Political Hay

Gun Control Recalled

Yesterday’s Colorado defeats don’t bode well for Democrats in 2014.

By 9.11.13

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Colorado voters yesterday successfully recalled two Democrat Colorado state Senators who led passage of a package of state gun control laws reflecting President Obama’s overcooked national rhetoric in the wake of the tragic Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Connecticut last December.

With 100% of the vote counted, Senate President John Morse conceded defeat after trailing all night. Senator Angela Giron lost by a wider 56% to 44% margin with all of the vote counted in her Pueblo, Colorado district. Both were replaced by Republicans, reducing the Democrat majority in the state Senate to just one vote. The successful recall elections, raised questions about the future of Democratic Party candidates as President Obama’s protective national star fades and passes.

The gun control measures included raising the fees and costs for gun purchases, limiting gun magazines to 15 rounds of bullets, and universal background checks. The measures were ramrodded through the Democrat majority legislature with silly, condescending arguments, such as those so foolish as to try to defend themselves with arms were only likely to end up being killed or harmed themselves. That argument was used to deride a rape victim who testified that her suffering would have ended with a different result if she had kept her usual firearm nearby.

The futility of the gun regulatory measures was shown by the record of the universal background checks. Since passage of the requirement earlier this year, tens of thousands of such checks had been run, with only a few dozen rejected. That only demonstrated that those with criminal records would not try to get their weapons from regulated gun stores, especially when they can get all they need on the black market.

The bottom line on gun control is that the government does not even have the practical power to prevent criminals from getting guns. All that the government can do as a practical matter is disarm the law abiding victims of crime. That is exactly why the worst crime and gun violence is always in the cities with the stiffest gun control laws, such as President Obama’s hometown of Chicago.

But the Colorado Progressives railroading their gun control measures through the state legislature never even bothered to respond to the arguments concerning their futility. That is what I call the rope-a-dope “progressive” debate strategy. With a compliant, and complicit, party controlled media, the so-called “progressives” can simply ignore whatever they do not want to debate. But that strategy does not always work to mislead voters, as we saw in Colorado yesterday.

The recalls were also a defeat for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who poured $350,000 of his own money into the races of the challenged incumbents. The busybody New York Mayor is head of his own Mayors Against Illegal Guns organization, committed to roaming the nation to promote the same ineffective gun control laws that trouble to New York. That title only further reflects the silliness of liberal arguments,

The electoral defeats are only going to grow for Democrats as Obama’s second term progresses, and his stature declines into lame duck status. In less than a couple of months, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is poised to win reelection in a landslide. Republicans can enjoy a clean sweep this year if they can rally behind Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, who is currently trailing by a slight margin in independent polls. That would be a good foundation for 2014 to end up looking a lot like 2010.

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About the Author
Peter Ferrara is Director of Entitlement and Budget Policy at the Heartland Institute, General Counsel of the American Civil Rights Union, Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, and Senior Policy Advisor on Entitlements and Budget Policy at the National Tax Limitation Foundation. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States under President George H.W. Bush.