As Colorado’s U.S. Attorney during the Obama years, John was the chief federal law enforcement official in Colorado for six years. Gun violence is not an abstract issue for him: As U.S. Attorney, he was on the scene the Aurora Theater shooting in 2012, and three years later, was on the scene of the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs.
We are far too familiar with the tragedy of gun violence here in Colorado. John has been to too many hospital rooms, visiting with officers wounded responding to mass shootings. He has been too many memorial services for innocent people who have left us too soon, and for officers who gave their lives trying to save others.
We are not powerless to stop gun violence. The Second Amendment is not a suicide pact for America -- even conservative Justice Antonin Scalia held that reasonable gun regulation is constitutional. But as long as the corporate gun lobby and their allies -- including Cory Gardner -- are in charge, nothing will change.
Here in Colorado, we’ve taken steps to curb mass shootings, including universal background checks, limits on magazine sizes, and extreme risk protection order legislation that gives a judge narrow authority to remove weapons from people who pose a danger to others -- or to themselves.
John has a long history and commitment to working on gun violence. John led aggressive gun violence investigations and prosecutions as U.S. Attorney. He testified as a lead witness before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of President Obama’s package of gun violence measures after the tragedies in Aurora and in Newtown, Connecticut.
And John was honored to testify -- alongside Sheriffs Tony Spurlock and Joe Pelle -- on behalf of Colorado’s ‘red flag’ legislation before both houses of the Colorado Legislature in 2019.
These are common sense actions that can help abate the gun violence crisis in this country. The evidence shows that these measures work. And they are clearly, unmistakably constitutional.
At the same time, John recognizes that new safety laws will not, by themselves, solve the problem of gun violence in America. John is committed to a comprehensive, national anti-violence strategy, similar to the work he did to reduce violent extremism in Colorado as U.S. Attorney. That approach would help us deal not only with the epidemic of mass shootings, but also with Colorado’s high suicide rate, the disparate racial impacts of gun violence, and other systemic issues that often get lost in the debate over gun violence in America.