Littwin: Going gun-loving crazy in Castle Rock

[dropcap]N[/dropcap]ow that Castle Rock’s town council has voted to repeal the law banning open carry in parks and public buildings, I hope the town’s citizens take this to heart.

I mean, if they’re going to do this, let’s see them actually do it.

It’s one to thing to talk about liberty. Let’s see if they can show the world what freedom really means in Castle Rock, Colorado, USA.

Let’s see the next town council meeting — and every one after that — packed with people publicly packing heat. Let’s see shoulder holsters, ankle holsters, Uncle Mike’s Tactical Reflex Open Top holsters. Let’s see 10 guns for every councilperson. Let’s see 10 guns strapped to every city councilperson.

[pullquote]The Castle Rock story is getting a lot of play, but no one should be surprised. This isn’t about reaching for your guns. This is about overreaching for ’em.[/pullquote]

Let’s wait for the guy with the twitch to show up. You know, the guy who’s always screaming about the rent being too damn high or about the aliens — not the illegal kind, the extraterrestrial kind — on his block. And who now comes armed to the teeth.

And then after the meeting, if no one is seriously injured, let’s head to the park. Bring the dog. Bring the baby. Bring the Glock.

Don’t you want to watch dad/mom pushing his/her kid on the swing while sporting the latest in active gunwear? How about catching the kid at the bottom of the slide? Certainly, you’d want to be armed to do that. Throwing frisbee with the dog? Feeding the ducks? Having a family picnic? Check, check and check. Gun, gun and gun.

Are these guys serious?

I haven’t spent much time in Castle Rock over the years, but in the times I have been there, I’ve never seen anyone walking down the street looking like he’s headed for the OK Corral. What would you think if you were in the park and saw someone pushing the baby in a stroller while sporting a sidearm? I’d think that 1) he was out of his mind and 2) wonder how the hell I’m going to tell him. This is the, uh, freedom we’re talking about.

The Castle Rock story is getting a lot of play, but no one should be surprised. This isn’t about reaching for your guns. This is about overreaching for ’em.

This is about pushing and pushing to make sure guns are allowed everywhere. Because … because … because?

This isn’t about Western culture or liberty. It’s about extremes. And if the Castle Rock planning commissioners are threatening to quit en masse because it’s crazy to invite people to arm themselves during angry public discussion, you ignore them. And if a survey shows that 95 percent of the town employees think this is a bad idea, you certainly don’t second-guess your thinking. You just ask yourself what Dudley Brown would do. (You know what Ted Nugent would do. Last we saw him, he was calling Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel.”)

And it’s clear what the Castle Rock mayor, who happens to be part owner of a gun club, would do.

Last summer’s recalls showed the dangers of politicians voting for even modest gun laws. The first legislative recalls in Colorado history were a warning to legislators everywhere. But the post-recall polls showed that most Coloradans actually opposed the recalls. And my guess is that every time gun activists push again, there will start to be some more push back.

The Denver Post ran an interesting story the other day about criminal background checks on guns. More Coloradans bought guns in 2013 than in any other year. Presumably, this is a reaction to the supposed governmental gun-grabbing even though there has been exactly no governmental gun-grabbing. But saying there might be has certainly been good for business.

There were nearly 400,000 background checks. And there were 7,351 denials. Depending on your worldview, that would mean that “only” 1.9 percent were denied, or it was an are-you-kidding me moment — that more than 7,000 people were stopped from buying guns who shouldn’t have them. Yeah, and 41 of those denied were for an arrest or conviction of — let’s start here — homicide. There were 166 for sexual assault and 1,412 for plain-old assault.

Are we better off with background checks or not?

We’ll get another chance to decide this year, as Sen. George Rivera — who won a recall election over Angela Giron — introduced a bill to repeal the new law on background checks for private sales. It won’t pass, of course. And when there was a mix-up about Rivera’s repeal bill being introduced, Senate minority leader Bill Cadman — who later admitted that he had gotten the facts wrong — threatened Senate President Morgan Carroll with a recall of her own. Just so you know that the emotions on this issue have not exactly been calmed.

It was nearly as emotional as the town-council meeting in Castle Rock. Of course, if you’re at the next meeting in Castle Rock, you can make sure everyone there knows that you’re not just emotional, but that you’re armed and emotional. Armed and emotional and maybe close to losing control and living in a town where the people apparently think that’s just fine.


  1. Just because the town of Castle Rock is repealing the ban on open carry doesn’t mean that this place is going to turn into the Wild West. It’s a right to carry. Doesn’t mean you have to do it. Most smart people know that you’re better off carrying concealed than out in the open. Also, just because people are allowed to carry, doesn’t mean that there are going to be shootings all over the place after a simple argument. The gun-carrying law abiding citizens are the ones who carry to defend, not antagonize. Criminals are the ones you have to worry about. Law or no law, criminals will carry no matter what anyways so placing a “ban” on carrying firearms means nothing to those people.

  2. It’s all about good guys with guns stopping the bad guy. Right! “Most smart people know you’re better off with a concealed gun”? Most smart people don’t carry a gun concealed or in the open period. They don’t feel threatened.

    Where in the heck are all these criminals the gun nuts keep telling us about? I’m 73 years young and have yet to be accosted by an imaginary criminal breaking into my home or assaulting me on the streets. I don’t have a gun in my home or want one simply because I don’t feel threatened.

    This 2nd amendment crowd is paranoid bunch with their anti government rants and delusional values that distort reality. I love it! “There won’t be shootings all over the place after a simple argument”. Give me a break.

    Carrying a weapon in the open or concealed is about power and control and has NOTHING to do with self defense or some delusional concept of freedom and liberty. It’s Ted Nugent adolescence or the maudlin visions of a washed up old man moaning “in my cold dead hands”.

    What a crock!

  3. The point of Mr. Littwin’s column is contained in four of the last five paragraphs, proving once more it’s better to start reading his column from the end.

    He believes in background checks. Good for him.

    What’s harder to discern is why he felt it necessary to mock, marginalize and ridicule the people and government of Castle Rock to make that point. The Castle Rock town council’s decision to repeal the law banning open carry in parks and public buildings has nothing to do with background checks.

    Neither does Ted Nugent or his opinion of President Obama. It appears Mr. Littwin has developed a tick when it comes to gun control. What, no Tom Tancredo?

    But nothing explains the gratuitous bile Mr. Littwin has chosen to direct at Castle Rock.

    Mr. Littwin is a long time proponent of gun control/reform/confiscation but he has never used his column to outline exactly what he would like to see done about what he perceives as a “gun problem”.

    That’s unlikely to change since it’s so much easier to disparage the people of Castle Rock then present his own ideas.

  4. Did someone break wind or was that another gaseous offering from Ticky Don Lopez? It’s hard to tell the difference.

  5. Mike never once suggests confiscating anyone’s guns. In fact, he spears that red herring nicely by giving the actual statistic on the number of guns confiscated (zero).

    It seems people for whom guns trump all else simply are beyond convincing that rational limits on gun ownership and use are the sane and smart choice. I get them and their view (you’d have to live in a cave to not get their point). What I really don’t get is why the vast majority in the middle on this issue, those who, like me, support rational gun control, why do they keep allowing the reactionary fringe to dominate the rest of us?

    Guns have a place in our society, it isn’t in public meetings.

  6. I live in Castle Rock and love Castle Rock. I went to high school here when it was common to have a gun in your truck to hunt before or after school. I grew up with guns and I like guns. But what the town council did was shameful, at best, political grandstanding to prove who is the reddest in a red county or worse paranoia. They ignored the recommendations of their Public Safety Commission (“Highly recommended” to retain the ban}, police officers and the majority of town employees. Testimony to lift the ban proponents were standard platitudes (nothing new) but obviously compelling to the council. Common sense policy was tossed for politics.

  7. What the city council is doing is telling everyone that they do NOT represent what the PEOPLE want, they do what THEY want. And they do whatever those who pull their strings want. The fact that an overall 90% of people in this country, and most likely the large majority in their own town, WANT sensible background checks. They don’t CARE. THEY want everyone armed to the freaking teeth, most likely because there is a black man in the white house. Don’t like it? Where the hell were these people when W was getting us into illegal wars and wiping his butt with the constitution?

    The right has gone absolutely insane, and it’s amazing to watch. It’s scary to think these people have influence on our nation, because they should be in a mental institution somewhere, had Reagan not closed them all. The paranoia of these people is amazing, but when you realize that they KNOW what they are, they KNOW what they have been putting this country through for the last 35+ years, they KNOW what they have been doing to us all, and they know what THEY would do if anyone had treated them that way. They are expecting us to come after them, and they DESERVE it. Too bad we don’t do that. THEY do.

    The right has become the meanest, weakest, most short sighted, most fascist group of people in my memory, and I’m in my 50’s. American’s don’t act like that, I don’t know why anyone would vote for them. I guess there are a lot more MEAN people out there than I thought. Stupid ones, too.

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