Republican gun advocate Lauren Boebert has announced her candidacy against Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., hoping to bring conservative values back to Congress.
Raised in a Democratic household in Denver, Boebert did not always believe in the sentiments that she preaches today. However, when she moved to the Western Slope at 12 years old and got her first paycheck at a McDonald’s in Garfield County, she realized that she could do a better job taking care of herself than the government.
“It’s not always been an easy road,” Boebert said Monday in an interview with The Durango Herald. “Being raised in a poverty mentality, you kind of were raised believing everything (is) a struggle, and it is, but there’s hope in that struggle and you have to have vision to get out of it.”
Boebert and her husband developed conservative values as a result, and she knew that “failure and government assistance were not an option.” She opened Shooter’s Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, despite city officials dissuading her from doing so because other restaurants in the area were failing, Boebert said. And after a violent fight in the alley behind her restaurant, she realized she needed to begin expressly advocating for the Second Amendment.
“There was an altercation in our back alley where a man was physically beaten to death, and it immediately prompted the question, ‘How will I defend my people?’ So I began to carry that day,” Boebert said. “A few weeks later, some of my waitresses asked if they could carry, as well, and they already had their conceal carry permits and had their guns in their purses, and we all agreed that none of us were comfortable having our guns unattended in our purses in the back, so they began to carry, as well.”
The people who dined-in at her restaurant were not fazed by the guns since they also owned guns, Boebert said, and after researching Colorado gun laws, she became compelled to offer training sessions to teach women how to carry guns since “gun rights were being stripped away.”
“I knew that we have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and if you don’t have a way to defend your life, what good are the rest of your rights?” Boebert said.
Along with advocating for the Second Amendment, as representative of the 3rd Congressional District, Boebert said she will take advantage of the natural resources in the district, fighting those who try to regulate natural resources, and lowering the cost of health insurance by “allowing it to be sold across state lines.”
Boebert said Tipton is not the right person to represent the 3rd Congressional District, and she is confident that her conservative record will give the district the representation that it needs.
“If congressman Tipton was doing an effective job, I wouldn’t feel the need to run,” Boebert said. “But AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) and the rest of the squad are going unchallenged. Conservatives want a fighter who will put these people back in their place and stand up for what we believe in, and I believe that over the years, I’ve been pretty darn good at that.”
Although Boebert only announced her candidacy recently, she has already received immense support, which she said was “extremely humbling.”
“It wasn’t just a Second Amendment gun thing that had people hyped up, but people are giving whatever they can, five dollars, 10 dollars, and that tells me that a lot of them have probably never really donated to a campaign before,” Boebert said. “But there’s something to believe in here, there’s hope here, that someone will actually take a stand for conservative values and fight the fights that need to be won.”
Boebert said she is fighting to restore Coloradans’ values on issues such as gun access and prohibiting full-term abortions. She is “tired of representatives shying away from these issues and remaining utterly silent.”
“The only response that we’ve received when we’ve reached out to these representatives on the issues is, ‘We’re focused on the 2020 elections,’” Boebert said. “And so I started thinking, ‘Maybe I should get focused on 2020 elections.’ So that’s exactly what I’m doing.”
Ayelet Sheffey is a student at American University in Washington, D.C., and an intern for The Durango Herald.