House Democrats claimed they were carrying out the will of the people this week by advancing four gun-control bills, but apparently they weren’t talking about the people who actually turned out for the hearings.
In an embarrassing moment of truth for Democrats, gun-rights advocates flooded the capitol this week in far greater numbers than their rivals on the gun-control side.
The Second Amendment crowds were so large that Democrats were forced to accommodate them in overflow rooms, limit testimony to two or three minutes per speaker, or even cut off testimony with dozens of people still on the list.
The scary part for Democrats is that this week’s sample size may represent only a fraction of the Colorado gun-rights army.
“Gun owners are coming out of the woodwork on all of these bills,” said Rocky Mountain Gun Owners director Dudley Brown. “We haven’t really unleashed our organizing yet. Much of what you see is organic.”
Clearly Democrats needed to do something, which is where ProgressNow Colorado comes in. Frantic to counter the perception that pro-gun voters may represent a majority of Coloradans, the group dispatched a press release Thursday saying that it had delivered “hundreds of messages in support of this legislation to the bills’ sponsors fighting to win passage.”
“Pro-gun lobbyists and dishonest Republican officials have egregiously misinformed the public on what these bills would actually do,” said ProgressNow Colorado political director Alan Franklin. “It’s been an uphill battle against the gun lobby’s limitless financial resources and lack of scruples when it comes to misleading their supporters about proposed legislation.”
Never mind the irony of an organization funded by gazillionaire Tim Gill complaining about another group’s big spending. The implication of Franklin’s statement is that gun owners are too naive to understand that they’re being duped into fighting for their constitutional right to bear arms.
Actually, it’s more than an implication. At the end of his release, Franklin urges legislators “to not be fooled or intimidated by the gun lobby or their misinformed pawns.”
Why is it that when large numbers of people disagree with Democrats, it’s because they’re stupid? Franklin’s “misinformed pawns” crack may be even more patronizing than President Obama’s infamous comment about how regular people “cling to their guns or religion.”
But Franklin isn’t content to argue only that gun-rights advocates are dimwitted. He insists that the gun-control forces have the numbers on their side, and to prove it, he lists comments allegedly from ordinary Coloradans in favor of the legislature’s anti-gun crusade.
We say “allegedly” because he only gives their first names and their cities of residence. The gun-rights activists who spent hours at the state capitol this week waiting to testify had to give their full names. Also, there were hundreds of them. Franklin only lists 10 people.
No matter how ProgressNow tries to spin it, gun-rights advocates are winning the enthusiasm battle. The challenge for the left is to convince Democratic state legislators in swing districts that they won’t be committing political suicide by voting in favor of the gun-control package. And anyone who believes that could be described as a misinformed pawn.