DENVER—Gun-rights advocates are having trouble digesting a social-media post from a senior adviser to Gov. John Hickenlooper that compares the right to bear arms with the right to bear a ham sandwich.
“’Constitutional rights,’” yes. But #gunrights? Isn’t that like #hamsandwichrights or #lightbulbrights or #bombrights or #humanrights…wait,” says the message from Max Potter, the governor’s senior media adviser, on Twitter.
Former Rep. Tom Tancredo, who’s running for the Republican nomination for governor, said the tweet seems to claim that “there is no Second Amendment,” and called on the governor to explain the message.
“The tweet implies that the governor looks at gun rights in the same way as he [Potter] does, and unless the governor says something to the contrary, that’s what we have to conclude,” said Tancredo.
Nobody from the governor’s office has commented publicly on the tweet, although Hickenlooper chief strategy officer Alan Salazar did re-tweet it. A message to the governor’s press office requesting comment was not returned immediately Monday.
State Sen. Greg Brophy (R-Wray), who’s also seeking the GOP gubernatorial nomination, said the message reflects what he described as a disdain toward the Second Amendment that permeates the governor’s office.
“It’s an indication of how deeply their animosity toward gun rights and the Second Amendment goes,” said Brophy. “I don’t think it’s a fluke that he’s the gun-control governor or that his staff is hostile to gun rights, and we get glimpses of it occasionally, like with this tweet.”
Potter, a former editor at 5280 magazine, was hired by the governor in August, when sentiment against the state legislature’s gun-control laws was heating up and the legislative recall campaigns were in full swing.
“Usually media specialists who work for governors don’t publicly tweet senseless and offensive messages,” said the conservative website Colorado Peak Politics, which broke the story Monday.
Victor Head, who ran the successful Pueblo recall campaign against former Democratic state Sen. Angela Giron, said Potter appeared to be mocking the idea that Second Amendment rights can also be referred to as gun rights.
“There’s a lot of things you can attach a different name to that are in the Constitution and that doesn’t make them wrong,” said Head, who leads Pueblo Freedom and Rights. “Hickenlooper can try to sound as moderate as he wants, but obviously he and his whole staff are pretty anti-Second Amendment.”