AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
The state of Colorado has been leaning more and more toward the anti-gun column in recent years, despite having once been a fairly pro-gun state. It seems that despite the will of a significant number of people, anti-gun sensibilities are running rampant at the state Capitol.
The most recent example is the passage of a red flag bill by the state Senate.
Despite the threat of legal challenges and recall elections, Colorado Senate Democrats passed a gun control bill Thursday afternoon — the first such new legislation in six years.
The Senate voted 18-17 to pass a bill that would create the legal frameworkfor judges to order the removal of firearms from people they determine to be at risk of harming themselves or others. Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, was the only Democrat to vote against it.
The bill heads back to the Colorado House to see whether representatives approve of a few changes made by the Senate. If the House approves those changes, the bill will head to Gov. Jared Polis’ desk.
Note, once again, how so few elected Democrats are standing up for constitutional rights. Just one voted against it — just one.
Look, the problem with red flag laws is simple to understand. One is that there’s no real due process involved. Someone says, “Bill is a threat to himself or others” and a judge simply says, “Alrighty, then,” signs a piece of paper, and now Bill loses his guns. He had no opportunity to respond. Bill didn’t get to tell the judge that Sally just said that because she thinks all gun owners are dangerous. He doesn’t get to reply that she misunderstood something he said. He doesn’t get to explain that she’s just angry at him because of political disagreements between the two.
Bill doesn’t get to say anything until after the fact.
Imagine someone proposing something similar that would prevent someone from accessing the internet or voting without due process? The howls would be everywhere and for good reason.
But as has been noted before, the Second Amendment is a second-class right in far too many people’s minds. They believe it shouldn’t be afforded the same level of protection that other rights enjoy.
Another issue is that there’s absolutely no real punishment for those who use red flag laws maliciously. At best, it’s a slap on the wrist, but let’s understand that what we’re talking about here is a measure that will provide legalized swatting. The police will show up to take people’s guns. Those who use these laws to punish others are depriving folks of their civil liberties. That calls for stiff penalties.
Unfortunately, no one seems willing to put that in a bill.
Frankly, I shouldn’t be surprised. Anti-gun sensibilities are extremely high right now, especially in Colorado. To them, gun owners aren’t real people anyway. If they were, they’d be working to protect their rights, rather than stomping on them like a cockroach on the floor.
Then again, they typically view us as the cockroaches to be stomped on.