One of the greatest features of American democracy is the people’s right to recall specific politicians and so fire them if their votes and positions displease the electorate. In the context of the shootout between pro- and anti-gun forces, two Colorado state senators are facing a recall election because of their extremely unpopular votes in favor of tougher gun-control laws. What makes this significant is that this is happening in Colorado, which is not even one of the most ardent pro-gun states in the country.
The two state senators in the crosshairs of this referendum are John Morse and Angela Giron. The former is the president of Colorado’s Senate, and both of them are the only two state legislators ever in the history of the state to be the subjects of a recall campaign.
The upcoming recall election is being regarded as something of a touchstone for the larger gun-control battle that has been in full swing throughout 2013 due to the exploitation of the Newton, Connecticut, school shooting for political points by Democrats. What has helped to bring this local Colorado recall to national prominence is the influence of outside groups and people—both pro- and anti-gun—to steer the election their way.
Prominent anti-gun mayor and former Democrat Michael Bloomberg has donated almost half a million dollars to keep the two state senators in office while liberal ideologue and California entrepreneur Eli Broad—an aggressive supporter of Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns special interest—has provided a quarter of a million dollars to defeat the recalls. The NRA has donated money in support of the recall effort.
Unsurprisingly, both Morse and Giron are fighting tooth and nail to defeat the will of the people of Colorado because so much is at stake for anti-gun ideologues in the broader, nationwide debate over gun control. Both Colorado Democrats agree with the gun-rights proponents who are behind the recall that the recall is extremely significant. However, their agreement with the proponents ends right there.
According to Morse and Giron, the success of the recall would be disastrous, and not only because they would lose their seats and be out of a job. In their opinion, the recall would set a very calamitous precedent for the entire country. It would signal that any elected official can be removed from power because of controversial votes. Conservatives and libertarians, though, would immediately respond that that is exactly the whole purpose of recall elections—to execute checks on politicians for votes that are unpopular.
If the pro-gun rights forces succeed at recalling these two Democrats, it would equal a massive victory for the 2nd Amendment. Beyond that, it would also send ripples of fear and concern to all Democrats who have cast unpopular, anti-gun votes or are thinking about it.