On Wednesday, two more Colorado lawmakers came out in favor of stricter gun control laws: Colorado Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet.
Udall spoke with Fox 31's Eli Stokols clearing up his position from last weekend which was less specific. "I’ve come to the conclusion that military style weapons really don’t have any place in our society, Udall told Stokols. "We ought to reinstate the assault weapons ban that served us well for 10 years from 1994 to 2004.”
Udall also took to Facebook yesterday posting a detailed statement about gun control in Colorado and President Obama's plan:
As a Coloradan who had school-age children during the Columbine shooting and grieved alongside the victims of the Aurora tragedy this past summer, I have been shaken to the core by last week's mass shooting at the Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school. Families across our state have been deeply affected in a profound way, and it is an emotional time for us as a country. It is also a time that we must come together and have a serious discussion about concrete steps we can take to help prevent mass gun violence from happening ever again.
A number of my colleagues in Congress have proposed ideas already, including banning assault weapons. We all recognize that Colorado and our nation have a long and storied tradition of gun ownership for hunting, outdoor recreation and self-defense. However, I am not convinced that combat weapons are necessarily part of that heritage. There are legitimate questions about the effectiveness of a ban on military-grade weapons, but I believe that a multifaceted approach, including a ban on such weapons, can be crafted that works for Colorado sportsmen, preserves our heritage, and can and will help save lives. But the details matter, and I intend to work with law enforcement, sportsmen and anyone else who agrees that we must respect the Second Amendment while also keeping our children out of harm's way. We simply must do everything we can to ensure these military-grade weapons are never in the hands of those who would turn them against their community.
I believe President Obama's plan to create a wide ranging set of recommendations makes a lot of sense, because no single policy is going to be adequate in preventing gun tragedies in the future. We need comprehensive — not piecemeal — solutions that examine our culture's glorification of violence, the effectiveness of our laws and our ability to enforce those laws. And as a baseline, we should all agree that we must do more to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from obtaining guns, and ensure responsible gun ownership consistent with the Second Amendment. For instance, we can follow Colorado’s example and require background checks for all gun purchases; improve the background check system by reporting state mental health records more completely; and crack down on illegal actions such as straw purchases.
I also believe Gov. Hickenlooper is taking the right approach by seeking to do more to improve background checks and bolster mental health services. The Governor's proposal is a good example of the type of common-sense policies that we need to curb future gun violence, and I plan on doing everything I can to support him in that effort.
Just last Thursday, a day before the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting, Gov. John Hickenlooper said that "the time is right" for state lawmakers to consider gun control measures -- the strongest stance Hickenlooper has taken on the issue to date, the Associated Press reported.
"When you look at what happened in Aurora, a great deal of that damage was from the large magazine on the AR-15 (rifle)," Hickenlooper said. "I think we need to have that discussion and say, 'Where is this appropriate?'"
It appears as if the governor's stance on gun control has evolved since his statements after the Aurora theater shooting on July 20.
Hickenlooper's immediate reaction following the Aurora was more-or-less a sidestep of the issue of gun control in Colorado. When asked on ABC's "This Week" on whether he should revisit the state's gun laws in the wake of the Aurora massacre, Hickenlooper said, "I'm sure that is going to happen, but I look at this, this wasn't a Colorado problem, this is a human problem, right?" Hickenlooper then added: "You know, I worry that if we got rid of all the guns and certainly we have so many guns in this country, we do have a lot more gun violence than many other countries -- but even if you didn't have access to guns, this guy was diabolical. Right? He would have found explosives, he would have found something else, some sort of poisonous gas, he would have done something to create this horror."
Senator Bennet also took to Facebook on Wednesday and he too took a strong stance in favor of more gun control.
In the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy, one of the most terrible realizations for us as parents is that no matter what we do, no matter how careful we are, no matter what laws we pass, evil can strike our children.
But we have a duty to mitigate that risk. The shooters in Aurora and Newtown should not have had access to the guns or magazines they used. I believe a combination of improved access to mental health services, restrictions on certain weapons intended for the battlefield, and elimination of the gun show loophole are sensible steps that can reduce our children’s risk.
In Colorado, we support the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, we support the ability of people to hunt and recreate and to protect their families and homes, and we want to keep the wrong weapons out of the hands of the wrong people.
As the President’s taskforce begins its work, we will ensure that Colorado’s voices are heard.
Earlier this week, The Denver Post's Curtis Hubbard had criticized Udall for his initial vague statement on gun control and Bennet for making no statement at all.
Udall and Bennet's statements come just days after the announcement of a bill backed by Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, as well as Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), that would prohibit the manufacturing of high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. It would also prohibit the transfer, possession or importation of those magazines that are manufactured.
Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter is also pushing for stricter gun control and will introduce a piece of companion legislation to go along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein's assault weapons ban bill that she will introduce on the first day of the new Congress.
“It’s time to do more than have a conversation about guns,” Perlmutter said in a statement earlier this week. “It is Congress’ responsibility to lead and it’s time for me to take action.”
The shocking murder of 26 children and adults in Newtown, Conn., last Friday has sparked a national discussion on gun control, with mostly Democratic legislators from around the nation saying laws need to be tightened.
December 14, 2012 -- Newtown, Conn. -- 27 dead (including gunman)
The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday was the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, leaving 27 dead -- including 20 young children. President Obama <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/14/obama-newtown-school-shooting_n_2301823.html">gave an emotional address</a>, calling for "meaningful action": <blockquote>As a country we have been through this too many times. Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago -- these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. We're going to have to come together to meaningful action on this, regardless of the politics.</blockquote>
September 27, 2012 -- Minneapolis, Minn. -- 7 dead (including gunman), 2 injured
Andrew John Engeldinger, a recently laid off employee of Accent Signage Systems, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/12/eric-rivers-dies-accent-signage-systems-shooting_n_1960914.html">entered the office building and opened fire</a>. (No public comments from the president.)
August 5, 2012 -- Oak Creek, Wis. -- 7 dead (including gunman), 4 injured
White supremacist Wade Michael Page entered a Sikh Temple, opening fire on congregants. He later shot and injured a police officer responding to the scene. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/05/obama-wisconsin-shooting-_n_1744692.html">Presidential reaction</a>: <blockquote>Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the shooting that tragically took so many lives in Wisconsin. At this difficult time, the people of Oak Creek must know that the American people have them in our thoughts and prayers, and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were killed and wounded. <br>My Administration will provide whatever support is necessary to the officials who are responding to this tragic shooting and moving forward with an investigation. As we mourn this loss which took place at a house of worship, we are reminded how much our country has been enriched by Sikhs, who are a part of our broader American family.</blockquote>
July 20, 2012 -- Aurora, Colo. -- 12 dead, 59 injured
During a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," a gunman <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/20/aurora-shooting-movie-theater-batman_n_1688547.html">opened fire on the suburban Denver movie theater</a>, killing 12 and injuring dozens of others. Two days later, Obama <a href="http://www.kunc.org/post/transcript-video-president-obamas-speech-after-aurora-hospital-visit">delivered a ten-minute speech</a> from the University of Colorado that made no mention of gun control: <blockquote>God bless all who helped to respond to this tragedy. And I hope that over the next several days, next several weeks, and next several months, we all reflect on how we can do something about some of the senseless violence that ends up marring this country, but also reflect on all the wonderful people who make this the greatest country on Earth.</blockquote>
May 31, 2012 -- Seattle, Wash. -- 6 dead (including gunman)
A man opened fire in a cafe, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/01/seattle-shootings-2012_n_1561944.html">fatally wounding four people</a>, then killed another in a carjacking before killing himself. (No public comments from the president.)
April 2, 2012 -- Oakland, Calif. -- 7 dead
A former student of Oikos University, a Korean college, entered a building on the campus and shot repeatedly at random targets. (No public comments from the president)
February 22, 2012 -- Norcross, Ga. -- 5 dead (including gunman)
A man <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203960804577238850391163984.html">shot and killed two of his sisters and their husbands and then himself</a> in a Korean health spa. (No public comments from the president.)
October 12, 2011 -- Seal Beach, Calif. -- 8 dead, 1 injured
Scott Evans Dekraai, 41, stormed a hair salon where his ex-wife worked and <a href="http://www.ocregister.com/articles/business-321651-medical-beach.html?videos">killed eight people</a>. (No public comments from the president.)
January 8, 2011 -- Tucson, Ariz. -- 6 dead, 14 injured
Jared Lee Loughner, 22, opened fire in a Safeway parking lot, killing six people and injuring others including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/08/gabrielle-giffords-shot-c_n_806211.html">shot in the head at point-blank range</a>. Two months later, Obama addressed gun control issues <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/13/obama-gun-control-arizona-shooting_n_835103.html">in an op-ed for the <em>Arizona Daily Star</em></a>: <blockquote>I know that every time we try to talk about guns, it can reinforce stark divides. People shout at one another, which makes it impossible to listen. We mire ourselves in stalemate, which makes it impossible to get to where we need to go as a country. However, I believe that if common sense prevails, we can get beyond wedge issues and stale political debates to find a sensible, intelligent way to make the United States of America a safer, stronger place.</blockquote>
August 3, 2010 -- Manchester, Conn. -- 9 dead (including gunman), 2 injured
A driver for Hartford Distributors <a href="http://articles.courant.com/2010-08-03/news/hc-omar-thornton-workplace-shooting-020100803_1_workplace-shooting-east-hartford-shooting-victims">killed eight people and then himself </a>in this workplace shooting. (No public comments from the president.)
November 29, 2009 -- Parkland, Wash. -- 5 dead (including gunman)
A Washington man walked into a coffee shop and <a href="http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2010382767_webfourdead29m.html">shot four police officers execution-style</a>. (No public comments from the president.)
November 5, 2009 -- Fort Hood, Texas -- 13 dead, 30 injured (including gunman)
In the deadliest shooting to ever happen on an American military base, an Army Major <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/19/fort-hood-shooting-fbi-nidal-hasan-political-correctness_n_1685653.html">serving as a psychiatrist went on a shooting spree</a> that killed 13. Obama <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/11/06/obamas-response-fort-hood-shooting-scrutiny/#ixzz2F3yWYFVg">said at a press conference</a>: <blockquote>This morning I met with FBI Director Mueller and the relevant agencies to discuss their ongoing investigation into what caused one individual to turn his gun on fellow servicemen and women. We don't know all of the answers yet, and I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all of the facts.</blockquote>
April 3, 2009 -- Binghamton, N.Y. -- 14 dead (including gunman), 4 injured
Jiverly Wong, a naturalized immigrant from Vietnam,<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/05/nyregion/05suspect.html"> gunned down students and employees at the American Civic Association</a>, where he had been taking English lessons. President Obama said in a statement: <blockquote>Michelle and I were shocked and deeply saddened to learn about the act of senseless violence in Binghamton, N.Y. today. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families and the people of Binghamton. We don't yet know all the facts, but my administration is actively monitoring the situation, and the vice president is in touch with Governor Paterson and local officials to track developments.</blockquote>
March 10, 2009 -- Geneva County, Ala. -- 11 dead (including gunman), 6 injured
A 28-year-old man <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/12/us/12alabama.html?hp&_r=0">killed his mother then drove ten miles to kill several members of his extended family, neighbors and a bystander</a>. The victims ranged in age from 18 months to 74 years old. (No public comments from the president.)
March 29, 2009 -- Carthage, N.C. -- 8 dead, 3 injured (including gunman)
A gunman <a href="http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/4837676/">opened fire on a nursing home</a>, killing seven residents and a nurse. (No public comments from the president.)
June 25, 2008 -- Henderson, Ky. -- 6 dead (including gunman), 1 injured
After an argument with his boss at the Atlantis plastics plant, Wesley N. Higdon, 25, <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25361852/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/dead-argument-boss-ends-rampage/#.UMuJ53Pjlps">killed five colleagues</a> and then himself. (No public comments from the president.)
February 14, 2008 -- DeKalb, Ill. -- 6 dead (including gunman, 21 injured)
A former Northern Illinois University student, 27-year-old Steven Phillip Kazmierczak, opened fire on the campus, killing five people then himself. George W. Bush <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/02/15/us-usa-shooting-school-idUSKRA48086720080215">spoke with school president John Peters </a>and told him "that a lot of folks today will be praying for the families of the victims and for the Northern Illinois University community. Obviously a tragic situation on that campus and I ask our citizens to offer their blessings, blessings of comfort and blessing of strength." Then an Illinois senator and presidential candidate, Barack Obama <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/02/15/us-usa-shooting-school-idUSKRA48086720080215">said in a statement </a>that "we must also offer ... our determination to do whatever it takes to eradicate this violence from our streets and our schools; from our neighborhoods and our cities."
February 7, 2008 -- Kirkwood, Mo. -- 7 dead (including gunman), 1 injured
A gunman <a href="http://www.ksdk.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=139898">opened fire on a public meeting in the city hall,</a> killing six people before he was shot and killed by police. (No public comments from the president.)
December 5, 2007 -- Omaha, Neb. -- 9 dead (including gunman)
Robert A. Hawkins, 19, went on a shooting spree at the Westroads Mall, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/05/AR2007120501868.html">killing eight people</a> and then himself. George W. Bush had been visiting Omaha for a fundraiser but left the city just an hour before the shooting took place. "Having just visited with so many members of the community in Omaha today, the president is confident that they will pull together to comfort one another as they deal with this terrible tragedy," the White House <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/05/AR2007120501868.html">said in a statement.</a>
October 7, 2007 -- Crandon, Wis. -- 7 dead (including gunman), 1 injured
Tyler Peterson, 20, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/10/09/wisconsin.shooting/index.html" target="_hplink">killed six people</a>, including his ex-girlfriend, at a post-homecoming party. (No public comments from the president.)
April 16, 2007 -- Virginia Tech campus, Blacksburg, Va. -- 33 dead (including gunman), 23 injured
Seung-Hui Cho, a senior at the school, shot and killed 32 of his classmates before committing suicide. George W. Bush addressed the nation: <blockquote>I've spoken with Governor Tim Kaine and Virginia Tech President Charles Steger. I told them that Laura and I and many across our nation are praying for the victims and their families and all the members of the university community who have been devastated by this terrible tragedy. I told them that my administration would do everything possible to assist with the investigation, and that I pledged that we would stand ready to help local law enforcement and the local community in any way we can during this time of sorrow.</blockquote>