A Republican state senator in Colorado stunned the father of one of the victims of the Aurora theater shooting when he claimed that it was “a good thing” that James Holmes had a 100-round magazine.
During a Wednesday hearing about overturning the state’s ban on magazines larger than 15 rounds, Democratic state Sen. Irene Aguilar pointed out that Holmes would have never been able to legally buy the arsenal he used to slaughter 12 people and injure 70 others.
“My understanding is that James Holmes bought his 100-round capacity magazine legally,” Aguilar told Republican state Sen. Bernie Herpin. “So in fact, this law would have stopped James Holmes from purchasing a 100-round magazine.”
“I was wondering if you agree with me,” she asked.
“Perhaps, James Holmes would not have been able to purchase a 100-round magazine,” Herpin admitted.
“As it turned out, that was maybe a good thing that he had a 100-round magazine, because it jammed,” he added. “If he had four, five, six 15-round magazines, there’s no telling how much damage he could have done until a good guy with a gun showed up.”
Of the 76 shell casings found by investigators after the shooting, 65 were fired from Holmes’ .223 caliber assault-style rifle with the 100 round magazine.
Tom Sullivan’s was also at the Capitol on Tuesday to oppose repealing the high capacity magazine ban because his son, Alex, was one of the victims of the theater shooting.
“I’ve had a lot of thoughts since July 20, 2012, but never once did I think anyone was better off because the shooter brought a hundred round drum into that theater,” Sullivan insisted. “Alex never had a chance. He was watching a movie one second and the next he was dead. The fact is, if the shooter had to change his magazine that would have been a chance for Alex to survive.”
“The lack of empathy and compassion is shocking,” Sullivan later told KDVR. “Not just to me and my family, but to all of the families who have lost loved ones to gun violence and to all the people of Colorado.”
“But this is what he truly believes.”
Sullivan observed that it was almost unthinkable that voters had decided to replace former Senate President John Morse with Herpin in a recall election over the new gun control laws.
But with public support beginning to once again swing back in favor of the gun control measures, Democrats suggested that the issue was backfiring on Republicans.
“Thanks for giving us back your seat,” one Democratic staffer was heard saying at the hearing on Wednesday. Herpin is up for re-election in November.
Update (2:20 p.m. ET): In a statement to Raw Story, Sen. Herpin said that he was not trying to diminish the tragedy in Aurora.
“It’s a good thing when innocent lives are saved from violence – that’s the point I was making yesterday,” Herpin remarked. “The Aurora shooting was an absolute tragedy and I would never say anything to lessen that tragedy.”
Watch the videos below from KDVR, broadcast Feb. 12, 2013.