The Colorado state senators subjected to a recall vote due to their stance on gun control issues soon will be packing up their offices.
Second Amendment supporters took to the polls in droves Tuesday to make their voices heard, and booted Colorado Senate President John Morse and State Senator Angela Giron, both Democrats. The two were instrumental in pushing gun control bills through the legislature after the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting.
Although it was a state issue, the Colorado recall election drew national headlines. Both gun control and gun rights advocates from across the country watched the debates and press conferences leading up to the vote. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who supports gun control, donated $350,000 to try and help the senators remain in office.
But in the end, no amount of money could help Morse and Giron. Morse lost, 51-49 percent, while Giron was defeated, 56-44 percent. Their defeats cut the Democrats’ majority from 20-15 to just one seat, 18-17. Morse represents Colorado Springs and Giron represents Pueblo. In both cities, Democrats outnumber Republicans.
After Senate President John Morse learned that a majority of voters cast ballots to remove him from office, he conceded the race. Morse said, “We as the Democratic Party will continue to fight.” Bernie Herpin, a former Republican city councilman from Colorado Springs, will assume Morse’s seat. It took Colorado State Senator Angela Giron a bit longer to comprehend that her constituents had fired her, as well, although she conceded later in the night. She will be replaced by Republican George Rivera. Herpin and Rivera are considered pro-gun rights.
The recall election was the first such race to occur in Colorado since the procedure to oust lawmakers was approved in 1912.
“We will win in the end because we are on the right side,” Giron said.
The National Rifle Association, though, said freedom had prevailed.
“The people of Colorado Springs and Pueblo sent a clear message to their elected officials that their primary job is to defend our rights and freedoms and that they are accountable to their constituents – not the dollars or social engineering agendas of anti-gun billionaires,” the NRA said in a statement. …This effort was driven by concerned citizens, who made phone calls, knocked on doors, and worked diligently to turn voters out in this historic effort.”
It was a huge defeat for Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns organization, which is fighting for tougher gun laws. Angela Giron had told the New Republic earlier this year, “For Mayors Against Illegal Guns, if they lose even one of these seats, they might as well fold it up. And they understand that.”
One of the petition organizers, Timothy Knight, stated that if the lawmakers had listened to constituents in the first place and not voted for the gun control bills, a recall election would not have been necessary.
A small group of six men are heralded for initiating the recall effort. Their desire and dedication to preserve the right to bear arms in Colorado led to a landmark win for gun owners.
Victor Head, of the Pueblo Freedom and Rights group, said “there is only so much they can ram down your throat before you end up getting sick of it and spitting it back out.”
Basic Freedom Defense Fund Board Member Anthony Garcia said he initially felt like he could not do anything to defend or reverse the Second Amendment infringement going on in his state, but ultimately decided that he was wrong. Garcia said, “I thought I was just one person, and that’s completely, completely wrong. We got together and did the impossible. Anybody who’s watching this, they can too. All they have to do is get up and get involved. That’s it.”
The Colorado Republican Party believes that the recall election sends a “loud and clear” message that Democrats across America are out-of-touch with the mindset of most citizens. The state’s Democratic Governor, John Hickenlooper, said he was disappointed with the recall election results but is now calling for residents to refocus and “unite as Coloradans.” Republicans, thought, now are hoping to boot Hickenlooper, too. He is up for re-election in 2014.