Colorado's Grassroots Revolt Against Gun-Grabbers

COLORADO SPRINGS—While most Americans will be chillin' out, maxin' and relaxin' this Labor Day weekend, dedicated patriots in Colorado are hard at work preparing for a groundbreaking special election day with nationwide repercussions. George Washington would be proud.

On September 10, Democratic legislator and state Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs faces a citizen recall for his sellout to New York anti-gun special interests, for his betrayal of transparency and accountability to constituents, and for his destructive economic policies that are driving thousands of jobs away. Also up for recall: Democratic legislator Angela Giron of Pueblo.

In March, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper signed his left-wing colleagues' sweeping package of gun- and ammo-control measures—pushed not by Coloradans, but by gun-grabbing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the anti-Second Amendment Brady bunch and the White House. Vice President Joe Biden inserted himself into my adopted home state's legislative process, phoning up swing Democratic legislators to lobby for the bills personally.

These radically expanded background checks on every individual gun sale and ammunitions restrictions banning the purchase or transfer of magazines with more than 15 cartridges will do little to nothing to prevent the next Newtown or Aurora or Columbine. "Moderate" Hickenlooper publicly admitted their ineffectiveness before surrendering to the gun-control zealots.

Morse and Giron also posed as middle-of-the-roaders. But there's nothing moderate about gun-control laws that demonize law-abiding gun owners. While Morse brags of his time as a police officer in Colorado Springs, his brethren in the Colorado Springs Police Protective Association have condemned him and support his recall. One of Morse's extremist proposals, backed by Bloomberg and company, would have made firearms owners, sellers and manufacturers legally liable for any crimes committed with guns. He was forced to back down on that one.

There's also nothing moderate about marginalizing tax-paying, job-creating gun and ammo manufacturers. The Morse-Hickenlooper-Bloomberg-Biden laws have already forced Colorado-based Magpul Industries and other manufacturers to abandon the state—and take thousands of related jobs with them. As I reported earlier this year, Magpul alone fueled 600 jobs and an estimated $85 million in spending in the state. Overall, as the National Shooting Sports Foundation found, "The firearms and ammunition industry was responsible for as much as $31.84 billion in total economic activity in the country ... (and) the industry and its employees pay over $2.07 billion in taxes including property, income and sales based levies."

At a local fundraiser in Colorado Springs (which I supported and spoke at), Morse's GOP challenger and Air Force veteran Bernie Herpin hammered the incumbent over his economic destruction and contempt for the will of the people. "I'm running to defend our Constitutional rights and promote an environment where small businesses are free to create jobs and improve our local community," Herpin says, while Morse's agenda is "doing the bidding of big-government interests in Denver and Washington."

And New York City. On Tuesday, insatiable control freak Bloomberg tossed in $350,000 to a pass-through committee established less than a month ago to fund the anti-gun Democratic recall targets.

Recall leader Rob Harris, a Colorado Springs resident in Morse's Senate District 11, explains that he was just an ordinary citizen "fed up" with the overlords in Denver. No outside groups contacted him. He had no ties to Republican groups or strategists. Harris was incensed that his representative refused to respond to his emails and to the concerns of his neighbors (an arrogant move that Morse even bragged about on far-left MSNBC host Rachel Maddow's show).

Through hard work and local activism, the grassroots campaign gathered 16,000 signatures in three months to qualify the recall for the ballot. Morse "changed state Senate committee rules, which effectively silenced the voices of hundreds of Colorado citizens from testifying on legislation" affecting them, Harris points out. While Democrats made room for out-of-state astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of former Arizona congresswoman and Tucson shooting survivor Gabby Giffords, to testify before the legislature, the majority Dems manipulated the process so that untold numbers of Colorado residents who support the Second Amendment were frozen out.

In his new No. 1 New York Times bestseller, The Liberty Amendments, Mark Levin calls for citizen activists to use the tools and principles the Founding Fathers bestowed upon us to restore the balance of power back to "we, the people." The spirit of George Washington animates the important battle here in Colorado. As Washington wrote to his nephew in 1787:

"The power under the Constitution will always be in the people. It is entrusted for certain defined purposes, and for a certain limited period, to representatives of their own choosing; and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can, and undoubtedly will, be recalled."

The recalls are a historic David and anti-gun Goliath showdown—and my fellow Colorado Springs citizens know the stakes are high. This isn't a "single issue" election about guns. It's about electoral accountability, economic prosperity, personal security and self-government. The single issue encompassing them all: freedom.