Laura Woods Opposes Gun Safety Laws

In a Facebook post last week, State Sen. Laura Woods referred to Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and his running mate as "gun grabbers."

A Republican from Arvada/Westminster, Woods has made no secret of her hard stance against all gun safety laws, including her opposition to Colorado billls requiring mandatory criminal background checks on people purchasing guns.

She also opposes a Colorado law limiting the number of bullets a person can load into a gun at one time. Woods wants to allow a shooter to load a gun, for example, with 100 bullet, if the shooter wants to..

And on Woods' website, she emphasizes her belief that all people should be allowed to openly carry a gun in public, without concealing it and without obtaining a permit. Woods' website explains that she favors passing bills enacting this extreme pro-gun position, called "constitutional carry" legislation.

But the strange part is, Libertarian Johnson, whom Woods called a gun grabber, seems to be just about as far from a "gun grabber" as you could possibly imagine, having once told Slate Magazine, "I don't believe there should be any restrictions when it comes to firearms. None."

Johnson recently told USA TODAY he supports gun sales to suspected terrorists who can't fly on airplanes because they're on America's terrorist watch list. And Johnson opposes a ban on automatic weapons.

Yet, Woods thinks Johnson is a gun grabber?

That's a term used to describe someone who is believed to favor government confiscation of guns from ordinary citizens.

What could Johnson possibly say that would make him sufficiently opposed to basic gun safety to meet Woods' standards for gun craziness?

Woods wants total-freedom-to-own-and-buy-guns, but so does Johnson, as you'd expect from a Libertarian, who sees these safety measures as an intrusion on pracy

Informed of Woods' gun-grabber comment, Joe Hunter, a spokesman for Johnson, said Woods may be upset about Johnson's willingness to have a "conversation" about how to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

"There is no gun grabbing going on here," said Johnson, adding that Woods' attack may be "coming from" her opposition to Johnson's statements about guns and the mentally ill.

Hunter: "Johnson has acknowledged that when someone is clearly mentally ill and clearly capable of doing harm to others and him or herself, [Johnson] has said we should have a conversation about how to handle that, about what to do about that."

Woods still won't return my call seeking to know if she this is, in fact, why she called Johnson a gun grabber, so we're forced to speculate.

Woods, who's running against Democrat Rachel Zenzinger to represent the Arvada/Westminster senate district, stated on Facebook:

Woods: "Dana Kirsch (sp?) Said Johnson isn't any different than Obama on 2A. How is that a libertarian idea? I'll never vote for him."

A search for what "Dana Kirsch" wrote about Johnson, Obama, and the Second Amendment turned up nothing, but I struck gold with "Dana Loesch," a right-wing gun extremist and talk radio host who tweeted a sentence very similar to Woods' comment on Facebook:

Loesch: "I'll post the audio of my past interview with Gary Johnson on 2A. His answers were in line with Obama's positions on the issue."

Loesch: "I see a lot of people talking Gary Johnson but after I interviewed him on 2A I found he's not much different from Obama on gun laws."

So, it's pretty clear Woods was actually referring to Loesch, who is also upset with Johnson's willingness to have a conversation about guns and the mentally ill.

So, by extension, it looks like Woods' beef with Johnson is about guns and the mentally ill. She sides with Loesch in wanting no conversation about that topic.

I can't figure out any other reason Woods would be mad at Johnson over his stance on guns, and she won't return my call to settle the matter.

Meanwhile, Woods' views on guns will likely not fly so well in her Arvada/Westminster swing district.

An overwhelming 80 percent of Coloradans support background checks for all gun purchases, and 60 percent support limits on the number of bullets allowed in a gun's bullet holder, called a magazine, according to a Denver Post poll.

"I'm really disappointed in you, Senator. Promoting the lie that Gary Johnson is a gun grabber," commented Stacy Petty, a former conservative talk-radio host in response to Woods' Facebook post. "You need to check your facts before you post."

"Republicans like Laura Woods see their party falling apart, and they are doing everything they can to trash anyone else who might potentially take away votes from whatever consevative base they might have," said Hans Romer, the Libertarian candidate running against Woods and Zenzinger. "Laura Woods is playing politics."

Woods holds to her extreme stance on guns, despite its apparent unpopularity, just as she stands behind her extreme position against abortion, even for a woman who was raped.

"If you've looked at my voting record at all, what you will know is I'm an independent thinker," Woods told Denver Post reporter John Frank in January.

The outcome of Woods race against Zenzinger will likely determine control of state government, political analysts say, as Republicans hold a slim one-seat majority in the state senate. Democrats already control the governor's office, and it's likely they'll retain control of the state house, after November's election.