States that lack preemption laws are starting to see some of the ramifications of that. Communities are deciding to ban the ownership of so-called assault weapons within the city limits, thus forcing owners to either sell their guns or move.
One community considering such an act is Boulder, Colorado.
My home town of Boulder is about to define me as a criminal if I do not disarm or move.
Let this column serve as a public notice, I will not comply.
I was raised in Colorado and moved to Boulder in 1984, graduated from CU there and stayed. I proudly represented Boulder on the RTD Board of Directors. My late daughter rests in a Boulder cemetery. I plan to be laid to rest beside her when my time comes. All that to say my roots are deep in my hometown.
But to be who I am, to be true to my values I hold dear, I must choose to leave or go to jail.
Boulder prides itself on promoting inclusion, diversity and tolerance. And there was a time it lived up to those now-empty words — a time when Boulder was diverse enough to welcome such opposites as the beatnik, Buddhist Naropa Institute and Soldier of Fortune magazine.
But it’s getting very clear Boulder doesn’t want my type in their lily-white, homogeneous town.
Boulder City Council is on the verge of passing a sweeping anti-gun ordinance, laughably called an assault weapons ban. So loosely written, this ordinance would ban the first gun I ever owned, a simple .22 caliber rifle, the same type most farm boys get on their twelfth birthday. Its sin? It can be fitted with a pistol-grip or a folding stock.
The author, Jon Caldara, is right to be defiant. Such a ban is probably unconstitutional anyway, and defiance can lead to a Supreme Court decision overturning such a ban. Possibly all assault weapon bans, even, though I wouldn’t hold my breath. Still, a guy can dream.
However, Caldara is still right.
There are all kinds of problems with the Boulder proposal, but let’s start from a premise that’s actually bogus: that some guns are bad.
The problem here is that trying to ban particular weapons by name is a fool’s errand. The manufacturer will change as little as they can, then rerelease the weapon under a new name, thus avoiding the ban.
So you ban features. The problem is that then you start catching weapons that aren’t actually bad. You start covering guns like that .22 rifle so many kids get in their tween years. You start covering that collector’s rifle because you’re interested in a particular era of history. You start covering a lot of things you never meant to cover. In theory.
The alternate theory is that you want it broad so you can ban as many guns as humanly possible with your assault weapon ban, but that couldn’t be it, right? Nah. No one would do something like that. (Please tell me you can read sarcasm?)
For what it’s worth, I support Caldara’s defiance and I hope others in Boulder will speak out about their own plans to defy such a law. Perhaps if people understand that their neighbors, the people they’ve known for years, would become criminals overnight, they’d stop with this nonsense.