BOULDER, Colo. — Drive down Interstate 25 near Firestone or on Highway 93 in Boulder and you’ll see them. Two billboards tower over the highway advocating for gun control.
One woman is behind their message.
Boulder attorney Lindasue Smollen has spent a lot of time crafting their message, hoping it will resonate with Coloradans.
“The wording is important. They are wordy. People say it’s a traffic hazard. It’s getting your attention. That’s what I want,” she said.
Smollen has spent about $11,000 this month on the billboards, but she argues it’s money well spent after the mass shooting that happened not too far from her home at a Boulder King Soopers.
Smollen has spent thousands of dollars of her own money and also pays for the billboards using donations from a gofundme account.
“We have to do something. It’s the wild west all over the country. Have I changed minds? I don’t know. I’d like to think so,” she says.
One mind Smollen hasn’t changed is that of Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams, an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment.
“I think we have more than enough gun laws,” Reams said.
Smollen purposely put one of her billboards in Ream’s county and says she’s paid to have them put up in Weld County before because of Reams’ refusal to enforce red flag gun laws.
“Unfortunately the more and more that side pushes, the gun control advocates, the more I see people out buying firearms and ammo. I think it has the reverse effect of what she’s aiming for,” Reams said.
Smollen knows there are critics, but it hasn’t stopped her before.
In 2019 she purchased six billboards in Weld County, following a decision to make the county a Second Amendment Sanctuary County.
She also purchased several billboards in Boulder County in 2018.
At the very least, Smollen hopes the billboards spark a conversation, because she says sadly it’s only a matter of time before what happened in Boulder happens again.
“It’s going to happen in every community. It’s just a matter of time. Talk to me on the merits. Tell me what your solution is to this and engage,” she said.