EDITORIAL: Don’t let shrill gun-rights lobbyists hold gun-control debate hostage at the Capitol

The public needs to push back against these politically motivated cynics and obstructionists to allow for intelligent and thoughtful debate on what will or won’t be effective ways to stem public massacres

Amidst the agony of victims and their families having to relive the horror of the July 20 Century 16 theater shootings, state legislators convene this week, many intent on preventing anything like this from happening again.

They need your help.

Aurora prosecutors on Jan, 9 were laying out details of their case against accused mass-murderer James Holmes, and how easily and legally he amassed the arsenal he unleashed on a packed movie theater. At the same time, pro-gun rights activists were marching on the state Capitol as legislators called the 2013 session to order.

For too many of these activists and lobbyists, the issue of gun restrictions is an all-or-none affair, and they demand “none.” It’s ludicrous.

As the details unfold of what Holmes did, and how he did it, it’s become increasingly clear that the state and the country, is awash in easily obtained weapons, technology and ammunition that is intended only for military and criminal use. Set aside the facts that repeatedly make clear that most societies with strict gun control and fewer guns owned by citizens have fewer gun-related murders and crimes. Our own country has moved dangerously beyond an unnerving handgun craze and now is encouraging people to arm themselves with weapons, ammunition and body armor that can only result in massacres like the ones here in Aurora, recently in an Oregon mall and horrifically, in an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

This is where it must stop. No matter how you interpret the U.S. constitutional right to “bear arms,” we do not and can not allow arms to include nuclear weapons, bazookas, tanks or what is becoming the personal equivalent to that: The James Holmes Arsenal. It is unacceptable that we should be told by elected leaders and gun lobbyists that it is either too late to enact effective gun regulations, too hard, or that anything approved would be ineffective in stemming these heinous, public massacres. Such cynicism is as un-American as it gets.

The public needs to push back against these politically motivated cynics and obstructionists to allow for intelligent and thoughtful debate on what will or won’t be effective ways to stem public massacres.

Most likely, the debate will center on whether those outside of the police and military should have access to assault-style weapons, whether to monitor or limit the amount and type of ammunition sold to the public, whether to do more to identify people who are mentally unstable and prevent them from purchasing or obtaining weapons. The tactics used by pro-gun-rights lobbyists before now has been to silence public discussion before it starts, and to open an all-out assault against any effort to increase or expand any type of weapon regulation.

By contacting elected officials and telling them to stand firm against such tactics, we embolden and empower state lawmakers to give ideas a fair and critical hearing. As a statewide community, it’s time to move beyond the minority of shrill, paranoid obstructionists calling the shots for all of us and endangering public safety with their self-appointed veto power. But it will take courage, it will take perseverance and it will take action from those outside the gun lobby to follow through with making their voices heard above the din.

Go to www.leg.state.co.us or call 1-888-473-8136 to contact your state lawmaker and make clear you want the issue to be heard and not ignored.

  • Check out the cartoon…..now i know for a fact one: crazy people do use guns to kill people..2. there have been crimes of murder based on video games and someone who would and did take a movie character to the point of murdering people….so i do believe that video games and movies along with a thousand other violent things in our culture can and does inspire people to kill….whats really dangerous is idiots that publish articles like this that say your a loon if you even consider these other things…they are one minded and think it’s just the gun…these leftist liberals are more dangerous than any guns…..

  • Calling people “…politically motivated cynics and obstructionists” as we’ll as claiming that people who don’t want entertain the thought of taking guns from law abiding citizens are “un-American” is name calling and doesn’t make any argument for gun control at all.

    The reason you ave to resort to these measures is because there are no other facts that back up the claim that reducing guns will reduce violence. You are correct that reducing guns reduces “gun violence” but it doesn’t reduce violence. Overall violent crimes always increase when you disarm the citizens. Mass killing still happen in countries with very restrictive gun laws.

    If you really want to address mass killings, then you should be writing about the other causes that plague our society. Like video games, movies, television, parenting, mental health, privacy policies, school policies, etc. instead you use a tragedy to further your social agenda and show you are politically motivated.

    Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ooa98FHuaU0

    • Jason

      Isn’t amazing how this liberal rag is unable to show the smallest amount of journalistic integrity. They forget about the 2.5 million gun owners who use their guns in self defense each year. The 400,000 of those who feel their life would have been lost if not for their guns.

      Earth the Aurora Sentinel, the 2nd amendment is not for hunting, or sport shooting, it is to protect American citizens from tyrannical governments foreign and domestic.

      I think its time to replace Dave Perry as editor. This paper is a laughing stock in the community.

  • WeatherbyMarkV

    Aurora, CO keeping America laughing. Do you hold vigils for road kill?

  • fishunter

    Is the best editorial you can do? Maybe you should be riding the bike and delivering papers on door steps. Talk about shrill, look at Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who thinks gun control is for others, but not for her or her body guards. Who got the idea that politicians are more important than just plain people? They should be replaced after two terms in any event, and not with life time benefits and salary.

  • Mark German

    The NRA and its Harvest of Blood

    20 children and 6 staff are gunned down in Connecticut, and
    2 million more guns are sold. Smith and
    Wesson sales alone increased 48%. The
    NRA is a master of PR, sales, and lobbying for gun makers. The NRA spreads a
    virus of paranoia and delusional, self-defensive violence, of its own making.
    Huge profits are made by its sponsors. Each gun tragedy results in selling more
    tools, used only for more murders, suicides, and accidental deaths. Where is
    our “tipping point” for change? When do we say “enough?”

    The NRA says “more guns” is the answer. If more guns made us
    safer, we would be the safest nation in the world. Instead our homicide rates
    for persons age 15 to 24 is 14 times
    that of other industrial nations. Blumberg News predicts that in 2 years, more
    people will die from guns than motor vehicle accidents. Guns can take a momentary impulse of despair, rage or carelessness, and make it
    into a permanent horrible tragedy. 85
    Americans are shot to death every day.
    53 of them are suicides, more and more by “suicide by cop,” or by murder-suicides
    to send a message of rage. 31,328
    Americans died from guns in 2010 alone. This is like having 10 “9-11s” every
    year. Am I hysterical to ask, why our response to gun violence isn’t 10 times
    that of the response to 9-11? If
    spirituality is the “presumption of goodness in the world,” then the NRA is its
    opposite. We, as a community, want our fellow citizens to L-I-V-E. The NRA
    wants E-V-I-L. The NRA shouts “Second
    Amendment Rights.” OK. Let them have muskets, like the Founding Fathers
    intended. Possession of assault weapons and high capacity gun clips, like
    rocket launchers, pipe bombs, anthrax, and nuclear devices, should be illegal.
    These are tools of war and mass killings, not toys for anyone’s pleasure or

    Now is the time for action, not despair. Now is the time to
    hold gun makers liable for the damage done by their products. The tobacco industry paid billions in medical
    costs. BP paid billions for the Gulf Disaster. Toyota paid over a billion for
    accelerator problems. Let’s be like “The Runaway Jury” and hold the NRA, and
    their gun-making puppet masters, liable for their damages

    Mark German
    Brighton, CO

    • John

      If your so anti-constitution, why don’t you leave. Why would you want to take the rights away from other Americans. Shame on you.

  • Capite censi

    The heart felt outrage over guns and gun contol may be well intentioned but I wish this paper was as interested in defending the second amendment as they are in protecting the first amendment.

    The first and second amendments use very explicit language, “Congress shall make no law……” and ” …… the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    The Editorial Staff seems to believe that restrictions and limitations do not infringe on the right to bear arms, if they believe the second amendment is archaic, nonessential and does not apply to “modern weapons” they should mount a campaign to repeal the second amendment.

  • wow, another anti-gun article that doesn’t have a name attatched to it. I guess this paper is only good to light the bbq since it’s all propaganda