Aurora's Steve Hogan: Why didn't he join anti-illegal gun mayors group after theater shooting?
Regarding the argument that gun policy is a states' issue that doesn't require this kind of response from a national organization, Glaze notes that around 35 percent of guns at Colorado crime scenes are traced to other states -- a number that's a bit higher than the national average of 30 percent.
In addition, he noted that following a successful state initiative in 2000 to close a gun show loophole, with 70 percent voter support, the rate of guns exported from Colorado has declined. This, he said, shows that questions of gun policy extend across state borders. In 2000, the state was the seventeenth largest exporter of guns later found at crime scenes in other states, and a year after the law was passed, it ranked at 27th. By 2009, Colorado ranked at number 32 in this category.
Sam Levin Anti-gun sign at a Denver peace march over the summer.
"When a high-profile shooting happens and local officials throw up their hands, it's always disappointing," said Glaze, adding, "We also see it as an opportunity to work with them and demonstrate that there are lots of ways to keep guns out of the wrong hands that do nothing to get in the way of [law-abiding gun owners]."
In response to Hogan questioning the worth of signing up for this kind of committee, Glaze said, "Mayors are influential in state legislatures and in Washington, because they understand gun violence better than anyone.
"When a police officer is shot at 3 a.m, it's the mayor that gets the call, not the congressman and not the senator," he continued. "When mayors tell other elected officials that there are five easy reforms that respect the Second Amendment but make it much harder for criminals to get illegal guns, that message resonates. And the more mayors we have, the more effective it will be."
While it is believed that Holmes legally purchased his weapons legally, there are still many policy changes and reforms that governments should consider to try and avoid this type of tragedy in the future, Glaze said.
"Everybody acknowledges that...no one fix is going to stop every mad man. So you do the things you know will make it harder for them to kill dozens of people," he said. "If we had a mental health system that more effectively identified people who clearly are a danger to themselves and others and got those names into the background check database, then you would reduce the chances that an Aurora shooter, a Tucson shooter, a Virginia Tech shooter will change a lot of lives forever in a few minutes."
Continue for the full battleground poll that Mayors Against Illegal Guns released today.