Earlier this week the House of Representatives concluded “Second Reading” debate on HB23-1165, legislation that would expand local control by allowing Colorado counties to decide whether it is necessary to prohibit the discharge of firearms in a particular area within the county.
As Marianne Goodland explained for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:
Rep. Judy Amabile, D-Boulder, who sponsored House Bill 1165, described it as a response to what’s happening in Boulder, Gilpin and Clear Creek counties, which, she said, is increasingly getting complaints from residents that neighbors are discharging firearms in a manner they claim is unsafe or create a nuisance.
“People move to rural communities for peace and quiet,” she said, adding they aren’t getting it.
Part of the problem is these rural areas are becoming more populated and running into conflicts over firearm discharges, Amabile said.
The legislation would not prohibit a homeowner from defending themselves against threats from either people or animals. It also would keep some restrictions on local control but prohibiting counties from disallowing discharge of a firearm in a designated area by a peace officer, in an indoor shooting gallery located in a private residence, or at a shooting range.
Today HB23-1165 had its “Third Reading” on the House Floor, which is the final process before a vote is taken and the legislation moves on to the State Senate. But the Republican micro-minority threw a fit and demanded that the bill be either laid over or returned to “Second Reading,” where unlimited debate is allowed and Republicans could make a half-assed attempt at filibustering the legislation.
Why would Republicans insist on pressing rewind on a bill that they just debated on Tuesday? Because when the militant gun rights group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) tells Republicans to dance…they f***ing dance.
After RMGO made it known how sad they were, House Republicans fell all over themselves in supplication to the same group that made national headlines earlier this month after refusing to apologize when a staff member testified at the State Capitol that we shouldn’t count Black kids in statistics about gun deaths among younger Americans.
Naturally, House Republicans rolled out some patently ridiculous arguments about why the House should work backward on a bill that they already discussed a few days ago. Republican Rep. Ryan Armagost (Larimer County-ish), who looks remarkably similar to the cartoon owl from the old movie “The Sword in the Stone,” decided to follow a similar script to the one that fellow Republican Rep. Scott “There is No” Bottoms used earlier this week in his defense of gas stoves.
Click here to watch Armagost’s remarks yourself, or read along below:
RYAN ARMAGOST: To restrict that on a county level, which can be just as partisan as this room is…is shameful. For us to be able to push that power over a community that can be just as equally divided, and take that power away from those residents is not okay…
…I am in support of laying this over, simply because of the double-speak…and the words that we all hear every day. I know I hear it every day, every time I’m in committee – diversity, equity, and inclusion. That is not a one-way street. That is something we need to honor for every one of our constituents.
Lifestyles, every walk of life, the diversity that is out there. We have to appreciate all of those people that we are not as familiar with as we have been in our own walk of life and our own path that we’ve taken, or that we’ve been given. We have to appreciate that for all of our constituents. Again, not just for the ones that mark your letter on their ballot – every constituent within your district. You have to honor them. That is what we came up here and swore to do. Every one of us. I was in the room with you. So, please honor that. [Pols emphasis]
Please honor your constituents, and please, lay this over so that we can bring those voices to the table, have a little bit wider perspective, open up our horizons just a little bit – just to focus on all of our constituents. This doesn’t need to be a partisan, party-line thing. It’s something that we can bring back to the table with more discussion and simply honor everyone that we represent.
Armagost accused Democrats of “double-speak” by not respecting the “diversity” of people who want to be able to shoot their guns in any direction at any time, regardless of where those bullets may end up and without concern over whether their shooting fetish might be loud and annoying to neighbors. To put this in another context, Armagost is whining about “diversity” in a speech on the House Floor that is in DIRECT RESPONSE to demands by a gun rights group that thinks Black people should not be included in statistics about firearm deaths.
Effective messaging? Nope. Disgusting and inappropriate? You bet!
Republicans such as Bottoms and Armagost have demonstrated that they don’t give a lick about “diversity” and “equity” any more than they actually care about the idea of “local control.” It’s all just hyperbolic nonsense in service of right-wing extremism — in this case on behalf of an organization in RMGO that Republicans SHOULD have disavowed a long time ago (or at least after RMGO’s racist arguments earlier this month). Of course, Republicans also SHOULD have disavowed Donald Trump and the MAGA movement a long time ago; doing so might have prevented the “Circle of Strife” that is rotting the Colorado GOP from within.
Author: Colorado Pols