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OVERBECK: Colorado anti-gun laws target the most vulnerable

Women and students left defenseless

- - Thursday, February 28, 2013

Colorado Democratic legislators are passing a hail of new anti-gun laws that prevent the most vulnerable from defending themselves in places often targeted by rapists and mass killers. Similar bills are being rolled out by Democratic legislators in other states, headed to Congress. According to Independence Institute research director and Denver University law professor Dave Kopel, many of these bills were written by deep thinker New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's anti-gun group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and promoted by their lobbyists at the Colorado Capitol.

"The bills are a model for what they'll try to push in Congress," said Mr. Kopel at a recent Leadership Program of the Rockies event in Colorado Springs. "Colorado is a pawn for the Obama-Biden plan."

He added, "Biden called wavering Democratic legislators and told them we have lots of campaign cash for you next time you're up for election, so you can go against your district."

Mr. Biden, vacationing in Aspen, called undecided Democrats to say, "He's watching us and if we had a chance to move these bills forward what an important signal it would send to the rest of the country if a Western conservative state passes such legislation," said Democratic state Rep. Tony Exum Sr. of Colorado Springs.

Obligingly, the Democrat-dominated Colorado House passed four measures on Feb. 18. The bills limit magazines to 15 rounds, require background checks for private transfer of firearms, impose a tax on gun buyers and repeal current law allowing concealed carry on college campuses.

Earlier, the Colorado House defeated a bill allowing teachers to conceal carry at schools. The Democrats insisted teachers would shoot their eye out. Failing that, they'd accidentally shoot innocents or be taken down by students wrestling their guns from them. Apparently, liberals think teachers (the majority of whom happen to be women) are too incompetent or ditzy to trust with firearms. The Columbine massacre was no learning experience for liberal lawmakers.

The new law neutered the good intentions of the 300 teachers who had just graduated from the free firearms class offered to them by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, Colorado's largest grass-roots gun rights group. "Teachers have been beating down our doors to receive firearms training," said Director Dudley Brown. "They don't want their students to be victims they want the next Adam Lanza to face the barrel of a .45."

State Rep. Joe Salazar, a Democrat, made international news during a recent debate over the law banning concealed carry on Colorado college campuses. He said women may "feel" they're going to be raped when they are actually not in danger, and they may "pop out that gun and pop a round at somebody." Besides, campuses have call boxes and whistles, he added.

The next day a clutch of women passed out whistles in the halls of the statehouse and were promptly escorted out by cops (cops with guns). The law denying women the right to defend themselves on campus passed the Colorado House.

Clearly, Mr. Salazar and the other Democratic legislators don't know the statistics on campus rape. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 percent to 25 percent of women report rape or attempted rape during college. New York University's study reported that 1 in 5 women was raped during their college years, yet only 5 percent of these crimes are reported to police.

Meanwhile, we know that virtually all of the recent mass shootings, from Columbine to Aurora to Sandy Hook to Virginia Tech, have taken place in a posted gun-free zone.

When Democrats aren't forbidding women to defend ourselves altogether, they're telling us what weapons we should buy and how many rounds they'll allow us. Mr. Biden told a woman on a Facebook chat to shelve her AR-15 and just shoot a double-barreled shotgun off the porch to scare bad guys away, as he advises his wife, Jill. "You don't need 30 rounds to protect yourself," he assured Kate Ernest.

A double-barreled shotgun holds only two shells, and that may not do the trick. How lucky for Jill that she has Secret Service protection instead of her husband's advice to rely on. Oh, and porch-blasting is a felony in Delaware, Joe.

Is any self-defense not outlawed? The woman-hating liberal academics at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs came out with 10 "rape prevention" recommendations for women, which included vomiting, urinating and telling the attacker she has a disease. These were posted mere hours before they vanished from the Internet.

What Democrats don't get is that it's the threat of the gun that deters would-be attackers. Hence the Aurora shooter bypassed theaters closer to where he lived and chose a theater with a no-guns-allowed policy. Killers may be crazy, but they aren't stupid.

With this new legislation, Democrats are labeling school campuses "shooting galleries." They're so concerned about women's health they make a big deal of free birth control, yet they don't care if we're alive to use it.

Joy Overbeck is a Colorado journalist and author.