- Created on 19 May 2013
- Hits: 9
The Independence Institute Friday filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to overturn two of the three bills passed en masse by the Colorado legislature and signed by Governor Hickenlooper into law on March 20th. The two new laws, which began as House Bills 1224 and 1229, restrict magazines that hold over 15 rounds and require universal background checks, respectively.
The magazine ban goes into effect on 1 July, the beginning of the Colorado fiscal year, while background checks went into effect immediately.
The suit was filed on behalf of 54 elected sheriffs from across Colorado, disabled gun owners, Women for Concealed Carry, and a total of 20 gun rights, hunting and shooting organizations as well as parts manufacturer Magpul and sporting goods stores.
Jon Caldera, director of the Independence Institute, writes:
"A couple of hours ago the lobby of our building, affectionately known as the Freedom Embassy, was overflowing with microphones, cameras and news reporters for the announcement that our lawsuit has been filed against the unconstitutional, new gun laws. Quite literally reporters were spilling out of our front door."
Eighteen of the sheriffs showed up in person at the press conference, speaking on behalf of the rest; disabled gun owners, Women for Concealed Carry, and the Colorado Farm Bureau also spoke on why they are plaintiffs in this landmark case.
The press conference in its entirety is shown in the video.
The complaint claims that the restriction on firearms use in these bills is greater than that already determined to violate the Second Amendment and thus unconstitutional, citing the Supreme Court District of Columbia v. Heller case.
The suit is not the only action sparked by the recent flurry of gun control legislation.
Two Littleton men, Tim LeVier and J.T. Davis, filed an initiative in mid-March to amend the Colorado constitution. The proposal would establish a right of the people to purchase and possess any ammunition storage and feeding devices. They would need upwards of 100,000 signatures to get the initiative on the ballot.
Three state senators are also being recalled.
Kandee Evans, registered agent for the Recall Evie Hudak Committee, addressed a crowd at the Olde Town Rally in Arvada Saturday morning, saying "Thank you to all the volunteers who worked hard and are still working hard . This has been our best weekend so far. We are hitting the ball out of the park”.
Hudak, who famously dismissed the testimony of rape victim Amanda Collins, is becoming well known for her “don’t let the facts get in the way” style of legislating.
Not challenged at this point is HB 1228, which also went into immediate effect and mandates fees for background checks. The justification for this fee was the week-long wait for background checks in January. The government claimed they needed to hire more people to process the checks but by the time the bill was signed in law the wait time had returned to about 45 minutes, very close to normal.
If three gun control laws are passed and only two are repealed, Democrats will likely consider it progress and wait for their next opportunity to advance the agenda. Even the loss of three senators will be viewed as acceptable damage. Almost $2 million dollars has been pledged to defend Senators Hudak and Giron of Pueblo. Sen. Morse is term limited and will leave the legislature after the end of the 2014 session.
Elections have consequences and so does passing laws in defiance of the popular will.
- Created on 14 May 2013
- Hits: 7
The Benghazi the story changes more often than the spot price of crude oil. First it was a video that caused riots, even though the video had been released months before. It wasn’t really an assault, it was just uncoordinated demonstrations. Then it was. We didn’t have assets that could respond in time. Then clearly we did. The White House didn’t know. Secretary Clinton didn’t know. Those who were in charge seemed Legally Blonde. After lying dormant for months, the truth finally begins to come out.
The first truth is that the diplomats and their security team could have been saved.
Embassies and consulates are bits of American soil in foreign countries and they have always been guarded well, traditionally by the U.S. Marines. The attacks on the embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on August 7, 1998 were the most dramatic attacks in recent times but certainly not the only ones. In the wake of such attacks, the security bureaucracy conducts investigations and makes plans to correct deficiencies.
There were quick reaction military forces at the ready and within striking distance of Benghazi. Government sources at first denied this but recent testimony reveals the truth. The fact is, though, that the testimony is almost unnecessary: thousands of military personnel stationed overseas who have been in these forces or supported them have always known the truth.
The second truth is that the president and the secretary of state knew about the situation as it was developing.
We know this for several reasons. The first is that the entire organization and purpose of the national intelligence community is to gather intelligence about threats against vital national interests and, as a corollary to that, to get critical intelligence to the White House within ten minutes of that intelligence being recognized. An attack on an embassy or an ambassador qualifies as a critical event that would be reported.
This is the kind of information that is reported directly to the president. You can be assured that President Carter was notified when the Tehran embassy was stormed and that President Bush was notified when the Russians invaded Afghanistan and that President Clinton was told about the 1998 bombings.
Further, the intelligence community knows that terrorists like to commemorate certain events by making attacks on the anniversaries. You can be assured that there is a heightened state of watchfulness every September 11.
We also know the capabilities of the technology today. When news crews can send live video feeds of events in Cairo, do you think the government cannot? When you can talk to friends around the world via Skype and send live videos yourself, do you think the White House is incapable of that kind of communications?
We do know, due to recent first-hand testimony, that Secretary Clinton received the proverbial 2am phone call. Sometimes even a relatively mundane, low-tech phone call accomplishes the purpose.
But there is more. When the Seals made the assault on bin Laden’s Abbotabad compound, we were treated to photos of the president, vice-president, and others huddled around a military officer sitting in front of a laptop. They were looking left, off camera. What were they watching?
Think live video, like the movie Patriot Games. That was a 1992 movie. Do you think that capability does not exist today?
Logic, reason and experience tell us the answers to two key questions: yes, the national command authorities (the president and the secretaries of State, Defense, and the head of the CIA) had the right information at the right time; and yes, Ambassador Chris Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty and Sean Smith could have been rescued. Eyewitness testimony will fill in the details.
The really important questions remain yet to be answered: Who gave the order to stand down? We know that Gen. Hamm was relieved of command for refusing to obey that order. Why was it given?
The military chain of command is relatively short and it does not include the Joint Chiefs of Staff or the head of the CIA or the Secretary of State. It stops at the top with the Commander in Chief.
- Created on 29 April 2013
- Hits: 99
Recall petitions are well under way for four pro-gun control Democrats in the Colorado State legislature. Currently, there are four facing recall petitions:
John Morse (Senate District 11; 7,178 valid signatures needed)
Angela Giron (Senate District 3; 11,285 valid signatures needed)
Evie Hudak (Senate District 19; 18,962 valid signatures needed)
Mike McLachlan (House District 59; 10,587 valid signatures needed)
In Colorado, the number of valid signatures needed is 25% of the total ballots cast in the election of the official being recalled.
Sen. John Morse is the president of the senate and thus responsible for sheparding the gun bills through. He was famously shown on the Rachel Maddow TV show explaining how he told “his” senators to ignore the objections of their constituents and vote for the rights-restricting legislation.
The rallying slogan for the Morse recall is “Got ReMorse?” with a web page of the same name. The effort is run by a professional project manager and petitions are circulating daily.
Morse has said that he can’t be recalled.
Evie Hudak, the legislator who told rape victim Amanda Collins that even had she been allowed to carry her concealed firearm on the night of her attack, she would statistically have been dead anyway, is also being recalled and is the other senator besides Morse who was elected with a minority of the total vote.
When she went grocery shopping a week ago, Hudak encountered a woman with a big sign saying “Recall Hudak,’ and so Hudak approached her. Apparently Hudak made a big fuss, blowing up about the woman being able to petition outside the store and complaining to management—a store which Hudak referred to as “her store.” The story did not make the press but Hudak did tell the Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels that she had a brief run in with a petitioner.
Because of the Denver Post story, the petitioner called in to the Michael Brown radio show and told the rest of the story. There are a very few cases about the right to collect petition signatures outside of places like grocery stores but they all come down on the side of the signature gatherer’s First Amendment rights.
The third Democrat facing recall, Mike McLachlan, doesn’t think much of the First Amendment either. On his recall website he is quoted as saying: “…the right of the First Amendment is not absolute. It is like every right in that in the proper circumstances the government may infringe, take away, or completely reduce that right.” To his constituents, that statement was like yelling “Fire!” in a crowded room.
What really has people in his district up in arms, however, was his stand on the Second Amendment: he said he supported Second Amendment rights when running for election but then voted for gun control.
Angela Giron, the fourth, is in a similar situation. She is in heavily Democratic Pueblo, but the response to the recall, according to one activist, is amazing. At a rally in a Kmart parking lot Saturday, many people said they did not own guns, but simply wanted to support Second Amendment rights. People drove by honking and waving. There were very few negative responses.
When Giron held her town hall meeting in February before the gun votes, there were nearly a thousand people at the event, all demanding that she not vote for these laws. Now that people see that she does not care at all about her constituents’ opinions, they want her gone.
The effort in Pueblo was started by two plumbers and the trade unions are heavily behind it. All the gun shops have petitions. One dentist said he wanted petitions at his office, and if his clients didn't like it, they could go elsewhere. There is little love for Giron in Pueblo.
Giron's people are planning on putting up lots of money to defend her, rumored at around $800,000. Morse won in 2010 with 527 organizations spending over $1 million.
The recalls are completely grassroots efforts, unlike the union-led recalls in Wisconsin.
Petitioners have 60-days from filing the petition to returning the required number of signatures. Roughly at the midpoint of the petition-gathering stage, all recalls seem to be on track to get the required number. Then, the signatures will need to be validated by the Secretary of State’s office, which has another 30 days to do so.
Social media are quite in evidence for these recalls. The Hudak recall team has set up a Facebook page. Morse and McLachlan have web pages. The El Paso Freedom Defense Committee recalling Morse also has a Twitter account (@ReMorseCO) with his own hashtag (#ReMorse).
They’ve even designed a recall t-shirt in bright green. A comment from a pro-Second Amendment website said: “In the south this guy would have about 100 t-shirts sent to him with a bullseye on the front and back.”
For now all that is needed are signatures on petitions. And donations.