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Aurora shooting: Tom Mauser, Columbine father, on gun control, political silence

tom mauser photo.JPG
Tom Mauser
It's not about politics, it's about the tens of thousands of people who die every year in America due to gun violence -- including the twelve victims of the Aurora theater shootings.

This is how Tom Mauser, father of a Columbine victim and now activist for gun control, responds to politicians and others in Colorado and across the country who are saying that now is not the time to have a debate about gun policy.

"There really isn't any debate on it at this point," he says. "Everyone wants to avoid it like the plague."

Tom Mauser, Aurora vigil.JPG
Sam Levin
Tom Mauser speaks at a vigil on Friday night in Aurora surrounded by local religious leaders.
Mauser, sixty, who spoke at the Aurora vigil on Friday night after accused shooter James Holmes killed twelve and injured dozens more at the midnight screening of The Dark Night Rises, lost his son Daniel to the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999.

Since then, he has become a vocal gun-control advocate with a group called Colorado Ceasefire, where he is a spokesman and board member.

"The statements that have been out there have been so...devoid of any content," Mauser says. "It's clear that there is a real fear of taking on a controversial issue like this when it's an election year."

In public appearances so far, Governor John Hickenlooper has dodged questions about gun control. On Sunday's Meet the Press, he said:

I think that [gun control] debate's going to happen. It has already started. But you look at this person, again, almost a creature, if he couldn't have gotten access to guns, what kind of bomb he would have manufactured? We're at a time, an information age, where there's access to all kinds of information.... I think he was almost a terrorist that wanted to take away not just from the people here, but from the country, our ability to enjoy life, to go to a movie theater. Which for most of us is a refuge where we can get away from the pressures of life. It's a human issue. How are we not able to identify someone like this who is so deeply, deeply disturbed?

It's this kind of talk that completely misses the point, Mauser believes.

"It seems like with every case, we have an excuse, but we don't look at the overall problem," he says.

When asked for a response to these criticisms, a Hickenlooper spokesman deferred to previous comments on the matter while pointing out that the governor has acknowledged the gun control debate will happen -- "but now is not the time as people...are still being buried."

Page down to read more of our interview with Tom Mauser.


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7 comments
Rednerrus
Rednerrus

Uh, what??  Tens of thousands?  Who's quote is that, exactly?  There are NOT tens of thousands of deaths in this country each year due to gun violence!!  Who's the IDIOT that allows this garbage to get published?!  At least do some homework, or site it as a quote from that moron!  These facts are readily available to you via FBI & DOJ.  There are more alcohol-related deaths in this country each year than gun-related deaths.  Seeing as how readily available cars are, perhaps we should ban automobiles so drunk drivers can't get out on the road!  Blame the responsible party!

 

Oh, and by the way.....statistically, there are more gun related deaths in the US due to unjustified police shootings than there are from criminal intent.  Do the research!!

 

Monkey
Monkey

The Columbine massacre happened 5 years into a federal ban on "assault weapons". They were not concerned they were using banned weapons, only law abiding citizens were affected by the ban. The ban expired after 10 years in 2004 because it did not reduce availability of those weapons to criminals. I realize people need to blame someone or something, but blaming guns has never reduced violence, it only prevents people who follow the law from possessing weapons criminals have.

rvs44
rvs44

If Mauser's child had been killed in an auto accident(still tragic and happens more often) would he be an activist for highway safety???....  

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Ironic that a large German firearms manufacturer shared his name.

Rednerrus
Rednerrus

 @DonkeyHotay 

Yes, Mothers Against DRUNK DRIVERS.....not Mothers Against Automobiles!

eCurmudgeon
eCurmudgeon

 @DonkeyHotay MADD has far less to do with highway safety these days as it does with being a neo-prohibitionist organization.

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