DENVER – Pressed by interviewers to comment on Colorado’s gun laws during three appearances Sunday morning on national news shows, Gov. John Hickenlooper just wouldn’t go there, expressing doubt that tougher gun control laws would have prevented suspected shooter James Holmes from mowing down 70 unsuspecting moviegoers just after midnight Friday.
“This person, if there were no assault weapons available, if there were no this or no that, this guy’s going to find something, right? He’s going to know how to create a bomb,” Hickenlooper said when pressed by CNN’s Candy Crowley on her show, “State of the Union”.
“Who knows where his mind would have gone? Clearly a very intelligent individual, however twisted.”
Hickenlooper noted that Holmes isn’t cooperating with police and described the 24-year-old neuroscience student as “diabolical” and a “twisted, really delusional individual.”
On ABC’s “This Week”, Hickenlooper similarly refocused questions about gun laws on the disturbed individuals who put them to deadly use.
“I’m sure [a conversation about gun control] is going to happen but this wasn’t a Colorado,” Hickenlooper said. “This is a human problem and how we can have such a warped individual and no one around be aware.”
Congressman Ed Perlmutter, D-Golden, took a different view.
On Sunday’s episode of CBS’s “Face the Nation”, Perlmutter said that Congress should reinstate a ban on assault weapons in the U.S. that included the AR-15 semiautomatic that Holmes used inside the theater.
That assault weapons ban expired in 2004; and while President Obama talked about renewing it on the campaign trail in 2008, he hasn’t followed through.
Pointing out that the suspect had enough ammunition “for a small army,” Perlmutter said “there’s something wrong with that.”
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been the most outspoken public official calling for stricter gun control laws since the Aurora shooting, as has Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.