On Jan. 22, the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners adopted a resolution defending the Second Amendment in response to proposals for stricter gun control laws at both the state and federal levels.
Commissioner Peggy Littleton read the resolution into the record: “El Paso County WILL uphold the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, and WILL act in conformity with our sworn duties as duly elected officials charged with public trust, and WILL, in conjunction with prior decisions by the United States Supreme Court, NOT enforce any statutes, edicts, Presidential Directives, or other regulations and proclamations which conflict—and are expressly preempted by—the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings.
Terry Maketa, El Paso County sheriff, posted his own similar response to possible gun control legislation on the EPC website.
He also spoke to The New Falcon Herald in a separate interview. “I will adamantly oppose and fight any efforts for gun control,” Maketa said. “Depending on who issues it and how it comes about, I will have a voice.”
Maketa said the United States Constitution gives people the right to bear arms. If Congress passed a law that goes directly against the Constitution, he would not support it. “It really has nothing to do with Congress,” he said. “It has to do with individual private property.
“If the state Legislature wants law enforcement to confiscate non-registered firearms, that directive would be unconstitutional. You can’t just go take away someone’s personal property. Not only do I support the Second Amendment, I took an oath to support all of your Bill of Rights and the Constitution.”
On Feb. 12, Colorado Democrats passed two controversial bills regarding gun control, according to a Feb. 13 article posted on “The Huffington Post” website, http://huffingtonpost.com. The House Judiciary Committee voted 7-4 to pass House Bill 1229, which requires universal background checks on all private gun sales in Colorado. The second bill, House Bill 1224, “bans the sale of high capacity gun magazines that hold more than 15 rounds or more than five shotgun shells.”
Both bills must pass a second vote of the House before any further progress is made.
The article quoted Arapahoe County Coroner Michael Doberson: “Hardly a week goes by when I don’t see what a bullet can do to a human body. These are basically military-style weapons that have been introduced into our civilian spaces, our streets, our shopping malls, our schools. These rounds have devastating effects on the human body, even when only one strikes. Can you imagine what happens when multiple bullets are fired from one of these high-capacity magazines? Well, I can.”
The article also referred to a poll done by “The Denver Post,” which claims 60 percent of Colorado voters support gun control proposals pertaining to the following: a ban on assault-style rifles, limiting high-capacity magazines and requiring universal background checks on all gun sales.
Maketa, however, doesn’t believe the state can efficiently handle background checks.
“The state has shown they cannot handle the volume and capacity (background checks), and the state Legislature has shown they cannot properly handle the budgeting,” he said. “They let it become a political issue. If the legislation shows some common sense and some commitment and not let it become a detriment; and I wouldn’t have to wait 10 days to get my private property, I would say OK; I think there’s some value that could keep them (guns) out of the hands of criminals.
“There’s a point of frustration that I sense. We’re not dealing with this with common sense and approaching it with a logical standpoint. Why aren’t we sharing information that might identify someone with homicidal (tendencies) and have a protocol in place that would place those people in proper treatment? We have seen responsible citizens carrying firearms, and the problem is criminals carrying firearms and the loopholes that the lack of mental health care creates.”
According to a quote in “The Huffington Post,” Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper agrees on the issue of mental health concerns relating to gun control. “We have to do a better job of identifying and helping people who are a threat to themselves and others.”
A grassroots movement called One Million Moms for Gun Control was formed shortly after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., according to their website, http://momsdemandaction.org. In an article posted on their website Feb. 20, the organization renamed itself “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.”
The organization has taken a middle-ground stance on gun control, emphasizing logical solutions. “Like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, our mission is to motivate and mobilize moms to encourage their legislators to support common-sense legislation. Our new name and term ‘gun sense’ reinforces that there is a middle ground on solutions to the epidemic of gun violence in America.”
Hickenlooper was quoted as saying, “Surely, Second Amendment advocates and gun control supporters can find common ground in support of this proposition: Let’s examine our laws and make the changes needed to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.”
Editor’s note: Colorado legislators touting gun control measures did not return calls from the NFH, nor did other pro gun-control organizations in Colorado.