Suggested text for Denver residents:
Dear Council member _________, I am contacting you to encourage you to vote YES on proposed ordinance 22-0401. Gun violence is a serious problem in our city, and the carrying of concealed weapons has been proven to increase violent crimes. I would feel far more safer going to the library, the recreation center, and, yes, to Red Rocks if I knew that people around me were not carrying hidden firearms. Please commit to increasing public safety in Denver and vote YES on 22-0401. (Please be sure to give your address so the council member knows you are a constituent).
Suggested text for non-Denver residents:
Dear Council member ______. Although I am not a resident of Denver, I do visit its cultural facilities (museums, zoos, botanic gardens, concert halls, libraries, mountain parks, Red Rocks, Western Stock Show, etc.). I am delighted that the city of Denver is considering making these facilities gun free, and I will feel safer knowing that the people around me are not carrying hidden firearms. Gun violence is a serious problem in Denver and our state, and the carrying of concealed weapons has been demonstrated to increase crimes, especially aggravated assaults. (Be sure to sign with your name and address.)
You may wish to embellish your statement with more facts:
- If guns made us safer, then we in the US would be the safest country in the world. Alas, the US firearm homicide rate is 25 times that of other high-income countries. (Grinshtyen and Hemenway, 2019).
- Gun rights advocates proclaimed that CCW would lower crime, but actually, the opposite is true. Rather than making us safer, an increased risk of violent crime is linked to concealed carry laws, particularly aggravated assaults and the problem increases over time. (Aneya, Donohue and Zang, 2014).
- Violent crime is estimated to be 13-15% higher than it would be without concealed carry laws. (Donohue, 2017)
- States with the highest rates of gun ownership also have the highest rates of gun death.
- States with the weakest gun laws experience the highest rates of gun death, and states with the strongest gun laws have the lowest rates of gun death.
- Many of the facilities in Denver that will be affected by this ordinance cater to a large number of children: museums, zoos, libraries, and parks.
- Accidents with guns can happen and can be injurious: Even at our Colorado state capitol this year, a representative had his handgun drop to the floor. Luckily, no discharge occurred.
- Guns are rarely used in self-defense (used in less than 1% of crimes), and when used, the firearm did not reduce a person’s chance of being injured any more than other forms of protection did. (Hemenway and Solnick, 2015)
- If the victim of an assault has a gun, he or she is 4.5 times more likely to be shot than an unarmed victim. (Branas, 2009).
- Carrying firearms increases aggression. For example, multiple studies have found that a driver who has a handgun in his or her car is more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior when driving. (Bushman, 2017).
- Carrying a firearm increases the aggression and hostility in the gun carrier; having a gun “may falsely empower its possessor to overreact.” (Branas, 2009).
The normalization of carrying guns in public has created situations where guns are readily accessible in events when disagreements get out of hand. Just a few examples:
- An 18-year-old was fatally shot during a quinceanara. (Rifle 4/24/2022)
- A patron asked to leave a sports bar shot and injured a security guard. (Aurora 2/26/2022)
- A Door Dash driver was shot in the face by a man who was angry that the delivery driver parked in front of the stolen car he was in. (Arvada 2/28/2022)
- A teen was shot and injured during a disturbance that broke out at a house party. (Commerce City 2/25/2022)
- A 63-year-old man was shot and killed after a two-car-crash at Montview and Peoria (Aurora 1/18/2022).
- An adult male was shot and killed in a bar after an assault. (Colorado Springs 1/10/2022)
- A 35-year-old man was shot and killed on Christmas Day during an argument. Both shooter and victim were armed (Aurora 12/25/2021).
- A Juneteenth party turned into a shooting melee ending with one man killed and 4 others injured (Aurora 6/20/2021)
- A disgruntled boyfriend, who was known to carry a concealed handgun, shot and killed six at a birthday party before taking his own life. (Colorado Springs 5/9/2021)