Gun Culture

John Morse, Angela Giron recalled: Celebrating conservatives, lamenting progressives

Late last night, it became official: Senator John Morse and Representative Angela Giron lost recall elections prompted by their support of firearms-control bills. The defeats thrilled gun-rights groups and conservatives, while disappointing progressives who'd recently rejoiced over the measures' passage. Below, get reactions from the National Rifle Association, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and Compass Colorado on one side of the issue, Governor John Hickenlooper, ProgressNow Colorado and the state Democratic Party on the other. Statement from the National Rifle Association: A historic grassroots effort by voters in Colorado's Senate Districts 11 and 3 has resulted in the recall of Colorado Senate President John Morse (D) and Senator Angela Giron (D). The people of Colorado Springs and Pueblo sent a clear message to their elected officials that their primary job is to defend our rights and freedoms and that they are accountable to their constituents - not the dollars or social engineering agendas of anti-gun billionaires.

Recall proceedings began earlier this year after Sens. Morse and Giron voted for anti-gun legislation that restricted the ability of law-abiding residents to exercise their Second Amendment rights, including their inherent right to self-defense. This effort was driven by concerned citizens, who made phone calls, knocked on doors, and worked diligently to turn voters out in this historic effort.

The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is proud to have stood with the men and women in these legislative districts who sent a clear message that their Second Amendment rights are not for sale in Colorado. We look forward to working with NRA-PVF "A" rated and endorsed Bernie Herpin (R) from Colorado Springs and NRA-PVF "AQ" rated and endorsed George Rivera (R) from Pueblo in the Colorado State Senate.

Statement from Governor John Hickenlooper: Gov. John Hickenlooper released this statement...about the recall elections in Pueblo and El Paso counties:

"Our democracy gives the people the right to vote for their elected representatives.... Voters in two Senate districts have spoken. We are certainly disappointed by the outcome of the recall elections.

"It's now time we refocus again on what unites Coloradans — creating jobs, educating our children, creating a healthier state — and on finding ways to keep Colorado moving forward."

Continue for more reactions to the recalls of Senator John Morse and Representative Angela Giron over their support of gun-control legislation. Statement from Rocky Mountain Gun Owners: Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) touts the successful recall of State Senators John Morse and Angela Giron as a monumental win for Colorado gun owners and constitutionalists nationwide.

In direct defiance of the wishes of their constituents, Morse and Giron passed radical, anti-gun bills in the Colorado Legislature this year. As a result, the grassroots efforts of Coloradans resulted in the firstever recall in the State's history.

"Senators Giron and Morse made a grave error in underestimating the power of their constituents," said Dudley Brown, Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. "The Democrat Party is reeling. They're sitting in their castle, trying to ignore the peasants with pitchforks and torches outside."

Brown continues, "These victories are just a down payment on the 2014 elections."

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners is Colorado's largest state-based gun lobby, solely dedicated to the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Statement from ProgressNow Colorado: With the recall special elections called in Pueblo and Colorado Springs, ProgressNow Colorado, the state's largest online progressive advocacy organization, thanked Senate President John Morse and Senator Angela Giron for their courage and perseverance this year.

"Due to unnecessary litigation that delayed the election process, there were no mail-in ballots at all," said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. "Information on how and where to vote was not available until very close to the election. This vote is unfortunately only representative of a small portion of these districts, after voters battled confusion over mail ballots, limited hours and days, and limited locations to vote."

"Senate President John Morse and Senator Angela Giron are leaders and model public servants who were part of an historically productive session of the Colorado Senate this year," said Runyon-Harms. "At the very most, this was a hollow victory for a handful of extremists who poured money and lies into these two low turnout races. It's clear the goal was to 'make an example' of these legislators no matter the cost. The taxpayers of El Paso County and Pueblo are losers too, after being forced to foot the bill for an unnecessary recall of legislators who would be out of office or up for re-election next year anyway."

"Senate President Morse and Senator Giron had the courage to stand up for what is right, even though they suspected the right wing would retaliate," said Runyon-Harms. "The disappointing results tonight don't change anything. Despite all the challenges, half the recall attempts in Colorado failed. The common sense laws passed this year to reduce gun violence are good laws. These laws are on the books, and no amount of bullying can change that. Colorado still has a progressive majority legislature that will defend the historic progress our state has made."

Continue for more reactions to the recalls of Senator John Morse and Representative Angela Giron over their support of gun-control legislation. Statement from Compass Colorado: Compass Colorado reacted to the successful recall of state Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo.

Compass Colorado offered the following statement:

"We can all see the results in Pueblo show an overwhelming number of Democrats voted to remove Giron from office," said Kelly Maher, Compass Colorado executive director. "This shows a bipartisan dissatisfaction with our current leadership in Colorado.

"Starting [last night], Colorado is fighting back against the onerous policies of Colorado democrats. Hickenlooper and his allies are one step closer to joining Morse and Giron come next November."

Colorado Democratic Party statement: Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio gave the following statement on [yesterday's] recall elections in Colorado Springs and Pueblo:

"Colorado lost two great a symbolic win for a very vocal group of individuals. Sadly, these symbolic wins come at a tremendous cost to the people of Pueblo and Colorado Springs," Chairman Palacio said.

"Even though we are disapointed in [yesterday's] losses, nothing about this day will change the laws already on the books, nor does it change the Democratic majority held in the Colorado Senate.

"We thank Senator Giron and Morse for their service to our great state, and will continue to praise them for standing up for the safety of the people of Colorado."

More from our Politics archive: "Morse recall: The party-line politics of a gun-rights battle."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts