Michael Bloomberg has an estimated net worth of around $70 billion, making him one of the richest men that has ever lived. As a wealthy elite, he is naturally disgusted by the idea of people he sees as lesser than him being able to own and bear firearms. Therefore, he uses his wealth to ensure that every possible action is taken to disarm the people around him. His disarmament campaign is carried out by the group known as Everytown for
Gun Safety Gun Control, which travels the United States looking for weak-minded politicians open to the idea of robbing their constituents of Constitutional rights. Thanks to Bloomberg, Everytown has a blank checkbook to purchase whichever political cretin they please. Unfortunately, not even Bloomberg’s billions are enough to purchase the will of American patriots. Wednesday, April 19th, those unwavering patriots answered Rocky Mountain Gun Owners’ call to action and overwhelmed the gun control lobby, defeating the 2023 “Assault Weapons” Ban before it could even leave its committee of origin.
The 2023 Legislative Session has been a nightmare for the Second Amendment, with five radical gun controls making their way to Governor Polis’ office. The ultimate desire of the anti-gun extremists is to deny future gun owners their right to purchase firearms for self-defense, which culminated in the 2023 “Assault Weapons” Ban, originally dubbed the “Mass Shooting Prevention Act.” HB23-1230 was, in fact, the most extreme weapons ban introduced, beating California’s by a country mile. “Assault Weapons” were defined as basically anything semi-automatic, including rifles, shotguns, and even pistols. The so-called “assault weapons” ban was so broad, estimates ranged from 70% to 90%+ of the current firearms market would fall under its umbrella. One of the most egregious parts was that any semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine and “the ability to hold the firearm with your non-trigger hand and not get burned” qualified as an “assault weapon.” The anti-gun extremists were painting in broad strokes, hoping that there would be no loopholes. Their goal was to eliminate all weapons that could allow citizens to defend themselves from threats greater than a back-alley mugger. It was perfectly in line with the rest of their anti-gun legislation: punish law-abiding citizens for the actions of criminals. It would have been easy for RMGO’s members to hang their heads and give up fighting – especially with the enormous majorities anti-gun Democrats hold in both chambers of the legislature.
Anyone with any knowledge of RMGO’s grassroots activists knows this was never going to happen.
When the bill was officially assigned to the House Judiciary Committee for a March 29 hearing, pro-gun activists responded emphatically. We had an unheard-of 450 people sign up to testify virtually or in person, in addition to making phone calls, sending emails, and signing petitions. It cannot be understated how massive the turnout was; normal testimony for bills features 5, 10, or maybe 25 people testifying, depending on the subject and the severity of the bill. 450 people with 2 minutes of speaking time a piece is 15 hours of testimony for the opposition alone. Apparently, this dwarfed the turnout from the Commie Mommies (Moms Demand Action) and other anti-gun groups in Colorado. Suddenly, the day before the scheduled first hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, the bill was delayed.
Speculation as to the cause of the delay was rampant. There were claims that Governor Polis had made it clear to Democrat leadership that he was for everything except a weapons ban, and that the gun control lobby was attempting to undermine him by introducing it in the first place. Others believed it was due to the radicals’ desire to bring back the ban on the possession of so-called “assault weapons” that was present in the original draft of the bill. Still, the more optimistic among us had a gut feeling that the new Democrat monolith in the Legislature had realized the “assault weapons” ban was simply too much for one session, at least for the more politically savvy amongst them.
Even though the Democrats currently enjoy a supermajority in the House and a near-supermajority in the Senate, there are still limitations to their power. Many Democrats won in historically Republican districts, not because of the people’s sudden love of Democrat policy, but instead because of the absolute dumpster fire that was the Colorado GOP. The GOP’s failure to demonstrate any semblance of sound policy or leadership caused many to vote against the GOP, rather than with the Democrats. Therefore, the Democrats in the Legislature cannot run roughshod over the Constitution and prove themselves untrustworthy of the power bestowed upon them. Or at least, they can’t do it all at once. Otherwise, they run the risk of losing those seats in the next election and having the Senate get closer in a vulnerable 2024 for the Democrats.
In other words: THEY WERE SCARED.
They thought they had crushed the spirits of Second Amendment supporters in Colorado. They were wrong. Instead, the gun control lobby lit a fire under the butts of many activists, proving that California-style laws were coming to Colorado in full force. For years, RMGO’s warning about the potential for gun control in the Rockies had fallen on mostly deaf ears. Suddenly, those same warnings were ringing truer than ever, and the people woke up. The Democrats were not prepared for the backlash that ensued, so they canceled the hearing.
At least, that’s how we looked at it. But if our theory were true, then the “assault weapons” ban could not just be neutered; it had to die off entirely. Two days later, the first major clue was dropped in a story from FOX31. A Democratic insider reported that the “assault weapons” ban would not pass and would be killed in committee. Both sides of the debate responded with shock. The gun control lobby was, of course, furious, and RMGO was ecstatic. However, quick corrections to the story were made to walk back the ferocity of the claims. The grassroots gun control advocates were beyond furious, causing Democratic leadership to issue statements that, on their surface, seemed to convey continuing support for the bill. But to those familiar with the political game, their statements provided the biggest hint that the bill would, in fact, be killed. It also confirmed that pro-gun activists were a source of enough political fear that moderates were dropping support for the bill.
“The hearing for the bill was postponed Wednesday because of other bills being debated,” according to a spokesperson from the Democratic party. What a load of crap. There was nothing else on the Committee’s schedule, and the House Floor was very quiet that day. The truth was that the bill was dead, and the Democrats were afraid of both RMGO’s activists and their own. And they hoped playing these deceitful games would hinder pro-gun Coloradans from showing up to the eventual hearing.
For two weeks, news on the bill was quiet. Insider rumors spread like wildfire, but no one really knew what was going to happen with HB 1230. RMGO continued to do everything possible to spread the word about the 2023 Gun Control Package, holding briefings around the state. These Legislative Briefings offered activists the chance to learn more about the full slate of bills that had been introduced and the impact that grassroots activism can have on the legislative process. RMGO relies on normal people caring about their Second Amendment rights enough to engage their communities. Our strength is entirely dependent on the love law-abiding citizens have for their friends and families, and this love translates into a passionate belief in the importance of firearms in maintaining their safety. The response to the Legislative Briefings was enormous, but the full scope of their impact would be seen only a few weeks later.
Finally, on April 12th, the silence was broken.
The “Assault Weapons” Ban would be heard on April 19th, starting at 1:30 PM. This was changed to 9 AM once Democrats realized Second Amendment supporters were still going to show up in force. We believed they had delayed the initial hearing, in part, to inconvenience the pro-gun community. Most of the supporters of the “assault weapons” ban were moms, students, and teachers, all of whom were encouraged and bribed (with a free day off of school) to take part in the proceedings. On the other hand, many of our supporters are full-time employees that are very limited in their ability to take time off of work in the middle of the week on short notice. Considering the number of people signed up, this likely meant they would have had to take an entire day off of work since there would be well over 10 hours of public testimony. The Democrats hoped the momentum would be dead and we would be unable to rally our supporters to fight back.
For being the “party of the educated,” they sure are wrong a lot.
RMGO immediately began spreading the word. Activists across the state were getting their communities involved to send emails, make calls, and sign petitions. By the morning of the hearing, more than 35,000 calls had been made, 80,000 emails had been sent, and an RMGO record 103,000 petitions had been signed. The gun control lobby thought they would have their way with us. Instead, they were embroiled in the fight of their lives. Once again, more than 500 patriots signed up to testify in opposition to HB23-1230, compared to less than 75 who signed up in support.
According to Rep. Elisabeth Epps, the bill’s sponsor, opposition outnumbered support 6 to 1. This was weird, considering we constantly hear about how the vast majority of American support bans on so-called “assault weapons.” The ratio should have been flipped, or at least nearly equal. Liberal politicians have made a habit of underestimating their opposition. They truly do believe that the opinions of the Denver Metro Area extend to the far reaches of Colorado. Upon adjournment, it was announced that public testimony would be limited to 12 hours, to which Rep. Stephanie Luck objected. The only group that would be heard by this limitation was the opposition. The anti-gunners would run out of supporters long before the 12 hours were up, and they knew that.
Rep. Epps began the proceedings with a simple statement: “It’s the guns. It’s the guns.” And with that, the entire gun control argument was presented. There is no room for debate or analysis beyond the surface level. Gun violence exists; therefore, we must end gun violence. We never hear arguments against car violence or water violence, just gun violence. Why? Because a pool isn’t a tool that can be used for protection from a tyrannical government. Neither is a car. States have tried to ban body armor in the past as well. Why? Because it can be used for protection against a tyrannical government. The authoritarians want to ensure compliance by removing the tools of resistance. Gun control advocates have perfected the art of emotional manipulation in order to convince law-abiding citizens to give willingly give up these tools.
For evidence of the effectiveness of this manipulation, look no further than the testimony that followed from supporters of the bill. Teachers, Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action, and gun control lobby leadership showed up in droves to regurgitate the same biased Everytown statistics over and over. “Guns are the leading cause of death for children,” “How many children must die before you’ll give up your guns?” “Your rights are not worth more than human lives.” For hours, they argued the same exact points, hoping that their emotional appeals would convince the onlookers that every life lost to gun violence was due exclusively to guns and those of us that won’t give them up.
They failed. Miserably.
When Second Amendment supporters had the chance to speak, they knocked it out of the park. Even with alternating between support and opposition panels, the anti-gunners ran out of support hours before the testimony was over. Grassroots activists from across the state spoke out against the lunacy of gun control. The gun control advocates from the Denver DA’s office and Colorado Ceasefire couldn’t even state the standard caliber for an AR-15. Meanwhile, members of RMGO’s grassroots army were able to address the flaws in the most glaring flaws in the anti-gun arguments. How can a gun simultaneously be a weapon of war and useless for defense against tyranny? Since when are 18- and 19-year-olds “children”? The pro-gun side was represented by people from all walks of life, people who understood from personal experience the importance of firearms in self-defense.
At one point in the proceedings, a female member of the committee disagreed with the framing of the right to self-defense as a “God-given” right. “The First Amendment grants a separation of church and state. Therefore, if we don’t believe in God, a right cannot be God-given. Rights are granted by the government.” Thankfully, the gentleman she was addressing was quite a bit smarter than her and pointed out that these rights precede government, and if you don’t believe in God, then the rights are granted by the natural order. It is terrifying to know that there are elected officials that do not comprehend this concept. Whatever the government “grants,” it can also take. The Founding Fathers understood this deeply; thus, they created the Bill of Rights to codify natural rights that the government cannot ever be seen as granting. They exist separately from the government, and it is the government’s job to protect and respect these rights. The only way a person can possibly believe that government has the same authority to grant rights as God is if you have replaced God with the government. Clearly, these politicians have done so.
The anti-gun legislators were admonished throughout the whole debacle, with citizens accurately pointing out that the Oath of Office is sacred, and they were failing to uphold it. By the end, the gun control extremists were visibly defeated. Rep. Epps had hinted in her opening statements that the bill may change from an “assault weapons” ban to a “bump stock” ban. When it came time to present that amendment, it was resoundingly defeated. Rep. Epps could hardly contain her emotions when the final vote was 7-6 against her “assault weapons” ban. She was joined by Rep. Bacon in promising that HB23-1230 is not the last weapons ban that Colorado will see.
They were emphatic in their desire to try again in 2024.
And with that, the 2023 “Assault Weapons” Ban was defeated.
Thanks to the relentless work of grassroots activists, the Democrats were denied the Crown Jewel of gun control in Colorado. Despite the best efforts of groups backed by unfathomable amounts of money, like Everytown for Gun Safety and Gifford’s Group, the will of the People was triumphant. This singular victory proved that the fight against gun control is winnable with the support of good, honest, law-abiding citizens.
Unfortunately, this is just one battle in a much broader war. While the weapons ban has been killed for now, it is through the Court system that it will be eliminated permanently. In fact, the Courts are where the vast majority of future battles will be fought. Thanks to the Bruen decision last June, pro-Second Amendment groups like RMGO have the advantage in Court. So far, RMGO’s lawsuits against weapon and magazine bans initiated along the Front Range last year have gone heavily in our favor. Across the country, weapon bans, possession restrictions, accessory restrictions, and pretty much every other type of gun control is being crushed in Court.
What Colorado is experiencing is the death throes of a dying agenda. The victory over the “Assault Weapons” ban was only the beginning, and hope is in abundance, so long as the Supreme Court maintains its current balance. This is why it is so important to see past the gun control lobby’s attempts to demoralize and discourage the pro-gun community. They will do whatever it takes to convince you that their control of the chambers and deep pockets make them invincible.
They are not.
Our fight is an easy one: point to the Second Amendment and read it out loud. All the attorneys in the world will not change its text, history, or tradition, though they will try their hardest.
Do not take this to mean the war has been won, but this was a significant battle victory. Complacency is our greatest enemy. It is our duty to fight with every resource we must defend the Second Amendment. We must use our advantage to its fullest now. Support pro-gun organizations in their legal fights as much as you can. Spread the word in your communities about the onslaught of gun control coming to Colorado. The gun control lobby knows they don’t stand a chance as long as we stand united against them.