CSSA Sells Out

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CSSA Sells Out

Let me count the reasons why I oppose CSSA's plan to push for subsidized shooting ranges:

  • He who pays the piper, calls the tune. The shooting ranges will be subject to government restrictions, which will undoubtedly change over time.

  • What the state gives, the state can take away. Chances are good that the Democrats will take back control of state government within the next ten or fifteen years. What then?

  • State-subsidized ranges will put more private ranges out of business. Then if the state ranges are converted to some other use, we'll have fewer ranges than we do today.

  • The move to support Owens in exchange for state-subsidized ranges teaches Republicans they can do whatever they please in terms of violating the U.S. and Colorado Constitutions, provided they put gun owners on the government dole.

  • To call for state-owned shooting ranges is to obfuscate the root problem: government regulations (red tape, zoning restrictions, etc.) have made it difficult for private ranges to stay in business.

  • If gun owners accept government money, they implicitly support the concept of using state money to subsidize all special interest groups. If state-sponsored ranges run by the CSSA, why not state-sponsored classes run by the Million Moms to teach women how to dialogue with criminals? Reference to a "slippery slope" is not a logical fallacy if there really is a slope that's slippery. They who doubt we're on a slippery slope should check out the percentage of GDP currently taxed by government at all levels.

  • By going on the government dole, gun owners will enter the eternal political war of special interests in which various factions battle to keep and expand their "share" of "public" money.

  • It's morally wrong to force some people to pay for projects they find objectionable. Owens explicitly tied the state-subsidized ranges to hunting. The notion of the state controlling more and more property is straight out of Marxist doctrine.

The following information further expands on these points.

-Ari Armstrong

**Once when Jacob was boiling pottage, Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. And Esau said to Jacob, "Let me eat some of that red pottage, for I am famished!" Jacob said, "First sell me your birthright." Esau said, "I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?" Jacob said, "Swear to me first." So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils, and he ate and drank, and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.** Genesis 25:29-34, Oxford

**Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priets and said, "What will you give me if I deliver him to you?" And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.** Matthew 25:14-16, Oxford

May 4, 2001

CSSA, FCC certified as Gov. Gun Control's lapdogs,
sell-out your rights

By Dudley Brown, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners

How little are you willing to sell your freedoms for?

In the case of the Colorado State Shooting Association and the Firearms Coalition of Colorado, the answer is very, very little.

These 2 groups have actively and aggressively become lapdogs to Gov. Gun Control, Bill Owens.

In the 2000 legislative session, Owens' staff worked diligently with left-wing Republicans and Democrat leadership to pass any gun control possible: raising the minimum age of purchase or possession of a firearm, so-called safe storage, gun show Brady checks for private sales, denying purchases based on arrest instead of conviction, and others. He publicly supported Amendment 22, the Gun Show Brady Check initiative, standing side-by-side with the gun-grabbers, who's goal is to rid citizens of any gun rights.

Owens' 1998 narrow election was aided by unwitting gun groups, who touted Owens' NRA rating and willingness to sign a concealed carry law. After the election, Owens quickly proved these pundits wrong by supporting anti-gun provisions to an already weak concealed carry bill -- long before the Columbine incident took place. After the tragedy, Owens moved even further left, boldly demanding legislative leaders to stop pushing any pro-gun legislation and even vetoing a moderately pro-gun measure.

Owens' record speaks for itself: he wants gun owners' votes, but he supports the gun-grabbers' agenda.

After Owens stabbed gun owners in the back, some CSSA/NRA honchos privately told us that "RMGO was right: Owens is a dirtbag."

Now those very same groups are running interference for Owens, though the grassroots is not buying it. In fact, at a meeting in Colorado Springs, Owens' Deputy Chief of Staff Sean Tonner and Firearms Policy Advisor Jason Hopfer -- both taxpayer-funded staff members -- tried to soothe gun owners, but few were buying their goods. That won't stop some groups from running interference.

In the past 2 months, Governor's office staffers, paid by taxpayers, have been setting up meetings around the state with gun rights advocates in an attempt to calm the storm brought about by Owens' support for gun controls.

This weekend, at the Tanner gun show, two so-called "gun groups" did the unthinkable: they are openly advancing Bill Owens, the governor who stabbed gun owners in the back.

How so? CSSA's new full color magazine has a guest editorial by Owens, complete with picture and "Dear Friend" salutation. The Firearms Coalition is handing out a sign-up form for Bill Owens' e-mail/fax network to receive "periodic updates about what our Administration is doing on issues of interest to you".

You can be sure these groups will be apologizing for Owens in the next election, using the "lesser of two evils" argument as rationale for supporting a Republican Governor who clearly violated his oath of office to defend our rights.

The blatant attempt by Owens to court gunnies is understandable, though still objectionable: Owens is a politician running for reelection, and he needs every vote possible. Owens is using a classic political tactic: separate the legislative season from the election season. This almost always works, when groups like the NRA aid the politician. This time, there is a determined grassroots that isn't going to allow Owens to get away with it.

Why, then, would groups that claim to support gun rights go to such great lengths to give cover to a politician who has done virtually everything possible to anger gun owners? Owens is guilty not only of advancing gun control, but maybe more importantly of breaking ranks with the Republican party on a major platform issue. Until now, no party (with any members elected to office) could claim the pro-gun vote except Republicans. Now, the issue may be up for grabs.

The fact is that Gov. Bill Owens gave the Democrats the Senate in the 2000 elections.

How? By endorsing a high-profile gun control initiative, and surrounding gun control issues, Owens put Republican Senatorial candidates in a very weak position, and the Democrats seized on the opportunity. In fact, in several races, the Democrat party used this division to show the differences between gun rights supporters, like Congrove and Pfiffner, and their party's leader, Gov. Owens. Without the Governor's traitorous actions, those two races alone would have shifted the tide and denied the Democrats the reins of power in Colorado's Senate.

CSSA and FCC will explain their weak spines by saying "we need access to the Governor" or "he feels guilty for last year, and we can use that."

Access to politicians is bought with one currency: being good boys and girls, and not rocking the boat. That has been the eternal strategy of these kinds of groups, who spend most of their time representing the politician to their members rather than their members to the politician.

What nugget, might you ask, are the shooting clubs looking for from Owens?

Right now, that nugget is Socialist Shooting ranges. Remember that name, as it will appear again. CSSA has been fervently working with Owens and other politicians to secure state-owned-and-operated shooting ranges. Rather than gather resources for privately owned operations, CSSA is desperately bellying up to the government trough. Though they are careful to guard the details, one has to wonder if these Socialist Shooting ranges will have CBI agents checking guns at the doors, logging your firearm's serial numbers and providing lockers for "safe storage" when you aren't shooting. This is the route the British citizens took, all in an effort to keep their shooting sports. Now they have nothing.

In essence, Governor Owens is stripping you of your gun rights, then buying you off with some trinkets, just like all the other welfare captives on the government reservation.

Shame on Owens for trying, but the real shame belongs to anyone who takes the payoff.

How many times do groups like the NRA and CSSA (who privately applauded the RMGO shaming of Owens at the 2000 GOP State Convention) need to be backstabbed before they understand that Owens is proving other politicians that there are no consequences -- from the weak-kneed gun groups -- for supporting gun control?

Isn't taking this politician at his word what got us gun control in the first place? CSSA should have learned that politicians will always see the light when they feel the heat (as Owens did at the GOP convention last year), and stop being such willing dupes to the very elected official that so cavalierly asked "What are they going to do, vote Democrat?"

Call the Colorado State Shooting Association at 720-283-1376 and the Firearms Coalition of Colorado at 303-308-3006. You can e-mail CSSA here. Tell them you are outraged that these groups would sell their birthright for a few handouts from big brother. Let them know you aren't going to belly up to the welfare trough.

Libertarian Party of Colorado--www.lpcolorado.org

"Limited Government - Individual Liberty - Personal Responsibility"


CONTACT: John K. Berntson, Public Information Director
PHONE: 303.837.9393
EMAIL: LPCOMedia@aol.com


Libertarians Oppose Shooting Range Welfare

Ardent gun supporters disapprove of governor's plan

Denver - "Hunters don't need welfare," the Libertarian Party of Colorado said today.

Governor Bill Owens' office has recently discussed the possibility of spending more tax dollars for gun ranges. In the March/April newsletter of the Colorado State Shooting Association, the state's NRA affiliate, Owens wrote a column stressing the importance of gun ranges to "the entire $1.7 billion hunting industry."

"The idea of improving our shooting ranges is a good one," said BetteRose Smith, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Colorado. "But not every good idea should be subsidized by the government.

"We need less state intervention, not more. If Governor Owens were really concerned about people building skills in the use of firearms, he would stop supporting victim disarmament laws."

In the past two years, Governor Owens has supported laws that would:

* Strip legal adults, aged 18-20, of their right to purchase a firearm for self-defense.

* Require more gun owners to register with the federal government and navigate a background check system riddled with inaccuracies, more likely to wrongly deny innocent people their rights.

* Require gun owners to "lock up their safety," giving criminals the advantage.

"First Bill Owens shoots gun owners in the back with his anti-gun policies, then he tries to win back their votes by putting them on the government dole," said Smith. "When will politicians like Owens learn that what law-abiding gun owners want is to be left alone?

"In addition to restoring the right to keep and bear arms, the state government should repeal regulations that make it more difficult for shooting ranges to stay in business. Privately-owned shooting ranges need freedom from government interference, not more subsidized competition to worry about."

Libertarians support the right to bear arms and the repeal of laws that restrict the rights of peaceful citizens. At the same time, they recognize the right to spend one's money on projects one deems appropriate.

"Not all Coloradans support hunting or the increased use of civil arms, and they should not have their money forcibly taken from them to fund such programs," said Smith. "Let's hope Governor Owens decides against asking for gun range welfare and for restoring the right to bear arms in Colorado."

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical." - Thomas Jefferson

The Colorado Freedom Report--www.FreeColorado.com