By JIM MERLINO
7/21/12 7:34 AM EDT
I served as Democratic policy director for the Colorado Senate minority in 2003 — when the state legislature passed the gun law package that is now the law in Colorado.
These bills had been delayed since the 1999 Columbine shootings. But that notorious high school massacre had not really altered the laws’ provisions. The heart of the package was a concealed weapons bill that requires that sheriffs issue a concealed weapons permit to any applicant certified not a habitual drug or alcohol abuser; insane, or a felon. The law eliminated a sheriff’s personal discretion based on local custom or community safety concerns.
Out here in Colorado, the National Rifle Association is considered a left-wing Washington-based organization. Instead of this Eastern establishment group, gun owners look to the Rocky Mountain Gun Owner as their voice in the legislature and Congress.
A visit to the RMGO website today can give you a look inside the world of this influential gun group. Right now, readers see that the big concern is not the horrific massacre at the new Batman movie premiere last night in Aurora, Colo., but the United Nations conspiracy to control guns.
There is nothing about the mass shooting in a crowded midnight movie screening by a young man with an AR-15 assault rifle, shotgun and Glock, wearing a gas mask, bullet-proof vest and neck and groin protectors.
If the RMGO were to weigh in, unfortunately, it would most likely be to advise moviegoers to bring an AK, gas mask and bullet proof vest of their own to the movies — to protect yourself and your family.
In Colorado, our gun laws were written to work for the RMGO and given the force of law by the Republican Party. Colorado’s 2003 gun bills passed because the Republican Party controlled both houses of the General Assembly and the governor’s office.
But if you now think that meaningful gun control can emerge in Colorado – you’re dreaming. In a state where large mammals occasionally make a meal out of their smaller, two-legged brethren, gun control discussions take on a more primitive and decidedly less academic turn.
In fact, if you think reasonable gun control is the entire solution to the now too-familiar occurrences of mass shootings, you are naive.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78799.html#ixzz21MnfMfiB
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