Opinion: Vocal Republicans oppose Thurlow’s tolerance in Colorado
Free Press Opinion Columnist
“Hahaha… You are a moron with your ‘gunsense’ crap… F*** you and your gun sense… Get out of our country you communist pile of s***.”
“She needs to go to Antarcica [sic] and push her communism there. The only place in the USA she belongs is the sewers.”
Those were some of the comments posted on Representative Dan Thurlow’s Facebook page in response to my thanking him for his opposition to some bad bills that would have harmed Colorado’s families and communities.
Neither members of the Colorado House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee nor Coloradans passionate about gun regulations had gotten much sleep on the night of April 13 when the comments were posted. The committee, of which Thurlow is a member, had listened to citizens’ testimony and voted on six gun bills before adjourning just before 1 a.m.
Social media was abuzz across the country with news of a freshman Republican from Grand Junction who had bucked the Republican trend of voting in favor of any bill promoting more guns no matter what the consequences of that law may be.
In the newsletter he published after the hearings, Thurlow says, “One thing I have discovered is that you cannot judge a bill by its title. Just because it says ‘gun’ in the bill, does not mean it is a good bill.”
In explanation of his opposition to a bill that would have armed teachers and lunch ladies, Thurlow states, “I would be open to a program that allows schools to set up training programs, specific to their school, that would allow concealed carry for staff members. This bill does not do that. It would merely allow anyone to carry a concealed weapon on any campus. Most teachers that testified said this was a bad idea. I agree.”
Never mind his clarification that guns would be just fine in schools if teachers were appropriately trained to shoot their students. Opponents of gun regulations were incensed that a Republican would dare oppose any gun bill at all.
Add to that Thurlow’s vote to close a loophole in Colorado’s background check laws, and it only took a few hours for Thurlow’s Facebook page to be plastered with threats of a recall election. The threats and hateful comments have all been deleted and preserved only in screen shots, but the fury of the anti-regulation mob has been directed to a group which began organizing recall efforts over a month ago in response to another one of Thurlow’s votes.
Really just a form of child abuse and discredited by virtually all major American medical and psychiatric organizations, conversion therapy is the practice of “converting” people from gay to straight. Thurlow voted with Democrats in March in support of HB-1175 to ban conversion therapy for children under 18, commenting that sexual orientation is not a choice.
In response to his vote for tolerance, disenchanted voters began organizing a recall group which has grown to nearly 200 Facebook supporters. They’ve joined together to share their disdain for homosexuals and fervent belief that discrimination is a religious freedom.
The group went ballistic again a couple weeks later when Thurlow admonished Representative Klingenschmitt for his church sermon in which he blamed reproductive rights for the horrific incident in which a Longmont woman’s fetus was cut from her womb by a deranged wannabe mother.
Klingenschmitt told his congregation, ”This is the curse of God upon America for our sin of not protecting innocent children in the womb and part of that curse for our rebellion against God as a nation is that our pregnant women are ripped open.”
Supporters of a Thurlow recall posted comments calling him a “divider” and suggesting someone send him a dead chicken for denying Klingenschmitt’s “religious freedom.” As an ultimate insult, they’ve even called Thurlow a Democrat.
The real problem people have with Dan Thurlow is his insistence on listening to other points of view and making informed decisions rather than blindly following special interest groups.
Is that so bad? Will his party tolerate this kind of rebellion?
A fourth generation Coloradan, Free Press columnist Robyn Parker is the former host of the progressive community radio show, Grand Valley Live. She is a stay-at-home mom, active community volunteer and board member for local environmental and social justice organizations. Robyn may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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