Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Colorado: Another Senate Gun Control Advocate Gone

Colorado State Senator Evie Hudak (D-Arvada/Westminster) has resigned "effective immediately" in the face of a recall drive that previously unseated two of her colleagues.  Hudak was known for her support on a package of highly controversial bills that restricted the rights of gun owners and ended up with several firearms-affiliated companies moving out of state rather than be a target of state laws.

Ex-Senator Evie Hudak (D)

The highly publicized row over the gun control bills drew national attention, not the least reason being its draw on outside sources of funding for the effort.  The recall election, which had never previously occurred in Colorado, initially included her but the effort was dropped for a time to concentrate on unseating Senate President John Morse and Senator Angela Giron, who were successfully recalled last September. 

Those outside funding sources continued to lend support during that previous recall election, seeing a 7-to-1 ratio in favor of the two Democrats who were eventually unseated.  Gun rights advocates saw this as a portentous event with national implications, and no less so locally. 

Invigorated by their success, they turned their sights again on Hudak, who had barely held onto her seat in 2012 against Republican opponent Lang Sias by an official count of less than 600 votes. 

Hudak initially mocked the recall effort, but she has been prevailed upon to resign by the state Democrat party.  If she had been removed from office in favor of a Republican opponent, as happened with her two predecessors, the Democrats would have lost control of the state Senate, which they currently hold by a margin of 18-17.  This maneuver allows Democrat Governor John Hickenlooper to instead appoint her successor and preserve the Democrat edge. 

Hudak is also remembered for her cross-examination of a rape victim during the Senate hearings on the gun control bills.  The victim had been brutally attacked – at gunpoint within a hundred yards of the police station – on a college campus and, though she had a concealed carry permit, she was nevertheless unarmed because the campus was declared to be a gun-free zone.  The rapist went to rape two more victims and murder one of them.

Hudak interrupted her to say, "I just want to say that, actually, statistics are not on your side even if you had a gun.  And chances are that if you would have had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you."  Hudak went to say that for every woman who kills an attacker, some 83 women are killed with their own weapon.  (Note the statistical rendering: Hudak uses cases of women who kill their attacker, not instances where the attackers are dissuaded by the fear that the woman may be armed, or who flee when they discover that the woman is prepared to shoot them.  The 83 women "killed" includes a likely majority of suicide cases.)  These hearings also revealed that college campuses are telling women that they should vomit or urinate on their attackers in an effort to dissuade them.  When the victim later asked Hudak how being unarmed makes her safer, Hudak had no reply.
Outrage at her remarks and her treatment of the witness was immediate and profound.  A stunned Professor Dave Kopel of the University of Denver law school and author of a textbook on firearms law and policy, called Hudak's remarks "outrageous".  He went on to say that her statements displayed "self-righteous, ignorant bigotry".  Hudak later gave a qualified apology: "I feel so horrible for what some of these people have endured.  I am only looking out for their best interest."

The recall effort, led by Compass Colorado, will persevere in obtaining the needed 18,900 signatures on the recall petition before the deadline of 3 December.  Executive Director Kelly Maher stated that they already have over 90% of the signatures needed, and as of last month some 15% were Democrats.


  1. Always good to hear another corrupt pol who merely rides on bandwagons has gone down. Especially on this issue.

    1. Here's hoping that Colorado is a portent of things to come.


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