An investigator inspects evidence outside the Century 16 movie theater… (David Zalubowski / Associated…)
Colorado has some of the weakest gun-control laws in the nation, according to gun control advocates who say Friday's massacre at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater should be a clarion call for Americans to demand tougher gun control laws.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, one of the nation's most vocal proponents of tougher gun control, ranked Colorado as one of the most lenient states in the nation in terms of gun control. The organization's report card gave Colorado a failing grade of 15 out of a possible score of 100.
The score is especially troubling considering that Colorado residents voted in November 2000 -- just months after the Columbine High School shooting -- overwhelmingly in favor of closing so-called gun show loopholes that allow gun show dealers to sell guns without first providing a background check on buyers, a Brady Campaign spokesman said.
Colorado voters, with a 70% to 30% mandate, voiced their desire for tougher gun control, said Brian Malte, director of legislation and mobilization for the Brady Campaign. Colorado's dismal score on the Brady Campaign scorecard shows that "too many elected officials are doing the bidding of the gun lobby instead of trying to protect its citizens," Malte told the Los Angeles Times.
Here's the political reality check: Tougher gun control laws are unlikely unless Americans "begin to show some outrage at this," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a leading gun-control advocate.
Malte said the Brady Campaign was urging Americans to sign an online petition demanding Congress make it more difficult for felons, convicted domestic abusers, terrorists and the mentally ill from obtaining guns.
Traffic to the Brady Campaign site spiked "1,000%" on Friday, Malte said, but he said he did not know how that may have translated into signatures for the petition.
The suspect arrested in the Aurora shootings had an assault weapon, Remington shotgun and two Glock pistols, police said. It was not immediately clear how he obtained the weapons.
Meanwhile, the NRA released a statement Friday suggesting that no one should jump to conclusions: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the community. NRA will not have any further comment until all the facts are known."
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