NRA Coffman campaign in gun-rattled Aurora could backfire

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you live in Aurora, chances are you found a glossy mailer on your doorstep last week. (In a Congressional district as tight as the 6th, leafing through stacks of campaign mailers is now part of your daily routine.) And if you’re one of the few who actually read everything that gets dropped on your doorstep, you came across the NRA Political Victory Fund’s recent endorsement of Republican Mike Coffman for Congress.

The mailer, styled like a report card, gives Coffman an A rating for his commitment to stopping the “Obama/Bloomberg gun control agenda,” followed by a list of items Coffman opposes. The list includes some real things and some made-up things.

The first, “The United Nations Gun Ban Treaty,” presumably refers to the UN Arms Treaty, which the Obama administration signed along with 114 other countries in 2013. The treaty is not in any way a “gun ban,” as Mike Weissner, the gun guy at Huffington Post, explains. It has no effect on a sovereign country’s domestic laws (like the 2nd Amendment!) Iran, Syria and North Korea were the only countries to vote against the treaty.

The other items Coffman “strongly opposes and will fight against” include: bans on guns, ammunition and gun shows; a federal gun registration database; and requiring government approval for gun sales between lifelong friends and family members. These include Colorado’s new loop-hole free universal background check and magazine limit laws.

The mailer touting Coffman’s gun rights bonafides is based on an assumption made by the NRA that hardline anti-gun control stands are embraced by voters in Aurora. But that’s no safe assumption.

Aurora was the setting two summers ago of the horrific movie theater that made national headlines. It is also home to high-level everyday gun violence. Aurora has a 4 percent higher murder rate than does the country at large.

Granted, the read on popular support for gun control in Colorado is confusing. In 2013, Democratic lawmakers successfully passed basic gun laws. Then voters recalled two state senators who spearheaded the effort. Polling shows most people oppose gun control on principle but support specific policy provisions when they hear them spelled out in plain English.

The NRA Coffman mailers are no sure bet.