Big Morning Show, CO Senator Greg Brophy, December 18, 2012
Station: KFTM, 1400AM
Show: The Big Morning Show with John Waters
Date: December 18, 2012
Topics: Gun Control, Gun Restrictions, Newtown, Connecticut, School Shooting, Assualt Weapon Ban, Gun-Free Zones, Gun Safety, Leftist Activists, Media Bias, Journalism Profession, Ideology, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Political “Witch Hunt”, Politicizing Tragedy, Campaign, Election, Abortion, Rape, Incest, Aurora Theater Shooting, Platte Canyon School Shooting, Oregon Mall Shooting, TSA, Mental Health Treatment, Governor Hickenlooper, Oklahoma City Bombing, Timothy McVeigh, Second Amendment, Autism, Violence, Conceal-Carry Permit, Gabby Gifford Shooting, Arizona, New York City Nightclub Massacre
HOST JOHN WATERS: Greg Brophy, through the magic of telephone. Good morning, Greg!
COLORADO STATE SENATOR GREG BROPHY: Good morning, John!
WATERS: Glad to have you here with us, this morning, on what is yet a dry Tuesday morning, but it—as you and I were talking about before we went on air, hopefully, hopefully, that’s going to change in the next twenty-four to thirty-six hours.
BROPHY: Yeah, you know, If the forecasts are right, we get a little bit of snow out here. And Lord knows, we need it – I just hope everybody will be safe when they’re traveling and that.
WATERS: Absolutely right. Well, Greg, unfortunately this week, as everyone knows, the tragic shooting that occurred at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Then, this morning was a—I was telling you about it before we went on air, an apparent murder-suicide in Longmont that took four peoples’ lives, and of course, we look back to the shooting in Aurora earlier this year, and, um, gun control, right now is top-of-mind for everyone, apparently. And so, I wanted to start there this morning and kind of just lay that topic out there and let you talk about it a little bit
BROPHY: Well, it is on the top of the minds of a lot of people for different reasons. You know, when I – I remembers sitting in Denver at a luncheon when I got the news of the awful, evil visited upon the school in Connecticut. And my instant reaction, I wanted, I mean — just, probably like everybody, I mean, my heart just – just sunk. And I was gripped with a little bit of irrational fear, I really was. I wanted desperately to be on guard at my school, here, in Wray.
BROPHY: That’s why I – I wanted to be here. And like a lot of guys who think like me, I wanted to be standing there on guard, and watching for evil, to make sure that it stayed away from my kid and all the kids that I know personally, here. And then, you know, it settled down. I called my wife and at 3:45, I made sure my son was home and that he was safe. You know, because I think that is every parent’s natural reaction.
BROPHY: And then, you know, I also have the task of being a policy maker, so I always think about things along those lines, too. And it occurred to me over the weekend that there’s a lot of people on the left who have always wanted to get rid of guns, or institute—well, get rid—institute more strict gun control on the path towards taking them away from everybody. And there’s a lot of — and this is going to sound terrible, but it’s the truth, there’s a lot of politicians and leftist activists who see this as an opportunity to permanently injure the Republican Party and make it more likely that Democrats will win election. And I think there is a lot of people that are pushing it — and especially their media allies, that are pushing this notion from that perspective. And I’m really afraid that that will cost us the opportunity to visit the subject of – of not only of school safety, but the safety of all of these that security analysts would call soft targets, like shopping malls and airports, any place where a lot of people gather. And people have to come in and out quickly, so that you can’t –you know, there really isn’t a way to set up a – and I don’t want to, because I can’t stand the TSA, — a TSA screening mechanism, like there is at the airport where you’re running a few people through, or to get into a courthouse, or something like that, or the state capitol, where we have armed security all of the time. Um, you know, the school, when you have to run several hundred little kids into the building within a few minutes, that’s – it’s pretty hard to figure out how to screen everybody into a place like that. So we’re really going to have to take a look at, I think, it’s just — after watching what has happened here in the United States, and what’s happened in Europe, and Russia and everywhere else, we’re going to have to take a pretty serious look at what we can do to make our schools safer, just to give parents more peace of mind. And the thing about that school in Connecticut, had all its doors locked, and that evil man, — well, if the media accounts are correct which is a big “if” at this point,– um, used his weapon to blow out a window beside one of the locked doors and then walked through that window to start on his killing spree. So even if you had a fence with a gate around it, that was closed at 9:30, I think he might have driven his car right through it to get in there. I—It just, — Boy, these are going to be tough things to deal with.
WATERS: Well, and that’s kind of where I was looking at too, Greg, is that, through all this, I’ve heard some of the commentary about mental illness and that sort of thing, but I’m not sure we’re looking at enough of that. We’re placing way too much focus in the media on the fact that he was using semi-automatic weapons, or assault weapons, and that kind of thing, rather than, there are just people who have evil thoughts, or are evil people who, even if he didn’t have access, and let’s use a different example, even if a person did not have access to that kind of weapon, they’re going to find some other way to perpetrate that evil.
BROPHY: Well, I believe that you’re right, and so the question is, “What can we do to make the chance of that happening as close to zero as possible?” And I hope we can do that. And I’ve got to tell you, if the leftist activists and their allies in the media concentrate only on beating up Republicans over our principled stand on the Second Amendment, then we may not have the discussion that we need to have over all of these other issues. In this case, a twenty-year-old mentally ill person stole a gun, murdered the gun’s owner, and then took those guns to the school. And in the case of the Oregon mall, something happened about the same age of person who nobody thought was — that there was anything wrong with him! It sounded like he was having a bad month—stole a gun and took it to a shopping mall and started shooting and it jammed on him, fortunately, which probably saved the lives of a lot of people there. Ah, boy! And hats off to the governor. I mean, at least he did say that he plans to start putting some money back into mental health treatment facilities.
BROPHY: You know, if you know somebody who has, as I do—not a close friend but an acquaintance who has a severely autistic child, who’s now 21 years old, who they have to lock in a room at night and lock their own bedroom door to – just to be safe. Um, you’ve got to wonder if there isn’t something that’s better for society that we can do for folks who have that kind of situation, so that they don’t have to wait until that person commits a violent crime to get them into a place where they’re not able to do it any longer. Unfortunately, now we’re putting people like that in prison, instead of into a mental health facility. Again, boy, there are no easy answers for this. And I think back to the Platte Canyon thing, you know, up by Bailey, where the guy broke into the school. He had a pistol, and held the class hostage. Remember that one – about five or six years ago? And that’s a school like a lot of ours out here, outside of town, right by the highway, and somewhat of an inviting target for crazy people.
WATERS: Yeah, exactly. State Senator Greg Brophy, my guest this morning here on the talk show. Kind of a tough topic to have to talk about but yet something that’s very pertinent, nationally but also here in the state of Colorado. As I understand it, Greg, following the tragedy there in Connecticut this weekend, the applications for conceal-carry permits here in the state of Colorado jumped drastically.
BROPHY: Yeah, because there’s a lot of people who would like to have a conceal carry permit, and would like to own some firearms that they might be able to keep in the family, who are really concerned right now that the Democrats in Colorado will ban the sale and purchase, and they have to wonder if they won’t even try to ban the possession of some of these types of firearms that they think are more dangerous than others. You know, a rational person would make that decision. And honestly, all of the statistics show that you are safer when there’s more conceal carry by law-abiding citizens than where there isn’t. In the last 50 some odd years, with one exception – that being the Gabby Gifford shooting down in Arizona, all of the mass murders that have occurred in Colorado where more than three people have been killed, have occurred in what are called “gun free zones”. Which means that, — you can at least make the case that these evil killers have made, also, a rational decision to visit violence upon people who they believe will be unarmed and unable, then, to put up resistance. So, unless you have some magic wand where you can, one, take all of the guns that exist in America – some 200 million– away from everybody so that no one can touch them, and two, wipe evil from the hearts of men, you’re not going to be able to stop mass killings. There was a nightclub in NYC about a year and a half ago, where a guy who was really upset with his girlfriend dumping him, as I recall, took I think a mere two gallons of gasoline, poured it down a hallway, threw the can in, lit a match and killed eighty-seven people.
WATERS: Mmm-hmm. Well, and you think about the Oklahoma City bombing—Timothy McVeigh. There were no firearms used in that. It was all everyday type of chemicals.
BROPHY: Deisel fuel and fertilizer. Some things that are available in abundance out here.
BROPHY: And that killed a lot of people and did a lot of damage and really upset the world. And then, the one thing that I recognized from that, and again I’m just – you know, because we need to be serious about this, I’m kind of trying to chastise people who use this for their own political gain. At that time, Bill Clinton and his buddies tried to shut up talk radio because they saw that as an opportunity to use that violence to go after the likes of Rush Limbaugh and other talk radio shows to limit the Second Amendment. And it turns out, of course, that Timothy McVeigh was not a Conservative, was not a Christian, said in his own words that he believed in the god of Science. So again, for all the folks listening, we’re going to do everything we can at the State capitol to make sure that our kids are safe out here. And I want you to– I want to caution everybody to not let this turn into a political witch hunt, where one party uses a tragedy like this to gain political advantage.
WATERS: Which it did, almost immediately, after the tragic shooting there in CT, almost immediately I heard pundits on TV and on radio talking about gun control and using that as the jumping-off point for that.
BROPHY: Yeah, and if you remember, during the election that we just had, members of the media – and it’s not all media, obviously! I’m sitting here talking to a good friend of mine on the media! But certain members of the media who have a greater allegiance to their ideology than they do to the profession of journalism, spent a lot of time peppering Republican candidates with questions about abortion and rape and incest, I think, for the sole purpose of developing that sound byte that could be used against that Republican and all Republicans related to rape and incest and abortion. I highly anticipate that – again, journalists that have a greater allegiance to their ideology than the profession of journalism will be peppering Republicans with questions about banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, et cetera.
WATERS: Well, we will certainly be watching what happens from this point on – not only here in CO but nationally, as well. Greg, we’re all out of time. For those who would like to comment on what we talked about this morning with you, or have other questions for you, what’s the best way to reach you?
BROPHY: Best way is Greg@gregbrophy.net. Uh, if you want to give me a call, I do have an office cell phone. It’s 332-5766.
WATERS: My thanks to State Senator Greg Brophy. Greg, Merry Christmas and Happy New year to you and your family!
BROPHY: Merry Christmas, John!
WATERS: Thank you very much, Bye-bye! That is Greg Brophy! Thank you very much, Greg! I appreciate it! This is John Waters with you on The Big Morning Show.