Back in 2014 when he was running for governor, former Congressman Tom Tancredo came under attack by fellow Republican candidates, like then State Sen. Greg Brophy of Wray, for supporting gun control legislation after the Columbine massacre.
Brophy accused Tanc of being “weaker” on gun control than Gov. John Hickenlooper, which probably sounded awful to the hard-right Republicans who were choosing to vote for Brophy, Tancredo, or others in the GOP gubernatorial primary in 2014.
Part of Tancredo’s response to Brophy, who was trailing in numerous polls: “He’s a dead man walking.”
But Brophy insisted that Tancredo’s 1999 vote for expanded background checks for gun sales and more severe penalties for specified gun crimes would sink Tancredo in the election.
Tancredo also told his fellow Republicans that his gun-control vote was mistake, as reported in The Denver Post at the time:
Tancredo said his position has evolved since Columbine, which was in his congressional district and impacted close neighbors and friends.
“I think we’ve all learned a lot about this issue,” he said this week. “The only thing that stops a bad person with a firearm is a good person with a firearm. That’s it.”
This year, Republicans like Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio are backing some gun-control measures in the aftermath of Florida.
Tancredo thinks those Republicans are making the same mistake he did:
With regard to the vote after Columbine, I know how easy it is after an incident like a horrific school shooting, to have emotion rule over reason. Certainly happened to me, and I guess its happening to Rubio,” Tancredo said via email. “When I say my vote was a mistake its because when you can begin to think logically about it, you realize that most of the things that are proposed are not ‘fixes’ but platitudes attempting to be put into law. I am far prouder of the work I did to create the Safe School Hotline which is now Safe2Tell. And yes, bolstering mental health programs is a positive. Of course the best preventative is a good guy with a gun – when they are not afraid to use it!!