by: the Common Constitutionalist
With the miriad of varied bills be offered up at the same time, could the gun control vote in Colorado have been an example of the Overton Window? What is the Overton Window? [Nathan Russell, Mackinac Center] Imagine, if you will, a yardstick standing on end. On either end are the extreme policy actions for any political issue. Between the ends lie all gradations of policy from one extreme to the other. The yardstick represents the full political spectrum for a particular issue. The essence of the Overton window is that only a portion of this policy spectrum is within the realm of the politically possible at any time. Regardless of how vigorously a think tank or other group may campaign, only policy initiatives within this window of the politically possible will meet with success.
Politicians believe they are elected to do 2 things; get reelected and pass laws. I contend that if politicians present many bills at the same time, from the relatively sublime to the absurd, the seemingly less harmful bills stand a better chance of passage. Thus, taking action within that “window” appears reasonable. You be the judge.
• Online gun certification: Senate Bill 195, banning online certification for concealed carry permits and requiring people to attend classes in person — advances in Senate
• Liability for “assault”-style weapons: Senate Bill 196, holding manufacturers and sellers of semiautomatic weapons liable for violence committed with them — killed by sponsor
• Gun ban for domestic abusers: Senate Bill 197, banning certain domestic violence abusers from owning guns — advances in Senate
• Limits on high-capacity ammunition: House Bill 1224, limiting gun ammunition magazines to 15 rounds but amended to not outlaw the “standard shotgun” — advances in Senate
• Gun ban on college campuses: House Bill 1226, banning concealed weapons on college campuses — killed by sponsor
• Background check fee: House Bill 1228, requiring gun buyers to pay for their own background checks — advances in Senate
• Universal background checks: House Bill 1229, requiring background checks for all gun transfers, including private sales — advances in Senate
[via the Denver Post]
Lawmakers advanced Colorado’s strictest gun proposals in recent memory, during marathon debate in a state caught between a history of horrific shootings and a Western heritage where gun ownership is a daily part of life for many. Continue Reading