Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Sunday suggested that assault weapons may be used in so many mass shootings because of their depiction in video games, but he stopped short of calling for reinstating a ban on those military-style, urban-warfare firearms.
CNN host Candy Crowley on Sunday reminded Hickenlooper that he had said there was very little that could be done to stop a determined mass killer after the theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado this year and asked him if he still felt that way after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last week.
"That's true," the Colorado governor agreed. "What you can do is expand your capacity, your framework within a state or within the country to have more people paying attention and trying to detect folks that are unstable on the verge of real trouble, try to catch them at a certain level."
"But certainly the culture of violence -- and look at the level of violence in our media, video games," he added. "The depiction of assault weapons again and again. There might well be some direct connection between people who have mental instability and when they go over the edge, they transpose themselves, they become part of one of those videos games. And perhaps that's why all these assault weapons are used."
But Hickenlooper dodged Crowley's question when she asked if it was time for "a law banning either these high-capacity magazines or, again, re-instituting the ban on assault weapons."
"The access to guns is going to get discussed," he insisted. "Our country is based on -- that Second Amendment has been shown repeatedly, it does protect people's rights bear arms, to have guns. You know, my grandfather taught me how to shoot and clean a 12-gauge shotgun and showed me how to hunt and I've shown my son. I mean, that tradition is very powerful throughout this country."
"But, you know, discussion around assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and what type of -- should there be wait? You know, one of the things we're doing in Colorado is looking at expanding the time if someone's had a mental-illness hold, expanding the time they have to wait before they can get access to a firearm. Those kinds of things, I think those discussions are going to happen, I mean, in real time over the next couple of months."
Watch this video from CNN's State of the Union, broadcast Dec. 16, 2012.