HomeUSAColorado Gun Control Group Rescinds Endorsement After Candidate's Tweets Resurface

Colorado Gun Control Group Rescinds Endorsement After Candidate’s Tweets Resurface

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Just weeks before Colorado’s primary on June 25th, one of the state’s biggest gun control groups is yanking its endorsement of a state legislative candidate over old posts on social media. 

Bryan Lindstrom, a state House candidate in the Denver suburb of Aurora, was co-endorsed by Ceasefire Colorado along with his primary opponent Michael Carter. Earlier this week, however, Ceasefire informed Carter that he was now the only endorsed candidate in the race because the group had discovered tweets from Lindstrom that were supposedly “inconsistent” with the views he laid out in a candidate survey. 

In a 2020 tweet, Lindstrom, a schoolteacher, said he “used to be for gun bans” and supported the state’s red flag law but has since changed his opinion due to the affect of background checks on communities of color.

And in a 2021 tweet, he argued that gun control “has always been racist and classist.” In another, he said he is “super pro gun.” 

While many of Lindstrom’s statements align with progressive policies, they contradicted the responses Lindstrom gave in his candidate questionnaire and are inconsistent with the group’s views, Dave Plank, Ceasefire’s communications director, said. 

“Accordingly, we have rescinded our endorsement of Mr. Lindstrom,” he said. 

For his part, Lindstrom maintains that there was no inconsistency in his previous positions and what he told Ceasefire Colorado. 

“Throughout the questionnaire, I hit on nuances of ‘going upstream to reduce gun violence’ and how outright bans are not my preferred approach to policy,” he told Colorado Politics. 

“As an Aurora teacher, I have experienced gun violence first hand with the shooting of my assistant principal and the school shooting where I teach. This is an issue I care deeply about. However, I also know that more, stricter laws oftentimes lead to more and worse police interactions for our BIPOC communities,” he said, adding, “I support evidence based gun violence prevention and always have. At the end of the day, I will address every piece of legislation in a way that protects our working class and communities of color.”

For all the talk about supporting “community gun violence prevention” we hear from gun control activists, the truth is that those efforts are secondary to the real goal of the anti-gun movement: eradicating the right to keep and bear arms through punitive laws and the heavy hand of law enforcement. Lindstrom is an out and proud progressive who, in another social media post from 2020 said that “gangs are the response to racist capitalism and can be good,” but so long as he isn’t in favor of new gun control laws he won’t ever be in the good graces of the gun control lobby. 

To be fair, I doubt Lindstrom’s positions are going to earn him any support from Second Amendment organizations either. On his campaign website Lindstrom outlines his goals for addressing “gun violence” if elected, and several of his positions aren’t exactly what you’d expect from someone who called himself “super pro gun”. 

  • Fight to address the material conditions that lead to violence and deaths of despair like housing, thriving wages, healthcare access, and education.

  • Support legislation that requires and funds gun locks and gun safes for all Colorado gun owners.

  • Support negligence laws if your firearm is used in a crime.

  • Support access to and requirements for gun safety courses.

  • Hold manufacturers and sellers accountable for enforcement of gun laws.

  • Ensure that gun laws do not lead to the targeting of marginalized groups.

  • Support evidence-based gun legislation that is proven to reduce violence.

I’m with Lindstrom on at least three of those proposals, but he lost me at mandating the use of gun locks and gun safes for all gun owners. Requiring training courses for would-be gun owners and”holding manufacturers and sellers” responsible for enforcing gun laws are also going to be non-starters for most Second Amendment supporters, so Lindstrom’s mish-mash of positions aren’t likely to find a welcome reception on the right (not that he was looking for their vote in the Democratic primary). 

On his website, Lindstrom proclaims that “our approach to gun violence must take into account the painful realities of our criminal justice system.”

From the War on Drugs to recent weapons bans in other states, we’ve seen how criminalizing the simple possession creates dangerously unjust police encounters, wastes resources, and rips communities apart — sowing the seeds for future violence. We must be brave enough to avoid repeating our mistakes.

No offense to the candidate, but if he truly believes that then he should take another look at his proposed requirements for gun owners. Mandating firearms training, for instance, is another way of criminalizing simple possession. What would Lindstrom like to see happen to those caught with a gun who couldn’t provide proof of training, or if a firearm is discovered outside of a locked safe in their home? Laws are enacted to be enforced, generally speaking, and if Lindstrom is so concerned about unjust police encounters he needs to think twice about the damage that some of his own proposals would do. 

I may not agree with every one of Lindstrom’s positions, but I’ll at least give him some credit for thinking outside the box. If you want the backing of Ceasefire Colorado, however, conformity is key, and Lindstrom’s independent streak has cost him an endorsement… though perhaps not the election itself.

Read the full article here

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