After the state experienced two of the most infamous mass shootings, Columbine and Aurora, Colorado’s Senate voted down a measure that would permit teachers to carry concealed weapons in schools.
The bill, which failed along party lines, was rejected on Monday. Over 100 demonstrators stood outside the Capitol building protesting for even stricter gun controls.
Since the shootings, Colorado’s western, gun-loving tradition has become a bit more tempered. A Denver Post poll shows that 60% of Coloradans believe in at least some gun control. 83% of those surveyed believe there should be background checks. However, 56% of residents also favor the NRA. Only 41% believed the bill allowing teachers concealed-carry should have passed. As one Grand Junction resident said:
“Not at all that crazy,” said Kenneth Zarecor, who lives in Grand Junction, is a Democrat and owns a firearm. “More guns is not the answer. I know we live in the West, but, come on, this isn’t some Wild West shootout kind of state.”
Colorado’s lawmakers are giving some serious thought to how to reduce the number of mass shootings that have plagued Colorado and the nation. As across the country, Republicans and Democrats have very different solutions for what all agree is a very serious problem. Two sponsors of the teacher bill, had this to say:
State Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, a former school-board member and a sponsor of the bill, said that ever since the 1999 Columbine massacre, he has been thinking of how to stop school shootings.
“It’s a tragedy of what keeps happening over and over and over,” Renfroe said. “Frankly, it’s clear that gun-free zones don’t work.”
State Sen. Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, a co-sponsor of the bill, said his wife is a teacher and his kids attend public school.
“My wife and my kids are sitting ducks,” Harvey said, arguing that allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons would give children a better chance to survive if a shooter enters a school.
Teachers, including the Colorado Education Association, opposed the bill.
There are several gun control bills coming down the pike. Four have already been introduced and at least another four will be introduced. No major gun control bills have been passed in the state since Columbine. Despite the fact that Democrats control both houses of the Legislature, it’s doubtful that significant changes will be made. The state’s governor, a Democrat, has threatened to veto anything stronger than background checks.
Here’s the video:
|Wendy Gittleson is a seasoned writer, a dog lover and an avid political junkie. She is the Senior Editor for Addicting Info. In her rare down times, you’ll find her somewhere in the mountains or near the beach. Follow her on her Facebook page or on Twitter, @wendygittleson|