Abandoning any pretense that they’re focused on job creation, Colorado Republicans have clarified their priorities for the new legislative session: guns rights. Specifically, they are doing their best to ensure that citizens have the unfettered ability to carry guns anywhere — including into elementary, middle, and high schools:
Colorado Republicans are reloading previous attempts to expand gun rights, bringing back legislation that would allow concealed weapons in schools and let businesses use deadly force against intruders.
Republicans say they want to protect Second Amendment rights, but Democrats accuse them of straying from the job-creation platform both parties promised to focus on this year.
A proposal running simultaneously in the House and Senate would allow concealed weapons on school grounds and college campuses if a person has a permit and another bill would let business owners and employees use deadly force against intruders.
Conservatives have twisted school massacres at Columbine and Virginia Tech to argue that there need to be more guns in schools to fight back against armed attacks. Last year more than a dozen state legislatures took up bills that would allow guns on college campuses — and some even considered lifting their gun bans at K-12 public schools. Florida suspended discussion of their controversial bill after the emotional testimony of a father whose daughter was killed at Florida State University when another student accidentally discharged a rifle.
Gun control advocates say the presence of guns makes schools much more dangerous and creates a negative learning environment. The chances of tragic accidents and guns being stolen are also quite high in communal settings. Earlier this month a Texas middle school student was shot to death by police for carrying what turned out to be a pellet gun.
The Colorado legislature is also considering a proposal to eliminate background checks for firearm purchases — increasing the likelihood that guns will fall into the wrong hands. A recent New York Times investigation revealed that ex-convicts are finding it increasingly easy to get their guns back after being released from prison. Thanks to pro-gun lobbyists and Republican legislatures, even felons with histories of stalking and mental health problems have their gun rights restored without any review by judges — a trend that jeopardizes public safety and has already cost lives.