But I need to ask a question from a comment made in the following linked article? Are second amendment rights "for sale"? Is that what this is about? What does that statement mean? Are human lives for sale? When state legislators have the nerve to challenge conventional wisdom to vote for what the people favor and what public safety demands, should they be attacked in this manner? Can small groups of citizens who have an extreme agenda wreak havoc if they don't like decisions made by our lawmakers? Sure. Consider that few of the total eligible voters went to the polls to cast their votes in this recall election. Consider that the NRA challenged the state's voting laws so voters couldn't vote by the usual mail-in ballot for this election. Consider that many of these folks didn't know where to vote. I know this for sure because I made some calls into the Pueblo district and found that some did not know where they should vote. I tried to help them by directing them to web pages where they could put in their address and find their place to vote. These were folks who intended to vote No. I have no idea if they found where to vote. Consider that the NRA, one of the largest groups supporting ALEC has helped to sponsor voter suppression efforts all over our country. They tried it in Minnesota but it failed. So this is not just about gun rights. This is about so much more.
You can watch Mark Glaze from Mayors Against Illegal Guns talk about the recall below. It's a good explanation:
Here are a few statements from organizations working to prevent the gun violence that devastates our communities every day:
From Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign:
From the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence:Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, released the following statement on the Colorado recall election of Senate President Morse and Senator Giron:"By passing legislation to strengthen Brady background checks, Senators Morse and Giron were acting on behalf of the will and well-being of their constituents and standing up for a safer Colorado. Make no mistake, this recall reflects the interests of the corporate gun lobby and a small group of extremists not the citizens of Colorado."
Our thoughts on the Colorado recall results: Disappointing? Yes. A major setback? No. We are not going to win every battle, but what is different now for our movement is that we can and WILL engage in every battle. We are in a protracted struggle to change gun laws and save lives in this country and up against a well-funded lobby with experience in picking vulnerable targets. The NRA carefully selected two vulnerable senators and defeated them in recall elections marked by low turnout and voter suppression (no mail-in ballots). What is most important is that Colorado's historic new gun laws remain in place. These laws are popular with Colorado residents. And listen to the words of John Morse. He has zero regrets about his role in enacting these laws and would do it again. If he is not bowed, why should we be?From Mayors Against Illegal Guns:
The Washington gun lobby cherry-picked only four vulnerable senators – and after failing to gain public support in their bid to oust two of them, they funded a major campaign in a low-turnout, off-year election to defeat the other two. This election does not reflect the will of Coloradans, a majority of whom strongly support background checks and opposed these recalls. It was a reflection of a very small, carefully selected population of voters’ views on the legislature’s overall agenda this session. For the last 20 years, the NRA has had the field to themselves in contests like these, but no more. We’re committed to backing elected officials across the country who are willing to face these attacks because they agree with Americans about the need for better background checks.From Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense:
From Colorado Ceasefire:“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.Fortunately, the recalls do not impact the new gun laws signed into law earlier this year by Gov. Hickenlooper. The Colorado state legislature did the right thing by passing common-sense gun laws, requiring background checks for all gun buyers and limiting magazines to 15 rounds. This recall doesn’t change those laws – laws that will continue to protect Colorado families from senseless gun violence.As moms, we are sad, angry, and more determined than ever to stand with those who stand for gun sense. There will be dozens, maybe even hundreds of elections next year, and we will organize and vote for lawmakers who support common-sense gun laws like background checks. Moms will stand with those lawmakers who stand with us, and we will not back down until gun laws are strengthened in every state in this nation.
From Protect Minnesota:
"This election result only confirms what we already knew - that voter suppression moves election results to the right. It doesn't change that Coloradans and all Americans overwhelmingly support background checks before gun sales."Polling in August showed some interesting results for what the people of Colorado felt, at the time, about the recall elections and about the recently passed new gun safety measures. Here are some of the results.
"The National Rifle Association's Washington lobbyists will try to claim that they control the outcome of elections, but they don't," Martens said. "Voter suppression, however, does affect election outcomes, moving results to the right. The NRA has been one of the main forces behind voter suppression laws in this country. Fortunately, Minnesotans voted down an NRA-supported voter-suppression amendment in 2012. Suppressing the vote is wrong and is no way to run an election."
If you listened to what Mark Glaze from MAIG said in the video above, Colorado is a gun friendly state. And yet, the legislature passed common sense laws to keep people who shouldn't have guns from getting them through private sellers without background checks. Is there something wrong with that? It is supported by a strong majority of Americans and Coloradans. But never mind. The corporate gun lobby doesn't seem to care about public safety. Their agenda is to support the gun industry and their own extreme positions which are out of the mainstream of American politics. Follow the money.By wide margins, Colorado voters oppose efforts to recall two state legislators and say 2-1 that efforts to remove legislators when people don't agree with their vote should be when they face reelection, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.Voters say 54 - 35 percent that State Senate President John Morse should not be removed from office because of his support for stricter gun control, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN- uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Voters also say 52 - 36 percent that State Sen. Angela Giron should not be recalled because of her support for stricter gun control.Colorado voters say 60 - 31 percent that when people don't agree with a legislator, they should wait for reelection, rather than attempt a recall.While Republicans support both recall efforts by margins of 2 - 1, only 47 percent support the overall concept of recall, while 42 percent say wait for reelection.All voters oppose 54 - 40 percent the stricter new gun control laws which led to the recall effort. Democrats support the stricter laws 78 - 16 percent, while opposition is 89 - 7 percent among Republicans and 56 - 39 percent among independent voters. Women are divided on the stricter laws 48 - 45 percent, with men opposed 64 - 33 percent."With wide partisan and gender divisions, Colorado voters oppose the state's stricter new gun control laws, but they don't want to recall State Senate President John Morse or Sen. Angela Giron because they supported these laws," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Philosophically, voters don't want a recall election every time they disagree with a legislator. They'd rather deal with it every four years."Colorado voters support 82 - 16 percent requiring background checks for all gun buyers. Support is strong among all groups.Voters are divided 49 - 48 percent on a ban on the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.Colorado's new gun laws will make the state less safe, 40 percent of voters say, while 37 percent say the state will be safer and 16 percent say the laws won't make a difference.Background checks and a limit on magazines could not have prevented the Columbine or Aurora mass killings, voters say 68 - 25 percent, and could not have reduced the number of people killed in those shootings, voters say 56 - 40 percent.
The 2nd state where crazy things are happening is Missouri. There, gun rights extremists and their bought and paid for legislators have voted to nullify any gun violence prevention laws:
Crazy right? The Brady Center is prepared to sue over this ludicrous state of affairs. But the most recent news is that the vote to override the Missouri Governor's veto of the bill failed. Thank goodness for common sense.According to renowned gun rights attorney Robert A. Levy, chairman of the Cato Institute and co-counsel to plaintiff Dick Heller in the landmark 2008 Heller v Washington DC ruling, a proposed Missouri law underscores the limits and excesses of nullification.The Missouri General Assembly is expected on Sept. 11 to adopt the proposed Second Amendment Preservation Act, which declares invalid in Missouri any federal measures "which infringe on the people's right to keep and bear arms" and allows state misdemeanor charges to be brought against federal authorities who attempt to enforce those laws.That, Levy writes in a Sept. 4 New York Times column, crosses "the constitutional line" from trying to legally void an existing law to actively frustrating enforcement of an existing law. States cannot impede federal enforcement of a federal law "merely because the state deems it unconstitutional," Levy writes, noting nullification could prove to be a double-edged sword used against the Second Amendment."If nullification proponents had their way," he writes, "Chicago’s gun ban, which the Supreme Court invalidated in 2010, might still be in effect."
And speaking of gun craziness in states, what about Florida? I do need to comment on what has happened with George Zimmerman in recent days. I already wrote a post about this and got push back from some of my readers, eager to defend George Zimmerman. Are they still after the latest domestic assault involving Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie?
So who should we believe? A man who made up a lot of things during his recent trial to get away with murdering someone? Or his lawyer? Something is wrong here, according to this article. Let's get this straight. It's important to know:Monday afternoon, Shellie Zimmerman called Lake Mary authorities to her parents' home, saying her estranged husband was threatening her and her father with a gun. Days earlier, she had filed for divorce."He's in his car and he continually has his hand on his gun and he keeps saying 'step closer' and he's just threatening all of us," Shellie Zimmerman said in a 911 call.She later changed her story. According to police, Shellie Zimmerman and her father now say they never saw a gun, and no gun was found. Although CBS affiliate WKMG reports that Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, said Zimmerman had a gun holstered to his body.Shellie Zimmerman has said she won't press charges, but police say video of the alleged dispute on her damaged iPad could play into whether authorities file charges.Lake Mary Police Department spokesman Zach Hudson said Tuesday that the iPad captured video of the dispute, but the mobile device was in pieces and needed to be examined in a lab.In her 911 call, Shellie Zimmerman said: "He then accosted my father then took my iPad out of my hands. He then smashed it and cut it with a pocketknife, and there is a Lake Mary city worker across the street that I believe saw all of it."Mark O'Mara, who served as Zimmerman's attorney in his murder trial in the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, said his client did nothing wrong in Monday's incident. However, on Tuesday, he said he will not represent Zimmerman in Monday's domestic dispute, the station reports. He will continue to represent Zimmerman in a lawsuit against NBC.The couple separated a month after he was acquitted of second-degree murder in the Feb. 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on July 13. The case made international news after it took police several weeks to arrest Zimmerman in the case.Shellie Zimmerman has also had trouble with the law. On Aug. 28, she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor perjury and was sentenced to one year of probation. She had been accused of lying about the couple's financial situation when she testified at George Zimmerman's bond hearing in June 2012.
Crazy right? What is going on? Can't George Zimmerman just take a seat and stay out of the public eye and trouble? One would think, that after he was acquitted of murder in the Trayvon Martin shooting he would try hard to become invisible. The latest of his many incidents since being released show us something about this man that most of us already suspected. He doesn't seem so law abiding after all does he?Both the Lake Mary Florida Police Chief, Steve Bracknell, and the department’s spokesman Zach Hudson confirmed to ThinkProgress that George Zimmerman told officers at the scene that he did not have a gun on him during the incident. This directly contradicts what ZImmerman’s lawyer, Mark O’Mara, told CNN:"O’MARA: He acted appropriately. He never took the weapon out. The only thing he really did, which is what he told the police, was on the outside of his shirt, he made sure the gun wasn’t moving anywhere and didn’t do anything because [Zimmerman's father-in-law] Mr. Dean was sort of coming at him, that can sort of be seen in the video.COOPER: So he had the gun actually on his person not like, in the glove box of his car?O’MARA: That’s correct."Bracknell acknowledged the contradiction, telling ThinkProgress “Who is telling the truth? Good question.” He added that O’Mara was “on scene providing legal advice to hid [sic] client.” Bracknell appeared to suggest that O’Mara was well-informed of the facts of the case and had little reason to invent facts — like Zimmerman having a gun — that would be damaging to his client.
And to end, here is Joe Nocera's most recent Gun Report. By my count, from this report there were 11 deaths and 14 injuries in 16 states in America. And that's just in a few days' time.
Crazy right? So forgive legislators if they vote in favor of laws that could have an effect on the gun violence that is devastating their communities. Forgive the gun violence prevention advocates for trying to get laws passed to do something about the gun violence that devastates our communities. If the gun rights folks don't like ANY measures that have a chance to make a difference, what do they really want? Is this really the way we are going to let our democracy work? Is this a democracy? Are we going to let the corporate gun lobby hold our states hostage to their extremist positions and willingness to do anything to get their way? This is chaos. It is meant to cause a lot of trouble and it's meant to threaten any legislator who dares to vote in favor of common sense gun laws. If this becomes the way the corporate gun lobby and other extremist groups get their way, we are in for a rocky ride. It's time to change the equation. It's time to get our lawmakers to have even more resolve when it comes to doing what's right for the citizens of America. We should not let the gun lobby get away with their threats to recall someone if they don't vote the right way. That's what elections are for. Let's get to work. Lives depend on it.
Here is the current statement from the Brady Center about the failure of the Missouri legislature to over ride the Governor's veto of the nullification bill:
On September 11, hours after the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence announced that it was prepared to file suit in federal court against Missouri’s HB 436 if it was enacted, the Missouri Senate failed to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of the legislation. HB 436 would have criminalized enforcement of federal gun laws, declared them null and void within the state, and criminalized the publication of names of firearms owners.Jonathan Lowy, Director of the Legal Action Project at the Brady Center, issued the following statement:“Governor Nixon, Attorney General Koster, and some Missouri legislators deserve credit for standing up for the Constitution and the safety of Missourians, and rejecting this unconstitutional and dangerous attempt to allow criminals to obtain guns, and make federal law enforcement officers into criminals.Gun violence is a national problem, and the Constitution properly provides the federal government with wide authority to protect Americans by reasonably regulating guns. Thankfully, enough Missouri legislators got the message that if this bill became law, the Brady Center was prepared to have it struck down in court as the unconstitutional political grandstanding that it was.