No, Colorado doesn't need ANY of these laws

No, Colorado doesn't need ANY of these laws
AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

The state of Colorado has played host to a number of mass shootings over the years. From Columbine to Aurora to Colorado Springs, there have been far too many such massacres for anyone’s comfort.

But we here have long advocated that gun control isn’t the solution to these crimes. In fact, the shooting at Club Q should have illustrated quite clearly that new laws aren’t really the answer.

It seems some people are ignoring the message, such as in this piece claiming these are laws the state must enact right away.

Here’s what the Legislature and governor should do in the coming months.

Enact a gun-purchase waiting period. Some Democrats have long advocated this measure, and it’s time to get it done. It would likely reduce suicides in a state that ranks in the top 10 for such deaths. One of every 14 middle and high school students in Colorado has attempted suicide. In 2021 in Colorado, 740 people died by suicide using a firearm. The death of Sol Pais is often cited in connection with the proposed waiting period — in 2019 the 18-year-old Pais traveled from her native Florida to Colorado, bought a gun the same day and almost immediately ended her life.

It would likely do no such thing, and citing statistics about teens and suicide doesn’t help make that case. After all, they generally can’t buy a firearm in the first place.

But Sol Pais…

Yes, she traveled to Colorado and bought a gun, then took her life, but let’s also be honest, there was more going on there than just trying to get away from a waiting period. This was a girl who made reference to Columbine, then traveled to that state before taking her life. There was a reason for that beyond waiting periods getting in the way.

After all, if it were just about waiting periods, why not just head to Georgia? It’s much closer and has no such law on the books.

Yet waiting periods do one thing very well. They put those who have reason to fear for their life at greater risk.

Imagine finding out someone wants to hurt you or your family, so you go and buy a gun, only to be told you have to wait a week.

Yeah.

Moving on to other idiotic ideas…

Raise the minimum age to buy an assault weapon. Currently, as long as you’re 18 you can buy a rifle, like an AR-15-style assault weapon, in Colorado. (The minimum age to buy a handgun is 21.) Rep. Tom Sullivan of Centennial, a state senator-elect, whose son Alex died in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting, said during an August news conference that raising the minimum age to purchase assault rifles has been “the predominant conversation going across the country” and a priority for him at the General Assembly.

This one is very popular in the wake of mass shootings, but let’s remember that most mass shooters use handguns, including many who can’t lawfully purchase them in the first place.

Meanwhile, modern sporting rifles are very good for home defense–which is something many 18- to 21-year-olds may well need.

Though some gun-rights advocates contort themselves defending these weapons — U.S. Rep. Ken “Kill ‘Em All” Buck of Windsor claimed this summer AR-15s are necessary to pick off racoons on ranches — they’re weapons of war, designed to kill lots of people quickly, and they have no place in normal civilian life.

That’s not yours or anyone else’s call. The Second Amendment doesn’t specify just hunting weapons or weapons some random dipstick from Colorado thinks are warranted.

And they’re not weapons of war. They’ve never been the issue weapon of any military ever.

Lawmakers should expand the categories of people who can petition a judge for a red flag action. In addition to family members and law enforcement, district attorneys, certain health care professionals and potentially other professionals such as teachers should be allowed to file a red flag petition. Lawmakers should also adjust the law to require certain officials, such as a sheriff, to file a red flag petition if there’s credible evidence of sufficient threat. New York state adopted such a requirement this year after a mass shooting in Buffalo.

In other words, this guy wants to make law enforcement take people’s guns.

However, he’s missing an important point. The Colorado Springs killer should have been charged with a felony long before he considered shooting people in that nightclub. Those charges would have changed the landscape entirely.

But now you want to mandate that law enforcement–the same people who didn’t think a guy who literally said he wanted to be the next mass shooter was a threat–should be forced to file a red flag order?

Do you not know how unenforceable that actually is?

“Why didn’t you file the order?”
“I didn’t find the evidence credible.”

Boom. Over and done with.

Meanwhile, others will file red flag orders willy-nilly out of fear of running afoul of the law.

It’s a disaster in the making, and none of it actually makes Colorado safer.

Unfortunately, we get to deal with crap like this instead of actually discussing real solutions.