A CU student activist is taking a stand to block the passage of a deadly force bill.
Becca West, a junior psychology major, testified in front of the Colorado Senate last month against a proposal to expand the state’s “Make My Day” law.
“I was asked to testify against Senate Bill 8, an extension on the ‘Make My Day’ law,” West said.
The bill, supported by Sen. Ted Harvey, failed for the third straight year at the state capitol on Jan. 28.
West was one of many, including the Colorado Police Chief’s Association, to oppose the bill, which proposed to add places of business to the locations where occupants are immune from criminal or civic liability for using deadly force in self-defense.
West, who also participated in a campus protest against concealed carry laws, was personally asked by the Colorado Cease Fire to testify at the hearing.
“I was really surprised to be asked,” West said. “I was really honored.”
While West said that she does believe in the right to protect oneself, she feels that freedom from penalty should be assessed on an individual case basis, depending on whether or not deadly force was necessary.
“I’m not in opposition to the Second Amendment, but I don’t think we need to give people more rights to kill,” West said. “Gun crime in this country is the worst in the world.”
Shadi Murib, a senior political science major, used his experience lobbying for New Era Colorado to help West write her testimony.
Murib said he was excited to see that more young people are stepping out and standing up for what they believe in.
“It was really cool because she isn’t one of the conventional people who would testify for something like this,” Murib said.
Although the bill failed, many people still argue that police response time is not fast enough, and the ability to defend oneself in the workplace is important.
“I feel if I was (at work) and someone was endangering my life, I should be able to do whatever I need to protect myself without facing repercussions,” said Ryann Fraser, a freshman advertising major.
West said that not only was she happy the bill did not pass, but she was also happy that she was able to have her voice heard at a Senate hearing.
“Just the fact that, for five minutes, these senators wanted to know my opinion was really cool,” West said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Lindsay Gulisano at Lindsay.firstname.lastname@example.org.