COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., March 14, 2013 — Crediting Abraham Lincoln for the advice, Sen. John Morse told Rachel Maddow Sunday that he told “his senators” not to bother to read the emails and letters they were getting from constituents because it might wear on them and distract them from doing what they had to do.
“We get it that some of these folks think their Second Amendment rights are being abridged—and even though we know darn good and well that’s not true,” said Morse, with a rather smug look on his face.
Unfortunately for the senator, he’s wrong on all counts.
In the first place, there’s a world of difference between ignoring pundits in the media ‒ which is what Lincoln did ‒ and ignoring your constituents, which is what Morse advocates. The pundits don’t elect you to represent them; the people do. For a member of the party that claims to be the voice of the people ‒ the demos in democracy ‒ that’s a pretty shocking statement.
A Republican member of the House said he’s been getting thousands of emails, phone calls and other contacts from constituents, somewhere around four to five thousand, he estimates. House districts in Colorado are about 40,000 people after the recent redistricting. He says that the level of citizen interest and involvement is even greater than it was in 2009.
Yet it is not terribly surprising that Sen. Morse doesn’t reflect the views of his district. He won reelection in 2010 because a Libertarian candidate pulled enough votes from Republican newcomer Owen Hill to win by about 300 votes and a plurality, but not a majority, of the overall vote. Morse outspent Hill ten to one and waged a very dishonest smear campaign, accusing Air Force veteran Hill of being against veterans. Hill went on to win a senate seat in 2012 after redistricting placed him in a new district.
The second thing wrong with Morse’s one minute diatribe is that he calls the elected Democrat senators “his senators.”
Those senators belong to their people just as he should belong to his. That’s what representative democracy is all about. Furthermore, the remark betrays an us-versus-them attitude all too typical of Democratic officials today, especially party leaders. Loyalty is to the party and the agenda, not to the people and the Constitution.
What is the agenda? Gun control is a big part of it.
We the people do “know darn good and well” that it is true that our rights are being infringed. When both the federal and state constitutions assure us our natural right to self-defense—even the right to defend ourselves against tyrannical government itself—any limitation of those rights is infringement plain and simple.
By what authority do legislators in Denver or Washington make rules about the capacity of magazines we may own? Or about whom we may transfer our firearms to? Or about where we may peacefully carry them? And why must we get the government’s approval to transfer a firearm to another person ‒ even a family member?
While Democrat legislators in Denver don’t seem to know their constitutional duty, others do. Not a single Republican legislator in either house voted for any of the seven gun control bills. They were joined by a few Democrats. And more than two dozen county sheriffs came to the capitol to testify against the bills ‒ fully half of the county sheriffs in the state.
Sheriff Terry Maketa of El Paso County wrote this week that “Monday, March 4, 2013, was unlike any day I’ve experienced in my 12 years testifying at the Colorado State Capitol.” He went on to describe a process that ignored or marginalized not only the citizens but the sheriffs, too, in favor of “experts [which] included an individual that was not a resident of Colorado who had no credentials to qualify as an expert except his spouse was a victim of the Tucson, Arizona shooting.” That person is Mark Kelly who the very next day bought an AR-15 rifle in Arizona.
Sheriff Maketa’s observations were corroborated by Elbert County Sheriff Shayne Heap Monday on Grassroots Radio and by the thousands of citizens either present at the capitol or following the proceedings online. Mark Kelly was given unlimited time to speak; one sheriff was given two minutes.
Sen. Evie Hudak, who may be remembered as the one who reacted callously to rape victim Amanda Collins’ testimony, stood up, left the room and did not even listen to the sheriff’s testimony.
The agenda is clear and it is coming down from the White House. If they can pass it in Colorado, they will try it everywhere.
Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a member of the Democratic Party’s leadership in the House of Representatives, told Jason Mattera at a Feb. 13 rally that plans for an assault weapons ban and private-sales background checks were only the beginning of a broader gun control agenda extending to handguns as well.
“We want everything on the table,” Schakowsky told Mattera. “This is a moment of opportunity. There’s no question about it.”
Sen. Greg Brophy (R-Wray) voiced the attitude of the people Monday when he said from the well of the senate that he would not comply with the magazine ban: He got a standing ovation from Republican senators and the people in the gallery. Sen. Morse started banging his gavel and tried to quiet the crowd, saying that this was not a rally.
Again, Morse, blinded by his ideology, was wrong.
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