GOA Debates Doug Dean
January 5, 2000
[Editor's Note: The debate between Colorado gun groups rages on. This document includes the recent letters of Gun Owners of America Director Larry Pratt, House Majority Leader Doug Dean, and Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Director Dudley Brown. Editor's comments are enclosed in brackets. For background information on this issue, see Rep. Dean Poised to Trample Constitution, Dean's Supporters Reply, and A House Divided: Colorado's Community of Gun Owners.]
[GOA Blasts Owens and Dean]
Subj: CO: No Gun Control In 2000!
Are Bill Owens and Doug Dean Traitors? Your action requested.
Gun Owners of America E-Mail/FAX Alert
December 30, 1999
Dear Colorado Gun Rights Supporter:
According to inside sources, Denver political bosses are planning a major anti-gun offensive called GUN CONTROL 2000.
RIGHT AWAY, PLEASE SEND THE ATTACHED E-MAIL MESSAGES (or better yet, a personal letter) to your State Senator, State Representative, Governor Bill Owens and Representative Doug Dean.
Tell them: NO GUN CONTROL IN 2000.
There's no time to lose. Anti-gunners plan to push their gun control package as soon as the Colorado Legislature convenes on January 5, 2000.
Anti-gunners hope to ram their gun control 2000 package through on the heels of the Columbine shooting tragedy-- while emotions are still running high and before people have a good chance to think through the legislative proposals.
The anti-gunners have some powerful new gun control advocates...
You see, Governor Bill Owens and Representative Doug Dean and even some weak-kneed pro-gun organizations have teamed up with Bill Clinton, Sarah Brady and other anti-gunners to stab you and every other law-abiding gun owner of Colorado in the back.
I'm counting on you-- and tens of thousands of other Coloradans-- to create a firestorm of protest by saying "NO GUN CONTROL IN 2000" to your Legislators, Bill Owens, Doug Dean and weak-kneed pro-gun deal-makers.
Together, you and I can defeat the GUN CONTROL 2000 package. Please, take the following actions:
1. FIRST, SEND THE ATTACHED E-MAIL MESSAGES (or better yet, send a personal letter or fax) to your State Representative, your State Senator, the Governor and Representative Doug Dean. Web links to that contact information can be found below. If you don't know who your legislators are and you don't have Web access, you can call the State Capitol General Information line at 303-866-3521 and they should help you.
2. PLEASE SEND THIS ALERT TO YOUR FRIENDS OR FAMILY and ask them to send contact their elected officials too.
3. IF YOU HAVE TIME, FLOOD THE FOLLOWING PHONE NUMBERS with calls demanding that there be NO GUN CONTROL IN 2000: Governor "Gun Control" Owens at 303-866-2471 Representative Doug Dean at the Capitol: 303-866-2348 Rep. Dean's E-Mail addresses: dougdean1@AOL.COM and firstname.lastname@example.org
4. LAST, BUT NOT LEAST, PLEASE SEND A CONTRIBUTION TO OUR ALLY: Rocky Mountain Gun Owners at P.O. Box 3114 in Denver, CO 80201.
Rocky Mountain Gun Owners is on the ground in Denver. They'll lead the fight to protect your rights... they need, and deserve, your support. Their phone number is 303-432-3006; http://www.rmgo.org is their website.
I ask you to take these actions for a simple reason.
Your right to self-defense is hanging in the balance.
Governor Bill Owens (who was once considered by some as a friend of law-abiding gun owners) is more interested in kissing up to the anti-gun media than protecting your rights and upholding your Constitution.
THAT'S WHY GOVERNOR OWENS IS NOW CALLED GOVERNOR GUN CONTROL BY THOSE WHO KNOW HIM BEST.
Ever since Bill Owens moved into the Governor's mansion, he's done harm to pro-gun efforts-- efforts to defend yourself and your family and make Colorado safer. He destroyed last year's concealed carry reform bill and killed the bill to protect your 2nd Amendment rights from local gun control. Now Governor "Gun Control" Owens has joined forces with anti-gun advocates Bill Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Janet Reno and Sarah Brady herself.
Of course, Governor Owens knows he needs someone like himself (a Republican turncoat to gun owners) to introduce and move through the Legislature his GUN CONTROL 2000 package.
BILL OWENS FOUND HIS LAP DOG IN REPRESENTATIVE DOUG DEAN-- AN ALLEGEDLY PRO-GUN RINGLEADER OF THE "DEAL MAKING" REPUBLICAN HOUSE.
Now Rep. Dean (R-Colorado Springs) and Gov. Bill Owens are gearing up to ram the following anti-gun measures through the legislature in the name of "compromise" and doing "something" about the Columbine attack:
* OWENS AND DEAN ARE CALLING FOR BRADY REGISTRATION OF PRIVATE SALES OF GUNS AT GUN SHOWS. If you buy a gun at a so-called "gun show," Bill Owens wants Big Brother to know about it. This is the next major step towards a complete gun owner database.
Plus, anti-gun Democrats have already moved the goal line. They think gun show registration is a sure thing. Experts say the Owens and Dean sell-out strategy may ensure ALL private sales are registered with Big Brother. If either passes, the anti-gunners win.
* OWENS AND DEAN WANT EVERY GUN YOU HAVE TO BE VIRTUALLY USELESS WHEN YOU NEED IT MOST-- government-mandated LOCK UP YOUR SAFETY, the same type of legislation that Bill Clinton is pushing in Washington.
Anti-gun spinmeisters claim LOCK UP YOUR SAFETY programs will protect children from very rare accidental shootings (Of course, many of the shootings they cite are not accidents, but crimes, and are not committed by children, but by 17, 18 and even 19 year olds).
Anti-gunners fail to mention guns are used by law-abiding citizens over 2 million times a year in lawful self-defense cases.
No murderer, burglar or rapist will wait for you to "unlock" your gun from "storage" or remove a "trigger-lock." And you and I both know the police may get there too late-- even if you have a chance to call the police.
If Lock Up Your Safety passes you may have to choose between being defenseless or being fined thousands of dollars and/or go to jail.
* TAKE AWAY 2ND AMENDMENT RIGHTS FROM 18-21 YEAR OLDS-- who are old enough to vote, serve in the military and die for our country.
* OWENS AND DEAN HELP BUREAUCRATS COMMIT GUN CONTROL. Last year-- and under the guise of "Home Rule"-- Bill Owens helped kill a State Preemption Bill banning local gun control. Basically this protects your 2nd Amendment rights from local infringement, just like your Right to Vote and your Freedom of Speech, Religion and Assembly are protected.
* OWENS AND DEAN REFUSE TO LET COLORADANS CARRY CONCEALED HANDGUNS FOR LAWFUL SELF-DEFENSE as the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution allows.
* FINALLY, OWENS AND DEAN WANT TEACHERS AND STUDENTS TO BE DEFENSELESS TARGETS WHEN CRAZED CRIMINALS GO ON A RAMPAGE. They refuse to let teachers and parents protect children on school grounds by allowing certain teachers and parents to carry a gun for school-defense.
The truth is, school No Safety Zones caused the epidemic of school and church shooting. Teachers, principals and parents used to be able to protect children from would-be murderers. But when Clinton, Congress and local politicians mandated school No Safety Zones (the so-called "Gun Free School Zones") criminals knew they could target defenseless teachers and students.
Both Bill Owens and Doug Dean refuse to see that the actions of a handful of out-of-control kooks (who violate dozens of state and federal laws already) should not wipe out the Constitutional Rights of millions of law-abiding gun owners in Colorado.
Your action is needed right away.
If you and others take action, we can win. Here's why...
First of all, the Governor cannot introduce legislation-- he has to have an inside man doing his bidding. And Republicans (who have strong majorities in the House and Senate) will not support such a bill from a known anti-gun Democrat. SO YOU SEE, IF YOU AND I CAN GET REP. DEAN TO BACK DOWN FROM SLAVISHLY DOING THE BIDDING OF THE GOVERNOR THERE MAY BE NO BILL AT ALL.
Secondly, if you contact your state legislators you may convince them that it is better to stand with you and other law-abiding gun owners than to do the bidding of Bill Owens, Doug Dean, Bill Clinton or Sarah Brady.
TOGETHER, YOU AND I CAN STOP GUN CONTROL IN 2000. Here how...
Directly contact your elected representatives, then get your friends and family involved.
To make your life easier, I have attached pre-written e-mail messages.
Please send these messages-- or write your own e-mail letter-- to both your State Senator and Representative, Gov. Owens and Rep. Dean.
You should politely urge your legislator to stand firm and defend your Gun Rights from attack.
Of course, politicians will probably say you are threatening them.
In fact, anti-gun politicians are threatening you when they vote to strip you of your Constitutional Right to Buy and Carry a gun.
The message to the traitors Owens and Dean should be to urge them to renounce their anti-gun ways, stop cutting back-room "deals" for gun control and keep their pledges to push real pro-gun measures.
I am doing all I can to tell Rep. Doug Dean NO GUN CONTROL IN 2000. In fact, I am contacting tens of thousands of Gun Rights Supporters like yourself.
But I cannot do this alone.
WHATEVER YOU CAN DO, PLEASE DO AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.
This is potentially the most dangerous time for your Gun Rights.
Sadly, many allegedly "pro-gun" groups are so afraid of offending Governor Owens, they are considering surrendering without a fight and cutting some back-room "compromise" with the anti-gunners.
You and I will have to stay on our toes until the tens of thousand of pro-gun supporters are made aware of the situation and get active in this fight for your gun rights.
[Legislative contact information cut.]
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[Generic form letters cut.]
The Honorable Doug Dean
Dear Representative Dean:
NO GUN CONTROL IN 2000.
Firearms are used for lawful self-defense over 2 MILLION times a year. In response to Columbine, the criminal actions of a handful of out-of-control kooks should not wipe out the Constitutional Rights of millions of law-abiding gun owners in Colorado.
I respectfully ask you to stop cutting back-room gun control "deals," keep your pledge to push pro-gun bills and renounce your GUN CONTROL 2000 measures such as:
* Any LOCK UP YOUR SAFETY bill that would make my gun virtually
I expect you to uphold your oath to protect the Constitution-- so please, NO GUN CONTROL IN 2000. Please write me and tell me what you will do.
CITY/ST/ZIP: _____________________________________________A GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA SUPPORTER
[Identical form letter to Governor Bill Owens cut.]
[Dean Replies to Pratt]
Dear Mr. Pratt:
Have you no shame, sir? Do you even stop to consider for one second - - the TRUTH -- before you send out such a slanderous e-mail? I am appalled.
Just so there is no question, let me point out your lies to you:
1. I am not pushing gun show checks as you allege. I disagree with Gov. Owens on his position on background checks at gun shows.
2. I oppose safe storage laws and trigger lock laws. In fact, I debated anti-gun Democrat Sen. Pat Pascoe on the radio this week on that very issue.
3. I oppose raising the age for firearms purchases.
4. I was a supporter and cosponsor of the preemption bill. I am working to see if it can be reintroduced this year.
5. I was the sponsor of HB 1316 which was the uniform concealed carry bill in the Colorado legislature last year. How dare you say I refuse to let Coloradoans carry concealed weapons!
5. I oppose so-called "safe zones". The only reason that was added to my concealed carry bill was because the Governor said he would veto it if I didn't.
I welcome the e-mails from your members, because I will be sending each of them a copy of my letter to you.
A Defender of the Second Amendment,
[Editor's Note: Dean did support the so-called "preemption" bill which would have stopped cities from violating Second Amendment rights. However, after Columbine Dean buckled to pressure and helped kill the bill. So the statements of both sides can find support on this point. Dean reluctantly supported expanded background checks at gun shows and unabashedly supported laws restricting the Second Amendment rights of 18-21 year old adults in his letter to the Colorado State Shooting Association. CSSA President James Bowman also supports laws restricting the rights of 18-21 year old adults, writing, [I]f I have to vote to give up the right of citizens in the 18-21 group to purchase firearms so that I can get a 'Concealed Carry' and 'Preemption' bills I will. Besides, it's already against the federal law - so what?"]
[Pratt Replies to Dean's Letter]
Dean Attacks The Messenger
Thank you for your work. Many of you have contacted Doug Dean regarding the GUN CONTROL 2000 proposals (that's our name for their gun control proposals) being pushed in Colorado.
Unfortunately, after being rebuked by gun owners for his anti-gun actions, Doug Dean now denies he has done anything wrong and he even attacks gun owners for questioning him.
Doug Dean should have come clean.
Instead, Doug Dean is acting like a typical politician by making excuses, hiding his record, and attacking gun owners.
My original e-mail is accurate.
To help you understand more, please find attached a letter from our ally, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, to Rep. Dean. I think you will find it useful.
Please keep letting me know what Dean is saying.
Also, please send the attached e-mail to Doug Dean and ask him to stop making excuses and attacking the pro-gun messengers and to stand up to Governor "Gun Control" Owens both in public and in the back-rooms of the Capital.
Thanks again. I'll keep you posted.
Yours in the Second Amendment,
[Brown Replies to Dean]
Rep. Doug Dean
200 East Colfax
Denver, Colorado 80203
January 4, 2000
We hear from people that you continue to cover up the things you have said and done to harm our Second Amendment rights.
As you know, actions speak louder than words.
Let me briefly review just a few of the facts that you are hiding from your constituents and the citizens of Colorado.
As you know, Mr. Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America recently sent a letter to gun rights supporters in Colorado to let them know their rights are in jeopardy.
First, know that Mr. Pratt is our country's strongest supporter of the Second Amendment. Rather than fattening their bank account (like many bureaucrats in the institutional gun lobbies) Mr. Pratt has been a tireless advocate for our rights, and, more importantly, against any compromise of those rights.
In your response to Mr. Pratt you state that you oppose background checks at gun shows, but just this summer you sent a letter to the Colorado State Shooting Association already conceding that they would pass and that you wanted "it done our [Republicans] way." Much like the disaster in 1994 that gave us the Brady Instant Registration check (which is now registering gun owners by the thousands), you suggest that we fashion the chains that will bind us.
Rather than fight the registration of private sales at gun shows, you are presenting a false dilemma. To borrow a friend's analogy "At what speed would you rather drive off the cliff, 60 mph or 90 mph?" Gun Owners do not want any of it to pass, and don't want their elected officials to support any of it. Anyone with fingerprints on a bill like this is responsible for it passing, and gun owners deserve to know who is behind this appeasement tactic.
You state that you oppose safe storage laws (what we think are more accurately called Lock-Up-Your-Safety laws), yet at a news conference in November you asked Rep. Rob Fairbank to carry this very bill. It started out being a bill addressing firearms, it has evolved into storage of "weapons," and now, per our phone conversation, storage of anything. Regardless of semantics, this bill would greatly affect how firearms owners protect themselves. For fear of being strung up before a kangaroo court populated by anti-gun jurists, gun owners would need to lock up their safety by storing the firearms they depend on for the protection of themselves and their families.
Though you do not use the name "safe storage" in the title of this bill, Gov. Owens referred to the bill as "safe storage" on KOA radio on January 3rd. This bill exists only because you asked a lawmaker to carry it, and it is a huge step backwards for Colorado gun owners.
Concealed carry is another issue that has concerned Colorado gun owners, but when Gov. Bill "Gun Control" Owens told lawmakers that he didn't want to see a CCW bill after the Columbine incident, you killed your own bill.
You even admit in your response to Mr. Pratt that "The only reason [No Safety Zones] was added to my concealed carry bill was because the Governor said he would veto it if I didn't."
Apparently, when it is all said and done, Gov. Owens has the final say when it comes to your principles.
In 1994, 1996 and 1998, you signed a pledge with Gun Owners of America to support a Vermont law (copy enclosed, in case you forgot), yet in 1998 you voted against it. Last year, you opposed SB156 (the best concealed carry bill ever offered in Colorado) and made sure it did not make it through the House, stating that you knew the Governor wouldn't sign it. It has become clear, in light of Gov. Owens' harsh left-hand turn, that you were protecting the wrong interests. Rather than play political games, it would have made more sense to get behind the concealed carry bill in front of you and stand on principle.
In summary, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners' message (and I'm sure Gun Owners of America's) is very simple: NO GUN CONTROL. Anything even remotely resembling anti-gun legislation will be viewed in the worst possible light, and those responsible held accountable.
We are not interested in cutting any backroom deals to make gun control more palatable, nor to find ways to appease the liberal press with gun control dressed up in another costume.
You may be able to redeem yourself in gun owners' eyes by apologizing for failing to support a more lenient concealed carry bill and for cutting backroom deals on our gun rights, and publicly oppose every Governor Owens gun control proposal.
When you wish to discuss ways to kill all of the gun control bills being proposed by both Democrats and Republicans, feel free to contact us.
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Dear Representative Dean:
STOP MAKING EXCUSES AND ATTACKING THE MESSENGER.
First, you attack my 2nd Amendment rights.
Now, you attack pro-gun leaders when they call you on the carpet.
Your first duty is to uphold your oath to protect the Constitution-- so please, NO GUN CONTROL IN 2000.
To get to the point, I respectfully ask you to stop cutting back-room gun control "deals," keep your pledge to push pro-gun bills and renounce your GUN CONTROL 2000 measures such as:
* Any LOCK UP YOUR SAFETY bill that would make my gun virtually useless.
A GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA SUPPORTER