Congressional advocates for gun control have been restraining themselves from tying the Aurora shooting to legislation in the first hours after a gunman opened fire in a crowded theater, killing 12.
The shooting occurred in the district of Ed Perlumutter, a Democrat, who focused on the person who committed the shootings.
“I am stunned and furious at the news of the shooting at the Aurora Century 16 Movie theatre this morning. Our heart and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims of this tragedy,” Perlmutter said. “Colorado is not a violent place, but we have some violent people. We are a strong and resilient community, and we will lean on each other in the days, weeks and months to come.”
“I’ve lived in Aurora almost all of my life and nothing like this has ever happened here,” said Rep. Mike Coffman (R-C0lo.), who represents the neighboring 6th District. “This was the type of violence that I would have expected when I served in Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps but never here at home.”
Coffman said he would work with Perlmutter to ensure that Aurora has “whatever federal law enforcement resources they need to complete their investigation.”
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), whose husband was killed in a mass shooting in 1993 and who is one of the strongest gun-control advocates in Congress, alluded to gun-control as an “avenue” of prevention in her statement.
“The horrific nightmare of a mass shooting on innocent civilians in a crowded public place has, sadly, come true once again. I mourn alongside the people of Aurora for the many killed and injured and the countless family and friends whose lives, as a result of the consequences of this event, will be negatively affected for decades to come,” she said. “The shooter should be brought to justice and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But we as a nation should also not continue to ignore avenues to prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future.”
A strong advocate of gun control in the upper chamber, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), simply tweeted: “My prayers go out to the victims and families of the horrible tragedy in Aurora. This is truly a sad day.”
President Obama also kept policy out of it in his address to supporters in Florida before cutting short his swing through the swing-state.
“Even as we learn how this happened and who’s responsible, we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this. Such violence, such evil is senseless. It’s beyond reason. But while we will never know fully what causes somebody to take the life of another, we do know what makes life worth living,” he said before leading the crowd in Fort Myers in a moment of silence.
UPDATE: At 5:42 p.m., Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) tweeted,
“#Aurora is another wake-up call. How many senseless tragic acts have 2 happen & lives have 2 be lost b4 enacting sensible gun control laws?”