Tag Archive for open-carry

“From my cold dead hands”

Self-appointed 'deputies' are the LAST thing America needs

It is troubling that there are those who consider HB 11-1205 as simply a matter of policy with differing and equally valid opinions. The entire gun issue, whether open or concealed carry, never seems to address the underlying motivations. There are two and they are both alarming.

During this past election, voters should have been paying attention to such statements as “second amendment remedy” that were freely proposed as suitable political options. Clearly most voters weren’t, or the outcome would have been different. At the root of this “second amendment remedy” is the genuine belief that Americans should take up arms against their government if elections and policies aren’t to their liking.

This was tried once before. It was called the Civil War. And it didn’t work out well for the Confederacy. Or for those who lost life or limb.

This proposition is fundamental to the Tea Party and apparently to a majority or more of Republican elected officials, whether they voice it or not. Rarely (if ever) did you hear this rhetoric denounced as unacceptable – and indeed un-American. Yes, the American Revolution notwithstanding, the overthrow of a legitimately and democratically elected government is Un-American and Un-Patriotic.

Because armed rebellion is acceptable to the gun-obsessed, they believe there should be no restrictions on the number and kinds of weapons that should be allowed. Recall that a Republican-dominated federal government refused to reenact the Assault Weapons Ban. Neither should there be permits to own them according to this ideology. HB 1205 is a step in that direction.

The other rationale is that guns are needed for self-protection. I won’t delineate all of the evidence the debunks that necessity. Many have done that before. The issue that is not discussed is the psychological underpinning behind the self-protection axiom. Those advocating it see those around them as potential enemies to be eliminated if given cause.

Why would this be such a prevalent perception? It’s based on the emotions that these individuals carry inside of themselves. They know that they are potentially violent and they project and transfer the same onto those in the world around them.

As a consequence, these people are a clear danger to the rest of society. Fortunately we seldom see people openly carrying guns as we go about our daily lives. But what about those who conceal their weapons? A law enforcement individual in Longmont once told me that “the State of Colorado hands out concealed carry permits like candy.” And what about those who may conceal a weapon without a permit? Undoubtedly they exist. They may have rejected the validity of the state requirement. They may have been rejected because they failed a background check or other critical conditions.

Only law enforcement has access to the list of those authorized to conceal carry. The rest of us are at the mercy of God and good fortune should one of these individuals decide that it’s time to take out an enemy or enemies.

Whether politically motivated or a matter of mental derangement, we saw the results in Arizona not long ago. The press has covered the precautions that members of Congress are now taking to minimize risks going forward.

But the need for precaution is manifesting itself much closer to home. There are some in our community whose stability could rightfully be called into question. As a consequence, the Longmont City Council meetings now have an on-duty armed officer present. Some of the precautions that are taken are not unlike those that might be seen with the Secret Service, all be they much less intense.

I call on the rational members of the Colorado State House to vote down HB 1205 and on the Colorado Senate to let this bill die in committee should it be passed by the House.

Baum: Voters’ (Buyers’?) Remorse

Not what the public expected

No one's singing along

Tuesday city council meetings continue to be a challenge to the digestive system. And the reason for this is the colossal mistake the community made last November when it elected Bryan Baum as the city’s mayor.

After the cameras have been turned off and before the recorders are turned on, the true Bryan Baum surfaces.

The difficult issue before the council on Tuesday was the ordinance limiting open carry of firearms in government buildings. Despite a preponderance of speakers at Public Invited to be Heard (PITBH) who saw this ordinance as a Second Amendment issue (though Supreme Court rulings support the ordinance), discussion amongst council members made it apparent that the council was poised to pass the ordinance into law.

Dictators don’t like to lose. But since Longmont governance isn’t an on-the-books dictatorship, Baum found himself democratically challenged.

Over and over and over again he stated his positions opposing the ordinance in spite of the fact that it was clear he was not going to get his way. He even interrupted his right-hand man Council Member Gabe Santos who made a compelling argument in favor of the ordinance. His only ally was CM Katie Witt. Because Baum could not face reality, a consistent condition for him, the discussion proceeded ad nauseaum.

I’ve attended nearly every council meeting since November 2007. It is only since Bryan Baum assumed the mayor’s chair that our council meetings have been acrimonious and humiliating for the city. Former Mayor Roger Lange was a gracious man who always allowed his fellow council members to raise questions and present opinions before he offered his own. Not Baum, it’s not only his way or the highway, it’s his way first and foremost, last and only.

Tuesday’s agenda was considerable. That prompted Council Member Sean McCoy to ask for a point of order when the discussion was no longer productive. Not surprisingly, Baum threw yet another of his typical fits and insisted that he should have the floor to say anything he wants for as long as he wants and as many times as he wants. He was losing and he just couldn’t stand it.

Eventually a vote was taken passing the ordinance (5-2) and eventually the council meeting ended. But that wasn’t the end of it. Oh, no. Baum couldn’t wait to have it out with CM McCoy. McCoy was having a reasoned discussion with Santos when Baum stormed up to him, calling him a name that rhymes with the nickname for Richard that is often a synonym for the term. And if that wasn’t sufficient, McCoy was threatened with retaliation if he ever raised a point of order (“interrupted” him) again. There was more, but I didn’t hear it all.

At Final PITBH, a member of the community who attends most council meetings spoke in dismay that Baum and Witt didn’t see the merits of an ordinance that would serve as some measure of safety for the city’s employees and residents who come to city facilities to do business or to attend council meetings. Exercising his first amendment rights, this individual chastised both Baum and Witt for the likely support their votes would garner with the NRA.

Baum couldn’t have that either. So he shanghaied the speaker after council for daring to speak out against him. So that he wouldn’t be overheard, Baum pulled the man aside and read him the riot act. Now how’s that for diplomacy and treating members of the community with respect! And this was far from the first time Baum raked a member of the public over the coals. That’s a story far worse and for another time and place.

Compare this behavior with the massive dose of high fructose corn syrup that is the mayor’s dance of self-aggrandizement at the beginning of each council meeting. Do not misinterpret, those who are celebrated are deserving, but that’s not what prompts the mayor’s smiles and handshakes. Mayor Baum, most people can discern the difference between genuine praise and caring and opportunistic grandstanding.

So here’s some good advice to weather the Baumbastic storm until November 2011, stock up on Reglan and take it 30 minutes before the Council meetings convene, whether you’re watching on television or in the halls of government.