Political Animal


January 05, 2013 12:32 PM More gun murders in Aurora hours after Gov. Hickenlooper talks gun control

By Samuel Knight

Just hours after Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper offered specific proposals on gun control in an interview with CBS’ Denver affiliate, gun violence claimed more lives in Aurora — the town that played host to James Holmes’ movie theater massacre in July.

According to the AP:

Four people, including an armed suspect, died after an hours-long police standoff Saturday at a Colorado townhome, authorities said.
Police Sgt. Cassidee Carlson said a SWAT team was called after gunshots were heard at the Aurora, Colo., home at about 3 a.m. Investigators said three victims, all of them adults, appeared to have been killed before officers arrived.
Carlson said the suspect shot at officers at about 8:15 a.m. and was killed during a gunfight about 45 minutes later when police entered the home. It remained unclear if officers shot the suspect or if he shot himself.

If more murder-by-firearm in this symbolic Denver suburb doesn’t add to Hicknelooper’s newfound post-Sandy Hook determination to pass gun control, perhaps news analysis in today’s New York Times will. Elisabeth Rosenthal drew on her experience in Latin America to debunk the N.R.A.’s shambolic “only good guys with guns can stop bad guys with guns” industry shilling:

Despite the ubiquitous presence of “good guys” with guns, countries like Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia and Venezuela have some of the highest homicide rates in the world.
“A society that is relying on guys with guns to stop violence is a sign of a society where institutions have broken down,” said Rebecca Peters, former director of the International Action Network on Small Arms. “It’s shocking to hear anyone in the United States considering a solution that would make it seem more like Colombia.”
As guns proliferate, legally and illegally, innocent people often seem more terrorized than protected.
Samuel Knight is a freelance journalist living in DC and a former intern at the Washington Monthly.


  • Ryan Seacrest on January 05, 2013 1:21 PM:

    I have total sympathy, but I fear that fighting this issue will expend tons of time, limited resources, and political capital, and, given how the US really is, have no real impact on gun violence. And meanwhile, other issues will go wanting.

  • Michael W on January 05, 2013 2:24 PM:

    Your post was very good, Samuel, but you should probably ask your web admins to do a better job of monitoring which of your pop-up ads appear on which post. I just refreshed, and the pop-up was a right-wing screed about Obama trying to ban guns, and a link on how to stop it.

    I realize that Washington Monthly uses donations and ad revenue to maintain itself, and I normally don't mind the right-wing ads that appear on this site. I ignore them. However, certain ads should not be paired with certain posts.

  • c u n d gulag on January 05, 2013 3:22 PM:

    GOP POV:
    Regarding Latin America, that reporter is reading this situation completely wrong.

    What no one wants to talk about, is that the gun problems in Latin America stem from the ipso facto fact that they speak Latin, and not Murkin'.

    If they spoke "Gool Ol' Homeland" Murkin', those countries would be just as safe as we armed Murkin's are in our ever up-arming Murka!

    How do you translate and conjugate, "Don't shoot me! I'm a good guy!!!", into Latin?

    I'll give you XXX seconds.
    If you don't get it right, people start to shoot.

    Didn't get it, didja?
    Now you know why they shoot each other.

  • Michael Yancey on January 05, 2013 4:53 PM:

    What a load of Leftest Crap. Are you saying the cop was not a good guy with a gun? And if he were not there to stop the killer, how many more would have died? Our society has broken down because of thinking like this ignorant article.

  • trex on January 05, 2013 5:16 PM:

    @Michael Yancey

    Of course no one is saying that. Learn to think, peabrain. The NRA is asserting that only armed citizens can stop violence. The IANSA is saying that's bull, that INSTITUTIONS like police are what's needed, like in this case. Reading comprehension much?

  • smartalek on January 05, 2013 8:20 PM:

    @Michael W:
    you do realize that (assuming you can manage to un-bunch your panties long enough), if you CLICK on those o-so-offensive links, it will do nothing except to cause the organization, people, and movement that you loathe to give a tiny bit of money to the nice people at WaMo... thereby causing them to, in a small way, support their own opposition.
    So where's the problem?
    (And if enough people do this, it might not even be such a small way.)

    Facts and logic only confuse and enrage these people.
    I appreciate and honor your willingness to try, tho.

  • T-Rex on January 05, 2013 8:52 PM:

    (NOT to be confused with trex, BTW)

    While we're at it, let's remember that one of the NRA's favorite quotes, "An armed society is a polite society," comes from a work of science fiction. And Heinlein was a classic Walter Mitty, who didn't make it through the Naval Academy, who never fought in the armed forces, but who glorified military violence and macho heroes. I doubt that he ever in his life either faced someone with a gun or fired a gun in anger.

  • trex on January 05, 2013 10:41 PM:

    T-Rex:(NOT to be confused with trex, BTW)

    For what it's worth, when people inquire if I am you I'm always quick to explain that you're the famous one, while I'm the infamous one.

  • kevo on January 05, 2013 10:48 PM:

    Gun protection is an oxymoron - the real issue is gun power!

    Guns don't protect, they give the gun holder power - ominous life/death power!

    As many human reliant tools are powerful, the gun is at the top of the heap! Chainsaws are scary things as per our movies, showing up at a fist fight with a knife has its great advantages, but gun ownership carries greater responsibility than almost any other owned device - including the car!

    Owners of guns have their Constitutionally guaranteed rights to own their guns!

    But we, the People have the right to tell gun owners that if they use their Constitutionally guaranteed devices illegally, recklessly, or in any menacing manner they will be severely punished by the prescribed laws we the People have the right to make through our elected Congress in order to bring safer, better protected, civil discourse back to our nation!

    We need to develop non-violent, democratic, cultural norms, not rely on the barrel of a gun to solve our nation's problems! -Kevo

  • Anonymous on January 06, 2013 12:18 AM:

    @Michael Yancey on January 05, 2013 4:53 PM:

    "What a load of Leftest Crap. Are you saying the cop was not a good guy with a gun? And if he were not there to stop the killer, how many more would have died? Our society has broken down because of thinking like this ignorant article"

    As the victims in this case were already dead before the good guys arrived I think Michael misses the point, but his comment does symbolize the inchoate rage this debate engenders. For example, despite all of the arguments I have heard/read by persons who oppose increased gun regulation, I have yet to find one that makes an affirmative rationale for ordinary citizens to own assault rifles, for example.

    The reason is simple: there is no really good reason. I suspect that the people who own these weapons think they are cool or fun. However, lot's of people also think that shooting acid or doing lines of coke are fun, but these activities are still banned because society had decided (rightly or wrongly) that their negative impact on society outweigh their benefits.

    Would take up too much space to go into them in detail here, but all the reasons that gun advocates offer for unregulated possession and use of guns turn out to be myths unsubstantiated by the facts.

  • James M on January 06, 2013 1:00 AM:

    Whoops! The previous Anonymous post is me. So worried about Captcha I forgot to enter my handle!

    However, as the main unsubstantiated myths I would list the 2 that guns are effective for:

    1. Home Protection
    2. Protection against government tyranny or overreach.

  • Michael Steffani on January 06, 2013 8:08 AM:

    Please give me one good reason that a law abiding citizen in the United States should not own a gun if they wish to... It seems to me that knee jerk reactions come from those who wish to have total security (which is unobtainable) and they will give up freedom/Liberty to try and obtain it... cars, hammers, swimming pools, electricity, cigarettes, overeating, knifes, fists, starvation, poverty, and a host of other things, by themselves kill more people than guns in the USA... the more you look at each situation (logically) you find that society, family and friends did not recognize a problem with an individual before it triggered (no pun intended) the rage leading to violence... and no doubt that if a gun was not available these people would have found another way to harm others.

  • c u n d gulag on January 06, 2013 9:22 AM:

    Michael Steffani,
    Yes, some people do have moments of horrible rage, or insanity, and do horrendous things when they lash our - the whole world over.

    There was a guy in China, who, coincidentlly, on the same day as the CT school shooting, also went on a rampage in an school.

    He attacked even MORE children than the CT shooter.

    Only, NO ONE DIED!
    Not ONE child.

    Was he such a bad shot?
    No, he used a knife in his horrendous rampage.

    China has very strict gun laws, and it's a lot tougher to hack children to death with a single-bladed, even double-edged serrated knife, than it is to pulverized them, spraying their innards over their own finger-paintings, with ammo from a high-capacity gun, which were designed for maximum damage to enemy soldiers.

    Now, that them there, seems to me to be pretty good causal evidence, that, while people may go on killing spree's around the world, it's a lot easier to do that, and cause the most fatalities, with a gun.

    Evidence, is, of course, something we folks in the reality-based world use to come to our conclusions.
    But, of course, YMMV

  • c u n d gulag on January 06, 2013 10:14 AM:

    Michael Steffani,
    Btw - I neglected to say that I'm not one of those people who demand that ALL guns should be outlawed. Though I will admit, I wouldn't mind that at all.

    And neither are many/most of us on the left, for complete and total gun banishment.
    Speaking only for myself, I don't object to a shotgun or pistol, or two, to defend one's home. Or rifles with which to hunt.

    It's the semi's, and automatics, with high-capacity magazines, we want to see outlawed.
    Because who on Earth, besides a soldier in a war zone, needs an semi-automatic?
    What - someone needs them to hunt varmint's with?

    Especially, one with a high capacity, 30-round, magazine - unless that person thinks he can expertly picked-off 25 team members, and their manager and coaches, with one bullet each, of a ‘Joint Crips & Bloods Touring Baseball Team,’ on a home invasion and killing spree.

    If a person can't hit a deer in 2 to 3 shots, maybe you've picked up the wrong hobby.
    Maybe, they should try bow-hunting?
    Or, shopping around and using coupons they've clipped during to week, to purchase their families meat?
    Or, bowling, where they can knock down upwards of ten things with one "shot?"

    Guns kill faster, and more efficiently, that anything except WMD's.

    Now, someone may ask, well, how about this - isn't a Swiss Army Knife a high-capacity knife?
    Well, in a word, "Yes!"

    But imagine how long it would take to corkscrew a shrieking toddler to death, or use the fish-scale to peel the skins off 20 children?
    Or to hack them to pieces, with a 2 inch saw-blade?
    And, I suspect that, that by the time the killer got to the toe-nailing trimming attachment to kill the children, the police and other law enforcement agencies would have gotten there, to mitigate any further damage, and save at least some of the children.
    And maybe, without a gun, the killer would be left alive, to be studied - unless of course, the killer takes his own life, by stabbing himself in the eye with the finger-nail file before the cops get there.

  • Michael Steffani on January 07, 2013 8:27 AM:

    wow... so you like to, in your words, let evidence guide you in your reality world, hmm... knifes and similar sharp edged weapons kill more people in the US than guns... also military weapons are automatic in most cases and that type of weapon is banned for civilian use... high capacity magazines do not kill people... mentally disturbed people kill people, why not spend the money the gun control lobby spends trying to keep guns and ammo from right minded constitutionally protected citizens and find a way to keep mentally disturbed people from obtaining these items... In a reality world logic dictates the obvious solution is most certainly the simpler and less expensive, illogical ideas are usually the result of overreaching (knee-jerk) reactions and most times have ulterior motives...
    one knife cut to the side of a neck is a death sentence... yes guns kill, but only in the hands of mentally ill people do they kill innocent people, lets get guns out of those peoples hands and solve the problem without taking anything away from law abiding people, there ya go, logical reality based...