The recent mass shootings in Tucson, Newtown, and Aurora have rekindled the national debate over the causes of gun violence and how to best prevent these kinds of attacks from happening again. This week, a package of four gun-control bills passed the state House and focused national attention on Colorado. Supporters say these bills will help keep guns and ammunition out of the hands of dangerous people -- while opponents say they infringe on the 2nd Amendment and won’t do anything to stop criminals from obtaining and using weapons.
Against this background, the Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab (the CELL) in Denver organized "A Discussion Addressing Gun Violence," to discuss the various issues that are being debated around the country and around the state. The forum was held last Tuesday evening in the Seawell Ballroom in downtown Denver. The panel was moderated by Governor John Hickenlooper and made up of the following participants...in the order that you’ll first hear them speak after Governor Hickenlooper’s opening remarks:
* State Representative Rhonda Fields is a Democrat from Aurora. She was a primary sponsor of the Colorado House bills that expand background checks to private-party gun sales and another that limits the number of rounds in a magazine clip to 15. In 2005, her son, Javvad, and his fiance were shot and killed in their vehicle at an Aurora intersection.
* State Senate President John Morse is a Democrat from Colorado Springs and a former paramedic and police officer.
* Representative Doug Lamborn is Republican from Colorado Springs who represents Colorado’s 5th congressional district and is often cited as one of the most conservative members of Congress.
* Ken Buck is Weld County District Attorney and a former Republican candidate for US Senate
* David Kopel is the Research Director at the Independence Institute, a policy analyst at the CATO Institute, and an adjunct professor of Advanced Consitutional Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
We edited the discussion to fit the time constraints of our program.
Click here to hear the entire, unedited program - including the opening and closing remarks from CELL founder Larry Mizel.