Whenever there's a shocking example of firearm mayhem like the shootings at the Aurora Century 16 theater, it doesn't take long for those on either side of the pistol-availability argument to start trying to make ideological points. Prime examples: Texas Representative Louie Gohmert, who wondered why no one in the theater had a gat other than the killer, and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which hurried out an Aurora-themed fundraising appeal.
According to the Mediaite post linked above, Gohmert was interviewed as part of a Heritage Foundation radio program called Istook Live!, featuring host Ernest Istook. When he was asked about the attack at the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, the rep rambled a while about how the event signified the collapse of our nation's Judeo-Christian values before saying, "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?"
Is he blaming the victims for not being strapped? Each person will have to decide that for himself.
Meanwhile, the aforementioned Brady Campaign sent out the following -- and while the text doesn't specifically mention Aurora, the accompanying photo and text makes it impossible to miss the connection.
In case the print is too small for you to see in the image above, the text of the appeal reads:
When I heard the news this morning, first I felt tremendous sadness for the victims' families. But then I felt enormous anger. Anger because once again America's horrendous gun laws have robbed Americans of our basic freedom -- the right to live in safety.
It's time to tell our elected lawmakers -- Expressions of sympathy are not enough: We demand action!
Add your voice now!
Sign our petition to Congress!
Then forward it, forward it, forward it!
I urge all Brady Campaign members to sign this petition and send it to everyone they know to sign, too.
Easy availability of guns is now a national crisis that MUST be addressed.
When it is no longer safe to take our children to see a movie or send them to the store for a pack of Skittles, it is beyond time for America to stand up and demand Congress take action.
Please act today. Sign our petition then get out there and get more signatures. With one voice, we will be heard.
Dan Gross, President Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
The timing of this e-mail seems designed to take advantage of people's anger. But there's every chance the wounded, not to mention the friends and family of those who didn't survive, will feel angry as well -- angry at any organization, be it on the left or the right, that tries to turn their loved ones into political pawns less than 24 hours after the bullets began to fly.
Here's audio of Gohmert's interview.
More from our Television & Film archive: "Aurora theater shooting & disgusting questions about The Dark Knight Rises box office."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.