Pro-gun enthusiasts to rally near Capitol Wednesday

DENVER — As Colorado’s legislature opens Wednesday with Democrats back in control of both the state House and Senate and seeking to pursue several gun control proposals, gun enthusiasts are set to hold a large rally just outside the Capitol that’s sure to draw a lot of media attention.

Organized by a group called “Guns for Everyone”, the rally is likely to draw some gun enthusiasts who are carrying weapons in Veteran’s Park, the rally site just across Lincoln Avenue from the Capitol.

That would be a violation of a city ordinance.

“The main focus of the rally is gun freedom, but Guns for Everyone is a strong supporter
of anything freedom, so this is more about freedom than simply guns,” says the group’s Facebook page advertising the event.

A number of people planning to attend the event have commented on the thread, which includes pictures of those who’ve made signs for the rally and inquiries from those curious about how long the event will last and who will be speaking.

A post by Neal Pashman underlines the enthusiasm of many attendees — and why Denver Police are likely to keep a close eye on the event.

“WE SHOULD BE OPENLY CARRYING OUR HIGH CAPACITY CAPABLE, SEMI -AUTO RIFLES AND HANDGUNS! LET THOUSANDS OF US SHOW UP WITH LOADED WEAPONS!!!!” Pashman writes, using all caps.
 
“PUT THE FEAR OF GOD INTO THE POLICE AND THE LEGISLATURE, AND THAT SCUMBAG GOVERNOR!! LET THEM KNOW WHAT WOULD COME NEXT!!! GIVE THEM A WARNING THEY WILL NEVER FORGET!!!

Gov. John Hickenlooper, just days before the shooting in Newtown, Conn. that left 26 people dead, told a reporter that he believes “the time is right” to discuss gun control laws.

On “Guns for Everyone”‘s Facebook page, Edgar Antillion, one of the organizers and a candidate for mayor in Westminster, challenged Hickenlooper’s assertion.

“There is nothing to debate, my freedom is not up for discussion,” Antillion is quoted as saying.

In response to the Aurora theater shooting, which saw 12 killed and 58 others injured last July, Hickenlooper began working on a number of changes to improve the state’s mental health services that lawmakers will pursue in the coming session.

Other state lawmakers, all Democrats, have indicated that they plan to pursue legislation to impose stricter background checks on all gun purchases, to ban guns on college campuses and possibly to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines from being sold in the state.

The rally is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

In Washington, gun control advocates fight to maintain momentum

Meanwhile, with the new Congress facing immediate fiscal challenges and a full agenda that also includes comprehensive immigration reform, gun control advocates are working hard to maintain momentum.

With emotions, so hot after the Newtown shooting, now cooling with each passing day, Vice President Joe Biden will meet this week with members of a task force working to formulate a package of gun control measures for Congress to pursue next month.

On Tuesday, the group “Mayors Against Guns” rolled out a new television ad featuring Roxanna Green, the mother of a young girl who was shot and killed two years ago in Tucson, Ariz at a grocery store where then-Rep. Gabby Giffords was holding a meeting.

That coincided with Giffords, along with husband Mark Kelly, launching her own gun control initiative Tuesday with a new website and Op-Ed piece in USA Today.

“This country is known for using its determination and ingenuity to solve problems, big and small,” Giffords and Kelly write. “Wise policy has conquered disease, protected us from dangerous products and substances, and made transportation safer. But when it comes to protecting our communities from gun violence, we’re not even trying — and for the worst of reasons.”