by Pamela Kalinowski
In July 2011, the Indiana state legislature passed a law that allows citizens to openly carry firearms at all polling places except for schools and courthouses. This law has been praised as a protective measure of a citizen’s right to bear arms and exercise self-defense. For many states, this kind of law would present enough difficult policy questions all on its own, but it raises
particularly charged issues for Colorado, a state that has found itself a consistent subject of both the election and gun debates.
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Two of the most deadly, high-profile shootings in U.S. history have occurred in Colorado–the Columbine and Aurora shootings, the most recent of which occurred this past summer–and have sparked renewed gun control debates. Even more recently, Colorado’s active Secretary of State, Scott Gessler, was involved in a controversial “voter purge” when his office “sent letters to nearly 4,000 people questioning their citizenship as part of a plan to have them voluntarily withdraw or confirm their eligibility to vote” (Huffington Post). Colorado democrats claimed that Secretary Gessler attempted to intimidate or disenfranchise voters, thousands of whom proved to be state citizens. With recent events concerning both gun control and voter intimidation, should Colorado adopt an Indiana-like law and guarantee citizens the right to openly carry firearms at polling places across the state, overriding any local laws that prohibit the practice? Continue reading