Last week’s recall elections in Colorado, in which Democratic State Senators John Morse and Angela Giron were removed from office — specifically for their support for recently passed Colorado gun control laws — are seen by two conservative observers as a positive development for the state’s political future.
The Intermountain Jewish News’ efforts this week to reach more liberal observers, who might be expected to view the recall results in considerably different terms, were unsuccessful.
Congressman Doug Lamborn, a Republican whose 5th District includes traditionally conservative Colorado Springs, called last week’s elections “historic” and said they evince “democracy in action.”
Implying that Colorado’s new gun control laws do not reflect the wishes of a majority of the state’s electorate, Lamborn said the recall of Morse and Giron “ought to remind every elected official that they must listen to their constituents or face the consequences at the polls.”
Dan Kopelman, president of Jewish Republicans of Colorado, reflected Lamborn’s comments on how the recalls serve as a reminder of the resilience of democracy.
“It will be used as an example of how local citizens can take back their rights from well funded statists,” Kopelman said.
Kopelman took umbrage at the term “political weapon” used by some commentators to describe the recall elections, both sides of which received considerable funds from out-of-state interests on opposite poles of the national gun control debate.
“What political weapon?” Kopelman said. “CODA (the Colorado Democratic Alliance) paid to have the state House and Senate districts realigned. They got their candidates elected and proceeded to offend voters with a very liberal agenda.
“That political weapon failed, just as it did in Douglas County with the teachers union and in the state of Wisconsin. Buying votes only lasts as long as the purchasers do not over-step the line established in the minds of the voters. It has nothing to do with party.”
In that sense, Kopelman opined, the fact that Colorado has a Democratic governor and Democratic majorities in both houses of the State Legislature does not amount to an accurate political barometer of the loyalties of Colorado voters.
“Colorado is a bellwether state because of our diverse demographics,” he said.
“It is why CODA has spent millions of dollars trying to make our state the only mountain state stronghold for their party. That effort has met with success in part due to a hapless Republican response.”
Last week’s recall of two senators, Kopelman said, “is a return to center for a state being artificially to the left for a decade.”
It also suggests, both Kopelman and Lamborn say, that most Coloradoans oppose gun control, although the gun control laws promoted by Morse and Giron – and signed by Governor John Hickenlooper – remain on the books and are unlikely to be overturned by the legislature anytime soon, many political commentators say.
Nonetheless, Lamborn told the IJN, the recalls “put all elected officials on notice not to violate our Second Amendment rights. I think the radical gun control lobby will back away from any future efforts to undermine our right to bear arms.”
“The Second Amendment describes a ‘right’ that has been infringed upon,” Kopelman echoed. “At some point, law abiding citizens become weary of being treated as criminals for exercising their rights.
“While well meaning, the result of gun control is typically little more than making law abiding citizens less secure and making criminals more secure in their treachery.”
Copyright © 2013 by the Intermountain Jewish News