- - Monday, December 2, 2013

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Sometimes the worst possible gift for a liberal is to give him everything he wants. President Obama no doubt feels this after getting his way on Obamacare, which is easily the biggest disaster of his presidency. Colorado Democrats are likewise stinging after they rammed a gun-control scheme through the legislature in March that has the public screaming for their heads. These Democratic lawmakers ought to warn their newly elected colleagues in Virginia against repeating the same mistake.

Colorado state Sen. Evie Hudak quit her job last week to avoid the indignity of becoming the third lawmaker to have her seat reclaimed by voters upset over her role in pushing a series of gun-control measures in the Democrat-controlled General Assembly. In September, state Sens. John Morse of Colorado Springs, at the time the Senate president, and Angela Giron of Pueblo became the first legislators in state history to be recalled by the public.

The lesson appears to have been lost on Kevin O’Holleran, campaign manager for Virginia state Sen. Mark Herring’s Democratic campaign for Virginia state attorney general. In an op-ed essay Monday in The Washington Post, titled “Winning on gun control,” Mr. O’Holleran contended that Mr. Herring’s campaign “won” because it ignored advice to “soft-pedal his strong record and advocacy for sensible gun legislation” and “did the opposite.” Mr. Herring’s 165-vote “win” out of 2.2 million votes cast is so far from a mandate that it could just as easily become a “loss” after a recount.

Democrats remain out of touch, not realizing the emotion-laden rhetoric of gun control no longer resonates with the vast majority of Americans, who have figured out that the most dangerous place to be are “gun-free zones” such as Chicago and Washington. Colorado Democrats characterized their laws as “sensible” and as promoting “gun safety,” just like Mr. O’Holleran, but the measures proved anything but safe for the political careers of Mr. Morse, Ms. Giron and Mrs. Hudak.

Colorado voters saw the July 1 ban on pistol and rifle magazines that hold more than 15 rounds chasing jobs out of the state. It prompted companies such as Magpul, one of the top magazine manufacturers, to move its factory to a friendlier location. The public also notices that the new red tape on private gun transactions hassles the law-abiding without thwarting thugs who don’t stop to fill out a governmental form before embarking on their crime spree.

Happily for Virginians, the General Assembly remains firmly in the hands of Republicans unlikely to go along with any pointless gun-control proposals from Mr. Herring or Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe, formerly the chief campaign strategist for the Democratic Party.

The resignation of Mrs. Hudak was the result of careful political calculation. Had she lost the recall, she would have been replaced by a Republican, flipping control of the state Senate, which is currently held by Democrats on a razor-thin 18-to-17 margin.

By resigning, Mrs. Hudak empowered Colorado Democrats to appoint her successor, thereby ensuring they retain the majority, at least through next November. “Though it is difficult to step aside,” Mrs. Hudak said in her resignation letter, “I have faith that my colleagues will honor the legacy my constituents and I have built.”

The hardball move will give the Colorado Senate’s Democratic leadership more time to advance its liberal agenda, but it may not last for long. There’s no guarantee Mrs. Hudak’s replacement won’t be shown the door next November, which is the outcome on the wish list of Colorado Republicans anxious to restore their constitutional freedoms.

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