The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution insures everyday, hard-working individuals the Right to protect ourselves and our families from bad actors. With the creation of the new Office of Gun Violence Prevention, CDPHE will use rule-making to incrementally infringe on the Second Amendment using the back door of bureaucracy, while most watchdogs are focused on legislation. Many people during COVID asked “How did we give power to non-elected public health experts to make mandates and prohibitions?” and “How did we give government unrestrained power to violate the Constitution?” In short, lobbyists have become experts in incremental agendas, and lobbyists often use the Trojan Horses of non-profits or advocacy groups to promote their agendas with grant funding and the façade of public support. The general public has been very passive in policy engagement until a crisis, and subsequently the public discovers that it does not have a seat at the table or a vote in the matter. Agenda activists infiltrate boards, commissions, and advisory committees to state agencies. Private interest groups understand that they can engage as “stakeholders” in these roles to achieve their objectives, and government officials defer to these “community partners” and “experts” over their constituents. The new Office of Gun Violence Prevention at CDPHE has already triggered its first warning shots to infringe on the Second Amendment using all of these tactics.
Cdphe Will Take a “Public Health Approach to Gun Violence”
During COVID-19, our state government already showed us how it will handle any alleged or future “public health crisis” with their un-elected experts. At the CDPHE SMART hearing in January 2023, Sen. Rhonda Fields (D) declared that gun violence is now considered a “health crisis” in the state of Colorado. CDPHE Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan assured the joint health committee that CDPHE will take a “public health approach” to gun violence. These statements should be red flags for everyone given CDPHE’s “public health approach” to COVID-19 which included non-evidenced based policies such as mask and vaccine mandates, the invention of “social distancing,” and mass testing and isolation of healthy people. CDPHE violated federal law that prohibits any entity, including the Department of Defense, from mandating an EUA drug and EUA test. CDPHE’s public building restrictions and lockdowns violated the Constitution in the right to freedom of movement and right to engage in commerce.
As of 2023, CDPHE has NOT been held accountable for promoting pseudoscience, violating federal law, and violating the Constitution. When Rep. Holtorf (R) asked CDPHE about one of the 5,290 healthcare employees who were fired after having COVID-19 vaccine exemption requests denied, Director Ryan responded, “…it was the facilities using our guidance to make those decisions, so I don’t think we collected the information…” on exemption denials, and Director Ryan dismissed the vaccine mandate as “a policy with unintended outcomes.” Director Ryan never acknowledged that her department’s “guidance” (mandate of an EUA drug) violated federal law. Furthermore, unemployment soared from 4.8% in March 2020 to 11.6% in April of 2020, and by 2021 38% of businesses closed in Colorado, due to CDPHE’s “public health approach” to COVID-19. Director Ryan has no remorse with a myopic focus on number of vaccines administered—a vaccine that does not prevent infection or stop transmission. In 77 slides briefed to the Joint Health Committee, zero slides measure the economic or mental health harms that CDPHE inflicted on the public. In response to CDPHE’s public health approach during COVID-19, Director Ryan did not provide evidence that she used proven research-based pandemic strategies, instead she responded that “COVID was such a big experiment.” That big failed COVID-19 experiment included many policies that fully embraced socialist and fascist principles: treat everyone as if they have the same risk factors, close small private businesses with preference to government backed corporations, close local public schools with a preference for online government indoctrination curriculum, and govern by executive order. And “unintended outcomes” are an acceptable part of CDPHE’s “experiment.”
The development of tracking and tracing data systems was one of the most insidious projects during COVID-19, which openly reported using cell phone data to track the movements of US citizens to allegedly track a virus that allegedly could be transmitted asymptomatically. Gov. Polis also admitted to using cell phone data of citizens to monitor compliance with lockdown orders. Extrapolate how tracking and tracing data systems will be utilized in a “public health approach” to gun violence. If an individual who has not committed a crime and yet can asymptomatically “carry a virus” and thereby justify tracking and tracing, then one can foresee similar overreach for tracking and tracing of registered gun owners who are asymptomatically (without probable cause) spreading the “health crisis” of gun violence. To be clear, gun violence is a crime and should be handled by law enforcement. To give CDPHE jurisdiction over gun violence prevention after the COVID-19 “experiment” is the greatest threat to the Second Amendment that we have witnessed in our lifetimes.
A Gun Owner Registry Could Become the Next State Registry
Colorado step-by-step created the path for vaccine mandates starting in 1992, and with little public resistance. “Vaccines are good for public health” was the only mantra needed to drastically expand the vaccines mandated for school, legislate requirements which make exemptions nearly impossible to obtain, implement a medical board review process to punish any doctors who opposed lack of informed consent and privacy violations, and build a state tracking registry (CIIS) to enforce compliance. Similarly, the Office of Gun Violence Prevention has already embraced a similar foot-in-the-door mantra of “We can all agree on safe storage.” No one will oppose safety. The “public health approach” to any crisis is always concerned about safety. You can lose your job or school or guns, but you can always thank CDPHE for keeping you “safe.”
In 1992, HB1208 created the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS) to track vaccine uptake on individuals. It started as a state grant program to track infants up to age 24 months in rural and remote areas for vaccine accessibility. No one opposed a program to ensure babies had access to vaccines. In 2001, HB1134 expanded the CIIS database to a federally funded system which tracks all children. In 2007, HB1347 expanded CIIS again with millions in CDC funding to include adults. The main function of CIIS is to monitor vaccine compliance, and send coercive reminder, recall, home visit notices to people who are out of compliance. States which use the home visit program send a CPS worker with a nurse to “targeted individuals” from the database to encourage vaccine program “compliance.” Likewise, in one of the 2023 drafted gun control bills in Colorado, a proposed requirement for gun owners to provide a receipt for their weapons to a state database is the first step of a gun owner registry to target individuals and coerce compliance with future prohibitions.
Joint Health Committee Declared Gun Violence as the Highest Priority in Health
During the CDPHE SMART Hearing of January 2023, Dr. France, Chief Medical Officer of CDPHE, briefed an overview of the new Office of Gun Violence Prevention created by CO HB 21-1299. The experienced watchdog can connect the dots on how this office will incrementally infringe on the Second Amendment, in the same incremental expansion which the CIIS office coerces vaccine compliance. The goal to reduce gun violence-preventable deaths is analogous to the goal to reduce vaccine-preventable diseases. In gun control, the government bans weapons, and with vaccines the government bans exemptions. Gun owners hold the position of being responsible citizens who do not need CDPHE monitoring them, just as parents have been holding the line on the medical freedom front that they can make the best medical decisions for their children. CDPHE’s “public health approach” oppresses the rights of individuals, and asserts the position that captured government agencies know what is best for every individual.
Red Flag 1:
No other state health department has an Office of Gun Violence Prevention. This is an indicator that a new incremental agenda is being implemented, staffed, and funded. Given Gov. Polis’ series of legislation against gun ownership, every gun range owner, self-defense advocacy organization, hunting group, law enforcement group, and recreational shooting group should be requesting stakeholder involvement in this office.
Red Flag 2:
The Office of Gun Violence Prevention will have a permanent infrastructure and goals which reach beyond the stated education or “awareness.” The office has programs for communications, marketing and media, awareness campaigns, a resource bank at CU, a partnership with the School of Public Health, numerous data systems, and financial grants to disperse to community partners. Second Amendment supporters need input on the messaging from this office.
Red Flag 3:
The office’s surveillance and survey data systems are already controversial: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, and Colorado Healthy Schools Smart Source. This is an indicator that gun ownership will become a public health priority (not a public safety priority) and will be tied to mental health. Any person indicating any level of mental health symptoms in a survey is potentially “at risk” of engaging in gun violence. These surveys are designed to data mine and profile minors, which could result in a lifelong label which later disqualifies a person from gun ownership. For example, I completed the IMatter school mental health assessment in the controversial HB23-1003, and my score of 1 from reporting using CBD oil once in the past year resulted in a “medium risk for substance abuse problems” and a recommendation for six sessions counseling without parental consent. I can only conclude that these non-evidence-based mental health surveys are not intended to “help” students but to “flag” students. Parents need to opt-out their students from these surveys administered by third party data collectors acting without transparency with parents and educate their children on their right to not self-incriminate on drug and alcohol use.
Red Flag 4:
Sen. Fields demanded a “rapid response” with dispersing $10,000 each for 20 small grantees. Fields suggests that the COVID response modeled the response for this Office of Gun Violence Prevention. Fields makes it clear that the Office of Gun Violence Prevention dispersal of grants is the Democrat priority over ALL health and environment issues at CDPHE for Colorado. The office also has $450,000 to be dispersed in $50,000 large grants and a $4 million initial budget. Dr. France assured lawmakers there will be more “robust” funding in the future.
Red Flag 5:
At the CDPHE SMART Hearing, Sen. Jaquez-Lewis (D – pharmacist) expressed that she is “extremely disappointed” that “not a single dollar” has been dispersed from the office and there has been “no stakeholdering with community partners.” This is an indicator that the lobbyists already planned to have money to fund community partners to support legislation this session. (Lobbyists fund people in creative ways to show up to testify as experts or storytellers). Sen. Jaquez-Lewis also claims that people are not educated on ERPO (Extreme Risk Protection Orders) legislation. Likewise, the “people are not educated” was the basis for creating a mandatory vaccine education module for parents who exempt from any one vaccine, and the module is required to obtain a vaccine exemption certificate and also adds the family to the CIIS registry.
Red Flag 6:
Director Ryan suggested that the Office of Gun Violence Prevention should have an Advisory Committee, and proudly reports that the office has already hired a marketing and media firm. This is an indicator that the Advisory Committee, much like the pharma-captured Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) at CDC, will control recommendations for the public. Sen. Jaquez-Lewis expressed that she wants input on the advisory committee, the vendor for education, and the communications manager. She intends to micromanage the personnel and meetings of an office that has a director in place. We need to prod legislators who support the Second Amendment to be equally involved.
Red Flag 7:
Sen. Jaquez-Lewis stated that the Office of Gun Violence Prevention is her “number one priority.” She scolded Dr. France for not applying for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grants for COVID money for the Office of Gun Violence Prevention. Gun are the new virus, and apparently, $4 million is not enough to cover the stated “educational campaign.” According to “What to Do When Your Doctor Asks About Guns,” (DRGO 2015):
“Claiming only to be concerned about ‘gun safety’, the latest code term for gun control, the AAP pushed its member doctors to advise families to get rid of their guns. One of the authors of the original AAP anti-gun policy, Dr. Katherine Christoffel, was quoted in an AMA journal as saying ‘Guns are a virus that must be eradicated.’ ”
To answer the questions of “How did we give power to non-elected public health experts to make mandates and prohibitions?” and “How did we give government unrestrained power to violate the Constitution?” we need look no further than CDPHE. The history of CDPHE shows us that every person concerned about the Second Amendment must understand how the Office of Gun Control Prevention will incrementally erode Constitutional rights. Agenda activists are already taking their seats at the table as “stakeholders,” directing the media narratives as “community partners,” will make recommendations as “experts” at the advisory committee, and will apply for the funding to influence legislation and state agencies. To wait for prohibition legislation and spend tens of thousands of dollars and years in the judicial system is a reactive approach. To protect the Second Amendment which insures the Right to protect ourselves and our families against bad actors, we must proactively engage with the Office of Gun Violence Prevention.