Shawn Mitchell

Our government says it absolutely cannot keep track of its own borders or the 12 million people who live here illegally, but, it absolutely can keep track of the purchases, transfers, and components of hundreds of millions of guns and gun owners. It’s hell bound determined to try.

It would be prudent to distrust the priorities and intentions of such a government and astute to pay attention to its inevitable idiocies.

Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, the lead sponsor of one of the president’s lynchpin bills—to ban high capacity magazines--embarrassed herself not once or twice, but thrice last week, and not just herself, but the president and his agenda. DeGette’s missteps reflect the clumsy grasping of gun controllers nationally and, also reflect the willful abuses played out in a battle test ground in her home state of Colorado.

In the tumult of debate over state and federal gun measures, the Denver Post sponsored a forum on gun control last week where DeGette explained the genius behind banning high capacity magazines: "These are ammunition, they're bullets, so the people who have those now, they're going to shoot them, so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high-capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won't be any more available."

DeGette attempted damage control in a quickly published Post OpEd, but her remarks are staggeringly ignorant of a subject she claims to have “taken the lead on” for years. Magazines aren’t bullets; they hold bullets. They are eminently reloadable. It would be very bad conservation and environmentalism to discard them after a single use.

DeGette might as well have advocated a ban on large-bowl marijuana pipes: “These are buds; they’re weed. People are going to smoke them. So, if you ban them in the future, the number of these pipes will decrease because the pot will be smoked, and they won’t be available anymore."

Within hours after the forum, her office leapt into damage control only to make things worse. A spokeswoman asserted the Representative meant to refer to “clips” not magazines.

Wrong again. Besides the fact that clips generally are as reusable as magazines, they are not the subject of DeGette’s bill. It bans magazines. There is no reason on earth she would have been referring to them.

Shawn Mitchell

Shawn Mitchell was elected to Senate District 23 in the Colorado General Assembly in November of 2004. Shawn is an attorney at private practice in Denver and Adams County.