LPEP Disappointed by Colorado Springs Gun Vote

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LPEP Disappointed by Colorado Springs Gun Vote

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 12, 2003
Libertarian Party of El Paso County
Limited Government...Personal Freedom...Individual Responsibility"
P.O. Box 18271
Colorado Springs, CO 80935-8271
(719) 596-7848 http://www.lpep.org

Colorado Springs (LP) -- The Colorado Springs City Council has waffled on its stated position of favoring open carry and concealed carry in city buildings, and residents should be none too happy, according to the Libertarian Party of El Paso County.

Prior to the April election, all of the current City Council, excluding Richard Skorman, responded to candidate surveys, indicating in a positive manner that they would support open and concealed carry of firearms in city buildings. Since then that resolve has been tested by one citizen, Dan Ortega, who has carried a dissembled and unloaded shotgun to two Council meetings, making Council members unjustifiably nervous.

Councilman Tom Gallagher told Mike Seebeck, the Media Director of the Libertarian Party of El Paso County, at Friday's Independent 10th Anniversary Bash, that he thought Ortega was being "irresponsible as a gun owner, because Council meetings are highly emotional events." This seemed to indicate that several members of the Council were in favor of going back on their campaign pledges. Ortega was not being irresponsible at all, but in fact was being overly responsible for his actions, as evidenced by the fact that he went beyond unloading the shotgun and in fact had it dissembled. Further, if Council meetings are as high-emotion as Gallagher claims, then the public must ask what decisions the Council is making to make their meetings so charged up.

"The City Council should be leading by example in this and all cases when it comes to public policy," commented Ross Glidewell, Chair of the Libertarian Party of El Paso County. "If they are nervous about someone open carrying at a Council meeting, then perhaps they ought to open carry themselves to equalize whatever so-called 'threat' they perceive. If they fear the public then we must take a long hard look at their actions to find out why."

Continued Glidewell, "As for the actions of teachers refusing to take their classes to Council meetings as field trips while open carry is allowed, we must ask both them and the Council how limiting Council meetings to concealed carry will change a perceived 'threat' to their students, when all it really does is remove the idea that individual possession of firearms is an integral part of our unique American culture of freedom and liberty, without changing the specific circumstances in the slightest."

"This is an out-of-sight, out-of-mind proposal designed to feel good about doing something about a hysterics-created situation, when in fact nothing is done at all," concluded Gildewell.

It appears that despite the constitutional issue that open carry "shall not be called into question" per the Colorado Constitution, the Colorado Springs City Council has decided to cower in fear and ignore the rule of law instead. Colorado Springs should expect much better leadership from them that that. Mr. Ortega should not be condemned for exercising his rights, and he should not be blamed for the passing of this ordinance. The City Council, after all, voted it through, not Mr. Ortega.

The Libertarian Party of El Paso County opposes this meaningless and unlawful proposal and urges the Colorado Springs City Council to reject the fear mongering behind it, to do the right thing and endorse the rights of the people to open carry by repealing this misguided and blatantly unconstitutional ordinance.

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