Category: Gun violence

Election judges bring firearms to training sessions

The Mesa County Workforce Center prohibits weapons on its grounds.

Mesa County citizens volunteering as election judges were shocked to see others show up at their training session at the Workforce Center armed with guns. One volunteer, P.G., reported, “A guy walked into the Monday training with a gun on his hip, and the people giving the training didn’t say anything, even though I raised the issue.”

The volunteer felt bringing deadly weapons to an elections training was inappropriate and intimidating, and contacted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, but Peters said she couldn’t do anything, saying “They’re allowed to do it.” Peters further stated that firearms are okay because “we are an open-carry state.” P.G. felt Clerk Peters should have informed election volunteers that they are attending the training as election judges, and not policemen, and should leave their guns at home.

The Mesa County Workforce’s website also says “No weapons are permitted on the premises,” but the trainer told P.G. that the Workforce Center did not prohibit carrying weapons.

Republican congressional candidate Lauren Boebert may have committed a felony by arming a 17 year old employee

The Colorado Times Recorder is reporting that Republican Congressional candidate for District 3, Lauren Boebert, likely committed a criminal offense in 2015 when she required an underage employee to carry a firearm in her diner. Boebert and her husband own Shooters Grill, an eatery in Rifle, Colorado whose attention-getting business gimmick is requiring all employees to open-carry handguns.

Boebert’s alleged firearm offense was documented in a January, 2015 YouTube video about the diner which included a clip in which the young employee, Brooke Shackleford, admits she is just 17 years old and open carries a firearm inside Boebert’s restaurant while she works.

Under Colorado Revised Statutes 18-12-108.7 it is illegal to allow a juvenile to possess a handgun, and whoever does so commits a Class 4 felony, punishable by fines ranging from $2,000 to $500,000 and 2 to 6 years in prison.

Other Class 4 felonies include crimes of sexual assault, manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and identity theft.

 

 

 

 

Why the Republican candidate for 3rd Congressional District, Laurent Boebert, is batsh*t crazy

In May, 2020, Lauren Boebert, the Republican candidate for House Representative in the 3rd Congressional District (our district), was a guest on an online right wing political talk show called “Steel Truth” hosted by Ann Vandersteel.

National Park ranger shoots, kills unarmed young Fruita man in Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Gage Lorentz, 26, was killed by National Park Ranger Robert Mitchell during a traffic stop for speeding on a dirt road in Carlsbad Caverns National Park March 21. Gage was unarmed and had no alcohol or drugs in his system at the time he was fatally shot. The family is calling for the arrest and prosecution of the park ranger who murdered him.

Police murdering unarmed citizens in cold blood doesn’t just happen to people from other places.

A National Park Ranger murdered a young Fruita man last March in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, as he was headed home to Fruita from Texas.

The murder was covered locally in March, but has taken on renewed significance after George Floyd’s brutal murder in Minneapolis shined a spotlight on the unchecked police brutality going on all across the nation.

Gage Lorentz was unarmed and had no drugs or alcohol in his system when he was pulled over for going too fast on a dirt road.

G.J. City Councilor Pe’a stuns with statement that he thought to bring a loaded Glock to a public meeting

In this video clip taken at a recent City Council meeting, Grand Junction City Councilor Phil Pe’a complains that he wasn’t given enough notice that there might be protesters at a public meeting. He said he was alarmed when he got to City Hall and saw a police presence along with protesters. When City Councilor Anna Stout told Mr. Pe’a that City Manager Greg Caton had emailed all Council members to let them know protesters were expected at that evening’s meeting, Mr. Pe’a said “I have a full time job. I don’t have time to visit my email constantly.” He said he would have preferred a phone call, and continued, saying

“I didn’t know whether I had to bring my Glock into the meeting or not. That’s how serious it was, Anna.” 

Rowland promotes InfoWars conspiracy theory that CDC intentionally inflated Covid deaths

Janet Rowland’s recent Facebook post casting doubt on the CDC’s count of U.S. Coronavirus deaths.

Republican county commissioner candidate Janet Rowland’s most chilling flaw is her inability to tell authoritative sources of information from information promoted by extremist wacko conspiracy theorists.

Most recently Rowland has been promoting the theory that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is intentionally inflating the number of Covid-19 deaths and infection rates, and that the death count is actually far lower than the government claims. One reason she givs for this is that it allows hospitals to make more money. In truth, anyone who has ever worked in a hospital knows that hospitals get paid for TREATING Covid patients, not for listing a certain cause of death on the death certificate. Claims that hospitals are deliberately miscoding patients as having Covid-19 are not supported by any evidence.

It’s time to admit Republican firearm policies have completely failed America

Open Carrying US states map.svg

 

Americans young and old are getting slaughtered every day just going about their daily lives shopping in supermarkets, attending concerts and movies, going to services at churches, mosques and synagogues, going to school, going to work…

How did America get here?

Decades of Republican-backed liberal firearm policies have gotten us here. Republicans say they value freedom, but the people of this country no longer feel free. We live in fear of getting gunned down just living our lives every day because of the cumulative effects of liberal Republican gun policies.

Oklahoma is just the beginning of what life will be like under Republican rule

Oklahoma Republicans just passed a mind-blowingly strict law that makes abortion illegal in virtually every circumstance, effectively terminating the right of women in the state to control their own bodies and reproductive fate.

Oklahoma wasn’t alone in this, either. Other Republican-dominated states are also enacting extremely strict laws that effectively make abortion illegal, with some banning the procedure as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Republicans base these laws on their belief that a fetus is a fully legal person entitled to all the rights and privileges that all legal American citizens enjoy.

But if actually put into effect, what do these beliefs really portend for life in America?

Gun laws WORK

Australia’s mandatory gun buyback

On April 28, 1996, a crazed gunman armed with a semi-automatic rifle killed 35 people and injured 18 more when he went on a shooting spree at a historic and tourist site in Port Arthur, Tasmania in Australia’s worst gun massacre.

Within four months, the Australian government tightened the country’s gun laws, making the country’s gun restrictions among the strictest in the world.

The new laws banned all fully automatic, semi-automatic, pump-action and self-loading firearms, prohibited private sales, thus limiting who could legally sell or supply weapons, enacted  minimum requirements for licensing of firearms and put in place more secure storage rules for firearms. The new laws also created a mandatory ‘cooling-off’ period of 28 days before a person could granted a gun license, introduced compulsory safety courses and required people applying to purchase firearms to supply a “genuine reason” that they needed to own a firearm, and that reason could not include self-defense.

Predictably, conservatives and gun owners strongly fought the new laws, but the government enacted them anyway. And lest anyone think the gun laws were the work of liberals, Australia’s laws were enacted under then-Prime Minister John Howard, well known as a conservative political figure.

Documenting hate in Grand Junction

Here are additional recently-spotted signs that bring the hate and racism lurking in Grand Junction right out into the open:

This horrific sticker was spotted on a white Ford pickup truck in northwest Grand Junction on 8/4/18

A “Haji” is a slur for a Muslim, specifically one who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca. The “ZF” stands for “Zero Foxtrot,” the “U.S. Marine veteran owned and operated company” that sells these shameful stickers.

Sure enough, a wider shot of the back of this truck shows it has U.S. Marine Corps license plates, effectively linking racism and xenophobia with the U.S. Military, specifically Marine Corps veterans:

More case for gun reform, and fast: Firearms cause massive blaze in Basalt

The Lake Christine fire in Basalt last night, with Whole Foods Market in the foreground. Photo credit: Colorado State Patrol/CBS.

As if firearm massacres occurring regularly throughout the U.S. isn’t enough of a red flag that we need enact gun reform and fast, investigators have found that the massive wildland fire currently raging in Basalt was caused by the illegal use of “tracer bullets” at a firing range.

Tracer bullets have a small pyrotechnic charge  in the base that cause the bullets to leave a bright, burning track of smoke along their trajectory so that when fired, the path of the bullet is visible to the naked eye. The pyrotechnic charge is basically a firework.

Two people shooting tracer rounds at the Basalt SWA firing range caused the Lake Christine fire that is now wreaking havoc in Basalt. It is illegal to use tracer rounds during the current fire ban. The shooters were cited, but that does little to stop the damage their irresponsible use of firearms is causing.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has closed the Basalt shooting range indefinitely.

Massive damage

As of an hour ago, the Lake Christine fire had burned over 2,000 acres, three homes have been destroyed, 500 people have had to evacuate their homes and the fire remains completely uncontained.

Tracer fire at night on Finnish-Soviet border in 1939. (Source: Book Suomi Sodassa, Valitut Palat Oy 1973)

The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun illegally shooting pyrotechnic bullets at a firing range during a fire ban is tens of millions of dollars and thousands of firefighters putting their lives on the line to fight the massive fires they cause.

No further proof is needed that gun ownership rights are misused in a multitude of irresponsible ways on a massive scale in this country. It’s long past time we  did something about it.

To fight efforts to roll back the widespread irresponsible use of firearms in this country and the horrific damage it causes is to be a fake patriot and say you don’t care about America at all.

Western Slope pastor and Mesa County “Patriots” display stunning callousness towards refugees, children

Reverend Babcox, Orchard Mesa Baptist Church

Amid the massive “Keep Families Together” protests in over 750 cities across the country including in Grand Junction last weekend against the Trump administration’s harsh “zero tolerance” immigration policy that separated thousands of refugee children from their parents, some Mesa County citizens are publicly denying that any children of refugees have been taken away from their parents, while also denying there is anything wrong with doing it. Others show utter disdain towards immigrant parents for taking desperate measures to get their families out of harm’s way.

Of all people, Robert Babcox, the pastor of the Orchard Mesa Baptist Church, is one of those people.

It’s time to stop advertising guns.

In keeping with the culture of linking of firearms to masculinity, Daily Sentinel ran a Sportsman’s Warehouse’s ad promoting guns as gifts for Father’s Day, 2018

It’s time for our local paper, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, and other publications to stop advertising guns. This is the rock-bottom minimum that can be done to end the glorification of guns and senseless proliferation of gun violence in society. It is the metaphorical lifting a pinky finger to take action against a problem, but it is necessary.

Given the rate at which gun massacres are happening in our country, as a matter of health and safety, it’s time to just stop promoting guns in any way, and nowhere is this more true than in Mesa County.

Don’t be fooled. Gun massacres are about GUNS, not mental illness.

Yes, President Trump, it IS a ‘guns situation.’

In the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, Republicans are claiming that the easy availability of guns in the U.S. isn’t even a factor in our national epidemic of mass shootings. Instead they point to mental illness as the only factor that should be considered.

Hogwash.

Grand Junction’s huge anti gun-violence march and rally

Around 3,000 people attended Grand Junction, Colorado’s March for Our Lives, on Mach 24, 2018. It was one of 800 “sibling” marches  happening around the country and the world at the same time as the main March for our Lives in Washington, D.C., organized by students who survived the February 14 gun massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The attendance at Grand Junction’s march was impressive given that this area of Colorado has long been considered a gun-friendly, conservative stronghold. That may not be the case any more, as many gun owners are joining with the students in saying there are now too many guns in too many people’s hands, and a higher priority should be put on people’s safety rather than on guns.

Such significant participation in an event like this was unthinkable as recently as just a couple of years ago.

Get ready, Mesa County Republicans. President Trump wants to take your guns!


President Trump on Wednesday called for seizing guns belonging to people who are deemed to present a danger to others without allowing them due process first.

“I like taking the guns early, like in this crazy man’s case that just took place in Florida … to go to court would have taken a long time,” Trump told a group of lawmakers at a meeting about school safety and gun violence.

“Take the guns first, go through due process second,” Trump said.

Republicans at every level of government have blood on their hands for U.S. gun massacres

CO Senator Cory Gardner has taken $3.8 million from the NRA and reliably votes against measures to reduce gun violence in the U.S.

Another day, another gun massacre.

Still Republican legislators don’t even lift a finger to address it. “Thoughts and prayers” is their only response, since it holds off action on the insane proliferation of guns in this country, and blocks discussion of what can be done about mass gun violence in the U.S.

There is only one reason why gun massacres are now a common occurrence: America is awash in guns. It’s way too easy to get guns, even extremely dangerous ones, and it has been for far too long. People can  legally amass entire arsenals. The colossal number of guns washing around in the U.S. compared to other countries makes it extremely easy for anyone with even the most petty grievance to use a gun to settle a perceived score by killing people en masse.

And that’s exactly what is happening.