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


Chattanooga Needs The Coolidge Medal Of Honor Heritage Center

I'm pleased and indeed compelled to let you know a bit more about the exciting and most honorable "Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center" planned for Coolidge Park.     Here's what the Heritage Center will be:  It will be a fitting capstone for Chattanooga's Coolidge Park on Northshore in downtown Chattanooga.  While this exceptional Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Tipping The Preacher

I got an unusual telephone call the other day from someone I love who asked my help in solving one of life’s delicate mysteries. It is a tough question: “How do you tip a preacher?” In the first place, you never tip a preacher. It’s the preacher who gives out the tips, helping to keep you on the straight-and-narrow in your quest to waltz through the Pearly Gates. But there are ... (click for more)

Preserving 90-Year-Old Grammar School Just One Of Challenges Facing Town, Signal Council Told

Rather than spend millions upgrading Signal Mountain ’s historic grammar school so it can continue to house the Mountain Arts Community Center (MACC), it would make more sense to incorporate that project into a larger multi-pronged one that would solve several issues facing the community, according to town manager Boyd Veal.   For example, Mr. Veal said, the current ... (click for more)

Firefighters Put Out Fire In Compost Pile At City's Wood Recycling Center

Chattanooga firefighters were called to a fire at the city's wood recycling center on N. Hawthorne Street around noon on Sunday. Battalion Chief Don Bowman said the smoke and flames could be seen from several miles away.   Firefighters with five fire companies worked to get the blaze under control, using master streams from two aerials and some hand-held hoselines. The ... (click for more)

Atlanta's Chris Douglas Repeats At Waterfront Triathlon

Sunday was a hot, hot day, but that didn’t keep nearly a thousand local and regional triathletes from around the Southeast from putting their best foot forward in the annual Waterfront Triathlon in downtown Chattanooga. Chris Douglas and Sara Gibson were the overall winners in the International distance race, which started with a 1.5K (.93 mile) swim, followed by a 42K (26 ... (click for more)

Prep Football Jamboree is Aug 12-13 at Finley Stadium

Highlighted by a match-up of state semifinalists in Baylor and Notre Dame, the 57th annual Prep Football Jamboree is set for Aug. 12-13 at Finley Stadium with five games each night. Baylor (10-3) reached the D-II AA semis before losing to eventual state champ Brentwood Academy, while Notre Dame (10-4) reached the D-I 3A semis before losing to eventual state champion Alcoa. ... (click for more)