What if Republicans had to choose between guns and police lives? It’s not a hypothetical anymore.

On Dec. 31, 2017, a deranged meth user with a history of mental breakdowns ambushed and shot five sheriff’s deputies and two neighbors at a Colorado apartment complex before being killed by a SWAT team. One of the deputies, Zackari Parrish, 29, a husband and father of two young daughters, died from his wounds.

Last week the Colorado senate passed a bill that will allow judges to take guns away from persons deemed a danger to themselves or others. The Colorado house, where Democrats hold a majority, is expected to pass the bill next week.

The bill is co-sponsored by the Democratic house majority leader and a Democratic state representative who lost a son in the Columbine school massacre. Sheriff Tony Spurlock, Deputy Parrish’s boss, supports the measure.

But not a single Republican senator voted for the bill, and at least one Republican sheriff has vowed to go to jail rather than enforce it.

The funeral procession for Sheriff’s Deputy Zackari Parrish on Jan. 5, 2018. (Photo by The Denver Post)

Police officers will tell you the two types of calls they fear most are domestic violence and mental health calls. Empowering judges to disarm people with histories of domestic violence or dangerous mental disorders is just common sense, and can help save police lives. Of the 52 U.S. law enforcement officers who died in 2018 from gunfire, 6 were killed responding to domestic violence or public disturbance calls.

But given a choice between guns or improved officer safety, every single Colorado Republican state senator voted in favor of letting crazy people keep their guns, and numerous Republican counties are declaring themselves “gun sanctuaries” and saying they’ll refuse to enforce the law.

Read story here.


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  1. Mark Adans #

    What would be more effective in combating gun culture would be for Colorado House members to take guns away from the cops. At least most of the time in most situations. A Billy club, flash bangs, taser, ect is plenty for the cop on the beat most of the time. They can have weapons back in the car or station locked in a trunk in a carrier if the situation calls for a gun.

    What the cops and sheriff reject is that they would have to go out and enforce a law that ultimately will be struck down by the Supreme court. Colorado already has laws t take the rights of citizens away if they are deemed incompetent. Perhaps something needs to be added to allow a limited time sensed form of incompetence that might allow Prosecutors and others to use the law on the book more. I don’t know if the law would have made a difference in 2017 with a deranged meth user with a history of mental breakdowns, as there are laws on the books that drug users cannot own firearms. Maybe even a few still on the books that blacks cannot own a gun, but clearly those are not enforced, and legislatures are too busy to scrub those and red lining laws out of the books.

    The officers know they are the ones who will have to go take the guns away form these people, and go back when old George has dug up the 50 cal. They would prefer to let these sleeping dogs sleep, but not so the legislators who want to appear to be doing something. Nor are they the ones in the fox holes.

  2. Roger Rabbit #

    You don’t need to misspell your name, Mark. Your comments will pass moderation as long as you play by the rules. Similar “red flag” laws have been enacted by 14 states (including Washington). Trump has come out in support of such laws. The NRA has paid lip service to supporting them, but so far has not done so. Courts have not ruled on their constitutionality. However, we do know this: Sheriffs do not have the authority to decide whether laws are constitutional. Legislatures pass laws, courts decide their constitutionality, and sheriffs and police enforce them. A sheriff does not get to decide which laws to enforce based on his personal beliefs. If his beliefs get in the way of doing his job, he should seek other work. He is not a court and he should not try to do the judge’s job.