Lulu Gould: 1 question for Tipton
Congressman Tipton, I am glad to know that you will be visiting our healthcare team at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat on Thursday, Aug. 30. Thank you for coming, but I have not heard of any plans for you to hold any kind of public forum where you might meet and hear some concerns/ input from not just a select and private gathering but from your vast array of constituents. Given that you have not held a town hall meeting in Steamboat for a long time, I thought I might ask you a quick question here, and that maybe I could get a response.
This past May, surrounded by law enforcement, district attorneys, mental health professionals, suicide prevention counselors and family members who have lost loved ones, Colorado lawmakers unveiled the Zackari Parrish III Violence Protection Act, named after a 29-year-old Denver police officer shot and killed by a known diagnosed mentally ill man whose own parents had tried to get help for him for months leading up to this incident.
This red flag law is a bipartisan bill that would allow the family of a mentally ill person or law enforcement to petition a judge to temporarily remove firearms from the person in crisis who is believed to be an extreme risk and dangerous to themselves or others and to facilitate proper treatment for said individual. It passed in the House by a large margin only to be voted down 3-2 on party lines by the Senate committee.
Your colleague Congressman Mike Coffman, R-Colorado, 6th District, has also co-sponsored a bill that would support federal funding to help set up programs for states that implement a red flag bill, of which nine states already have and at least 20 more are considering similar legislation. Law enforcement and district attorneys alike who prosecuted the Aurora mass shooter, said, “This is a bill about mental health. Not guns.”
I know you have never voted for any kind of sensible gun violence protections, but, given how often you tout the need for more comprehensive mental health services, this truly is a no-brainer. If you had a loved one you were gravely concerned about, would you seek help?
This bill is not taking anything away from responsible gun owners. We are just trying to save lives, those of both civilians and our brave law enforcement. This is no longer a partisan issue. This isn’t about the Second Amendment.
How did guns become more precious than human lives? I beg of you to think outside of your usual box and find the courage. Or would you rather be the one making the next call to the family who has just lost a loved one? Sensible lawmaking matters. Lives matter. Congressman Tipton, how will you vote?
I plead for the health and safety of your constituents, whom you were elected to represent, we the people of the 3rd Congressional District of Colorado.
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