Aurora theater shooting: Colorado members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns respond to tragedy

Matt Appelbaum, Boulder Mayor.jpeg
Matt Appelbaum
The heated gun control debates that have emerged in response to the Aurora theater shooting that left twelve dead have reached elected officials at all different levels of government -- whether they want to talk about it or not. Since Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, arguably the most prominent Colorado member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, declined to weigh in on gun control, we asked other local mayors for their take on the state's regulation of guns after the Century 16 massacre.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns -- a bipartisan group with more than 600 members across the country -- has been one of the most high-profile politicians to speak out about gun control, starting just hours after James Holmes fired shots in the Aurora movie theater.

Demand a Plan, Mayors Against Illegal Guns.jpeg
Mayors Against Illegal Guns recently launched "Demand A Plan to End Gun Violence" petition.
It's perhaps a bit easier for Bloomberg to talk policy from the other side of the country than someone local, such as Representative Ed Perlmutter, who quickly voiced his support for the assault weapons ban, but also admitted that it's difficult to discuss laws, no matter how relevant, when the pain of the tragedy is still so fresh.

Boulder Mayor and coalition member Matt Appelbaum echoes these sentiments. "When tragedies like this happen, it's not clear to me that it's the time to really be talking about gun control," he says -- not because those conversations are unimportant, but due to the difficulty of drawing meaningful connections between a single event and large-scale policy arguments.

"If you're going to talk about gun control, it shouldn't be in the context of one incident," he says, adding that people have to remember that gun violence happens every single day across the country without getting any press.

The coalition reports that there are over 30,000 gun deaths in America each year, nearly 12,000 of which are homicides.

"Should we do a better job keeping guns out of the hands of people that cause problems? Absolutely we should," Applebaum says. "Would it have stopped this one incident? Probably not, but that's not the point."

It's obvious the country should talk about the very powerful assault weapons Holmes used in Aurora, he adds.

"It is necessary for us to try and have a rational debate, if that's even possible in this country," says Appelbaum. "But it needs to be in a much broader context."

Page down to read comments from more Colorado mayors.

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The Second Amendment protects all guns from being banned for the same reason the First Amendment protects all religions from being banned. It’s like saying that the freedom of religion means you can have most religions, but not Islam.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter



Wow, you can't even construct a cogent metaphor that isn't instantly falsified by REALITY and FACTS -- do you even parse what you type for consistency before you publish it?


-- Even the NRA agrees that Guns can be banned, and that millions of people can be banned from possessing guns.


-- Did the Founding Fathers extend the "right to bear arms" to their own Negro slaves?


-- Does "Freedom of Religion" mean that Mormons can practice Polygamy and forced Child Marriage?


-- Does "freedom of religion" mean that babies and children can be made to suffer genital mutilation ? [ trick question -- Yes for Boys, No for Girls ... go figure.]






The first amendment comparison is not relevant because of the differences in the way they are worded.


First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


Second Amendment:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.


The word infringed is the where interpretations can vary.


The definition of infringe is: To transgress or exceed the limits of; violate


Most constitutional scholars interpret this to mean that the government cannot ban all guns, but can place limits on the types.


It's kind of irrelevant because the current geopolitical environment we live in makes militias no longer likely or even capable of affecting the security of a free state.


 @Monkey So you believe the first amendment gives you the right to own fully automatic rifles.  the currently ban on them has been upheld by the courts as constitutional.   I don't think the constitution specifies "small arms" so I guess it guarantees your right to own military grade cannons and mortars too.


The only type of gun that existed when the second amendment was adopted, in 1791, was barrel loaded black powder guns capable of firing a maximum of about 4 shots per minute.  Quite a different animal than today's modern weapons.



 @IZenI fear the government disarming the citizens more than citizens legally owning the same weapons military and police carry. The Nazis disarmed the Jews, do you think that was to protect them? The crime data in Jamaica shows the same thing as the crime data in Chicago. It is the law-abiding, good citizens, not the criminals, who are disarmed by gun bans. A semi-auto rifle is not an assault rifle unless someone uses it in an assault, some are just for fun, we don't need them, we like shooting them, and the people who are buying them up like you're going to ban them wont let you or the government take them because they look scary to you.


 @Monkey P.S. It's nice to have a rational discussion on the subject and I did not intend that to be taken as a personally statement on you in particular.  I meant the metaphorical 'you' but I realize it could be taken the other way.


 @Monkey Anyone who takes up arms against the US government today would be immediately be labeled a terrorist and persecuted as such so the militia/civilian revolt argument is hard to buy.  Jefferson also lived in a different time.


It's also hard to believe that limiting the size ammo clip you can buy or closing gun show loopholes would do that much to limit your enjoyment of target shooting unless it's just that macho surge of adrenaline from spraying massive amounts of bullets you are looking for.


 @IZenThe Second Amendment wasn't written for current weaponry, they did realize we would surpass the musket. It was written so that the people, or the militia, would never have the right to individually keep and bear military guns taken away from them. That was the whole point of the amendment. A supposed tyrannical government would have the latest and greatest arms, and so should the people's militia. "The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." -- (Thomas Jefferson)

For me personally, I just like shooting them, and I dis-like limiting personal freedoms.


 @Monkey P.S. The Fox News story you are attempting to quote statistics from had nothing to do with assault rifle bans or US law. 


Jamaica banned all guns but they are easily smuggled in from the US in exchange for drugs smuggled out to the US. 


I personally am not taking any stand on the effectiveness of gun bans in this discussion, just questioning your assertion that they are all unconstitutional.


 @Monkey Other than your fears, what does that have to any of my statements on the constitutionality of gun laws???

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