Colorado Springs Shootings Show State’s Divide Over Gun Control


While mass shootings have become more common across the U.S., in Colorado, home to Columbine High School, the Aurora movie theater and, now, a Planned Parenthood clinic, the events resonate with profound power. In a state neatly divided among Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters, no one side in the gun debate prevails for long, says the Los Angeles Times. Time and again after these shootings, Democrats demand tougher gun laws, while Republicans call reforms unnecessary and unlikely to stop violence. “There’s no reason this should continue to happen,” Tom Sullivan of Friday’s violence that left a police officer and two civilians dead in Colorado Springs. Sullivan’s son, Alex, was killed three years ago in the Aurora theater shooting on his 27th birthday. “

After the theater shooting, he helped Colorado lawmakers, mostly Democrats, push for new laws to impose 15-round limits on ammunition magazines and universal background checks on all gun sales and transfers. The laws were enacted, but they led to the ouster of two lawmakers that year in recall elections. “They don’t make anyone safer,” said Laura Carno of Colorado Springs, citing the city’s two recent fatal shootings of three people. “This is not normal,” said President Obama. “We can’t let it become normal. If we truly care about this … we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets.” Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and Republican Mayor John Suthers of Colorado Springs stood side by side at a news conference Saturday, vowing not to utter the suspected gunman’s name in public. The men have split over gun control. Hickenlooper was a staunch supporter of the new gun laws, while Suthers, who recently ended an eight-year term as state attorney general, opposed the measures.

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