As Colorado reels from the mass shooting at a movie theater that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney reiterated his support for gun ownership on Monday.
“Well, I’m a firm believer in the Second Amendment, and I also believe that with emotions so high right now, this is really not the time to talk about the politics associated with what happened in Aurora,” he said in an interview to be aired on CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report” at 7 p.m. ET. “This is really a time, I think, for people to reach out to others in their community that need help or a comforting hand. Let’s do that for now and then we can get on to policy down the road.”
Romney cautioned against new legislation, saying he did not “believe new laws are going to make the difference.”
“Our challenge is not the laws. The challenge is the people who are distracted from reality and do unthinkable, unimaginable, inexplicable things,” he said.
James Holmes, a 24-year-old former graduate student at the University of Colorado, Denver, was suspected in the July 20 shooting spree at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo.
Romney expressed sympathy for the victims.
“Our hearts are heavy as we think about the funerals this week and the families that have been so tragically altered by virtue of the loss of life,” he said.
As governor of Massachusetts, Romney signed into law a ban on assault weapons and quadrupled the state’s gun licensing fee.
He said the law enjoyed support from politicians on both sides.
“Where there are opportunities for people of reasonable minds to come together and find common ground, that’s the kind of legislation I like,” he said. “The idea of one party jamming through something over the objections over the other tends to divide the nation, not make us a safe and prosperous place. If there’s common ground, why, I’m always willing to have that kind of conversation.”
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