Gun Rights Questions for Norton and Buck

By encouraging a Denver Post story blasting Ken Buck conveniently timed just before primary voting, Jane Norton has turned gun laws into a campaign issue. The upshot is that Buck used to work for the U.S. Attorney’s office under Democrat Tom Strickland. After the Columbine murders, Strickland jump-started gun prosecutions. Opponents, including me, claimed he did so to raise his political profile through an emotion-laden issue. Buck opposed a prosecution at the time (and I also opposed it), and eventually he was reprimanded for sharing information with a defense attorney.

Today Norton came out swinging hard in a media release reproduced below (in which she also attacks State Senator Shawn Mitchell). But does she land a blow? I figured that, since she apparently wants to turn guns into a primary voting issue, both she and Buck should further elaborate their views on the matter. I will publish their answers in this post as soon as I receive them. I sent the questions to both campaigns via email. (My dad Linn helped edit the questions.)

Dear Ms. Norton and Mr. Buck,

Please respond to the following questions via email, for publication at Free Colorado at

Please verify receipt.

1. Do you believe that federal agents should attempt to build a case against gun sellers by intentionally deceiving them about who is purchasing a gun?

2. Do you endorse the aims and tactics of “Project Exile?”

3. Should the federal government target violent crime, or should it also target technical gun offenses by otherwise-noncriminal citizens, and, if the latter, by what laws and tactics?

4. Do you believe that tax-subsidized colleges should be required to allow adults on campus with permitted concealed carry?

5. Should concealed carry permit holders be listed in police databases?

6. Do you believe that Tom Strickland was justified in prosecuting the Golyansky brothers?

7. Do you believe that Ken Buck was right or wrong to oppose that prosecution?

Ari Armstrong

Norton’s Release

Contact: Cinamon Watson
June 24, 2010

NORTON: “I don’t need an ethics class to know what’s right.”

Denver, CO – Today, The Denver Post printed a story concerning Ken Buck’s ethics violation in the U.S. Attorney’s office.

The news report details the facts surrounding Ken Buck’s departure from the U.S. Attorney’s office. The story has triggered attacks on John Suthers by leading supporters and surrogates of the Buck campaign.

According to the story, then-United States Attorney John Suthers, the current Attorney General who was recently hailed by conservatives for suing to stop Obamacare, reprimanded Buck earlier in the decade and even required Buck to take ethics courses for ethical and professional breeches during his stint at the United States Attorney’s office.

Buck resigned from Suthers’ U.S. Attorney’s office [Suthers took over for Strickland] after receiving the reprimand and fulfilling ethics course requirements.

State Senator Shawn Mitchell, Buck’s top surrogate, attacked John Suthers, saying that as U.S. Attorney, Suthers “carried water” for Democrats as head of the United States Attorney’s office. Mitchell also attacked Jane Norton.

“Ken broke the rules, and the facts speak for themselves,” said Jane Norton. “I’m proud to have the support and endorsement of John Suthers — Ken’s former boss. Clearly, Ken Buck has a lot to answer for.”

“In this election, it’s critical that candidates earn the voters’ trust. And I don’t need an ethics class to know what’s right,” continued Norton.

According to the campaign, Jane Norton has never been forced into ethics courses, and she’s never been reprimanded by the U.S. Attorney.