As I wrote earlier, I’ve been struck by the unproductive coverage of the Aurora Colorado shooting. Thankfully, some politicians, like mayor Michael Bloomberg and Rep Carolyn McCarthy (whose husband was killed and whose son was paralyzed by gun violence), as well as some in the media, like Melissa Harris-Perry, have been fearless in linking tragedy to policy. In contrast, others, like Senator Ron Johnston, are not only refusing to look at the connection between gun laws and violence, but suggesting that armed citizens could have prevented the killing. The idea that armed citizens could have engaged in a shoot out with a men in full riot gear without hurting others is far-fetched at best.
I will updating this post with transcripts of the video UPDATE: Transcript below the jump Michael Bloomberg:
We don’t have to break new ground here. All we’ve got to do is follow the promises that were made by the elected officials back when they were pandering and said, ‘We’re going to fix this problem.’ And to those who say, this is about gun control. It’s not. It’s about crime control. This isn’t about someone else. This is about you and your kids. and we’ve just got to do something about this. And how anybody can run for the highest office in the country, where 48,000 people are gonna get killed in the next four years, and not have a plan. People say, well you shouldn’t address it now because we’re in a time of crisis and mourning. Yeah, well 18 months after since Arizona and we did nothing. If not now when are you gonna do this?
I always look at it this way, no one from the NRA is ever going to vote for me. They’re just not. They might even come after me on other issues. But the thing of it is, as a politician, a lot of politicians know it’s the right thing to try to fight for something to save lives. They don’t have the spine anymore. They pander to who’s giving them money.
The left always uses the term assault weapons and what they’re really talking about are weapons that really are used in hunting. But this really is not an issue of guns. Again, we’re talking about sick people that are doing things that you simply can’t prevent. It’s really an issue of freedom. And I signed an oath to defend the Constitution. And part of that Constitution is the Second Amendment, which is the right to bear arms…. And if a responsible individual had been carrying a weapon, then maybe, maybe, they could have prevented some of those deaths and some of those injuries.
If you have access to a television, computer or newspaper, so by now you have heard the numbers associated with yesterday’s senseless tragedy in aurora, colorado . at the midnight screening of “the dark knight rises” 12 is the number the gunman took. 58 is the number of additional people injured and scarred by the shooting. tragic is the word that comes to mind with what happened in colorado , but we cannot lose sight of the shattered lives and loss that occurred there. we also have to remember the tragedy that remembers around the country on a daily basis. both speak to the perilous state we are at with gun violence . three, how many teenager boys were shot on the south side of chicago in two separate shootings. one is how many of the young men survived though he is in critical condition. 275 is the number of murders in chicago nor the current year. 1,205, that’s how many shooting incidents chicago has seen just this year in 2012 . 159, that’s the number of homicides that have occurred in the city of los angeles so far this year. 642 is how many shooting victims los angeles has seen since the beginning of 2012 . 111 is the current tally of murders in my adopted city of new orleans for this year alone. these numbers show the totality of senseless violence across our country in addition to the horrific tragedy in aurora, colorado . but what they don’t know is people are not numbers. yes, shootings and murders can be quantified, but the numbers don’t speak to the loss of life and lasting damage to those left behind. the victims in colorado , they were part of someone’s family. these young men and women in cities across the country had hopes and dreams that will never be met. and until we get serious about the causes and effects of gun violence everywhere, we will continue to compile statistics on the epidemic. what i want us to do is start working to save people from it.