By USA Today September 12, 2013 6:55 am
Politicians are not kings. We do not elect politicians to tell us what light bulbs we can buy, how much soda we can drink or how best we can defend ourselves. We elect them to listen to us and fight for what we believe in.
With Democrats in full control of the Colorado government and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg lobbying for aggressive new gun control laws, Colorado’s politicians overreached, ignored their constituents and passed legislation that directly contradicted what they promised to do in office. As a result, two of them have been recalled.
State Sen. Angela Giron promised to focus on jobs and instead went after guns. She canceled town-hall meetings and refused to listen to those opposed to her.
Senate President John Morse proposed gun legislation that even his fellow Democrats opposed, and then stated on national television that he ignored his constituents and encouraged others to do the same.
Concerned citizens were denied the opportunity to speak directly to their representatives, and hundreds were turned away from being able to testify at the state Capitol based on the Senate president limiting testimony. Refusing to be ignored, ordinary citizens got together and organized a recall effort.
I supported the recall because I am pro-choice on self-defense. If guns aren’t for you, you are clearly not obligated to own one. But at what point does a government official at any level have the right to make the decision on how a law-abiding citizen defends herself? Women are statistically smaller than their assailants. Women are often attacked by multiple assailants. Who has the right to tell me how many rounds I need to protect myself against a rape?
The lesson of Colorado’s successful recalls extends beyond gun legislation. The recalls speak to a bigger issue of the proper role of government, and the importance of politicians understanding that they work for us.
Bloomberg lobbied for gun control legislation, then wrote a check for $350,000 to support two state senators who backed him. Two plumbers from Pueblo, Colo., started a recall effort in their living room, gathered thousands of signatures and won.
And, most important, Colorado’s voters reminded all politicians of something they tend to forget while they are in office: We hired you.
We can fire you
Integrity in Leadership