BOULDER — While gun control advocates seek to leverage the shooting in Boulder that left 10 people dead and renew efforts to restrict gun rights both nationally and at the state level, at least two of the victims were strong gun rights advocates.
Just days before his death, Denny Stong, the youngest victim of the shooting, posted a birthday fundraising request to Facebook asking his friends to donate to the National Foundation for Gun Rights (NFGR), a legal defense fund for gun owners based out of Loveland.
The Denver Post reported that Stong loved guns and was scheduled to take part in a large-scale Civil War re-enactment with Ford’s Independent Company, 2nd Colorado Volunteers.
It also appears that Eric Talley was a strong gun rights proponent as well. The TMZ newssite as well as KDVR in Denver are both reporting that, according to the father of the slain Boulder police officer, Talley would not have wanted his name used to advance stricter gun laws.
“My son would have been deeply offended to know his death would be used to promote gun control. Before he was an officer, he enjoyed shooting,” Homer Talley told TMZ.
However, talk of gun control continues to grow, especially among Colorado lawmakers, who believe more control will slow or stop mass shootings. Two bills introduced prior to the shooting are already making their way through the process. One would require owners to report to authorities if their guns were lost or stolen. The other would force secure storage of all guns under most circumstances.
Colorado Public Radio (CPR) has reported that only days after the Boulder mass-shooting, some lawmakers are already discussing the idea of a state-level ban on “assault-style weapons,” the definition of which can often include many types of commonly owned semi-automatic rifles.
In addition, Mom’s Demand Action (MDA) — a national gun control advocacy group at least partially funded by anti-gun, New York billionaire, Michael Bloomberg is also using the Boulder shooting to push for stronger gun control laws.
MDA planned a candlelight vigil at Fairview High School in Boulder, where Stong graduated in 2019, despite his appeal to his friends to support more gun rights.
“I’ve chosen this nonprofit because their mission means a lot to me, and I hope you’ll consider contributing as a way to celebrate with me,” Stong said on his post for his birthday fundraiser.
Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg told CPR that he’s unsure more gun measures will pass at the federal level; therefore, it’s up to Colorado to put forth more legislation. Fenberg also admitted that stand-alone measures are not effective.
“It is my job to solve solutions through policy. And that’s why it’s not too soon. It’s frankly too late, especially for these 10 innocent lives,” Fenberg told CPR “There’s no question that the real solution has to come from the federal government. A patchwork of laws is better than nothing, but clearly, if someone is intent on causing harm and we have strict regulations in Colorado, somebody can drive an hour and a half to Wyoming.”
Homer Talley disagreed, calling the shooting that took his son’s life, a senseless act.
“That is just it,” TMZ reported the elder Talley as saying. “The situation (Eric) found himself in wasn’t one that the government could protect him from. Just because some wacko goes around shooting people doesn’t mean guns need to be taken away. You can’t take away enough guns to protect this country.”
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