CO governor to gun-control groups: Don’t come around here no more

posted at 8:41 am on October 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

It’s not because John Hickenlooper doesn’t support their cause, mind you, but that their presence has backfired in a big way in Colorado.  The governor tells USA Today’s Susan Page that it might be a good idea for Michael Bloomberg and his allies to stay out of Colorado:

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper suggests national gun-control groups stay away from a looming recall battle that could switch control of the state Senate to the GOP. The groups poured money into an unsuccessful defense of two state lawmakers recalled over their gun votes earlier this year.

“Colorado is a state that people like to be themselves and solve their own problems,” the Democratic governor said in an interview with Capital Download, USA TODAY’s weekly video newsmaker series. “They don’t really like outside organizations meddling in their affairs, and maybe the NRA gets a pass on that.

“But (it is) probably not a bad idea” for gun-control groups, such as the one established by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to curb their efforts if gun-rights activists collect enough signatures to force a recall vote on state Sen. Evie Hudak, a two-term Democrat from a suburban district north of Denver, he said.

Page asks Hickenlooper whether Hudak opponents will get enough signatures for a recall, and Hickenlooper predicts not — but notes that his prognostication track record hasn’t exactly built confidence:

“I’m going to guess it’s probably 50-50″ that they will be able to get the recall vote on the ballot. But, he noted, “I didn’t think they’d get enough signatures for the first two.”

Coloradans don’t take to people coming in from out of state to tell them how to live. That’s also apparently true of ObamaCare, which is the first topic of discussion in the video. The new health-care paradigm is still very unpopular among Colorado voters, and Hickenlooper notes that the state exchange has had “its share of challenges” in the first two weeks. Maybe Hickenlooper should have just stuck to marijuana legalization.

The “no thank you” from Hickenlooper to Bloomberg may be amusing, but it’s also probably too late. Hickenlooper and his allies overreached on gun control, believing that the Boulder and Denver elite represented the political temperature of the rest of the state. Two key Democratic state legislators discovered belatedly that they had miscalculated, especially in the heavy-handed manner in which they had imposed their new gun-control regulations. Now Hickenlooper wants to talk about the beneficence of simple universal registration, but Democrats went way beyond that in Colorado and Washington and exposed their real end goals — banning weapons and curtailing access to firearms for law-abiding citizens. This backpedaling isn’t likely to convince Coloradans to lighten up on their pursuit for political accountability.


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