Just like the rest of our fellow Coloradans, we are still trying to comprehend the dumbfounding violence that broke out in Aurora nearly two weeks ago. There is virtually no way to understand why or how a human being could unleash such senseless terror on others.
It’s no secret that we have sincere, distinct differences with many of our elected officials in Colorado. When those differences emerge, we point them out and vociferously advocate our position. However, we wanted to pause today to heap praise on some – and scorn on others – who have taken markedly different approaches to addressing the killings in Aurora.
On one hand, you’ve got Governor John Hickenlooper who has used his ability to be all things to all people for good – by representing the State on national news and even parking members of his cabinet at hospitals to help victims and families marshal resources and navigate bureaucracies. You’ve got the state’s junior Senator, Michael Bennet, who choked back tears on the floor of the Senate as he stood next to poster sized pictures and one by one memorialized the victims.
On the other hand, you will find shameless politicians eager to exploit even the worst tragedies of humanity if they believe it might give them an edge in the next election. Take Congressman Ed Perlmutter, for instance.
Before the Aurora Police Department even had the chance to remove the crime scene tape from the Century Theatre, there was Perlmutter, appearing on Face the Nation to proclaim that Congress needs to reinstate the assault weapons ban.
And if that weren’t enough, RevealingPolitics.com posted a video yesterday of an online town hall convened by Mr. Perlmutter in which the Congressman “cited the July 20 mass killing in an Aurora, Colo. movie theater as one justification for passing President Obama’s Affordable Care Act in 2010″
We understand that the normal human instinct in situations like this is to scramble for answers and policy prescriptions to help alleviate such savagery in the future. But there will be plenty of time to debate the merits of those ideas, including the ones put forth by the grandstanding Mr. Perlmutter, when the community has had some time to heal.
We agree with the likes of Governor Hickenlooper and Senator Bennet who have suggested that we should at least give families a chance to grieve before spinning up that debate.
Messrs. Hickenlooper and Bennet should be commended for their humanity and their leadership during this difficult time.
Ed Perlmutter, on the other hand, should be ashamed of himself.