Target: Colorado State Congress
Goal: Applaud Colorado’s Senate and House of Representatives for gun control advancement
Recently, both chambers of the Colorado state legislature passed a number of gun control measures aimed at curbing gun violence in the state that has seen two of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. Colorado’s gun control debates have been the focus of national scrutiny sparked by multiple deadly shootings in 2012, and as the measures pass to the Governor for signature and final approval, Colorado will be pushed to the fore of nationwide debates. The state’s lawmakers deserve commendation for their pioneering efforts.
Five measures have been approved after months of debate, with the most recent mandating universal background checks for all gun buyers. A package of gun measures was approved in the days prior, most controversial among them being a ban on magazines carrying more than 15 rounds. Also included was a measure to make firearms buyers pay for their own background checks, a ban on online certification for permits to carry concealed weapons, and a measure that would bar people convicted of domestic crimes from being able to buy firearms.
The proposals won little to no Republican support in the Democratically controlled chambers. House minority leader Mark Waller has called the Democratic lawmakers “out of touch” with their constituents.
Gun violence and gun control is in the national spotlight, following last year’s shootings in Aurora, Colorado, where a gunman killed 12 people and injured 58 at a theater, and in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were killed. Reining in gun violence will be a manifold and long process as the nation balances the freedom granted by the second amendment and a long tradition of gun ownership with growing concern over the ease of weapons purchases and the availability of weapons suitable for combat zones. Colorado’s measures are a step in the right direction though, and these lawmakers deserve commendation for their efforts.
Dear Colorado State Senate and House of Representatives,
Gun control has been the source of long, bitter debates, but finally change may be imminent. 2012 was a deadly year, and the years following the 1999 Columbine massacre have been punctuated with far too many similar tragedies: Tucson, Arizona; Virginia Tech; Fort Hood; Oak Creek, Wisconsin. They need to end.
Though change can’t happen overnight, it’s good to see Colorado helping to pave the way for gun control reform that may finally bring it about. Curbing gun violence in our nation will be a long and arduous process, but a ban on high capacity rounds, and universal, rigorous background checks aimed at keeping weapons out of the hands of convicted criminals will go a long way. Thank you for responding to the urgency of this issue and for advancing gun control measures.
[Your Name Here]
Photocredit: M62 via Wikimedia Commons