Wow, @SenHodge offended military vets saying "some have mental health problems" several people sitting around me in the gallery are upset.—
Kelly Maher (@okmaher) March 09, 2013
During Friday’s marathon gun control hearing in the Colorado Senate, Republican Sen. Kent Lambert offered an amendment to exempt active military members, veterans and their families from the gun magazine ban.
Enter Sen. Mary Hodge, a disgraceful Dem who urged fellow lawmakers to oppose the exemption because “some of them come back with significant mental health problems.”
Responding to Hodge, Lambert noted that there are already laws to prevent mentally ill people from owning firearms. Here’s a rough transcript of the exchange between Lambert and Hodge.
HODGE: Thank you Mr. Chair, I ask for a no vote.
Yes, these are all great and wonderful people, but some of them come back with significant mental health problems and I think we need to check through that first.
CHAIR: Senator Lambert.
LAMBERT: Mr Chair, I really object to this stereotypical viewpoint that all military veterans, that all military returnees have mental health problems. Yes, there is ….
CHAIR: Senator Hodge
LAMBERT: Excuse me, I have the floor, Mr. Chair.
CHAIR: It was a long pause, I apologize. Senator Lambert.
LAMBERT: Thank you Mr. Chair. Of course our active duty military people suffer from traumas of war. They have since the Civil war. They’ve gone through battle fatigue. They’ve gone through soldier’s disease, in the Civil War is what they called it.
But to stereotypically say that we’re just going to have a blanket policy in this state saying that military veterans, who if they have mentally deficient problems or if they have traumatic stress and they’ve been diagnosed they’re not eligible to get weapons anyway. It’s already part of the law.
It does raise a point: are we doing enough for our veterans? Maybe not, but that’s not part of this bill. But please don’t stereotypically identify military veterans and active duty members as being disqualified for arms ownership simply because they’ve served our country.
CHAIR; Senator Hodge
HODGE: Thank you Mr. Chair, and I did not say “all” had mental problems. I said “some.”
The Denver Post has video (see the 09:59:00 mark).
The amendment failed.
Let’s see how this plays out when Sen. Hodge is up for reelection.
Editor’s note: This post has been updated to clarify the starting point of the exchange between Sens. Hodge and Lambert on The Denver Post’s video.