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Listening

Dear Editor:

There’s an interesting difference in how two Colorado politicians approach solutions to irrational murders that happened in Newtown and Aurora.

Representative McLachlan writes about having a conversation, “I mean we cannot continue to address gun violence,” he wrote in last week’s SUN, “with knee-jerk reactions on either side of the debate.” Then he writes about supporting expanded background checks, but says nothing about the legislation requiring all Colorado firearm sales, even ones between friends, to have background checks. He does not explain how people will do this without having to pay a federal licensed firearms dealer to handle the paperwork and phone check, or the state background check fee added in other legislation. How will this legislation stop a murderer from buying a gun in another state, or stop criminals from stealing guns, or have friends or other gang members buy guns for them?

He wrote about getting the “high capacity” magazine limit increased from a 10 round limit to an equally arbitrary 15 round limit. He does not say that there have been magazine limits tried in the past nationally and currently in a few states like California and New York and that they have not been shown to lower violent crime or murder rates, or prevent criminals from getting and using the banned magazines. Magpul, a manufacture of commonly used rifle magazines, with a work force of 200 Coloradans, saying if this legislation goes through they’ll pull their $85-million business out of Colorado.  He does write that law enforcement, the military and “other authorized users” will retain their ability to get and use higher capacity magazines, but he does not explain why law-abiding citizens should not have the same right for self-defense — so much for equal protection under the law.

I understand that Rep. McLachlan recently received a phone call from Vice President Biden supporting Democratic gun control efforts in Colorado.  The very same vice president who was reported during a recent Facebook town hall-style event, trying to reassure people that tougher gun laws do not mean that the government will take away all guns. “No one’s taking my shotgun,” he said, adding that Americans who want a weapon for self-protection should, “get a double-barreled shotgun.”

So the VP believes it is okay to push his choice of a double-barreled shotgun for self defense, while banning other choices he does not like — this from a politician who gets 24/7 Secret Service protection.

On the other side of the coin, Sen. Ellen Roberts feels that it is actually better to avoid quickly written legislation that has little possibility of prevention, and prefers to take time to understand the problems, and then seek solutions that have a chance of improving public safety. She has heard from her constituents and is listening to what they have to say, to factual information, and not to emotionally driven, politically retreaded restrictions that punish law abiding citizens and do little to stop mass murderers or other criminals from getting firearms. Thank you, Sen. Roberts, for listening to, and objectively serving the people in your district.

Rich Beaudry

This story was posted on February 28, 2013.