No On 22 Campaign

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

The Colorado Freedom

NO more gun control -- NO on 22!

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners PAC * P.O. Box 3114 * Denver, CO 80201 * 303.432.3006

Profiles of Law-Abiding Citizens
Who Say NO on 22

Sheriff Bill Masters, San Miguel County (Telluride)
Laws like Amendment 22 once again fail to do anything but give peaceful citizens a false sense of security that criminals won't have guns. Last year the Colorado Bureau of Investigation proudly announced that their firearm purchase background checks have stopped over 80 firearm sales to convicted murderers. As a Colorado Sheriff I like the idea that some convicted murderers were stopped, for at least a moment, from buying guns. However, it seems to me that we are ignoring the main problem, namely: Why in the hell are convicted murderers out walking around the streets?

Jennifer Armstrong, Graphic Designer
I've been close enough to sexual assault once in my life that I never want to be in that type of situation again. I will take the necessary steps to protect myself and my family. If I am denied my right to purchase a gun, I am denied my right to protect my loved ones.

Terry Chelius, Retired Police Officer
In 1995, I was a working police officer and law enforcement veteran of over 25 years (I am now retired). I presented myself at a Denver area police supply shop to purchase a Sig Sauer P220 for use in my profession. After a delay of about 20 minutes, the shop keeper informed me that I had been "denied" by CBI.

I waited the customary 14 days and was notified by CBI that I had been rejected because I had been arrested in the past for a crime that "might" have been a felony; they did not know if I had been convicted. The crime, "eluding or attempting to elude police." The date, 1967. So, after nearly thirty years this "heinous" crime of my youth came back to haunt me. I was informed by the CBI letter that it would be my responsibility to personally locate the records and to prove myself innocent in order for the blight to be removed from my records. I remembered the incident. In the summer of 1967 I was pursued by a Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy in an unmarked car. The case was tried in a Justice of the Peace Court in Golden. These courts are no longer in use, having been replaced by the County Court system. I was found "not guilty." Case closed? Not exactly!

In 1995 I had to take time off work, drive to Golden from Naturita, Colorado (350 miles) and try to get someone in the County Court system to help find the old records so necessary to my case with CBI. Eventually I found a lady that said she would work in her spare time to try to locate the ancient records in the archives. Weeks later she called to say that she had located the records and would forward them to me. The record finally reached me and showed that I was arrested as stated and found not guilty as I have stated.

CBI should have known that "eluding" did not become a felony until the 1970s or 1980s. And only then if certain aggravating circumstances are present. Therefore the issue was a misdemeanor on its face when CBI discovered it in their files. It is also interesting to note that I served the US Navy in Vietnam from 1967-1970 after which I served as a police officer in Colorado in numerous venue's, all of which finger printed me and investigated my background prior to hiring me. None of those agencies even bothered to mention the old arrest in 1967 as having any bearing upon their decision to hire me.

In a second case in 1997, I attempted to purchase a .45 cal. Ruger Vaquero at the Country General store in Grand Junction. Once again my old buddies at CBI stated that I was being "denied." Two weeks later, the letter from CBI arrived and informed me that I had previously been arrested for a crime that may have been a felony and once again, they did not know what the outcome of the case was. This time I was accused of simple assault in a 1964 case, once again this case originated in Jefferson County. Once again the case was dismissed and was never a felony from the get go.

I got my longtime friend, Representative Ken Clouber of Leadville,. involved at this point and it is my understanding that he and Carl Whiteside, the director of CBI, got a few things worked out with CBI's system. I have never been denied since; however, I'm certain that Mrs. Brady and her ilk feel much better for having put an honest citizen through a maze of bureaucratic malarkey.

Elizabeth Bennett
I was once an anti-gun person like the authors of amendment 22. In fact, until five years ago I might have voted "yes" on 22. Because, like the authors of 22, I could not see the dangers of such a law.

However, it was not until I nearly became a statistic, that I realized the true consequences of such a law. I am a SMALL "law abiding" citizen. I do not hurt others or threaten them. However, the sad fact is others have attempted to hurt and have threatened me in the past. Because I am small, I seem to appear an easy target. Last summer I was the victim of a stalking. I love to walk, and tend to do so any day the weather allows. A man began to follow me, he drove along side of the road as I walked up an off ramp to the highway. There was no road there, but he drove along side of me. I tried to get the attention of a man waiting in line at a fast food drive in, but he was noticeably uncomfortable and would not look at me. I could not go inside, I was waiting for my boyfriend to pick me up. I feared that if I were to go into the store or restaurant, my boyfriend would not see where I had gone, and I would have to hope this man would not attempt anything in a public place.

Unfortunately, I honestly felt he would hurt me. He drove over a median to get to where I was, drove the wrong way in traffic, and was clearly letting me know he was not going to leave any time soon. This would not be over soon and would not be the last time. I spoke with the police, but the plain truth of the matter is this, they can not sit around and protect me, they will be there if he hurts me or heaven forbid, kills me, but they can not prevent it. I can go after a restraining order, but without knowing who this was or where he was from, I had no way to do this, and a restraining order is not much of a deterrent. I decided to take personal protection class' for handgun use. I know how to shoot, and for the past five years (when I dropped my ignorance at the curb and realized that guns do not kill people do), and have enjoyed perfecting my skills.

However, a public situation is completely different, and I felt I needed to be prepared. Because of this man, I was afraid to walk. I have been walking all of my life, and at 30 I did not relish the thought of giving it up. But I was afraid, I looked over my shoulder constantly, I would walk around several different blocks and in circles, in the event anyone was watching, I didn't want them to know where my home was. Until I felt comfortable enough to carry I decided to carry mace and a cell phone.

I still was not safe and I knew it. So the time came for me to purchase my gun. I thought long and hard about what to get. I do not have money, but did not want to go cheap. This thought process was, it turns out, was a wasted effort. You see I may not pass that background check. Why you ask. Well it is not because I broke a law or hurt anyone. I was charged with a crime I DID NOT COMMIT. In fact no crime had been committed, and the charges were dropped. I want the charge expunged but this is a lengthy process.

This amendment would make a citizen guilty until proven innocent. Criminals are not affected by such laws, people like me are. (I will not say how this story ended, other than to say I did follow the law, that is what a law abiding citizen has the tendency to do) I am tired of paying for the mistakes of others. I wake up each day with the intention of being the best person God would like for me to be. I fight to do the right things as often as possible, if not always.

Why can't the citizens of this country take responsibility for their own actions? Why do we point to a gun and say "bad", and the person who shot it is still walking the streets? With Freedom comes responsibility, the more responsibility we hand over to the government the more Freedom we loose. I for one would rather be responsible for my own actions and be free. How many will vote yes on 22 with false expectations?

The Colorado Freedom