Thursday, March 14, 2013

Is Colorado Gun Fight Harbinger of Controls Speeding Across the Country?

Colorado Democrats have managed a reasonably strong package of new gun control legislation in the face of vigorous opposition. Although both sides look intolerant or extreme at moments, in general, the Democrats appear to have a pleased, or at least tolerant, public at their back.

Colorado’s package will be a morale booster for gun control advocates and Democrats, but whether it will have much effect on the national debate or is easily transferable to other states is unclear.

After three months of intense discussion, public opinion is still about where it was in December. Variations on question wording show the desire for more gun control laws or stricter current laws is close. Universal registration has overwhelming support, but banning assault weapons is more narrowly divided.

And in Colorado, even though the Democrats hold a majority in both Houses, they dropped their assault ban because of insufficient votes due to vulnerable rural and swing district Democrats. Also, in terms of boots on the ground; that is people at the Capitol, e-mails and testimony, the gun rights forces showed passion, volume and skill.

If confirms what Democratic U.S. Senators from swing and more rural states already believe. Anti-gun votes will be a polarizing issue in 2014 and bring out a Tea Party-type constituency so influential in 2010.

Christian Science Monitor, Amanda Paulson, 3-11-13
“There’s a lot at stake, and it’s been an incredible battle,” says Floyd Ciruli, a Colorado pollster and political analyst. “There’s a sense among the proponents [of the bills] that what comes out of Colorado may then have some influence on Washington thinking, and could definitely go into other states.”
The liability bill, in particular, generated fierce criticism from many who labeled it as too extreme. “I think it generated an avalanche of e-mails,” says Mr. Ciruli, adding that “clearly, there are some boundaries out there.”
Washington Post:  Post-ABC poll: Gun control politics
The Buzz:  Is Colorado the national bellwether for guns?
The Buzz:  Dissing the Second Amendment
The Buzz:  Guns are up – Colorado 
The Buzz:  Guns are up – U.S. 

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