Opinion

Second Amendment wins big in historic Colorado recall

It’s a shot heard ‘round the world of Second Amendment rights.

In the first recall elections in the state’s history, Colorado voters on Tuesday threw out two state senators — including the Democrat Senate president – who became symbols of the state’s heavy-handed crackdown on gun rights.

coloradorecallState Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, and state Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, got handed their walking papers despite huge support from gun-control groups nationally, according to Fox’s Denver affiliate Channel 31.

Recall supporters were jubilant.

“Tonight is a victory for the people of the state of Colorado, who have been subject to the overreach of a Democrat agenda on guns, taxes, and accountability to the people,” said Tim Knight, founder of the pro-recall group Basic Freedom Defense Fund, according to Fox.

“Since Day One, they said it couldn’t be done,” Knight said. “Tonight, this is a victory for the people of Colorado, and we share this victory with them.”

The first since a flurry of anti-gun legislation took effect this year in several states, the elections were watched closely as a national proxy in the battle over the future of the Second Amendment.

And the Second Amendment won big.

Morse was a prime mover and Giron a supporter of Colorado’s gun-control laws that took effect July 1. They included 15-round limits on ammunition magazines and expanded background checks on private gun sales.

While Morse, as Senate president, was the larger political figure, his district of about 52,000 voters is roughly evenly divided among registered Democrats, Republicans and independents, according to the Denver Post.

Giron’s Senate District 3, which covers the Pueblo area, is overwhelmingly Democrat, with a voter registration advantage of 47 percent Democrat to 23 percent Republican, according to the Post.

That makes Tuesday’s results all the more satisfying to the gun-rights side.

While Morse’s recall was supported by about 51 percent of the voters, Giron was crushed, with almost 60 percent of the voters wanting her out.

She will be replaced by former Pueblo Deputy Chief of Police George Rivera.

Morse will be replaced by former Colorado Springs City Councilman Bernie Herpin, a Republican.

To get a gauge of how important the recall elections were to the gun grabbers, just look at the amount of outside money they poured into the races.

According to Reuters, the campaigns attracted about $3.5 million in contributions, with about $3 million of that coming from the gun-control side trying to keep the two Democrats in power in a crucial state.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $35,000 of his own money, Reuters reported, with another $250,000 coming from Los Angeles billionaire Eli Broad.

The gun-rights side played up those financial ties, running one television ad that charged Morse was in thrall to “East Coast liberals like billionaire playboy New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg,” Reuters reported.

About $500,000 came from Second Amendment supporters, with about $368,000 from the National Rifle Association, Reuters reported.

In his concession speech, Morse concluded with a lesson Democrats should be listening to — but probably won’t, because deep down they really don’t believe it.

“The highest rank in a democracy is citizen, not Senate president,” he said.

Morse also added some unintentional humor.

“I do worry that now that a recall has been successful, it will become a political tactic for both sides,” he said, according to the Denver Post.

“I think that is a horrible way to govern.”

Voters felt the same way about him.

Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].

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