Roy Exum: Colorado's Silly Gun Laws

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

In Colorado – easily among the most beautiful states in America – the people know about heartbreak and horror. In 1999, at a high school named for a beautiful flower, 12 were killed and another 23 injured before some deranged kids turned their guns on themselves at Columbine. Last summer, at a movie theater in Aurora, 12 more innocents were killed and 58 wounded by a crazed gunman equally deranged.

So it is hardly of any wonder why state Governor John Hickenlooper is expected to sign two or three bills into law today that will demand 15-ammunition limit on magazines, universal background checks on all buyers and a requirement that gun purchasers pay for the background checks and proper licensing.

That’s cool, right? I paid for my background check – I assume – when I obtained a legal carry permit and, not long ago, I renewed my carry permit for another $50 so a new background check could assure the authorities I have behaved. I did this gladly and happily.

But here’s a sheriff in Weld County, Colorado, John Cooke, who says on national TV he won’t enforce the new state gun laws and that he and some other sheriffs are considering legal action against the governor and the state. Why? Because the laws are ridiculous to anyone who has taken a realistic approach to Americans who own firearms and thugs who abuse them. And they are futile.

The only people who obey the rules are the people pressured to abide by them. Any legislature can make all the rules it wants and – easily predictable -- anybody who is going to buy a kilo of cocaine, transport 100 pounds of marijuana or kill a rival gang member will openly mock such laws. Do you think a bank robber is going to make sure he takes a gun safety class before he pulls the stick-up?

All across the nation the rational public knows the same thing Sheriff Cooke does when he promises it is “impossible” to enforce what he calls “knee-jerk” reactions to tragedies. Quite simply, the Colorado stance will be no more successful than the other fledgling programs sprouting up around the country.

Terry Maketa is the Sheriff of El Paso County in Colorado Springs. He’s responsible for the safety of over 600,000 people over 2,000 square miles and he is a hands-on realist. On his website he wrote:

“It is very disturbing to witness so many that have taken the same oath I have, to now flip flop and use tragedies such as the Sandy Hook school shooting to further their personal agenda and very flawed thought process. Bans such as those that have been discussed and proposed in this state and other states will not make our schools any safer. Emotionally labeling “scary looking” weapons as assault weapons and banning them will not make our schools and communities any safer.

“The notion that restricting ammunition or requiring any form of registration is factually illogical and emotionally driven to achieve one agenda and that agenda is control. This is precisely why our forefathers had elected to give every law abiding citizen these absolute rights and why they restricted the power and authority of the government.,” wrote the sheriff.

So what do we do? “The silent issue that society and our elected (officials) refuse to address at the national and local level is how mental illness is affecting our society and the lack of resources available to address these illnesses. We should be sharing information concerning those diagnosed individuals who demonstrate violent or homicidal ideations. We should insure our mental health systems are available to all those afflicted with disorders or illnesses."

There is a shooting nearly every day in our Chattanooga! “A seven or eight year old child should never be consumed with graphic and destructive video games that measure the player’s success by how many people or things they can kill. This is an element that did not exist 30 years ago.

“Thirty years ago children played outside in the fresh air; today they sit with a remote, a mouse or toggle in their hand. They have become desensitized from constant stimulus and don’t comprehend the value of human life or the finality of the loss of it,” read the sheriff’s newsletter.

Best yet, he knows that gun laws – to be real honest – affect only those who obey them. The Colorado sheriff writes, “Instead of the Federal Government, mainly Congress, continuing to engage in activities of which they have no authority and erodes our constitutional rights, we should focus on criminals and those who are most likely to commit acts of violence and not target the law abiding patriots of our nation.”

royexum@aol.com


Time For Tennessee To Act On Climate This Earth Day

Tennessee will join the rest of the southeast region, the nation and countries across the world in celebrating Earth Day on April 22. The entire month of April is a great time to reflect on the strides we have made to reduce pollution over the last 44 years, and assess current environmental conditions while evaluating our personal responsibility to a cleaner environment.  ... (click for more)

Tim Boyd Will Represent The Common Man

I would like to show my support for Tim Boyd for our District 8 commissioner.  He deserves to have our support because he has stood up to represent the common man and not the super block of politicians.    He tells it like it is and I believe he deserves another term.  I also believe that the average voting citizen will see the way he has represented our district ... (click for more)

Haslam Signs Bill Ending Forced Annexation And Giving Tennesseans Right To Vote

Governor Bill Haslam signed HB 2371/SB2464 on Wednesday. The law ends forced annexation and gives Tennesseans the right to vote. The law now requires cities to annex by consent of the landowner or through referendum approved by a majority of the landowners to be annexed. As an additional protection to farmers, land primarily used for agriculture purposes may not be annexed by any ... (click for more)

One Of "Worst Of The Worst" Gets 10-Month Federal Sentence

One of the men labeled as the "worst of the worst" in a Chattanooga round up was sentenced Tuesday to 10 months and three years supervised release after he plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. Guy Wilkerson told Federal Judge Sandy Mattice, "I'm just a young father and I want the best for my kids." He said he apologized and that he knew what he ... (click for more)

Cuonzo Martin Leaves Tennessee For Job At California

Tennessee basketball coach Cuonzo Martin apparently took his name out of the coaching search at Marquette so he could put it in a hat at the University of California at Berkeley. On Tuesday, Martin broke ties with the Volunteers and accepted the head coaching job with the Bears. Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart admitted Martin’s move surprised him. “Not from my perspective,” ... (click for more)

Mocs Win Women's Southern Conference Championship

The Chattanooga Mocs are your Southern Conference Women’s Golf Champions. That’s five straight team titles and sophomore Emily McLennan (Queensland, Australia) made it the fourth consecutive sweep winning medalist honors. McLennan was solid shooting 222 for her 54 holes on a tough week for scoring. She won by four strokes over Furman’s Taylor Totland and was seven clear of ... (click for more)