Colorado House thankfully starts bar-setting process on gun control

It comes as little surprise that the state of Colorado, the state where a gunman opened fire at a movie theater last summer, has taken the lead on stronger gun control within its borders.

Colorado’s Democratic-controlled House on Monday passed a number of gun control bills, but nothing came easy.

One bill that would limit the size of ammunition magazines barely survived Republican resistance, passing 34-31. Other bills that passed included a ban on concealed firearms at colleges and stadiums, an all-encompassing background check on all gun purchases and a requirement that gun buyers pay for said background check. The bill requiring those background checks was the closest of the four, passing by one vote, 33-32.

Republicans in Colorado argue the measures restrict Second Amendment rights and won’t prevent mass shootings like the one at the Aurora, Colo., theater, or the one at Sandy Hook. And they say the bills won’t prevent evil people from doing evil things and that students should have the right to defend themselves.

We happen to be in favor of gun-free zones at college campuses, at least when it comes to students – arming administrators, well, that’s a different story.

Indeed, there are deep philosophical differences on gun control between Republicans and Democrats, philosophical differences that can be found in every state in the country. Minnesota is no different, and we’re sure to hear plenty in the coming weeks and months about gun control coming out of St. Paul. What the end result will be remains to be seen, but we hope our elected officials are paying attention to what’s happening in Colorado, a state that unfortunately knows all too well what can happen without stringent gun control.

Minnesota, too, has seen its share of gun violence that has resulted in needless deaths, whether it’s at a business, school or in a residential neighborhood somewhere – all the more reason for this state to jump on board and wake up to the fact that gun control not only needs to be debated, but acted upon.

We care deeply about upholding the Constitution and citizens’ rights, but the time has come to toughen up.