Grass roots gun activists and the National Rifle Association have successfully forced out of office two state lawmakers in Colorado who supported firm gun control laws, after advocating a recall election.
Colorado Democrat Sen. Angela Giron lost by a landslide in a dominantly Democratic district of the state, while Senate President John Morse lost by a slim 343 votes in the Colorado Springs area.
Both senators held firm positions on gun control and demonstrated their support when they voted for new laws that limited the amount of ammunition in gun magazines and required even more extensive background checks for gun owners. The proposed legislation was developed in response to the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., last December and the July 2012 movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo.
With two fatal massacres occurring within a six month period, lawmakers and politicians in Colorado and around the nation have felt pressure to address the public's concerns over gun safety. This has sparked passionate discourse and debate.
While some gun control activists have felt vindicated with the passage of legislation such as that in Colorado, the recall has demonstrated that there are still many voters who oppose these stringent laws and will show it with their votes.
Gun activists had actually aimed to remove four lawmakers but were only successful in removing Giron and Morse.
"The loss of this senate seat is purely symbolic," Morse said, in that the Colorado legislature will remain under Democratic control. The new gun laws are not expected to change either. But gun activists and the NRA still count this recall and the defeat of the pair of legislators as a success.
"If the people had been listened to, these recalls wouldn't be happening," recall organizer Timothy Knight said.