Earlier today we reported on the first few hours of the supposed-to-be massive protest outside the Colorado state capitol in Denver, where the group Here 4 The Kids is holding a sit-in to pressure Gov. Jared Polis into signing an executive order banning gun sales and possession in the state. While organizer Saira Rao predicted 25,000 or more would be on hand early Monday morning, the Colorado Sun reports the number was closer to 250 people, and though a few folks have trickled onto the capitol grounds since then there’s nowhere near 25,000 in attendance.
The Sun did manage to speak with a few supporters of the flagrantly unconstitutional executive order proposed by Rao, and it’s fascinating to see how deep the delusion runs with some of these folks, starting with Rao herself.
“Yes, it is in violation of the Second Amendment, and what we are saying is, as a decent human being, at some point, you have to decide that the right to life and our children’s’ right to life must trump anybody’s right to bear arms,” Here 4 The Kids co-founder Saira Rao said Friday.
“The people who have been elected to office have to choose if they will choose children’s lives over guns,” said Rao, a former lawyer who unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette in the 2018 Democratic primary and then moved to Virginia. “That’s the fundamental choice. And if he’s saying he will not, he is making a choice that will put him on the wrong side of history.”
Change doesn’t happen without major shifts, she said. Americans had to amend the Constitution to abolish slavery, which was considered radical and unthinkable to many in 1865, at a time when slavery was the foundation of the American economy, she said.
“Imagine if people were just like, ‘We can’t do it.’ Indeed, they can, and they did, and now we have the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery,” Rao said.
Rao’s not trying to amend the Constitution. She’s trying to get Polis and other Democrat governors to ignore it, which isn’t going to go well. As we’ve seen from states like New York and California, anti-gun Democrats would prefer to pay lip service to the Second Amendment while violating the fundamental right to keep and bear arms rather than explicitly rejecting the right altogether, which would cause even courts that have been traditionally hostile to our Second Amendment rights to step in put a halt to their attempt at prohibition.
Rao’s also forgetting (or choosing to ignore) history even as she claims she’s on the right side. Take her repeated comparisons to civil rights era and the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, for instance.
They say they’ll remain there until Gov. Jared Polis answers the demand of Here 4 The Kids and signs an executive order banning guns, or for at least four days, the same length of time the Selma to Montgomery marches lasted.
Polis’ office said he won’t sign an order that violates the U.S. Constitution. But Here 4 The Kids organizers said other civil rights laws that seemed unthinkable decades ago did pass following civil acts of disobedience, such as the marches from Selma to Montgomery that led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Unlike Rao’s prohibitionist demands, the marchers in Selma were fighting for civil rights. Rao and her allies are hoping to take them away, though at least one attendee at today’s protest thinks she’s come up with a “reasonable” compromise.
McMullen Bushman said they are willing to give up guns “because I’m tired of seeing people die and something has to be done differently. I don’t think any excuse is worth a kid’s life.”
“I think that we have to be willing to have those conversations and say, ‘How can this be done differently? Is there a program where we can borrow guns – maybe through Colorado Parks and Wildlife – or specific hunting (organizations)? And does it have to be that everyone has their own gun?’ I don’t think that’s necessary. Given all of the carnage and death around this, I would be willing to give up my guns for something to be done differently and for there to be change.”
You know what would happen if every legal gun owner in this country gave up their guns tomorrow? We wouldn’t turn into England or Australia, where violent crime rates have always been lower than the United States, even before they cracked down on legal gun owners. No, we’d turn into Mexico; a nation with very few legal gun owners and a whole lot of armed criminal actors inflicting mayhem and misery on the country at large. Mexico has a single gun store for the entire country and places tight restrictions on who can lawfully own firearms, yet their homicide rate is about five times higher than that of the United States.
It’s unclear, however, how many of the scant number of anti-gun activists on hand in Denver are actually on board with full repeal. Instead, it sounds like some of them are just trying to move the Overton Window on what’s “reasonable.”
There has been “so much support” for maintaining the status quo on guns. Whenever conversations about gun control arise, many people view the dialogue as a threat to the Second Amendment, which prevents meaningful discussion, McMullen Bushman said.
“We’re not imaginative at all for what possible solutions can be and I think having a conversation that’s so bold as, ‘We’re going to ban all guns and have a buyback program’ is just as radical as, ‘You can’t do anything to stop and curb gun violence or how people get ahold of guns because you would be infringing on Second Amendment rights,’” McMullen Bushman said. “It is just as radical and it is what is needed to pull us hopefully to some kind of accord along the middle.”
Something like this, perhaps?
We have too many guns per person.
We can still honor the Second Amendment while limiting the number of guns produced and imported and capping the number of guns any single individual can own.
— Rep. Steven Woodrow (@WoodrowForCO) June 5, 2023
Would Woodrow think that a bill limiting how many books can be published or privately owned by an individual still honor our First Amendment right to free speech and expression? I highly doubt it, but then, I doubt that Woodrow really believes our right to keep and bear arms is a right at all. This is the same guy, after all, who objects to women using guns to defend themselves from armed attackers.
You think this is a win?
You may have money to pay your creditors but it’s clear you’re morally bankrupt.
— Rep. Steven Woodrow (@WoodrowForCO) July 24, 2021
Woodrow’s approach may not the outright prohibition on gun ownership that activists are demanding in Denver, but it would still squarely violate our fundamental right to keep and bear arms and is no more “reasonable” or “common sense” than banning the sale and possession of firearms completely. And oddly, I can’t find any evidence that Woodrow introduced a bill to this effect in the Colorado legislature this year, even though he’s in a perfect position to advocate for his gun rationing schemes.
I’m not going to borrow a gun from a state agency when I need one, nor am I going to give up the ones that I own. I’m going to keep them, bear them, and protect our individual right to do so; not because I don’t care about violent crime or love my guns more than my own children, but because the gun prohibitionist agenda is ridiculously stupid, patently unconstitutional, and would only make things much worse if, God forbid, they ever got their way.