Politics Takes A Break In Wake Of Colorado Tragedy

The tragedy in Aurora, Colorado has led to something of a pause in the political world that seems likely to last the weekend:

FORT MYERS, Fla. — President Barack Obama on Friday called the Colorado movie theater shooting “senseless” and said his administration “stands ready to do whatever is necessary to bring whoever is responsible for this heinous crime to justice.”

“We may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this,” he said. “Such violence, such evil, is senseless. It’s beyond reason.”

The shooting, which killed 12 people and injured many more, upended and paused a presidential campaign fought over small issues. Both Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney halted their negative TV advertising in Colorado. Obama did not attack Romney during his remarks, and Romney will not “contrast” his platform with Obama’s when he speaks Friday afternoon, an aide said.

Obama also cancelled a campaign rally planned for Friday afternoon in Winter Park, Fla. He will instead return to the White House to monitor the Colorado situation, White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

(…)

“There are going to be other days for politics,” Obama said. “But this, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection.”

Addressing a crowd of about 2,000 people who came expecting a campaign rally, Obama spoke through awkward hoots and cheers during his remarks. The president delivered a subdued seven-minute address that sought to remind the nation of the importance of larger things — friends, family and life.

The Romney campaign is similarly taking a subdued tone. Romney’s one event in New Hampshire today, likely the last one before he heads to Europe, will be non-political and likely short. Additionally both campaigns have pulled their ads from Colorado for the time being, as has Priorities USA, the pro-Obama SuperPac run by former Obama aide Bill Burton. Any other groups running ads are likely to follow.  This is the traditional political response to events like this, and it seems rather appropriate under the circumstances. With the public fed up already with negative campaigning and politics, the campaigns would likely only hurt themselves by engaging in crass politics at a time like this.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Tlaloc says:

    A pity, since there are obvious and direct political solutions to gun violence, but since the right is heavily opposed and the left has mostly forfeited the argument we’ll be treated to another round of “Don’t you dare politicize (the events that our political actions have encouraged)!”

    I’ve said it before- the big problem with politics is the tediousness.

  2. al-Ameda says:

    Additionally both campaigns have pulled their ads from Colorado for the time being, as has Priorities USA, the pro-Obama SuperPac run by former Obama aide Bill Burton. Any other groups running ads are likely to follow.

    If only it didn’t take a tragedy to get the parties to pull their advertising.

  3. @al-Ameda:

    Someone remarked earlier today that the act that campaigns always do that when a tragedy occurs in the midst of a campaign suggests they feel guilty about running them to begin with

  4. @Tlaloc:

    Since we don’t know any of the facts in this case or how this person obtained these weapons any commentary on that issue today would be premature and speculative. Additionally, I personally find it disrespectful to the victims and their families who haven’t even been dealing with this for 12 hours yet

  5. Tlaloc says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Since we don’t know any of the facts in this case or how this person obtained these weapons any commentary on that issue today would be premature and speculative. Additionally, I personally find it disrespectful to the victims and their families who haven’t even been dealing with this for 12 hours yet

    You really think the families give a %$#@ what we chatter on about? I somehow doubt it makes one damn bit of difference to them in their grief. On the other hand if we, say, found a political solution that discouraged these events that would seem to make a big difference.

    I’ll take preventing atrocities over appearing insensitive any day. “Sensitivity” is sometimes used by bad actors to shield themselves from the repercussions of their actions.

  6. swearyanthony says:

    Pity Louie Gohmert didn’t decide to shut his idiot mouth, really. (No link, you can find his disgusting nonsense easily enough). Shame on him. What an absolute scumbag.

  7. It’s good for top tier politicians, journalists, and other public figures to follow form. At the same time I have a nagging feeling that it’s wrong to go off, ask Obama and Romney for their reactions, and group it as a story:

    Bloomberg: Where do Obama, Mitt stand?

    That’s sick in its own way.

    I notice that the Politico front page is now populated by mixed news, reactions and gun-control pieces. That might be fine in that venue, on the theory that friends and families of victims are not going to head to Politico today.

  8. LaMont says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    What do you expect from a website thats perhaps 95% political? Fact of the matter is, there are some things that are apparent no matter what the outcome is or your bias to the right or left. Gun control is a problem in this country. Perhaps beyond that we should be respectful, and to some degree I agree, but its not like we are reading this from the AP on a local news site!

  9. Ron Beasley says:

    Of course not being political is a political decision.

  10. Ron Beasley says:

    @LaMont: Now I’m a gun control person but at the same time I realize that like drugs if you really want guns you can get them. Sweden has very strict gun control regulations and the nut case there got what he wanted.

  11. john personna says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    The ten 30 round clips he ordered from the US helped as well.

  12. john personna says:

    I never get why idiot downvoters vote down facts.

    It is a fact that Anders already owned a bolt-action hunting rifle. It is a fact that he shopped for a different gun, more suited to spree killing. It is a fact that he bought a mini-14, a civilian version of the M14 military assault rifle. It is a fact that he ordered high capacity clips from the US.

    It is a fact that he would have had a much harder time pulling off his spree with the bolt-action gun.

  13. matt says:

    @john personna: Yeah and instead he probably would of pumped up his bombs thus increasing the body count much higher..

  14. john personna says:

    Look, I presume you support restrictions on full auto firearms, right?

    So why do you spend the day making the kind of generic “other things kill people” arguments that work for them too?

    Your argument is that we cannot distinguish the risk from one gun to another, or from one gun to a bomb.

    Why not make bombs legal? Cars and gasoline are, right?

  15. Buzz Buzz says:

    @john personna:

    Keep preaching it, john. Don’t stop banging that drum until the entire country is a gun-free paradise like Chicago or Washington D.C..

  16. @Buzz Buzz:

    You’ve been trained like a dog. Rather than sit or fetch the newspaper, you wait until anyone worries about any aspect of gun ownership and say “that’s like a total ban!”

    When you took that training you gave up your reason.

  17. matt says:

    @john personna I fully support restrictions on full auto firearms and I believe that we have sufficient restrictions in place already. I say this as someone who desires to acquire a full auto gun for my personal usage on the range and on my property.

    My personal argument is that we should be blaming the user of the tool and not the tool. The tool is already regulated and no amount of extra regulation would of stopped people from dying. The reality is when someone with a decent level of intelligence decides to go on a killing rampage they will find a way to do so. All we can essentially do is look for lessons rooted in facts not emotion in the aftermath.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Sweden has very strict gun control regulations and the nut case there got what he wanted.

    Uhhh, Ron? Breivick (sp?) did his deeds in Norway. Don’t know how the gun laws differ, or even if they are a carbon copy of Sweden’s, but that could be a pertinent point. You research, you report.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @matt:

    I fully support restrictions on full auto firearms and I believe that we have sufficient restrictions in place already.

    HAA HAAHHAAAAHAAHAAHAAA….

    Matt, when I can walk into any gun show in America, and buy damn near any gun I want, and walk out of it in possession of said gun…. there are precious few restrictions. OK, OK…. I can’t buy an RPG at the NRA convention, but I CAN buy an AK-47 and, if want, and talk it around, I guarantee I can find a conversion kit within 2 hours.

  20. matt says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’ve been to quite a few gun shows in Illinois and Texas. The only automatic rifle I found at any of those shows was going for about $15000. There’s a reason why most if not all of these shootings involve semi-automatic weapons. The shows I went to also required instant background checks for all sales in the show including “private” sales. I’ve already stated that I’m fine with such requirements and it’s obvious there are some states that are slacking in this department.

    I can’t buy an RPG at the NRA convention, but I CAN buy an AK-47 and, if want, and talk it around, I guarantee I can find a conversion kit within 2 hours.

    That kit is either illegal or you just paid several grand (more likely approaching 10k). Your scenario also shows how laws can be completely ineffective.

    Now I own a SAR-1 which is a romanian AK-47 clone and it is semi-auto. It’s a great gun for range shooting because the ammo is cheap (used to be UBER cheap). Could go shooting at stuff all day and spend very little. Any repairs require stone age level tools to complete which puts it ahead of any modern traditional rifles for me. It also shoots quite straight if you keep it maintained. I also use those dreaded extended capacity clips because they are convenient. Although the bigger clips tend to have spring issues. There’s very logical reasons why I have what some people consider an “Assault rifle”.