Below is a statement we received late yesterday evening from Dave Hoover, a police officer and uncle of 2012 Aurora theater massacre victim A.J. Boik. In this statement, Hoover condemns Rep. Mike Coffman’s attacks on President Barack Obama following the announcement of modest measures to tighten up background checks on gun purchases.
Rep. Coffman, as should be pointed out every time he opens his mouth about guns, represents Aurora:
Clearly, Rep. Coffman did not read the President’s executive actions, otherwise he would have known that major components of his plan include enforcing existing laws and providing more mental health funding — precisely what Rep. Coffman and others in his party have been advocating.
I’m offended that with all of the horrific events that have happened in Colorado — Columbine, Colorado Springs, Aurora, to name a few — that the representative of the district where the Aurora theater is located could be so heartless. Maybe he’s forgotten, but our family will never forget what happened in that theater on July 20, 2012. [Pols emphasis]
I’d like to know what his plan is for preventing others from experience the pain and heartache that our family and so many others have been through due to senseless gun violence.
When President Obama announced these measures earlier this week, the response from the National Rifle Association and their Republican political allies greatly exaggerated the relatively narrow effect of the actions–necessarily narrow, since the President’s ability to take action is very limited without congressional backing. Here in Colorado, the measures will have very little impact at all as the result of gun safety legislation already on the books since 2013.
For all of the control exercised by the gun lobby over Republican politicians across the nation today, we can’t forget that Mike Coffman represents Aurora–the site of one of the most horrific mass shootings in Colorado history, an event seared into the memories of his constituents. There is a scenario in which Coffman’s discordant representation of Aurora on guns becomes a grave liability for him, defying the conventional wisdom that still holds sway just about everywhere else. We believe that Coffman’s Democratic opponent Morgan Carroll, who was quick to localize and personalize the President’s actions as an Aurora resident, is aware of this critical weakness–where Coffman very evidently is not.
Something about this feels very basic and essential to us, you know, morally. They say that guns are a “third rail” issue for Democrats, but if there is any place on Earth that could be turned on its head…might it be Aurora, Colorado?
We’ll be watching to see.