DENVER - They lost their elected positions over gun legislation, yet two ousted state lawmakers were front-and-center for President Obama's gun control executive actions.
Former State Sens. John Morse and Angela Giron were among the Colorado attendees at the President's news conference at the White House on Tuesday.
"It's not odd in the least that we got invited, the President followed Colorado's lead. It just took two-and-a-half years to do [so]," said Morse.
"I think because that we stood up to the gun lobby and they said, 'Hey, we want to reward you for that,'" said Giron about their invitation.
Both of them received an email on Saturday morning with an invitation that stated:
"The President requests the pleasure of your company at a meeting to be held at The White House on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at ten o'clock in the morning."
"There was a cell phone for the staffer from the White House, and I called her and said, 'I think I have a fraudulent email,'" said Morse.
The President announced several gun control executive actions that do not require Congressional action to take effect.
"We know we can't stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence," the President said. "That's why we're here today; not to debate the last mass shooting, but to do something to try to prevent the next one."
He listed several executive actions that include:
- Universal background checks for anyone selling guns online or at a gun show
- 200 more ATF agents to enforce gun laws
- $500 million to expand access to mental health treatment
- New research on gun safety technology
"I also believe that we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment," said the President. "And for those in Congress who so often rush to blame mental illness for mass shootings as a way of avoiding action on guns, here's your chance to support these efforts. Put your money where your mouth is."
Morse and Giron paid for their last minute trip, with Morse taking dozens of photos from the second row of the news conference. The two were proud of being invited despite being recalled for passing gun legislation that required universal background checks and limiting magazines to 15 rounds or fewer.
"Every one of those laws is on the books, they're going to be on the books, they're common sense things, I mean reload after cranking out 15 rounds; really, that's offensive? No it's not offensive," said Morse.
"They said the world was going to end because they're not going to be able to get their guns and do all the kinds of things that some of the people who were in opposition, and nothing has really changed. They've been able to do everything that they continue to want to do. It hasn't stopped them," said Giron.
Other Colorado attendees at the news conference included:
- State Rep. Rhonda Fields
- Theresa and Dave Hoover, mother and uncle of Aurora Theater Shooting victim A.J. Boik
- Coni Sanders, daughter of Columbine teacher Dave Sanders
- Jane Dougherty, sister of Sandy Hook (Newtown, CT) school psychologist Mary Sherlach