2021 Leg Session, Denver, Exclusives, Joshua Sharf, Right To Arms, Uncategorized

Sharf: So-called ‘local control’ gun bill penalizes those most at risk

Several weeks ago, my wife and I were in New York City.  While we were there, the rising tide of anti-Semitism made itself felt in a most forceful way.

At E. 51st St. and 3rd Ave., just east of Midtown Manhattan, a violent mob attacked two Jewish men outside a restaurant.  In the Diamond District, another mob went driving and running through the streets looking for Jews to attack, and threw an incendiary device at the door of the Diamond Market building, burning one.  In Times Square, yet another mob put a man in the hospital in broad daylight.  In Brooklyn, mere blocks from where we were staying, two Jewish teens were surrounded and assaulted by yet a fourth mob, before being driven to safety by a Muslim Uber driver.

The violence wasn’t limited to New York.  In Los Angeles, a carful of men drove up to the Beverly Grove Restaurant, got out, yelled, “Who are the Jews?” and started beating people.

In neither New York nor Los Angeles is it legal for the average citizen to carry a gun for self-defense.

Contrast that with what happened in Florida, where no special license is needed for concealed carry.  There, a Jewish family was accosted by a group of men in an SUV, when a third man drove up to help, showed his gun, and sent the SUV fleeing, with nobody assaulted or hurt.

Colorado is a special place, and my family and I live here for a reason.  But if history has shown anything, it is that certain tides reach even the highest of places.

My point in bringing up these events is not to show Jews as victims.  Rather it is to emphasize that we are determined, here in the United States, not to be victims.

Unfortunately, the Democrat majority of the state legislature, the governor, and the mayor of Denver seem determined to take that power and that choice away from us.

If anyone tries to tell you that Senate Bill 256, passed by the Democrat majority in the recent legislative session, is just about giving local governments control over gun regulation, they’re lying through their teeth.  Fact is that the bill, which unwinds decades of state pre-emption over guns in Colorado, only allows for laws stricter than those at the state level; a bastardization of the concept of ‘local control.’  The bill also penalizes those Coloradans most vulnerable to acts of violence, and most in need of being able to defend themselves.

This bill would allow for any county of municipality to ban the possession, sale, or transfer of a firearm or firearm accessory within their jurisdiction; and would allow any county, municipality, special district, or college campus to ban concealed carry.

In short, any city would be able to virtually eliminate the use of firearms for self-defense outside the home.

The City and County of Denver was already preparing to move before the bill even passed.  According to a search of the Secretary of State’s TRACER database, the city’s lobbyists were instructed by the mayor’s office to take a position in support of this bill.  Anyone voting for this bill clearly understood that Denver’s government, without advertising this fact to its citizens, is preparing to restrict their ability to defend themselves.

Should an attack on a synagogue or yeshiva take place, God forbid, many of the proponents of this bill would line up to speak at whatever event was arranged afterwards.  They will mouth pious words about the need to conquer hate, and that they stand together with their Jewish neighbors and citizens.

The bitter irony is that should Denver ban concealed-carry, those who voted for this bill will have made such an attack all the more likely, and will be making Jewish life in our city and state more precarious.

As we have seen, one doesn’t have to be in a synagogue to be a target.  One can be in a restaurant, or at an event, or even simply walking on the street.  We will have to find other, less reliable, more restrictive ways of not being victims.

Or choose not to be a victim someplace else.

Joshua Sharf is a Denver resident and a regular contributor to Complete Colorado.

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