Boulder City council voted to ban assault weapons - what are Lafayette citizens' thoughts on this topic?



Boulder City Council unanimously gave assault-weapons ban an initial OK after a marathon hearing which was heavily attended. Here are some different perspectives on this from citizens who attended the meeting:

People speaking out against the ban — and there were more of them than people in favor of the ban — generally said that it would be ineffective and infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens. They also contended that it would waste taxpayer money in the event of a legal challenge, which has already been threatened by at least one group.

Boulder resident Kevin Tripp opposes the ban and said that the City Council was promoting a false dichotomy that those against the proposed ordinance don’t care about the safety of the community.

“We care for everyone,” he said. “If someone comes into my home to kill one of my family members, they will die; not me, not my family. … We all want to protect life, and an AR-15 is a tool to protect life.”

Boulder County resident Duke Prentup said he is a former police officer and he opposes the ban because it violates not only his Second Amendment rights, but also his Fourth and Sixth Amendment rights.

“It’s a historical fact that such attempts have been made in the past,” he said, referring to gun control efforts. “None has resulted in credible results other than they didn’t work as intended.”

Boulder resident Josh Ritzer said that the proposed ordinance “needs work” and he can’t support or not support it yet, but he backs efforts to make it more difficult for “dumb and evil people” to access firearms. He also supports requiring increasing levels of training for gun owners depending on what type of weapons they want.

Ritzer is a member of Boulder-based anti-gun violence group Red on Hands.

“It’s silly; we require law enforcement and the military to go through all this training,” he said. “We don’t require civilians to go through the same training.”

Those in favor of the ban spoke of fear of school shootings and at least two people said they had friends or family killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting or Aurora theater shooting. One woman gave a graphic description of the wounds sustained by a victim at the theater shooting.

Shawn Rodda said that she has worried about the staff at the front of her children’s elementary school because — like the Sandy Hook shooting — it would be easy for someone to walk in the front door with a rifle. She asked that the City Council approve the ordinance.

“Let’s not become another Parkland or a Newtown,” Rodda said. “It’s not enough to say it won’t happen here. Maybe won’t stop all shootings. Maybe we won’t stop all crimes from happening. But we can do something.”

Boulder resident Sarah Kelly said that she grew up in a home with guns, but her brother was shot and killed, and she was in support of the ban as someone who has lost a loved one to gun violence and "the list of shooting victims is longer than the list of the deceased.

“Every time there is a shooting on the TV, it hits you like a brick,” she said. “Even if we prevent one gun death and another family doesn’t have to endure what mine has, it will be worth it.”

There are many approaches to take to gun control. No action on gun control. If there is a complete ban on a category of weapons where is the line drawn? If there are smarter gun regulations, what would be the most effective in your opinion? If mental health was addressed, how would that look and what is the logic for that change impacting gun violence? If you own guns, how do you use them and what rights are you concerned about losing?