After my post on gun control legislation in Minnesota and its impact on jobs in that state, I started looking at the legislators who were sponsoring this legislation. Other than the fact that they were all Democrats, or as they are called in Minnesota – Democrat-Farmer-Labor, they had another similarity. They had made their careers, for the most part, in the public sector. Some, like Rep. Alice Hausman and Rep. Phyllis Kahn, even listed their occupation as “Legislator”. Look at the list below of the sponsors of HF 241 which is Minnesota’s version of an assault weapons (sic) ban.
Rep. Alice Hausman
Legislator/fmr Teacher Rep. Frank Horstein
Community Organizer Rep. Erik Simonson
Asst Fire Chief Rep. Jim Davnie
Financial Educator Rep. Linda Slocum
Teacher Rep. Rena Moran
Parent Leader Coord. Rep. Raymond Dehn
Rep. JoAnn Ward
Retired Teacher Rep. Phyllis Kahn (DFL-Minneapolis) Legislator/University
This made me wonder if the sponsors of gun control legislation in other states shared the similar characteristics of being primary from the public sector. With hearings on gun control legislation in Colorado and New Jersey scheduled for this week, I looked at those two states in particular.
Yesterday, the Colorado House held their hearing on some particularly onerous bills. According to the reports I’ve read, the legislators in question had their minds made up and weren’t really there to listen. Lets look at the list of sponsors for these bills as well as the sponsors for their State Senate counterparts.
Rep. Lois Court (D-Denver) Community College Instructor Rep. Crisanta Duran (D-Denver) Attorney Rep. Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver) Legislator Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Arapahoe) Legislator Rep. Randy Fischer (D-Larimer) Consulting Eng. Rep. Mike Foote (D-Boulder) Attorney Rep. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst (D-Boulder) Ret. Gov’t Affairs Rep. Claire Levy (D-Boulder) Attorney Rep. Beth McCann (D-Denver) Legislator Rep. Jovan Melton (D-Arapahoe) Consultant Rep. Dominick Moreno (D-Adams) Legislator Rep. Dan Pabon (D-Denver) Eng./Attorney Rep. Cherylin Peniston (D-Adams) Ret. Teacher Rep. Paul Rosenthal (D-Arapahoe) Teacher Rep. Su Ryden (D-Arapahoe) Legislator Rep. Joseph Salazar (D-Adams) Civil Rights Attorney Rep. Sue Schafer (D-Jefferson) Educator/Small Bus. Owner Rep. Angela Williams (D-Denver) Business Owner Sen. Morgan Carroll (D-Arapahoe) Attorney-Disability Law Sen. Rollie Heath (D-Boulder) Legislator/Ret. Pres of Johns Manville Corp Sen. Mary Hodge (D-Adams) Property Mgmt/fmr. Teacher
Looking over this list, you can see that with few exceptions, the gun prohibitionists come out of the public sector. The only real notable exception on this list is Sen. Rollie Heath of Boulder County who had a significant business career culminating in his being President of building products company Johns Mansville.
Let’s move on to New Jersey where the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee is holding hearings today on a whole host of gun control proposals. Are the proponents of gun control legislation in New Jersey any different than in Minnesota and Colorado? The answer is yes and no. The “no” comes from the fact that they are all Democrats and that they mostly come from the public sector. What makes New Jersey different are the number of actively serving law enforcement officers that are State Assemblymen proposing this legislation. To me this seems like an outrageous conflict of interest but I don’t live in the state of New Jersey and know their local political customs.
Undersheriff Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell (D-Bayonne) Dir. Of Public Safety Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-Maplewood) Legislator Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Elizabeth) Mun. Prosecutor Assemblyman Sean Connors (D-Jersey City) Detective/Police Officer Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-Teaneck) Consultant/Fmr Sheriff Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle
Funeral Director Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Madison) Attorney Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman
Legislator Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D-Jersey City) Detective/Police Officer
Summing this up, if you look at just who is proposing the gun control legislation, it is Democrats who tend to have worked their entire lives in the public sector and fed at the public trough. I shouldn’t find this surprising as the hallmark of all of this type of legislation is the constraint on liberties and the bureaucratic minutiae that their implementation will entail. Is not that the ethos of the modern public service to a tee?
UPDATE: I wrote this before listening to Michael Bane’s Down Range Radio podcast. The first segment of the podcast is instructive as to why you are seeing legislators from a public sector background pushing the gun control agenda so strongly. Those of us in the gun culture are a threat to them and their progressive agenda. It isn’t due to our guns but rather our attitudes towards hard work, self reliance, independence, and libertarianism. Hard working, self reliant, independent people are less dependent upon government largesse and less likely to buy into a common good as proclaimed by the progressive elites.
Michael mentions two articles that take this a bit further. First, there is an article in Human Events which talks about the gun culture versus the culture of dependency. The second is by Andrew Klavan writing about Christopher Dorner and the left’s use of violence. Both of these articles are relatively short and worth the time to read. The more we understand our enemies and their hate towards us, the better we can tailor our fight to preserve our rights.