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Hal BidlackHal BidlackMarch 16, 20187min661

Since the most recent school shooting (what a horrible phrase), there have been quite a few folks arguing about what level – if any – of gun regulation is needed to help mitigate our nation’s gun violence problem. Those in favor of stricter gun laws argue for a new assault rifle ban and other measures, while those on the opposite side often argue it is a mental health issue, and we need to look at violent video games (as the President did last week), parenting, and bullying.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirMarch 14, 20183min901

Denver Public Schools may have decided to trade weapons for plowshares — it announced last week it would turn down National Rifle Association grants for assorted school programs in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school massacre — but the Second Amendment-friendly, Denver-based Independence Institute is sticking to its guns.

As the Associated Press reported over the weekend:

The libertarian-leaning Independence Institute is one of the top recipients of charitable NRA grants, according to an Associated Press analysis of the NRA Foundation’s public tax records. The think tank received $241,000 from the foundation in 2016, the last year for which data is available. The institute reported receiving a total of $2 million in grants and donations that year.

The size of the Independence Institute’s grant is large enough to make Colorado the state with the fourth largest amount of NRA charitable donations, with $293,000 in grants. That places it only behind two much larger states — California and Texas — and North Carolina, home to Speedway Children’s Charities, which has received the largest NRA donation at $425,000.

The NRA wouldn’t comment for the AP, but the wire service’s findings hardly come as a shocker. As the AP’s Nicholas Riccardi notes in the report:

The Independence Institute has a long history in Colorado politics and is a prominent advocate of gun rights positions. Its research director, Dave Kopel, has written numerous law review articles defending gun rights and filed friend of court briefs supporting firearms owners and groups.

The think tank’s public affairs chief, Mike Krause, seemed downright proud, telling the AP: “It would make sense that America’s oldest civil rights organization, the NRA, would support our work … Indeed, we would like to think we are the most vocal and principled defender of the Second Amendment, and of the human right of self-defense, in Colorado. ”


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirMarch 6, 20182min872

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, 20186min2166

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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Ernest LuningErnest LuningFebruary 16, 20186min5196

Democratic challenger Jason Crow on Thursday called on U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman to return campaign donations the Aurora Republican has received from the National Rifle Association and urged the incumbent to "act now to pass commonsense gun safety reform" the day after a mass shooting at a Florida high school left 17 dead and 14 wounded — but the Coffman campaign dismissed Crow's demands as political posturing.


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningDecember 9, 20175min1763

State Rep. Steve Lebsock, the Thornton Democrat facing complaints he sexually harassed a fellow lawmaker and a former lobbyist, on Friday chastised social media denizens who've been heaping criticism on state Rep. Lori Saine, the Firestone Republican arrested and jailed this week at Denver International Airport for bringing a loaded handgun to a security checkpoint.