President Barack Obama called for a national dialogue, but didn't lead one. Gun-control Democrats proposed banning high-capacity clips, like the ones Giffords' shooter used, but their bills went nowhere.California Gov. Jerry Brown posted the following simple comment: "We mourn for the victims of the Aurora tragedy and send our deepest condolences to the families and communities affected."
The gunman who opened fire in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater Friday morning, shooting 71 people and killing 12, is said to have been armed with two handguns, a shotgun and an assault-style rifle, some of which were presumably equipped with high-capacity clips. "There were many, many rounds fired," Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said at a Friday press conference. "We know there were a lot of rounds fired very rapidly."
The message here should be clear, said Kristen Rand, legislative director for the Violence Policy Center, a group opposed to gun violence. "You put a military level of firepower in the hands of civilians, and this is the natural result," she said. "The lesson that other countries have learned is that you have to restrict access to these instruments that allow people to inflict so much injury and death so quickly."
Specifically, Rand said that "high-capacity magazines, whether they're in a pistol or an assault rifle, are the common thread in every major mass shooting in the U.S. going back to the early '80s."
But many politicians are responding to the shooting with pieties rather than policy proposals.
That strikes me as the right tone for a public official outside of Colorado to take on the Aurora shootings. I wish both President Obama and Mitt Romney had been about as simple and brief instead of competing to be national Pastor-in-Chief over that mass murder. Romney out-pastored Obama in his speech, which isn't surprising since he was once a bishop in the Mormon Church.
Jerry was a Jesuite novitiate for four years and knows more about Christian theology than most professional theologians - and is as skilled as any politician I know in talking about religion and public policy - but he didn't feel the need to play minister on this. After all, that's what we have ministers and psychologists for. Public officials have commitments enough with their own jobs.
Meanwhile, Rick Warren, the smarmy megachurch minister who lots of Democrats somehow convinced themselves is some kind of loving-minded Christian minister with social concerns that are other than identical to those of the most callous, bigoted rightwingers used the Aurora shootings to demonstrate once again how little reason there is for anyone to think that, as James McGrath at Exploring Our Matrix explains: Blaming Evolution for Tragedy 07/21/2012; Why Rick Warren Is Wrong Several Times Over to Blame the Aurora Shooting on Evolution 07/21/2012.
He's referring to Warren's tweet of 07/21/2012
Other than having a more smarmy style, I don't see that his views are notably different from any illiterate fanatic street-preacher. And that's surely unfair to illiterate fanatical street fanatic preachers.
I don't think we need public officials to be our ministers when something like the Aurora killings happen. But I keep forgetting we live in the Postsanity Era. Both Obama and Willard Romney gave much better Christian ministerial comments than Rev. Warren.The Reverend used it as the opportunity to pimp for fourth-rate Christian homeschooling operations who teach that the Loch News monster proves dinosaurs were created six thousand years ago. The man is an embarrassment to every honest form of Christianity.
His defenders could fairly say that he didn't specifically mention the Aurora shootings in that tweet. But anyone who views him as a religious leaders whose opinions count for something to them and who went to his Twitter account that day would surely have understood his comment tweeted late Friday morning as referring to the headline event of the day. So far he hasn't bothered to even tweet that excuse, though he did post some whining about people criticizing him. But that kind of you're-one-what-am-I posturing is typical of Warren's kind of smarminess. The guy has made millions by selling books promoting himself as a benign spiritual leader. It was be silly in the extreme to think he didn't know how his tweet would be read by his fundamentalist followers.
The second of the McGrath pieces linked above discusses how Warren's comment shows how little Warren actually cares about the Christian Bible actually says.
Amy Sullivan, professional Democratic concern troll and enabler of Christian Right smears against Democrats, tweeted back with characteristic cluelessness:
That reminds me of how the pioneering blogger Steve Gilliard used to characterize Amy Sullivan, as he did for instance in Code Words The News Blog 04/13/2005. He was less generous the previous year in Abortion is a right 12/15/2004, where he wrote of her position on abortion, "People like Amy Sullivan sell their soul one day at a time. By the time they finish, it's gone and they don't even notice. ... I'm sick of her fake piety and calls for religous conformity."
Even after that slimy Rick Warren punked him over Obama's and McCain's appearances in his megachurch in 2008, Obama still invited this nasty airhead to give a public prayer at his Presidential inauguration. That wasn't turning the other cheek. That was Obama pandering for no good reason to people who hate his guts and who intended to do everything they could do block the mandate on which he was elected.
Tags: aurora shooting, christian right, rick warren