Gun Control Effort Succeeds!

Ballot Initiative Wins By Wide Margin
As told elsewhere on the site, in 2000 Tom took a leave of absence from his job as a middle manager at the Colorado Department of Transportation to work as the Director of Political Affairs for SAFE Colorado (Sane Alternatives to the Firearms Epidemic), a group that advocates for increased regulation of guns. Tom served as a legislative lobbyist and as chief spokesman for SAFE.

Tom and Jim Brady

A few months before the election, Jim Brady came to Denver to support SAFE Colorado's efforts.

After a number of gun control bills failed to pass in the Colorado Legislature, SAFE Colorado decided to take one of those measures to a vote of the people. In Spring 2000 SAFE Colorado drafted a ballot initiative to close the gun show loophole in Colorado- to require every buyer at a gun show to undergo a criminal background check, not just those who buy from licensed dealers.

Using only volunteers (more than 2,000 of them!), SAFE Colorado collected
over 110,000 signatures (only 62,000 were needed) in just three months! At a ceremony on the steps of the State Capitol, the petitions were put on display.

The petitions at the State Capitol
All 110,000 signatures on State Capitol Steps 

At the ceremony, Tom was wearing a pair of Daniel's tennis shoes to mark the occasion. Daniel had passed his dad in height but he wore the same size shoes, so Tom decided he'd "walk in Daniel's shoes" as he fought to stregthen our gun laws and debated the issue, just as he knew Daniel would want him to do!

Despite the efforts of the NRA and the gun lobby to defeat Amendment 22, and even though Colorado is a conservative, western, pro-gun state, Amendment 22 won by an amazing margin: 70% in favor, only 30% against!!! What a great victory for the safety of the people of Colorado and for the memory of Daniel and other gun victims.

The SAFE group
The SAFE Colorado staff and Tom, standing in front of the "Close the Gun Show Loophole" volunteers.

What's next? Tom returned to his old job at the Dept. of Transportation. He's still active in the gun control movement, saying that the loss of over 30,000 people a year to gunshots still requires serious attention. But he can't be working on at the same level of intensity, given his return to his old job and the time required at home with his newly adopted daughter from China. That means it's important for the REST OF YOU to play a role in this struggle for a safer, saner America.

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