Tag: 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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

The G.J. Sentinel hawks cheap handguns while wishing readers “a safe and happy holiday”

With ads like these in the local paper, no wonder Grand Junction has such a high suicide rate

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel ran a big ad in it’s Thanksgiving Day paper selling handguns for cheap while on it’s Facebook page it simultaneously wishes readers a “safe and happy holiday.”

Many area residents would consider the ad alone grossly inappropriate in a community that recently reached a record high suicide rate, and which has for years struggled with one of the highest suicide rates in the nation.

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.

The dark money groups, shady astroturfers and wealthy locals backing Measure 1A, the public safety sales tax

Tim Pollard of “Back the Badge’s” board is the brother-in-law of Josh Penry, who, with Penry operates the astroturfing group EIS Solutions, which is pocketing much of the money raised to promote 1A

Ballot Measure 1A will increase the sales tax in Mesa County by 0.37% to fund the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s office.

It sounds like a good idea, but much of the money behind 1A is coming from unaccountable sources, and the astroturfing groups promoting it may give some people pause. In particular, one big-money donor backing 1A is an aggressively pro-gun group that refuses to reveal its funders and works to push lawmakers out of office who support policies to reduce gun massacres in the U.S., like the one that occurred in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017.

Buy a gun for Father’s Day? Think again.

Shame on Sportsman’s Warehouse for advertising guns on sale for Father’s Day. Mesa County has one of the highest suicide rates in the country, and women comprise 75% of all fatal domestic violence victims by guns in the U.S.

Sportsmans’ Warehouse ran a big ad in today’s Daily Sentinel touting a big sale on guns and ammo for Father’s Day.

This does our area a big disservice.

There is a huge intersection between fatal domestic violence killings and guns, and keeping guns in the home raises the risk of homicide, suicide and accidental shootings tremendously.

In Colorado alone, there have been 105 domestic violence homicides by gun since 2006.

Pinkwashing Gun Deaths: Sportsman’s Warehouse’s “Shoot for a Cure”

Sportsman's Warehouse tells people they can help cure breast cancer by buying and shooting guns

Sportsman’s Warehouse newspaper ad tells people they can help cure breast cancer by buying and shooting guns

It’s October again, that time of year when pink gets slapped on all kinds of products, from toasters to waffle makers to beer pong tables, and ads urge people to buy stuff to prevent breast cancer.

Now Sportsman’s Warehouse has jumped into the fray, running newspaper ads selling pink guns and urging people to “shoot for a cure.”

Ick.

How inappropriate is this?

Let’s count the ways.

Another “Responsible” Mesa County Gun Owner at Work?

From the Saturday, February 20, 2016 Daily Sentinel. "Oops! Anybody seen my lost handgun?"

From the Saturday, February 20, 2016 Daily Sentinel: Oops! Anybody seen my lost handgun?

Incredibly, Colorado has no law requiring firearm owners to report the loss or theft of a firearm. One study (pdf) found that states without mandatory lost or stolen gun reporting laws export two and a half times more crime guns across state lines than jurisdictions with such laws. Eight-five percent of lost or stolen guns are never recovered, and police say stolen and illegal guns are at the root of violence across the country.