to be a question asking if they supported taking armed teachers and staff off campus. In other words, if they answered "yes/support" - they could be re-affirming a belief that armed resource offices should remain on campus, and not necessarily voicing support for adding armed teachers to the mix.

The question gives the poll participant a lot of leeway to interpret just exactly what the pollster is asking. A better way to ask the question would have been: "Do you support schools having armed staff on campus?" and a follow up question: "Should this armed staff be teachers/administrators or safety resource officers?"

That would be a more fair way to ask the question and would do a better job of getting at the heart of the issue. If I were a proponent of arming teachers, I would not call this result a slam dunk for arming teachers by any stretch of the imagination.

Voters may also not be aware that most school districts have not been able to secure insurance for armed teachers because insurance company actuaries find that it puts the insurer at too great a risk:

Allowing teachers and other employees to carry guns under a new state law would cost most school districts their insurance.

EMC Insurance Companies, the state’s main insurer of schools, won’t insure districts with armed employees under the new law, which takes effect July 1. Districts already insured by EMC wouldn’t have their policies renewed.

“We understand that school districts have every right to decide which way they want to go,” Bernie Zalaznik, EMC’s resident vice president in Wichita, said Monday. “But we have to make the decision based on what we perceive to be our best financial interest.”

http://cjonline.com/...

The NY Times does a good job of reviewing several school districts in several states that have had similar trouble getting insured to arm teachers:

http://www.nytimes.com/...

Next Tuesday, the Colorado Judiciary committee will consider a bill that allows schools to arm teachers. Should be a doozy.

House committee to vote on magazine capacity repeal
And the day before (Monday) a legislative committee is set to hear a bill that tries to repeal the state's new limit on magazine capacity to 15 rounds. The Quinnipiac poll found support for the measure at 50% to 47% against - this policy has had increasing support in Quinnipiac polls from 48% to 47% a few months ago to 50-47 now.

If you want to learn more about the Colorado legislature and the gun legislation before it in 2014, Colorado CeaseFire is a great resource:

http://www.coloradoceasefire.org/

Open carry ban — to repeal or not to repeal, that is the question that seems to be headed for voters in Castle Rock
Another interesting bit of Colorado gun news is the story of Castle Rock, Colorado. A city on the exurban edge to the south of Denver. Two weeks ago the town council voted 4-3 in favor of overturning a ban on open carry of guns in public buildings and in public parks.

The mayor of the city is a part owner in a local gun club/range and the local gun lobby - the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners - provided support in the form of information guides and coaching, and that support showed up in the rhetoric and message of town council members who voted in support of the repeal as well as the Rocky Mountain Gun Owner lobbyists themselves and supporters who showed up at town council meetings to voice support for the repeal.

The issue seems to have lit a fire in the city. Now a "No Repeal" movement has begun with supporters set to gather 1,800 signatures to put a referendum to the city to stop the repeal:

On Jan. 28 at about 11 p.m., Castle Rock Town Council voted 4-3 to repeal the ban on open carrying of firearms in some town buildings and facilities.

And on Jan. 29 at about 9:30 a.m., a committee of six residents, upset with the council's decision, started a referendum effort by submitting a petition to the town clerk.

Siegfried "Ziggy" Guentensberger, a volunteer baseball coach with the Castle Rock Parks and Recreation District, said he was told they will need about 1,800 signatures, submitted by Feb. 26, to do that. If successful, a special election would be scheduled.

If the town council's decision stands, on Feb. 27 — 30 days after that decision was made —  anyone who has a handgun or assault rifle or any other legally purchased firearm will be allowed to carry it in their hands or holstered to Castle Rock Town Council meetings, and other town commission and advisory board meetings, administrative offices, various parks and other town-owned properties.

http://castlerocknewspress.net/...?

If you are in Castle Rock, you can learn more about how to support this effort here:

http://norepealcastlerock.com/

Originally posted to We Shall Overcome on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:44 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, Firearms Law and Policy, and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

    by We Shall Overcome on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:44:30 PM PST

  •  Nice review, WSO. Thanks. (5+ / 0-)

    My takeaway from this?

    The voters wasted time, money and effort to recall two state senators for nothing.

    Would you agree with that assessment?

    Glad to hear there is some pushback against the Castle Rock repeal.

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:10:45 PM PST

    •  Actually (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FrankRose

      The recall of a third senator was going to be successful, so instead, she resigned so we could maintain the seat within our party.

    •  Yes, the recalls were not state wide elections - (3+ / 0-)

      they were limited to two districts and the timing was even worse than "off year" - ie, the recalls happened as stand alone votes, so turn out was not good - but the gun enthusiasts had a place to vent their frustrations and did.

      Statewide polls of Colorado voters show that the recalls were highly unpopular as a means to settle policy differences:

      Voters statewide oppose 49 - 38 percent the recall of State Sen. Evie Hudak for supporting stricter new gun control laws. Voters oppose 57 - 36 percent recall efforts for legislators with whom they don't agree, saying they should wait for the regular reelection.
      http://www.quinnipiac.edu/...

      I'm guessing the voters in Castle Rock could be feeling a similar sentiment with respect to the town council voting to repeal an open carry ban, especially considering the mayor seems to be a card carrying member of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which is the state's local gun lobby.

      "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

      by We Shall Overcome on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 06:37:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Three districts. (0+ / 0-)

        With 20-30% of Democrats voting for the recall.

        Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

        by FrankRose on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 11:42:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Two were recalles, one was a resignation, the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coquiero

          recall election never actually happened.

          You would argue that the result was the same - yes and no. A Dem vacated the office, but in the case of the resignation, a Dem was appointed to the seat.

          "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

          by We Shall Overcome on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 12:17:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Most folks in Colorado don't want what you want. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coquiero

          I think that that was very ably demonstrated here.

          Get all hysterical if you want, but it's still not going to change the polls.

          There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

          by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:48:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That would explain why the people of Colorado (0+ / 0-)

            decided to remove me from my job this year....

            Oh wait, that wasn't me.

            Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

            by FrankRose on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:32:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So We Shall Overcome is lieing? The polls were (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              coquiero

              cooked in a way contrary to your right wing bias, making them "non-polls"?

              For a guy who claims to live and die by the numbers, you're remarkably short on numbers this time Frank.

              There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

              by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:46:13 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  I'm curious (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joy of Fishes, KVoimakas, FrankRose

    as to how many of the people who thought that the state-level recall vote was an inappropriate response to passing a measure that some people didn't like (rather than waiting for the regular election to oust the people passing it), will applaud a special election in response to passing a measure that some people didn't like....rather than waiting for the regular election to oust the people passing it.

    Overall, informative diary with useful links. Thanks.

    •  A large majority thought the recall was a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coquiero

      bad idea:

      Voters statewide oppose 49 - 38 percent the recall of State Sen. Evie Hudak for supporting stricter new gun control laws. Voters oppose 57 - 36 percent recall efforts for legislators with whom they don't agree, saying they should wait for the regular reelection.
      http://www.quinnipiac.edu/...

      I think the special election is a different dynamic than passing policy through the legislature. Why?

      The measures that passed are supported by a majority of Colorado voters - and that was the case before the vote and after. No one knows how the majority of voters in Castle Rock feel about the open carry ban repeal because the town council led by the mayor did not poll them - those council members who voted to repeal say they "talked to people in town and heard from people" and from that sample of their constituents decided a majority was with them.

      Just about every public agency - police, police chief, public safety agency, planning commission and down the line was against overturning the ban in Castle Rock. That was not the case with the policy passed by the state legislature.

      Another difference between the state legislature passing its policies and the town council repealing the ban is the supporters of repealing the open carry ban are backed by an extreme lobby (Rocky Mountain Gun Owners) that even the GOP in Colorado disdains.

      What you have in Castle Rock is a mayor who owns a gun club/range and who probably is a member of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners who seems to be running roughshod over the interests of his constituents.

      Castle Rock is a conservative town, so it will be interesting to see if the referendum gets the 1,800 signatures and if so, if the voters decide to keep the ban in place.

      It's a good barometer as to where voters will be later in the year with respect to guns and whether the issue will be important in 2014. It also will be a good measure of how strong the gun lobby in Colorado really is. This attempt to repeal the ban could backfire and turn moderate GOPers against them once again and split the conservative vote - hopefully. There is a history of that in Colorado - in fact, Evie Hudak who resigned rather than face a gun lobby recall was elected because that same gun lobby was too extreme, and Hudak's GOP opponent refused to support the gun lobby agenda, so they ran another candidate and Hudak won in a three way race.

      "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

      by We Shall Overcome on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:00:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Support for issues (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FrankRose

        Regarding the support for the state-level policies, remember that the two legislators who lost their seats did so because Democrats swung the balance to vote them out (more Democrats turned out to vote than Republicans, so Dems had to have crossed the aisle to vote against retaining these Democrats).

        This sort of flies against the poll numbers. I have asked before if there were any other issues with these legislators that might have caused Dems to vote against them (independent of their gun stance), but I don't think any Colorado Kossacks ever chimed in with an answer.

        •  Marijuana legalization could be one issue. It was (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shamash, coquiero

          popular in the Denver area, but not sure about outside Denver - Pueblo is a ways away. And Colorado Springs, where the other recall was, may also have not been on board with legalization.

          The measure won by a 55% to 44% margin, and most of that 55% came from the Denver area.

          http://ballotpedia.org/..._(2012)

          Marriage equality also passed and alternative energy standards for rural areas - so, there were several issues (guns being a big one) that were/could have been unpopular in Pueblo and Colorado Springs where the recalls took place.

          In Pueblo, it may be true that Dems did vote against Giron in large numbers. I am not sure that was the case for Morse in Colorado Springs. The state is about 1/3 GOP, 1/3 Dem and 1/3 Independent.

          Do you have a link that shows the breakdown of votes in the recalls?

          "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

          by We Shall Overcome on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:42:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here are some Kos diaries (0+ / 0-)

            that mention turnout/spending in that election:

            link 1

            link 2

            link 3

            •  An interesting thing happend this week (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              coquiero

              at the committee review of the bill attempting to repeal the background check bill - this is the bill proposed by George Rivera who replaced Angela Giron in Pueblo via the recall.

              The bill failed, but it came out in the committee's questioning of the recall sponsor, Victor Head - the guy who got the recall going - that he seems to have lied to Pueblo voters and told them private transfers (loans) of firearms would be made illegal by the bill, and it would make people who transferred (loaned) a gun to a relative, for example, a criminal.

              The truth is, Giron herself drafted an exemption in that bill that would stop that from happening - so that relatives could in fact loan guns to one another for a period of time and not be subject to the background check in that transaction.

              But that didn't stop the recallers from spreading that falsehood in the run up to the vote.

              I think voters will get another chance to weigh in on Giron's old seat - wouldn't it be great for Giron to get on the ballot again and tell the voters the truth, which is she was in fact sensitive to the wishes of her constituents who were concerned that loaning guns to relatives would make them criminals - and so she drafted legislation that specifically addressed that concern? And, pointing out that it was the recall sponsor himself - and maybe Rivera - that was spreading that falsehood?

              "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

              by We Shall Overcome on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 08:28:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Are you sure? (0+ / 0-)

                The VoteSmart record of the bill shows that the original version that passed in the House already had that exemption language. If you read the changes to the text of bill as it evolved, the things listed as changes due to the House/Senate conference on the VoteSmart synopsis were actually there in the original.

                So while Head may deservedly lose some credibility if he was spreading lies, Giron gets few or no points for creating an exemption that was already there.

                •  It was her committee that added the exemption (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  coquiero

                  to the Senate version - they were separate bills that later were reconciled:

                  On straight party-line votes, Giron's committee approved bills to prohibit concealed weapons from being carried in college buildings; require that customers pay the cost of background checks; and require background checks on all gun sales or transfers.

                  Giron amended the background legislation to exempt gun owners who give weapons to family members and to let them lend weapons to friends for up to 72 hours.

                  "Based on what I heard from constituents, I made the background-check legislation friendlier to gun owners," she said.

                  http://www.gopusa.com/...

                  The senate version didn't begin with that exemption, it had to be added and Giron added it and the committee approved at their discretion.

                  "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

                  by We Shall Overcome on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:35:16 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  I would chalk it up to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FrankRose

          The fact there are only two or three issues that make people "single issue voters". Both sides of the abortion issue and the pro-rights side of the gun control issue are among them.

          •  Don't single issue voters more appropriately (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            coquiero

            belong on web sites reflective of their single issue position?

            There's a word I've heard someplace ... yeah "troll". I'm not sure what it means.

            There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

            by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:53:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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