The issue of second amendment gun rights will be a major talking point in next year’s national elections, following the recall in Colorado of two state legislators who had played a prominent role in passing gun restrictions in that state. Two senators, both Democrats, lost their seats when Republicans rose up against the new laws. And the results have prompted Democrats in Colorado to step back and assess their policies for the future.
"This is a state with a wide variety of interests at stake," said Bill Ritter, a Democrat and former governor. "The Democratic Party cannot be the party of metro Denver and Boulder. It has to be the party who understands the values, views and aspirations of people who live outside of those areas." He was referring to the more liberal metro areas of the state as opposed to the rural areas, where guns and gun rights are more highly valued, as in many parts of the West.
News stories said Democrats, who now control the Colorado legislature, also passed green-energy requirements for rural electric cooperatives, offered in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants who were Colorado high school graduates, and expanded mail-in voting. And Gov. John W. Hickenlooper, a Democrat, granted a reprieve to a convicted killer, heading off the state’s first execution in 16 years. Republicans opposed many of those acts.
You can bet Republicans will try to tie Democrats to those issues as well as gun rights, and that strategy could well spread across the country. Here in South Carolina, you needn’t expect any far-reaching gun control initiatives, but the Colorado situation will have repercussions across the country.