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OUR VIEW: Mayors’ anti-gun group plays ugly (poll)

February 24, 2012
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New York-based Mayors Against Illegal Guns wants Mayor Steve Bach to join. Bach heads America’s 42nd-largest and second-safest city. Having him on board would be a coup.

Shawn Rosvold, who works with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, sent an email to the City Council and local media this week asking them to help contact Bach.

“I have asked (Bach) many times on Facebook, on Twitter and on the city web site,” Rosvold wrote. “I have never had the dignity of a response.”

The Gazette contacted Bach to ask if he would join.

“No. There’s not a chance at all,” Bach said.

Bach explained that he is a concealed-carry permit holder, a Second Amendment defender, a member of the National Rifle Association and the Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition, and a man who campaigned on a pro-gun platform. The NRA warned members last November about Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an organization founded by gun-rights opponent and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“From the very beginning, Bloomberg and his crew have been going after law-abiding gun owners,” wrote Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA. Bloomberg’s group lobbies against the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act, which would create cooperation among states that license concealed-carry permit holders.

The NRA quotes Colorado’s own David Kopel — a law professor, world-renowned constitutional scholar and research director of the Independence Institute. Kopel, a dyed-in-the-wool liberal Democrat, argues that the group disrespects the 10th and 14th Amendments, not to mention the Second.

All legalities aside, consider the mentality of this group.

Kopel’s father, Gerald Kopel, died at age 83 in late January. He was a Colorado institution — a journalist who graduated first in his law school class and served in the legislature for 22 years. His columns sometimes appeared in The Gazette. Like David, Gerald was a civil rights warrior. He always put others first, which is why the Colorado Press Association gave him seven public-service awards.

Mark Glaze, executive director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, addressed David Kopel on Twitter one day after his father’s memorial service.

“As a Colorado native I recall him well,” Glaze wrote of Gerald Kopel. “Wonder what he would think of his son calling electeds liars. #apple fell far from free (sic).”

Should Mayor Steve Bach Join Mayor Michael Blumberg's group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns? Vote in poll to the right. Must vote to see results.

The ugly behavior doesn’t stop there.

In an email discussion with Rosvold, who asked for The Gazette’s help with Bach, we wondered if concealed-carry permittees weren’t safer than the mayors who comprise his group. We listed 16 mayors, each a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, who had been arrested or convicted on charges ranging from assault on a police officer, to pornography, to weapons offenses. Rosvold responded:

“Oooooh. Such bad people! It’s a good thing you have a gun to protect yourself,” he wrote in a Feb. 23 email.

On Facebook, Rosvold criticized Bach and hinted at a recall: “This man is out of control. How do you get rid of a mayor before his time is up?”

Anti-gun activists cannot win on the merits of their position. That’s why they attack their opponents, even while they’re grieving. Mayor Bach has been wise to ignore this ill-behaved organization. Mayor Bloomberg, clean up your act.

That's our view. What's yours? Please initiate or join in a Facebook discussion below, and vote in poll to the upper right.

Friend editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen on Facebook, follow him on Twitter

Must-see-daily site: Complete Colorado

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated Shawn Rosvold's affilliation with Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

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