Revenge Paul Paradis, who owns Paradise Firearms in Colorado Springs, holds a petition to recall state Senate President John Morse over his support for a strict new gun law. (Ed Andrieski / AP / Corbis)

In the nine months since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the rekindled debate over gun control has remained in the headlines. Congress failed to pass new gun-control legislation, but several states pushed through tighter restrictions, prompting gun manufacturers in some of those states to relocate; seven states made it legal for teachers and administrators to carry firearms at school; and a bunch of mayors, led by New York’s Michael Bloomberg, are working to punish the four Democratic senators who voted against the gun bill in Congress. But arguably the most important post-Sandy Hook moment is scheduled for September 10, when Coloradans will decide whether to recall state Senate President John Morse, and fellow Senator Angela Giron, for their role in passing a law requiring universal background checks and limiting ammunition magazines to 15 rounds. For years, the National Rifle Association has used the threat of political retribution to keep lawmakers from giving the public the gun regulation that it repeatedly says it favors. Whichever way the vote goes, it will send a powerful message to politicians at all levels.

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