• House Bill 1229 requiring background checks for all gun transactions;
• House Bill 1226 banning concealed weapons on campuses;
• House Bill 1228 instituting a fee for gun buyers to cover the cost of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to perform background checks; and
• House Bill 1224 limiting magazines to 15 rounds.
All of these seem to me to be modest and reasonable measures. We’ll see what the Dem-majority Senate and Dem Governor John Hickenlooper decide to do.
While this debate was engaged last week, a local manufacturer of high-capacity ammunition magazines has threatened to leave the state if the 15-round limit is signed into law. This is the kind of thing that usually brings Dems to their weak little scaredy-cat knees, but I think they should do a jujitsu move with this and ask if 200 jobs are really worth the health and safety of our schools, parks, and public spaces. As this article by Dan Baum in the Wall Street Journal makes clear*, the NRA doesn’t in fact represent gun owners–it represents munitions manufacturers. Why should we permit ourselves to be manipulated by the financial interests of one industry?
It’s downright un-American to ignore the public interest and let one industry run our politics. I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, and will denounce anyone who argues with me on this point as an anti-American extremist who is recklessly unconcerned about the safety and well-being of elementary school students. In fact, anyone who argues with me is anti-child and anti-student, and deserves to be denounced publicly for all to see as the child-hater he is. He is a man who clearly enjoys wallowing in the blood of innocent first-graders. Tolerating this kind of anti-child and anti-life argument at all is a grave moral failure and emblematic of the gross materialism and greed that feeds the gun industry. But what else should we expect from an industry that profits from the blood of American children?
(D’ya see how I did that? Do you see how easy it is? Do you see, Democrats, how invigorating and uniting a dose of invective and high dudgeon can be?) Gun safety advocates must do for guns what the Truth Campaign did for Big Tobacco: ridicule it, mock it, and expose its greedy, venal heart.
*(The Baum article is an interesting read, but notice his obliviousness to the gendered nature of the gun problem: he calls the gunnies “gun guys” without further comment, as though that term is self-evident–and it is! He’s probably right that the gunnies are only inviting legislation like the four House bills passed today in Denver, but he’s also utopian about the gunnies’ ability to come together to form an effective self-regulating culture. Gunnies buy into the Rambo fantasy in which a “good guy with a gun” can outgun everyone else. These are not the kind of people who organize for public safety. They are people who mistrust their neighbors, mistrust government, and put a great deal of misplaced trust in the capacity of their firearms as a bulwark for their liberties.)