To follow a popular gun prohibition meme after yesterday’s recall of two anti-gun lawmakers in Colorado, it was “easy access to votes” that made it possible for gun owners, including many angry gun owning Democrats, to oust Democrats John Morse and Angela Giron, signalling that Michael Bloomberg's big money influence can't trump Rocky Mountain independence.
The recall had been variously demonized as a waste of taxpayer’s money, an abuse of the democratic process and, this morning courtesy of the anti-gun Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a flexing of the “gun lobby’s” muscle.
In actuality, it appears voters in districts represented by Senators Morse and Giron had simply had enough. Both had, as Colorado-based attorney and author David Kopel notes in his analysis of yesterday’s vote, essentially trampled the right of voters to be heard earlier this year when the state’s extremist gun bills were being debated.
Some pundits are scoffing this morning that since Democrats still control the Colorado legislature, nothing much of importance happened. Not so, says Kopel, explaining that the political winds have shifted, putting moderate – and in some cases pro-gun – Democrats in charge rather than their far left colleagues. Kopel’s analysis, written for the Volokh Conspiracy, appears to be brutally spot-on. But it follows a pattern of logic among losers that the loss was insignificant and ultimately they will prevail.
The election sends two messages. First, anti-gun politicians are not beyond the reach of angry voters. That much should be remembered from the political slaughter of November 1994, when more than 50 anti-gun Democrats, including Washington State’s Tom Foley – then Speaker of the House – were booted from Congress over their votes for the Brady Law and the Clinton semi-auto ban.
The other message is that anti-gun New York Mayor Bloomberg’s billions can buy a lot of air time and advertisements, but not liberty. That’s not for sale, at least not in Colorado. It might not even be for sale here in Washington, where supporters of Initiative 594, the 15-page gun control measure, have spent half-again and perhaps twice as much as backers of Initiative 591, a simple background check uniformity mandate, yet it appears their signature gathering effort has slowed.
The anti-gun Denver Post editorial page this morning is urging its readers to “move on.” Would they be so circumspect of the election outcome has Morse and Giron prevailed? Their own editorial suggests not: “We hope the outcome of Tuesday's recall elections closes an ugly chapter in Colorado's political history, an instance when recalls were used against elected officials not for malfeasance or corruption in office but for simply voting their consciences.”
The newspaper is being disingenuous at best. One might easily suggest the way voters, and especially Colorado sheriffs, were not allowed to testify earlier this year was a corruption of the democratic (with a small “d”) process. Politicians’ votes are supposed to reflect the wishes of their constituents, not necessarily their personal consciences, especially where legislation is an affront to a constitutionally-protected, fundamental civil right.
Moms Demand Action’s bitter statement is reflective of that organization’s delusional mindset: “The gun lobby may have won this local battle, but they will not win the national war. The National Rifle Association purposely called this recall election in Colorado – just a year before the regular election cycle – to ensure voting obstacles and low voter turnout. This reckless desire to remove legislators from office in an off-election year cost Coloradans more than $500,000 – an egregious waste of taxpayer dollars.
“From the outset, this recall was designed as a tool of intimidation funded by the gun lobby. What a ridiculous temper tantrum by a bunch of bullies – moms know them when we see them.”
That statement is a lie and they know it. The NRA didn’t start the recall effort, but certainly jumped in with financial support and no doubt helped energize gun owners to vote. The Moms group doesn’t say a word about the $350,000 reportedly spent by Bloomberg to oppose the recall. By some estimates, anti-gunners out-spent recall proponents about 7 to 1.
Had Morse and Giron survived, one can be assured the Denver Post and the Moms Demand Action would be using the outcome to belittle and verbally bludgeon gun owners as dinosaurs whose ideas and civil rights had long ago outlived their usefulness.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation summed it up: “When legislators fail to represent the beliefs of their constituents, it is up to the voters to fire them. And this is exactly what happened Tuesday...Sens. Morse and Giron chose to forget about their constituents.”
Their constituents, however, did not forget, and yesterday they proved it.