Perlmutter Criticized for Politicizing Shootings

July 25, 2012

Perlmutter, who proposed new restrictions on gun rights in the immediate aftermath of the Aurora shootings, has been accused of politicizing the tragedy

DENVER—Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Lakewood)  has come under fire for his comments Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation when he called for the reinstatement of the controversial assault-rifle ban in the wake of the Aurora movie theater shooting.

“You know, should we reinstate the assault weapons ban? I think we should, and I think that’s where it starts,” Perlmutter said.

“We ought to be taking a look at how this guy was able to accumulate so much ammunition. He had enough ammunition for, like, a small army. There’s something wrong about that,” Perlmutter added.

Perlmutter’s sentiments are not shared by Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who said he believes it is too soon to raise such questions.

“I think the discussions of ‘Do we need stricter laws?’ should probably wait until the families have grieved, and at least until we bury the people who we lost,” Hickenlooper said.

Hickenlooper has also been adamant in his stance that increased gun control would not have stopped such a tragedy from taking place.

“If there were no assault weapons available and no this or no that, this guy is going find something, right?” Hickenlooper said on CNN’s State of the Union. “He’s going to know how to create a bomb.”

Some political pundits, such as T.Q. Houlton, president of Compass Colorado, said that Perlmutter is attempting to politicize the shooting in order to promote his agenda for stricter curbs on gun rights.

“Regardless of anyone’s views on gun control, Ed Perlmutter’s shameful rhetoric during this difficult time is hurtful,” Houlton said. “Ed Perlmutter should follow Governor Hickenlooper’s lead and stop exploiting this national tragedy.”

Perlmutter led a moment of silence Tuesday in the House of Representatives, and introduced a resolution honoring and remembering those affected by the deadly shooting. The shooting took place at the Century 16 theater in Aurora, which is part of his congressional district.

The resolution was sponsored by Colorado Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, along with the other six members of the Colorado House delegation.

A masked gunman stormed the theater shortly after the start of the Friday midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, killing 12 moviegoers and wounding 58. A suspect, James Eagen Holmes, is expected to be charged next week.

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