(h/t David of VideoCafe) As mayor of liberal Denver, John Hickenlooper was a member of Mike Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns. As governor of Colorado, a state where guns are a religion, he has a dangerous political tightrope to walk,
July 22, 2012

(h/t David of VideoCafe)

As mayor of liberal Denver, John Hickenlooper was a member of Mike Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns. As governor of Colorado, a state where guns are a religion, he has a dangerous political tightrope to walk, thanks to the NRA. Notice the difference between his response on This Week, compared to his previous response to a shooting in Denver. Make no mistake: Just as Republican politicians are in thrall to Grover Norquist, politicians of both parties - including liberal governors like Hickenlooper - are terrified at the thought of incurring the deep-pockets wrath of the NRA:

STEPHANOPOULOS: [...] As you can imagine, Governor, the debate over whether this could have been prevented has already began. You probably heard the comments of Mayor Bloomberg of New York, who made headlines on Friday with his calls for tougher gun laws. Other people, several in your state, saying that perhaps if someone else in that theater had a gun, the killer could have been stopped. Does it make you think at this point that you need to take another look at Colorado’s gun laws?

HICKENLOOPER: You know, I’m sure that that is going to happen, but I look at this, this wasn’t a Colorado problem, this is a human problem, right? And how we can have such a warped individual and no one around him be aware? You know, I worry that if we got rid all of the guns -- and certainly we have so many guns in this country, we do have a lot more than gun violence than many other countries -- but even if you didn't have access to guns, this guy was diabolical. Right? He would have found explosives, he would have found something else, some sort of poisonous gas, he would have done something to create this horror.

Let's compare Gov. John Hickenlooper's response (which is, basically, that Holmes is some kind of genius super villain and after all, what can you possibly do to stop Lex Luthor without Superman?) and that of Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, circa 2008:

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper will consider tougher gun laws and adjusted nightclub operating hours after a child was shot in the Curtis Park neighborhood and a gunfight erupted in Lower Downtown over the weekend.

The shootings have alarmed community members who fear a "summer of violence," he said.

"Let me be clear: This community will not accept violence — not a day of it, not a week of it, not a month of it — and certainly not a summer of it," the mayor said Monday.

Hickenlooper will look at Denver's gun laws to ensure they are as effective as they can be in keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals and young people.

"There are a number of other cities addressing gun laws," he said. "We want to look at the matrix of our existing laws and see if some of these other laws are able to help."

He offered no specifics but pointed to Philadelphia, where authorities have tried to restrict gun owners to one purchase per month and allow judges to order guns taken from people deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.

The National Rifle Association has gone to court there to overturn the changes.

And here's an NRA "action item" from March 2011 asking members to contact their elected officials:

On March 2, House Bill 1205 passed in the Colorado House by a 20 to 15 vote. House Bill 1205, introduced by state Representative Chris Holbert (R-44), would allow residents to carry a concealed handgun without a permit as long as they are legally eligible to purchase and possess a firearm. The NRA strongly supports the constitutional right of Coloradans to carry for self-defense.

Despite NRA support for this bill, HB 1205 faces an uphill battle as the Democratic leadership in the state Senate has consistently assigned pro-gun bills to the Senate State, Military & Veterans Affairs Committee. Their designated “kill committee” has predictably defeated pro-Second Amendment bills by 3 to 2 partisan votes during the last several years. In addition, Colorado Governor and former Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper (D) has been a member of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns and he would almost certainly veto such legislation.

Fortunately, the state Senate killed the legislation. But look for the drumbeat to build in intensity as the NRA will continue to push the concealed-carry "solution" as a response to this tragedy. Yes, if only numerous armed citizens had opened fire in the dark against a man wearing body armor. I'm sure that would have solved everything!

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