Hey, Grand County, when it comes to guns, don’t vote half-cocked
Half-cocked: There’s a term that accurately describes the vast majority of cases when guns and politics mix. This election is no exception.
I just read that Coloradans, who this year shoulder the privilege and curse of living in a “battle ground” state with a hotly contested Senate election to boot, are about to be bombarded by a highly disingenuous anti-Obama ad courtesy of the reliably hyperbolic National Rifle Association.
Whoa. Holster that sidearm, pardner.
Before I wade any further into these deep waters, I should mention that I am not merely a gun owner ” I shoot guns regularly and have since I shouldered my first .22 as a child. Heck, my father, bless him, decided to become an NRA pistol instructor recently.
Nor am I endorsing any particular candidate.
There, those disclaimers out of the way, perhaps I won’t have to augment my wardrobe with a Kevlar vest.
Anyway, as I was saying, guns and politics make for an unstable concoction. The aforementioned NRA ad purportedly claims that Barack Obama, while a member of the Illinois Legislature, voted four times against Americans’ right to self-defense with a firearm.
According to Newsweek, that’s a bunch of hooey. What Obama voted for was a state law saying that local governments have the right to enforce their gun laws even when defendants can prove they acted in self-defense.
Make what you will of the law and Obama’s vote; it scarcely constitutes an abhorrent abridgment of our Second Amendment rights.
Nevertheless, I expect this ad to have long legs in Colorado. Not a day goes by that I don’t read a quote by a voter saying he’s casting his ballot for so-and-so because he wants to keep his guns.
Huh? I guess I missed those candidates who are promising to take them away.
On the other hand, you’d have to have been living in a sensory deprivation chamber not to have noticed the candidates who stridently advocate gun rights.
Some of them have dispatched with all subtlety. They merely proclaim, repeatedly: “I am in favor of guns.”
Such unbridled sophistication notwithstanding, if I were running for office in the West anywhere outside places such as Denver or the People’s Republic of Boulder, I would just promise voters a gun in every (crack) pot and be done with it.
But then, the gun rights issue is among those guaranteed to cause some politicians and voters to take leave of their senses and start stockpiling for the apocalypse.
Cold dead fingers and all that aside, I just can’t get worked up about it.
That’s because, from a practical standpoint, gun ownership in America is pretty well enshrined, regardless of who gets elected or which party is in power. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year, widely regarded by legal scholars as the most incisive interpretation ever of the Second Amendment, ought to have made that clear.
And silly me, I’m under the impression we have far more important issues to worry about.
Besides, to my knowledge not one U.S. gun law ever adopted has actually attempted to take away people’s guns. They simply proscribe their use, storage and future acquisitions.
Speaking of which, here’s a hot investment tip: If Obama gets elected and Democrats control Congress, both of which appear likely, get ye to your gun supply outlet and buy all the high-capacity weapons and ammunition clips you can afford.
Left unchecked, the Democrats are almost certain to re-enact the so-called assault weapons ban (did I say something about half-cocked?), which means that the items above will be worth their weight in gold.
In the meantime, here’s a parting shot: To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, if you vote for candidates solely because of their stance on guns, you’ll get the government you deserve.
” Drew Munro is news editor of the Sky-Hi Daily News. He can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19610 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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