'Thumbing Our Noses at Nannyists'

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'Thumbing Our Noses at Nannyists'

by Ari Armstrong, June 27, 2005

Beaten by a Democrat!

State Senator Lois Tochtrop, a Democrat from Thornton and a registered nurse, outperformed your loser author in all three categories at the Independence Institute's third annual ATF party on June 25. Tochtrop slammed it, smoked it, and shot it. The only thing I shot were a few photographs, I thought it was too hot for alcohol, and I don't especially like tobacco. (I did partly redeem myself later in the evening by drinking a small glass of red wine.)

Download audio interviews with Jon Caldara, Dave Kopel, Mike Krause, Lois Tochtrop, and Tom Tancredo.

The Institute's party is named in honor of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. The Institute's research director, Dave Kopel, noted the agency recently added an "E" as well, for explosives, but three out of four ain't a bad day's work. Jon Caldara, the organization's president, described the party as a "tradition of thumbing our noses at nannyists. So, it is a celebration of all the things that government would like to take away: alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. So there are really two purposes. One, to enjoy them while they're still legal, but also to show the nannyist left that there are people out there who can control their own lives."

Senator Tochtrop Smokes it...

Shoots it...

and Slams it!

However, I didn't verify that her drink contained alcohol. By the way, though she said legislators can't find any more wasteful spending to cut from the budget, I remain unconvinced (more about this soon.)

"Indiana" Jon.

Mark Moore explained the safety rules and the mechanics of the course. Moore and his wife Brenda own and operate Kiowa Creek Sporting Club.

I watched Congressman Tom Tancredo blast seven of ten sporting clays. "The last one was nine out of ten," he said, "and it gets you kind of excited. You think it's going to be a great day." He seemed to enjoy himself as he waved around his huge cigar and talked shop with the guys. I never checked his final score, but those two rounds put him on track to score as an expert marksman. Of all the politicos, Tancredo was perhaps the most comfortable with a shotgun. Tochtrop seemed to struggle at first, but I overheard that her scores had improved by the end. (I plan to go back to Kiowa Creek when it's a little less crowded.)

I asked Tancredo what he thinks should happen with immigration policy. He offered a three-step program. First, the borders should be secured. Second, the government should go after employers who hire illegal immigrants. Third, and only after the first two steps are completed, the U.S. should initiate a guest-worker program. I wasn't able to ask him how big a program he envisions. But isn't Tancredo's plan backwards? If the U.S. initiated a good guest-worker program now, existing illegal immigrants could be turned into legal guest workers. The borders could be secured, because Mexicans looking for work would come over legally, and limited police resources could go after real criminals. And we wouldn't spend tax dollars to destroy wealth by punishing business owners.

Mike Krause, who is working on sentencing policy for the Independence Institute, guided the international crowd. Dagmar Feiler (at left in the photograph) immigrated from Germany 22 years ago. Feiler has also lived in in Florida and Mexico. She said, "I just became a member of the Independence Institute." Why Colorado? "I love nature and the people, open space." Monica Zamora was visiting from Querétaro, Mexico. She met Krause in Playa del Carmen.

Mark Hillman said of his new, temporary position as State Treasurer, "I'm trying to get my feet on the ground." He resigned his seat in the state senate to step in for Mike Coffman, who is on military duty in Iraq. In the photograph, Hillman (at right) meets with State Senator Jim Dyer.

David Harsanyi, The Denver Post's "token" conservative writer (or so several people commented), apparently had some minor difficulty with the safety sticking on his shotgun. When he missed a sporting clay, somebody joked, "It's the round thing, orange."

Caldara hits a sporting clay.

Kopel with Bill Cadman, a state representative.

Caldara, Tancredo, and Kopel enjoy alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. The alcohol was saved till the shooting was over. (Photo sent by Julie Mallon.)

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