Littwin: Going gun-loving crazy in Castle Rock | AspenTimes.com

Littwin: Going gun-loving crazy in Castle Rock

Mike Littwin

Now that Castle Rock’s Town Council has voted to repeal the law banning open carry in parks and public buildings, I hope the town’s residents take this to heart.

I mean, if they’re going to do this, let’s see them actually do it.

It’s one thing to talk about liberty. Let’s see if they can show the world what freedom really means in Castle Rock, Colorado, USA.

Let’s see the next Town Council meeting — and every one after that — packed with people publicly packing heat. Let’s see shoulder holsters, ankle holsters, Uncle Mike’s Tactical Reflex Open Top Holsters. Let’s see 10 guns for every council member. Let’s see 10 guns strapped to every city council member.

Let’s wait for the guy with the twitch to show up. You know, the guy who’s always screaming about the rent being too damn high or about the aliens — not the illegal kind, the extraterrestrial kind — on his block, and who now comes armed to the teeth.

And then after the meeting, if no one is seriously injured, let’s head to the park. Bring the dog. Bring the baby. Bring the Glock.

Don’t you want to watch Dad/Mom pushing his/her kid on the swing while sporting the latest in active gunwear? How about catching the kid at the bottom of the slide? Certainly you’d want to be armed to do that. Throwing Frisbee with the dog? Feeding the ducks? Having a family picnic? Check, check and check. Gun, gun and gun.

Are these guys serious?

I haven’t spent much time in Castle Rock over the years, but in the times I have been there, I’ve never seen anyone walking down the street looking like he’s headed for the O.K. Corral. What would you think if you were in the park and saw someone pushing a baby in a stroller while sporting a sidearm? I’d 1) think that he was out of his mind and 2) wonder how the hell I’m going to tell him. This is the, uh, freedom we’re talking about.

The Castle Rock story is getting a lot of play, but no one should be surprised. This isn’t about reaching for your guns. This is about overreaching for them.

This is about pushing and pushing to make sure guns are allowed everywhere. Because … because … because?

This isn’t about Western culture or liberty. It’s about extremes. And if the Castle Rock planning commissioners are threatening to quit en masse because it’s crazy to invite people to arm themselves during angry public discussion, you ignore them. And if a survey shows that 95 percent of town employees think this is a bad idea, you certainly don’t second-guess your thinking. You just ask yourself what Dudley Brown would do. (You know what Ted Nugent would do. Last we saw him, he was calling Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel.”)

And it’s clear what the Castle Rock mayor, who happens to be part owner of a gun club, would do.

Last summer’s recalls showed the dangers of politicians voting for even modest gun laws. The first legislative recalls in Colorado history were a warning to legislators everywhere. But the post-recall polls showed that most Coloradans actually opposed the recalls. And my guess is that every time gun activists push again, there will start to be some more push back.

The Denver Post ran an interesting story the other day about criminal background checks on guns. More Coloradans bought guns in 2013 than in any other year. Presumably this is a reaction to the supposed governmental gun-grabbing, even though there has been exactly no governmental gun-grabbing. But saying there might be has certainly been good for business.

There were nearly 400,000 background checks. And there were 7,351 denials. Depending on your worldview, that would mean that “only” 1.9 percent were denied, or it was an are-you-kidding-me moment — that more than 7,000 people were stopped from buying guns who shouldn’t have them. Yeah, and 41 of those denied were for an arrest or conviction of — let’s start here — homicide. There were 166 for sexual assault and 1,412 for plain old assault.

Are we better off with background checks or not?

We’ll get another chance to decide this year, as Sen. George Rivera — who won a recall election over Angela Giron — introduced a bill to repeal the new law on background checks for private sales. It won’t pass, of course. And when there was a mix-up about Rivera’s repeal bill being introduced, Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman — who later admitted that he had gotten the facts wrong — threatened Senate President Morgan Carroll with a recall of her own. Just so you know that the emotions on this issue have not exactly been calmed.

It was nearly as emotional as the Town Council meeting in Castle Rock. Of course, if you’re at the next meeting in Castle Rock, you can make sure everyone there knows that you’re not just emotional but that you’re armed and emotional. Armed, and emotional and maybe close to losing control, and living in a town where the people apparently think that’s just fine.

Mike Littwin runs Sundays in The Aspen Times. A former columnist for the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post, he now writes for ColoradoIndependent.com.


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