Two members of the Colorado state Senate learned a lesson the hard way last week, and it provided a teaching moment in U.S. politics. The overriding lesson was that, if politicians take away their citizens’ right to debate and present opinions on legislation, those same politicians shouldn’t be surprised when their jobs are taken away by those same citizens, via the ballot box.
On Tuesday, Colorado Senate President John Morse and fellow state Sen. Angela Giron were successfully recalled after providing key support for gun control legislation that passed earlier this year. But as noted by David Kopel, a Constitutional law adjunct professor at the University of Denver, the fates of the two Democratic senators were likely sealed in the run-up to the passage of the legislation, by cutting off opposition at the knees. The anti-gun bills were heard in Senate committees on March 4, but Sen. Morse — backed by Chairperson Giron — dictated that each side was allowed only 90 minutes of testimony. The hearing drew hundreds of citizens from throughout the vast expanses of the state, including 30 sheriffs. Relatively few citizens and just one sheriff were given time to testify, breaking away from standard procedure in which any citizen wanting to testify, if only for a few moments, is allowed that opportunity.
As Mr. Kopel pointed out, Colorado Senate committees had previously heard hour upon hour of testimony on bills covering gay rights, motorcycle helmets and myriad other issues. But on gun control, 90 minutes per side, then back away from the table slowly.
The end result: The top member of the state Senate, in a Colorado Springs district that less than a year ago broke for Barack Obama by 21 points (59-38), was booted from office, losing 51-49 percent. Sen. Giron got drubbed in worse fashion, losing 56-44 in a Pueblo district that went 58-39 for the president last year.
What that shows is that by no means are gun rights supporters simply a bunch of far right-wing Republicans. People who are strong Second Amendment advocates do not carry a fringe political position
Those on the left and the overwhelming majority of the national media were all in on their ideas of what might reduce gun violence and mass shootings — minus any evidence on their side. And the results in Colorado prove it. The national media covered as a foregone conclusion that the gun control lobby had the only sane and reasonable policy. In fact, as reported by the blog Legal Insurrection, when the left-leaning Public Policy Polling firm took a survey a few days out from the recall vote that showed Sen. Giron losing by a dozen points, it opted against making that survey public, figuring it surely couldn’t be correct. She lost by a dozen points.
If money were all that mattered, perhaps PPP would have been vindicated, as the gun control lobby — led by $350,000 from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns group — outspent those seeking the recall by a whopping 6-1 margin, pushing at least $3 million into the effort.
Now all they have to show for it is two losses, with the media desperately trying to make it into a nonstory, other than to parrot Democratic talking points of purported voter suppression. Of course. If the left wins, it’s because they truly represent a just cause. When they lose, there must be some sort of shenanigans. If the circumstances of this effort were reversed, with a successful recall of two Republicans who opposed gun control, it would have been the lead national story last week, even overriding the strife in Syria. That’s how vested the national press is in this matter.
When finally given the chance, the people spoke here. Those who lost and the national media would do well to listen to what was said.