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.