FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Dividing Colorado

by CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI

It could be called the rule of surprising consequences.  On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, accompanied by an assortment of weapons, burst into the Sandy Hook school in Watertown, Connecticut and killed 20 children and staff.  Following the tragedy the Connecticut legislature took steps to lessen the likelihood that such an event would repeat itself.  On April 3, 2013, with bi-partisan support, the Connecticut legislature passed Senate Bill No. 1160, entitled: “An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety.”  Under the terms of the bill, certain guns can no longer be sold in that state.  Included among them is the Bushmaster XM15, the type of AR-15 rifle that Adam used to kill.  It bans the sale of gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.  (Adam had 10 magazines loaded with 300 rounds.  It only took 154 rounds plus one from a Glock pistol for him to kill 20 of his victims. When it was all said and done he would have had 146 left over for another day had he not killed himself instead.)

On April 4, 2013, Connecticut’s governor Dan Malloy signed the bill into law.  On April 11, 2013, PTR industries, a gun maker that manufactures, among other things, the now banned Bushmaster XM15, announced that it was leaving the state in protest over the new law.  In June 2013, the company moved its operation to South Carolina where there haven’t been any massacres that would cause that state’s residents to be nervous about guns.

On July 12, 2012, James Eagan Holmes went into a Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight screening of The Dark Night Rises.   Like Adam Lanza, James was armed with a variety of weapons that served him well.  He killed 12 people and wounded 70 others. The legislature and the governor responded.  In March 2013 two laws were passed that went into effect July 1, 2013.  The first requires universal background checks on all gun sales and transfers and requires gun buyers to pay for those checks. The second limits the size of gun magazines to no more than 15 rounds. Those laws were signed by Governor John Hickenlooper on March 20, 2013.  (Three other laws dealing with guns were signed by the governor in May 2013.)

The Colorado legislation was opposed by all the Republicans in the legislature.  Prior to passage of the bills, Magpul Industries, a firm that manufactures 30-round magazines and other firearm accessories, announced that if the gun legislation being considered by the state legislature were to pass, it would move its manufacturing facilities to a different state. As of this writing it has not announced a new location for its facilities but has indicated that it still plans to leave the state. HiViz Shooting Systems, a Colorado firearms company, has announced that it is moving to Laramie, Wyoming.

All of the foregoing notwithstanding, the most surprising consequence of the new law in Colorado has nothing to do with losing manufacturers.  It has to do with the state of Colorado losing counties.  Unlike the manufacturing companies, counties cannot pull up stakes and leave Colorado.  They are fixed geographically within that state.  The next best thing they can do, they hope, is secede from the state of Colorado. And that is what the county commissioners of Weld County, a rural county in northern Colorado, have proposed.  The commissioners are motivated not only by their dislike of what the Colorado legislature has done with respect to guns but with other legislation passed by the legislature affecting agriculture and oil and gas development.

The new state that the three elected county commissioners in Weld County, Colorado have proposed to create by secession is to be called North Colorado.  The commissioners have met with representatives from six other Colorado counties and those counties have expressed an interest in participating in the process.  The Weld County commissioners are Republicans.  Republicans are normally concerned about high costs of government.  Although the process of seceding will be expensive and substituting two states for one state will greatly increase the cost of governance, the commissioners are not worried about those expenses if they can have a separate state. And they may also be taking comfort in the thought that one expense no one will have to incur is the expense of redesigning the American flag.  That is because in early 2013, a petition bearing the signature of 125,746 Texans was sent to the White House seeking permission for Texas to secede from the union.  The request was turned down by the administration.  Given recent events in the Texas legislature the administration might want to reconsider.  Should that happen the flag would not have to be changed.  The star that used to represent Texas would now represent North Colorado, a nifty solution since North Colorado would presumably have the same political leanings as the state it replaced.

Christopher Brauchli is a lawyer living in Boulder, Colorado. He can be emailed at brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu.

Christopher Brauchli is an attorney in Boulder, Colorado.

February 10, 2016
Eoin Higgins
Clinton and the Democratic Establishment: the Ties That Bind
Fred Nagel
The Role of Legitimacy in Social Change
Jeffrey St. Clair
Why Bernie Still Won’t Win
Mike Whitney
Putin’s Aleppo Gamble Pays Off
Chris Martenson
The Return of Crisis: Everywhere Banks are in Deep Trouble
Ramzy Baroud
Next Onslaught in Gaza: Why the Status Quo Is a Precursor for War
Sheldon Richman
End, Don’t Extend, Draft Registration
Benjamin Willis
Obama in Havana
Jack Smith
Obama Intensifies Wars and Threats of War
Rob Hager
How Hillary Clinton Co-opted the Term “Progressive”
Mark Boothroyd
Syria: Peace Talks Collapse, Aleppo Encircled, Disaster Looms
Lawrence Ware
If You Hate Cam Newton, It’s Probably Because He’s Black
Jesse Jackson
Starving Government Creates Disasters Like Flint
Bill Laurance
A Last Chance for the World’s Forests?
Gary Corseri
ABC’s of the US Empire
Frances Madeson
The Pain of the Earth: an Interview With Duane “Chili” Yazzie
Binoy Kampmark
The New Hampshire Distortion: The Primaries Begin
Andrew Raposa
Portugal: Europe’s Weak Link?
Wahid Azal
Dugin’s Occult Fascism and the Hijacking of Left Anti-Imperialism and Muslim Anti-Salafism
February 09, 2016
Andrew Levine
Hillary Says the Darndest Things
Paul Street
Kill King Capital
Ben Burgis
Lesser Evil Voting and Hillary Clinton’s War on the Poor
Paul Craig Roberts
Are the Payroll Jobs Reports Merely Propaganda Statements?
Fran Quigley
How Corporations Killed Medicine
Ted Rall
How Bernie Can Pay for His Agenda: Slash the Military
Neve Gordon
Israeli Labor Party Adopts the Apartheid Mantra
Kristin Kolb
The “Great” Bear Rainforest Agreement? A Love Affair, Deferred
Joseph Natoli
Politics and Techno-Consciousness
Hrishikesh Joshi
Selective Attention to Diversity: the Case of Cruz and Rubio
Stavros Mavroudeas
Why Syriza is Sinking in Greece
David Macaray
Attention Peyton Manning: Leave Football and Concentrate on Pizza
Arvin Paranjpe
Opening Your Heart
Kathleen Wallace
Boys, Hell, and the Politics of Vagina Voting
Brian Foley
Interview With a Bernie Broad: We Need to Start Focusing on Positions and Stop Relying on Sexism
February 08, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Privatization: the Atlanticist Tactic to Attack Russia
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Water War Against the Poor: Flint and the Crimes of Capital
John V. Walsh
Did Hillary’s Machine Rig Iowa? The Highly Improbable Iowa Coin Tosses
Vincent Emanuele
The Curse and Failure of Identity Politics
Eliza A. Webb
Hillary Clinton’s Populist Charade
Uri Avnery
Optimism of the Will
Roy Eidelson Trudy Bond, Stephen Soldz, Steven Reisner, Jean Maria Arrigo, Brad Olson, and Bryant Welch
Preserve Do-No-Harm for Military Psychologists: Coalition Responds to Department of Defense Letter to the APA
Patrick Cockburn
Oil Prices and ISIS Ruin Kurdish Dreams of Riches
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, the UN and Meanings of Arbitrary Detention
Shamus Cooke
The Labor Movement’s Pearl Harbor Moment
W. T. Whitney
Cuba, War and Ana Belen Montes
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail