Our View: Mandatory gun ownership is un-American


Editorial Board, May and June 2013

  • Scott Stanford, general manager
  • Tom Ross, reporter

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At Issue

Mandatory gun ownership

Our View

A proposed ordinance in Craig is no different than the gun-control extreme it seeks to counteract.

If a city ordinance requiring gun ownership sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is. Nevertheless, a small contingent of Craig residents appears poised to try to make its community the second Colorado town to enact such a law this year.

The proposal, spearheaded by Craig Rummel, follows on the heels of a similar ordinance recently passed in the tiny town of Nucla, about 50 miles south of Grand Junction. Nucla’s new town law requires heads of households to own a firearm, although the ordinance provides plenty of outs for those who have no desire to own a gun, or who perhaps more appropriately recognize the hypocrisy of such a law.

While Nucla’s law already is in effect, Rummel and a committee of like-minded Craig residents are still fine-tuning the wording of their proposal. Rummel first presented his idea to the Craig City Council in late April, when it received lukewarm reaction from elected officials.

After meeting with his committee late last week, Rummel told the Craig Daily Press that the intent of the proposal is to send a message to the Colorado General Assembly that Western Slope communities like Craig don’t appreciate the passage of recent gun control measures. Committee member Kent Nelson added that folks should have firearms to protect their community as well as their Second Amendment rights.

Here’s the rub: Requiring Americans to own guns is as un-American as government seizing people’s firearms. Perhaps the hypocrisy in proposed ordinances such as Rummel’s is intentional, but it doesn’t make the end product more valuable or even worthy of legitimate consideration by the Craig City Council.

It’s just too bad folks like Rummel aren’t pursuing more meaningful ways to impact their city.


Harry Thompson 3 years, 11 months ago

It's just too bad that the folks at the Today newspaper aren't pursuing more meaning ways to impact our city.


Brian Kotowski 3 years, 11 months ago

On the one hand, one can argue that tools like Rummel should be exposed to public ridicule and derision. On the other, shining a light on their antics may only embolden their buffoonery by furnishing publicity they would otherwise never be granted.


mark hartless 3 years, 11 months ago

You mean to tell me that bike ownership is NOT mandatory for Steamboat???

Seems like the bike population here has surpassed people.

Pretty soon bikes for dogs will be mandatory in Steamboat...


John St Pierre 3 years, 11 months ago

Mr Hartless

Please leave the Dogs out of this... they are regulated enough !!!!

but that is an idea..


Scott Wedel 3 years, 11 months ago

Craig's public officials are being asked if they are willing to state they have as little respect for the Constitution as they accuse the supporters of the gun laws.

Colorado's recent gun laws could be found to be unconstitutional, but their supporters are willing to defend their constitutionality in court.

These mandatory gun laws are acknowledged by their supporters to be unconstitutional and they promise to not waste money defending these laws in court. But the right person could still take Craig to court by asking to be cited for refusing to own a gun and stating none of the allowable reasons in the law for not owning a gun apply. A lawyer could file a court case arguing that mandatory gun ownership is unconstitutional which would be an easy win and Craig would be expected to pay the winning side's legal fees.


Stuart Orzach 3 years, 11 months ago

Maybe, like the blog entries that follow, the editorial board's view should be accompanied by a link that says "suggest removal". I was once told by a member of your staff that the purpose of the weekly editorial was to promote discussion.
I followed the events in Nucla. I wonder about the practical implications of a law that has so many exemptions that it is rendered merely symbolic. I wonder if the legislative process should be used just to send a message. I wonder how requiring people to have guns is different than taking their guns away. Your editorial leaves me still wondering, and feeling no more able to form an informed opinion. You attacked Mr. Rummel's efforts, and Nucla's law, with inflammatory language. You used words such as "rediculous", "hypocrisy", and "un-American". You questioned whether his ideas are "worthy of legitimate consideration", and insinuated that Mr. Rummel's efforts are not "meaningful". I think that respect for minority views and the people that hold them is an essential part of democracy and of the American character, no matter how many times we fail to live up to those ideals. What great idea didn't start out as a minority view? How many messengers have been ridiculed, persecuted or executed because of their ideas? I'm willing to give the Editorial Board a do-over on this. Maybe they were hung over from celebrating Brent's departure. And, by the way, I always thought the Bike Law in all ski towns was that your bike had to be worth more than your car. Does this mean I can get an exemption and finally go out and buy that $60,000 SUV I've been wanting?


Brian Kotowski 3 years, 11 months ago


You come across as remarkably thin skinned, with all due respect. You seem to be unclear regarding the purpose of the Pilot's "Our View" pieces. You might consider looking up the definition of 'editorial' and reacquaint yourself with its meaning.

If you believe Mr. Rummel's proposal to be "worthy of legitimate consideration", then defend it on its merits. Make an effort to illustrate how the Pilot's position is off base. All you've done is complain that anyone would presume to criticize Mr. Rummel's ridiculous imitative.


John St Pierre 3 years, 11 months ago

The greatest of all of our rights as American Citizens is that of free speech and thought.... Mr Rummel has every right to excise both...... the other great voice we all have is that of our elected officials...... and with that comes the right to vote..... and if the outcome of elected officials do not match your beliefs then you every right to say something about it.....

Being as Craig has no other issues to deal with ..that the economy there is booming and everything is just fine... I guess they have the time to look at this...

I guess alot of people in Craig & Hayden did not notice what Peabody & Patriot Coal got away with last week in Federal Bankruptcy court. I would think they have bigger issues to be ooking at down the road......



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