Freedom Updates: April 20, 2001

The Colorado Freedom Report:  A libertarian journal of politics and culture.

The Colorado Freedom

Freedom Updates: April 20, 2001

All Freedom Updates by Ari Armstrong unless otherwise noted.


Rocky Mountain Gun Owners
Thursday, April 19, 2001

Senate Bill 225 was introduced today, which would raise the minimum age to purchase or possess a handgun from 18 to 21.

Though introduced by Denver Democrat Doug Linkhart, it is similar to last session's HB1272 sponsored by then-GOP House member Dorothy Gotlieb (thankfully, the liberal Gotlieb lost her November election to the Senate, and can no longer define the left-most borders of the Republican party). We labelled that bill the "Trojan Horse" bill because it had a title that would allow a huge number of amendments, including raising the minimum age to purchase or possess any firearm, a stated public policy goal of Governor Gun Control.

This concept was also the subject of a potential poker game, where your rights were being gambled. Last year, former Colorado State Shooting Association President Richard Bowman suggested that CSSA would support this kind of bill, if it meant they would get something in return. To any astute observer of politics, this should indicate that SB225 could be involved in some backroom trading with SAFE, supposed "pro-gun" groups, the Governor and Senate leadership. The only things working in our favor are that the sponsor is a Democrat (most of these parties only cut deals with Republicans, even though the legislation is the same) and RMGO is here to expose the deal, regardless of who is embarassed.

The bill will likely be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee next week, where it virtually assured passage. With just 3 weeks left in the session, we need to put heat on the full Senate.

Call your State Senator at 303-866-2316 or toll free at 888-473- 8136.

Urge him/her to vote against any effort to raise the age of possession or purchase of firearms. Tell him/her that young adults shouldn't be stripped of their rights.

Also call Governor Bill "Gun Control" Owens at 303-866-2471 and urge him to oppose this measure. If Owens gets enough pressure, he just might leave this one alone.

Remember: once they start banning firearms ownership for one age group, they can easily ban ownership for any age group. Compromise is not an option!

At least John Sanko seems to have gotten the message that he ought to write articles that cover both sides of the issue. A recent letter of mine in the Rocky Mountain News criticized him for writing biased articles in favor of the anti-gun lobby. I want to give credit where it is due, so I sent Sanko the following letter concerning his April 20 story:

Dear Mr. Sanko,

Thank you for offering a basically balanced story about the age requirement for handguns.

I do wish you had mentioned something about the substantive debate. Something like, "SAFE believes raising the age limit for handguns will reduce gun deaths, but civil arms advocates believe the measure would deny legal adults their right of self-defense. Federal law currently sets the age for handgun purchases at 21."

I wish the news were less about sensationalism, and more about substantive issues. I realize that's partly a result of what the people you interview say.

Ari Armstrong

Does Owens have a backbone? Vegas odds are still 100-1 against. But Sanko's article contains one promising sign: Owens' spokesperson Dick Wadhams said: "Governor Owens deplores the politicization and exploitation of the second anniversary tragedy with today's news conference" announcing the bill. But I won't hold my breath waiting for Owens to reverse his previous anti-rights stands -- remember raising the purchase age was one of Owens' major proposals previously.

Johnson Talks Sense on BB Gun Felony

I don't always agree with News columnist Bill Johnson, but he's generally a pretty good writer. In his April 20 article he writes,

[T]hey are coming down... incredibly hard on that 16-year-old boy. When I read they want to hang a felony on him, I almost fell over... The BB gun... was stuffed beneath a seat. And it was unloaded... [A] BB gun is hardly pipe bombs and semiautomatic weapons. For our past failings, we now are going overboard.

Updates on New Gun Reg Proposals

I recently wrote about new attempts to put the BATF in charge of further regulating guns ( But the story gets worse.

An April 19 article in the Dallas Morning News by Michelle Mittlestadt reveals the motivation of the anti-gun lobby: "Specific firearm design characteristics -- concealability, high capacity and large caliber among others -- make certain guns more prone to use in multiple shootings," the study [from the Violence Policy Center] said, noting that handguns were involved in nine of the 10 high-profile school shootings that have occurred since 1997" (

I.e., the anti-gun lobby wants to ban all handguns which are either too small or too big. But has it found a size gun that's "just right?" And it wants the ATF to have the power to ban and recall any gun it wants.

You can read the language of proposed legislation S.534 / HR 920 at You can read VPC's "study" at Here's your homework for the day: see how many lies and logical fallacies you can find at the VPC web page.

Finally! A Productive Use for Tax Dollars!

Friends, Hell has officially frozen over. Government agents finally found a (ahem) productive way to use tax dollars.

"Montgomery County police used paid informers to hire suspected prostitutes for sex during at least two recent investigations."


At least somebody's getting something of value from tax spending.

Romer's War on Math Education

Thank goodness he's in California. What is our former governor Roy Romer up to these days?

Saxon Math
Roy Romer's efforts to ban the use of Saxon Math in LAUSD.
Those of you math teachers and supporters who believe strongly in Saxon Math need to be very concerned about Los Angeles USD Supt. Roy Romer's efforts to ban the use of Saxon Math in LAUSD. Saxon Math has demonstrated the most success of any math program in America; and the success has been tracked over time. None of the constructivist math series have produced that same kind of data. In fact, the opposite for constructivist programs has been demonstrated in schools all across the country as evidenced by weakening math scores in schools where constructivist math programs have been implemented. (

Ayn Rand Lives

"Mogadishu [Somalia] has the closest thing to an Ayn Rand-style economy that the world has ever seen -- no bureaucracy or regulation at all" (

With Apologies to Jesus

A reader named Matt sent in the following:

I read your article about LIES in the media in a the KEEP AND BEAR ARMS page today.

Exactly what point are you trying to make when you include the Name (and Title - Christ means you acknowledge Him as Messiah) of history's most controversial figure?

Are you aware that Jesus (in Hebrew Y'eshua) was a weapons rights adherent? Jesus was known to keep company with armed men. When Peter cut off the ear of the servant Malchus (John 18:10-11), Jesus instructed Peter to resheath the weapon. He did not suggest that Peter throw his sword away, or hand it over to the authorities. Jesus well understood that "it's not what a man puts into his mouth that makes him impure, it what comes OUT of a man's mouth"... Weapons themselves are not inherently evil...but the people using them for evil intent. Defending the life of your family...or of theneighbor is not evil.

Furthermore, during the days before Jesus, when the Jews were returning to Jerusalem from the Babylonian exile, it is written in theBible that the men would use one hand to lift rocks for the rebuilding of theTemple, while holding their WEAPONS in their other hand. (Nehemiah 4:17).

While I agree 100% with your GUN views, your use of the Name and Title JESUS CHRIST is wholly without excuse or purpose. You may ask yourself why you hate Him enough to introduce His Name and Title in your argument as a curse-term? If it turns out someday that the Jewish Rabbinate was WRONG about the Nature and Identity of that Man (IS He the Prophet of Deut. 18??), your zeal for Guns Liberty will have been totally worthless. If the Rabbis are wrong about their generally liberal views on gun-control, they may also be wrong about Him!

Just some friendly advise.


Following is my response.

I appreciate your feedback and will include your letter in a future release.

However, some of your criticisms are off base. Whether or not Jesus was a "weapons rights adherent" is beside the point in this context. (I don't think the topic was one of his major talking points at any rate.) Your claim that my use of the name was "wholly without excuse or purpose" is false: while it may be without excuse, my purpose was to create some kind of image of how the ATF might have reacted when they saw the Mt. Carmel church go up in flames.

Your claim that I "hate Him" is also off target. I think he made some key tactical errors but was otherwise a decent bloke. Just so there's no confusion, I hereby formally offer my apologies to Jesus Christ and to readers I may have offended (and I've changed that line).

-Ari Armstrong

NOTE: The last Freedom Updates were published April 18 at

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