Sunday, July 22, 2012

Colorado shooting: A day of prayerful memorials and a presidential visit (+video)

In the Colorado shooting, more information emerged Sunday about the attack and alleged shooter James Holmes. But mainly it was a day for remembering those who died early Friday during a theater's premier showing of 'The Dark Knight Rises,' the latest in the Batman series.

By Brad Knickerbocker,?Staff writer / July 22, 2012

Tamara Meza and her son Isaac place flowers in front of a memorial Sunday for victims behind the theater where a gunman opened fire on moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and wounding 58.

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters


As more news emerged about Friday night's mass shooting in a Colorado theater showing the latest Batman movie, Sunday became a day of remembering the victims in prayerful memorials, a visit by President Obama to thank first responders and the families of those lost and wounded, and a continuing discussion of gun violence in America.

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Aurora, Colo., police report that all of the hazardous material in alleged shooter James Holmes? booby-trapped apartment had been removed and transported to a disposal site. Meanwhile, a FBI Evidence Response Team (ERT) remains on scene processing the apartment for evidence.

Mr. Holmes is scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning. He is reported to be in solitary confinement for his own protection from other inmates who threatened his life upon hearing that his alleged victims included young children.

Comfort in response to the shootings in Colorado

Officials report that Holmes was able to buy two handguns, a shotgun, an assault rifle, and about 6,000 rounds of ammunition in recent months ? all of it legally.

While President Obama and Republican presidential candidate (and most elected officials, for that matter) have largely stayed clear of the politically-toxic subject of gun control, that is not true of all officials.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, (D) of New York, is calling for a ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines used on the kind of assault rifle that was part of James Holmes? deadly arsenal.

?As things stand right now, there is absolutely nothing to stop another madman ? or even someone on the terror watch list ? from walking into a gun store and buying?all the large-capacity bullet magazines he could carry,? she said Saturday. Cosponsoring the legislation is Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, also a New York Democrat, whose husband was killed and son severely wounded by a man who randomly shot 25 passengers on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train in 1993.

?As he has in the past, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke out Sunday on CBS?s ?Face the Nation.?

?It?s up to these two presidential candidates,? Mr. Bloomberg said, referring to Obama and Romney. ?They want to lead this country, and they?ve said things before that they?re in favor of banning things like assault weapons. Where are they now, and why don?t they stand up? And if they want our votes, they better.?

Because it happened not far away in Colorado, the moments of terrifying shooting in Aurora brought to mind the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School.

Tom Mauser, whose 16-year-old son?Daniel?was?killed that day, has become a strong gun control advocate.

"We?ve seen mass shootings in just about any place you can imagine: movie theaters, bars,?nursing homes, schools," he told the Huffington Post, noting that more people die in gun violence every day than the death toll in Aurora.


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