Within hours of a madman opening fire in a crowded movie theater on Aurora, Colo., gun-control advocates began to use the theater shooting spree, which left 12 dead and 71 wounded, to push their agenda.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an ardent gun-control advocate, led the way, citing the massacre on a radio broadcast Friday morning, insisting that statements of sympathy and concern from President Barack Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s campaigns were not enough.
“Soothing words are nice,” said Bloomberg. “But maybe it’s time the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they’re going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country. And everybody always says, ‘Isn’t it tragic?’”
Bloomberg urged the nation’s governors to speak out about the shooting as well.
“I mean, there are so many murders with guns every day. It’s just got to stop,” he said. “And instead of these two people, President Obama and Gov. Romney, talking in broad things about they want to make the world a better place. OK. Tell us how. And this is a problem.”
Bloomberg added: “No matter where you stand on the Second Amendment, no matter where you stand on guns, we have a right to hear from both of them, concretely, not just in generalities, specifically, ‘What are they going to do about guns?’”
The country seemed to be in for yet another round in the debate of whether gun-ownership creates violence or prevents it. Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said he could not understand why there was apparently no-one in the theater with a weapon who could take gunman James Holmes out before he could create more mayhem.
“It does make me wonder, with all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying a gun that could have stopped this guy more quickly?” Gohmert asked.
By Saturday much of the liberal media had weighed in with calls for more control. In an editorial, The Washington Post wrote, “There is no rational basis for allowing ordinary Americans to purchase assault rifles. They’re not necessary for hunting, and they’re not needed for self-defense.”
It added, “Yes, the Second Amendment protects a citizen’s right to own a gun, but it does not preclude reasonable regulation for public safety. Yes, mass killings occur in societies with stronger gun laws, but not with such regularity — and not against the backdrop of daily gun violence, both criminal and accidental, that distinguishes the United States.”