Saturday, March 2, 2013

Open Letter to Colorado State Senators

Senator _________,

Please do not cave in to pressure from outside the state to pass gun control legislation that has been historically proven to do absolutely nothing to reduce gun violence!  Colorado is a Western state with a long history of firearms used for self-defense, hunting, sport shooting, teaching youth responsibility and confidence and respect for the outdoors, and many other worthwhile uses.  Please do not throw away our God-give rights, expressed in the 2nd Amendment and the Colorado State Constitution.

There are many emotional arguments used to support these gun bills, but the cold, hard facts tell us that these measures will be completely ineffective in reducing gun violence.  The Clinton-era 1994 Assault Weapon Ban did nothing to reduce gun violence.

HB 1224: bans magazines with a capacity of more than 15 bullets. Magazines owned prior to the ban can be kept but cannot be transferred, sold, etc.
  • Limiting magazine capacities do very little to impact the speed that someone can shoot a semi-automatic weapon.  Sheriff Ken Campbell of Boone County, Indiana performed a test with both an experienced and inexperienced shooters, and proved that limiting magazine capacity had almost no impact on their ability to shoot 30 aimed rounds.
  • Changing a magazine, even for an inexperienced shooter only takes 1-3 seconds.  (Experienced shooters can change a magazine in less than a second.)  This does not give a victim enough time to see that the gun is out of ammunition, make a decision (under extreme pressure) to act, and attack the shooter before he inserts the magazine and the weapon is working again. 

HB 1226: prohibits concealed carry on public college campuses.
  •  According to firearms researcher John Lott, “With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.”  That means 23 of 24 mass shootings occurred in gun free zones, or more accurately, "Victim Disarmament Zones."
  • Attempted mass shootings in areas where guns are allowed almost never make it to the point of becoming a mass shooting. Santee, CA (2001), Appalachian School of Law, 2002,  Pearl High School, MS (1997), Edinboro, PA. (1998), New Life Church (Dec 2007), Winnemucca, NV, 2008, Mayan Palace Theater, San Antonio (Dec 2012) 
  • None of the anti concealed carry predictions of "OK Corral" shootouts have happened.  Those who pursue concealed carry permits are far more law-abiding than the average citizen.
  • This issue has already been decided by the Colorado Supreme Court, and students want concealed carry.
HB 1228: charges fees for background checks.
  • A US Department of Justice report "Firearm Use by Offenders,"  reports that criminals only directly purchase 13.9% of the weapons used in crime.  The rest come from friends and family (39.6%) or illegal street purchases (39.2%).  It is already a federal crime (with a 10 year sentence) for straw purchases.
  • Increasing fees is just a tax on law-abiding gun owners.  It serves no purpose for reducing gun violence.
HB 1229: requires a background check to be conducted by a licensed firearms dealer before any sale or transfer of a firearm. “Transfer” includes lending a firearm to a friend or family member on a temporary basis.
  •  Criminals, already intent on committing a crime, will not bother to find an FFL to transfer a weapon from a family member, friend, or their illegal street seller.  This law will have no effect on gun violence.
  • The law is poorly written, excluding extended family members like uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, etc.  It places an undue burden on people who want to loan a gun to a friend for hunting season or to take to the range to try out before buying one him or herself.  This will cause innocent people to be charged with "illegal transfer of a firearm."
SB 195: requires concealed carry permit applicants to complete training in-person.
  • Training for concealed carry permit holders is important, but modern teaching methods have shown that online education is completely effective.  As long as the online training meets the educational content and testing standards, there is no reason to disallow it.  Online training is currently acceptable for driver's safety courses, K-12, college and graduate work and a number of other topics.  Why should the classroom portion of any firearms training be any different?
  • This law would have no impact on gun violence, but would only make it more difficult for some people to receive a carry permit and so be able to defend themselves.
  • A more sensible requirement would be to add a live-fire requirement for permit applicants to demonstrate basic competency with their firearm of choice.
 SB 196: “Assault Weapons Responsibility Act” makes users, owners, sellers, distributors, and manufacturers of firearms liable for harm caused by any firearm that was under their control at one point in time and is later misused by someone else.
  • First, lawsuits of this type have historically a very poor chance of success.  Manufacturers cannot control their products once they leave their facilities. 
  • If this is a sensible law, then automobile manufacturers should be held liable for all traffic fatalities (which kill far more people annually than guns), swimming pool and bicycle manufacturers should be liable for drownings and accidents involving their products too, since their products are more likely to accidentally kill someone than a gun.
Please vote "NO" on these ineffective, freedom-robbing bills and stand up for your constituents' rights.  The people who elected you and gave you this responsibility are watching.


Jeff Odegard
Colorado Springs


Friends of Freedom,

Here is the contact information for the State Senators currently involved in the discussions in Denver:
These Senators need to hear from you today via phone AND e-mail.  Please be respectful and factual.  Additionally, please read this post from the Colorado Senate News and sign the online petition here.

Senate President John Morse (SD11)
    (303) 866-6364;
Senate Majority Leader Morgan Carroll (SD29)
    (303) 866-4879;
Senator Angela Giron (SD03)
    (303) 866-4878;
Senator Jeanne Nicholson (SD16)
    (303) 866-4873;
Senator Lois Tochtrop (SD24)
    (303) 866-4871;
Senator Cheri Jahn (SD20)
    (303) 866-4856;
Senator Andy Kerr (SD22)
    (303) 866-4859;
Senator Gail Schwartz (SD05)
Senator Mary Hodge (SD25)
    (303) 866-4855;

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