October 19, 2006

Colorado Bulldog

Mr. Big. Helluva tune if you dig the hard/progressive rock thing. Matter of fact here's them doing it live courtesy of YouTube.com. I used to love playing that stuff when I was a kid (though my fav was "Addicted to that rush" {studio version here] for what should be obvious reasons). Damn but those youngin’s could play. BTW if those links are safe for work (volume wise) then let me know if you're hiring).

If you're in Colorado then Michael Bane has a post you should read. If you're not in Colorado you should read it anyway as it deals with matters all gun owners should be aware of.

Go read. Now please. I'll still be here when you get back. I'm gonna play along with those videos whilst I wait. No rush hurry.

See? Told ya I'd be here, sore fingers & all.

I heard Ritter on a local radio show yesterday afternoon. I damned near called in. A caller asked him his thoughts on CCW. Ritter went on about how he thought the discretionary system was better cause it gave "local control". Lest anyone forget Ritter was part of the "home rule crew" in Denver that pushed & defended the local "assault weapon" & open carry bans dis-respectively.

To give you an idea why that whole thing upsets me let's forget about open carry for a moment. A friend of mine was in need of a firearm recently. Not dire need but I felt better about her having one than not. I loaned her a double barreled shotgun of mine because that's the only friggin’ thing that I have that’s not illegal in Denver that. Oh she's damned competent with it & I pity the fool who messes with her or her anonymous Felis silvestris catus but I'd have felt cooler if she could have legally possessed a pistol or a carbine. But in Denver they'd much rather have my friend packing a 9 iron than a 9mm.

& Ritter played no small part in that nasty business. As a member of government when the serial rapist was running amok through parts of Denver he should have been encouraging folks to arm themselves. Instead he made sure to push his notion that such bullshit as a ban on open carry & "assault weapons" were constitutional.

But as Brother Bane points out he has a good jump on the gun owner vote. Well not all the gun owners, but those who hunt at least. From his "sportsmen & our great outdoors" page:

"I fully support a hunter's right to bear arms."

& for the helluvit, Ritter has a blog. But the comments are moderated. Just saying.

Beauprez has a '2nd amendment" page on his site & it's admittedly not half bad. From Beauprez 2nd amendment page:

"I believe that the Second Amendment was intended not only for sporting purposes, like hunting, but for the self-defense of free peoples without unwarranted interference by government."

He also has a "hunting & fishing" page.

So to most of us it's clear who has the better grasp on the issue right? The problem is that Ritter is gunning hard for the Fuddite vote while Beauprez isn't really courting the gun owner vote. & Beauprez has some skeletons in his political closet, such as voting for "closing the gun show loophole" here in Colorado (Not to mention hanging up on Ari Armstrong when he tried to get some clarification on his position). GOA gives him a B- rating as opposed to the NRA's A rating.

The Denver Post ran an article last month saying that the candidates for governor were pushing the gun issue. (& yes there's the obligatory "Tom Mauser - parent of Columbine victim" quote).

What Ritter is trying to portray himself as is a tough on crime but sportsman friendly candidate. What doesn't get too much attention is how Ritter started a felony prosecution against a senior citizen who used a gun in self defense & only dropped the matter when an expert witness told him he'd take the defense's side in the case.

In the above linked story is another thing that is quite interesting. It seems that Ritter doesn't want me to carry a gun openly or even possess a certain type of gun or a magazine that holds over a certain number of bullets, yet his car has killed more people than all my guns combined. (& if you think it's a cheap shot it is. but not as cheap as telling me that "home rule" negates a Right clearly enumerated in two - count ''em, two - constitutions).

& in this story I found that when he was a DA Ritter carried a handgun. I wonder if it had one of those proscribed-in-Denver "high capacity" magazines?

But as I said what Ritter is doing is trying to appeal to the hunting crowd. Similarly Beauprez is trying to court the hunting vote, just not as exclusively as Ritter is.

Honestly I'd much rather see the Dawn Winkler (the Libertarian candidate) in office. Read her take on both of her opponents views on mental health checks & I think you'll see why. I'm also realist enough to know that it's not going to happen. So if the choice is between Beauprez & Ritter I'd have to go with Beauprez.

However if we step back & look at the big picture (as Brother Bane pointed out) the strategy used here in Colorado is disturbing. The emphasis concerning guns by both candidates is on hunting. Since 2005 I've went shooting with 9 people. Only 3 have hunted that I know of. Again of those 9 three were women & two had never shot anything before & likely will never hunt. But the focus of any gun related messages seems to be that hunters need not worry about a certain candidate. That's anecdotal but it seems to be in line with what Brother Bane says about non-hunting shooters outnumbering hunters in the united States.

To be fair Beauprez doesn't just stop at hunters - he does talk of self defense uses of arms. But he does seem comfortable with a certain amount of gun control (albeit not near as much as his opponent).

But candidates - especially those who are in favor of gun control -seem to be really pushing for the hunter vote. We all remember Kerry going hunting right? (if not you need to check out "Swift Geese Veterans For Truth" - Kerry Lied - Geese Died). I'm sure if you look around your state or local races you'll see at least one or two hard core anti-gunners dressing up in cammies & hitting a duck blind or deer stand a few months before the election.

What they're attempting to do is drive an even deeper wedge than already exists between the hunters & the sport/self defense shooters. & as Brother Bane points out some pro-gun orgs are doing the same damn thing to us from within.

Will Ritter fool enough hunters to make a difference? Probably not. Beauprez is pretty solid on the gun thing with hunters & target shooters alike. Besides Ritter's record isn't one that will appeal to most gun owners. I have no doubts that he's got the Fuddite vote though, but that's a very small subset of gun owners (I hope).

But this should highlight the divide that seems to be growing. If we do lose the hunters we stand a good chance of becoming politically ignored (ya know, like we usually are the day after every friggin election till 3 months before the next one). Or more to the point, if the perception is that hunters & non-hunting gun owners have different political needs then odds are the hunters will be catered to instead of the non-hunters. Why? Because politically it's more defensible in urban areas to support hunters instead of gun owners in general. Even some very hard core anti-gunners claim to not want to take away the means to hunt.

Politicians don't usually go for the 'radical' vote (no matter how mainstream that radicalism actually is). If they think it's socially acceptable to hunt rather than target shoot then they'll go with the societal wind. By supporting "hunter's rights" they can claim to be generally supportive of the 2nd amendment while trying to get some anti-gun swing votes. & as you may have noticed most Republicans put too much emphasis on swing votes often at the expense of their base.

In Colorado it'll be a close race from what I can tell. I don't think Ritter will fool enough gun owners to make a difference but I could be wrong. Beauprez is mostly pro-gun but I think he's too much a politician to be our dream come true. But the bigger picture is the strategy that Ritter is using & how effective it will really be. It's not a new strategy by any means, but it seems to go a little farther than Kerry's attempt to court gun owners did.

Stay tuned to Colorado to see what happens. & if there's something similar going on in your neck of the woods by all means let me know.

Posted by Publicola at October 19, 2006 04:46 AM | TrackBack

Mr. Big, vastly underrated band. Billy Sheehan, one of the best bassists of all time, and the only people who know him are other musicians. Shame really.

Posted by: Chris Byrne at October 19, 2006 08:09 AM
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