Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Are you a friend of the NRA? (Peggy Littleton's asking.)

Posted By on Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Commissioner Peggy Littleton

Tomorrow, at the regular meeting of the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners, Peggy Littleton will be introducing her "Friends of the NRA" proclamation.

What's this, you ask?

If a majority of her colleagues on the BOCC are supportive, the proclamation will designate, from now until eternity, April 4, 2013 Friends of NRA Day.

The proclamation reads:

WHEREAS, volunteers across America have formed local Friends of NRA committees to raise funds for the non-profit NRA Foundation; and

WHEREAS, these funds are used to support such important programs as firearms education and safety, shooting range development, conservation education and research, the shooting sports, law enforcement firearm competition, and many other vital programs; and

WHEREAS, last year Colorado Friends of NRA committees raised more than $585,000 through the support of their communities; half of which stays in Colorado; and

WHEREAS, last year the Colorado Friends of NRA State Fund Committee provided more than 56 grants totaling over $290,000 to Colorado organizations; and

WHEREAS, of those 56 grants, 34 were for youth related programs funded for $175,374; and

WHEREAS, the Colorado Springs Friends of NRA Committee is celebrating its 18h [sic] anniversary of service to our community; and

WHEREAS, the Colorado Springs Friends of NRA Committee will hold its annual event on April 4, 2013; and

WHEREAS, that the Board of County Commissioners of El Paso County, Colorado hereby designates April 4, 2013 as “Friends of NRA Day.”

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of County Commissioners of El Paso County, Colorado hereby designates April 4, 2013 as “Friends of NRA Day.”

I know. I've got chills, too. But, in a practical sense, what does this proclamation mean for the residents of El Paso County? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

What it will do is provide an opportunity for the two sides of the gun-rights debate to come down to Centennial Hall (200 S. Cascade Ave.) at 9 a.m. and rally.

There are certainly some people who aren't happy with Littleton's gesture.

From a press release issued by Michaele Dougan Duncan and Monica Hobbs:

“The County Commissioners are elected to represent the whole community, not just gun owners and those opposed to common sense gun control measures like the legislature is passing,” said Cyndy Kulp, one of those planning to attend. “We are Moms who want sanity in this charged environment and who expect a more rational response from our elected officials about the problem of gun violence.”

The story of a Newtown student who loved pink and died wearing her favorite color remains fresh in the mind of Micheale Duncan, one of the leaders behind the push to make the Commissioners listen to reason and represent all of their constituents.

Though landmark gun laws recently passed the Colorado State legislature, the lack of compromise was never more evident than during El Paso County Sheriff Maketa’s recent remarks at a charged town hall meeting calling to oppose the laws.

According to Ms Duncan, “This is a state issue and we have national eyes looking at us. We can’t have law enforcement officials like Sheriff Maketa putting themselves above the law and choosing which laws he wants to enforce.”

The women and their supporters feel that the county commissioners have gone overboard to express support for gun owners, and have put their needs above the community concerns for public safety. The group feels it is insensitive to honor the NRA during a highly charged environment like this where so many innocents have recently been victims of mass murderers armed with assault weapons and high capacity magazines, including 12 persons killed in the Aurora theatre shooting last summer and the 26 shot down in Newtown, CT right before Christmas.

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