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Ernest LuningErnest LuningMarch 13, 20187min1558

The Colorado Republican Party had arranged to hold a fundraising dinner and a slew of district assemblies at the Best Western hotel in Longmont on the eve of the party’s state assembly in Boulder next month. But after party officials got wind that the hotel chain had ended its affiliation with the National Rifle Association in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the state GOP decided to move its operations to another hotel on the south side of Denver, nearly 50 miles away. For a while, that was the official story.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackMarch 6, 20186min505

In the wake of the horrific events in Parkland, Florida, Senator Marco Rubio appeared at a Town Hall event, and got pretty well slammed on the issue of guns. Now, first off, there is a certain irony that some in the GOP are praising Mr. Rubio for attending the event. But given that it was actually a meeting with his constituents, making the event part of his job, it’s hard to see what was so noble about just showing up, but I digress…


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirMarch 6, 20182min880

Personable but plucky Colorado political operative Laura Carno wears a lot of hats, all tipped to the right. One of them involves serving as face and voice for right-to-arms group Coloradans for Civil Liberties, whose take-no-prisoners motto unflinchingly advocates, “Restoring freedom one round at a time.” And she regularly touts that priority far and wide.

Coloradans for Civil Liberties runs the FASTER program, which helps train faculty and staff at participating Colorado school districts in the use of firearms in crisis situations.

Last week, Carno took her message to national TV on Fox News’s Ingraham Angle for a debate over arming schoolteachers and staff, which Coloradans for Civil Liberties supports. She faced off with Mo Canady, executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers in the wake of the Parkland, Florida shooting massacre.

Canady told host and conservative provocateur Laura Ingraham his organization is against armed teachers and prefers that a law officer be based on each school campus to fend off another calamity like the one in Parkland last month.

But Carno said relying on one campus officer to get to the scene — to say nothing of a police force that could be blocks or miles away — could cost valuable time: “The faster you stop the shooter, the fewer people die.”

Watch the full debate (it’s brief) above.

Last month, a committee in the Democratic-controlled Colorado House of Representatives killed Republican legislation that would have let concealed-weapon permit holders carry guns on school grounds.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackMarch 2, 20186min2171

Problems rarely have simple, clear answers upon which everyone agrees. I offered a few rather depressing thoughts on guns in my last column, and in today’s missive I’d like to suggest what the White House might call alternative facts that are worth considering. Like most of you, I suspect you have been bombarded with a wide range of reactions to the most recent mass murder in a school. (Think for a moment how truly horrible that last sentence was – “most recent mass murder in a school” – and how that made instant sense to you.)


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Chase KohneChase KohneMarch 2, 20186min4463

When I heard audio of the Las Vegas shooter opening fire on a crowd of concertgoers, I heard the sounds of combat. The uninterrupted bursts of gunfire reminded me of a fully-automatic, belt-fed military weapon. But the shooter’s weapon of choice turned out to be lawfully-purchased AR-15 rifles—weapons easily available to civilians, including the teen who recently used one to murder 17 kids and their teachers at a high school in Parkland, Florida.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirFebruary 28, 20182min2844

It just so happens Democratic state Rep. Crisanta Duran, aka Madame Speaker, represents the Denver House district previously held by fellow Democrat Joel Judd. So, maybe it was a sense of investment in his old seat that explained Judd’s decision this week to very publicly call out Duran over Democratic inaction on gun control.

In a letter he sent Duran Monday and shared with news media, Judd urges the speaker to advance “a series of common sense gun safety measures,” including a cooling-off period for gun sales and a “ban on semi-automatic weapons such as the one that produced such carnage in Florida.” He then essentially chides her for failing to act:

Having attended the rally last week with members of your caucus, I am frankly surprised that such an agenda has not been advanced. I appreciate that these laws may not pass the State Senate. However, we need to put people on the record: Do you stand for common sense gun safety measures – or do you stand with the NRA(?) I know where 90% of your constituents and 75% of the people in Colorado stand.

Pretty pointed. He concludes the brief letter with some tough talk:

Madame Speaker — stand up to the bully boys of the NRA and the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and allow for a late bill to advance a serious gun safety agenda.

Judd was an advocate of gun control during his four terms as Duran’s predecessor in House District 5, from 2003 to 2011. He unsuccessfully carried a measure to rein in guns in cars unless the motorist had a concealed-carry permit.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 24, 201812min565


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Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsFebruary 22, 20184min427

Of all the arguments made against gun safety proposals, far and away the most ridiculous is the "why have laws at all" argument. "But criminals won't follow the law! It won't make any difference!" We don't have laws for criminals. We have laws for the rest of us, so we can tell the difference and punish those who break them. Should we eliminate laws against rape? Against robbery? People still drive drunk, but the Colorado legislature passed a felony drunk-driving law with severe penalties last year. Should we not have bothered?