Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney doesn’t appear to know that it was completely legal for the Colorado gunman allegedly responsible for killing at least 12 people to purchase the weapons he used in the horrific movie-theatre massacre last Friday.
Romney told NBC’s Brian Williams in an interview that “it was illegal for him to have many of those things already,” adding that “this person shouldn’t have had any kind of weapons.”
But law officials have said repeatedly that alleged shooter James Holmes legally purchased all four weapons he used in the movie-theatre massacre. He followed the law when purchasing an assault-style rifle, a shotgun and Glock handgun, and he passed the required background checks.
The comments make Romney’s position on gun control even more confusing. Romney doesn’t think Holmes should have had the weapons. But he also told Williams that he doesn’t think there should be any change to existing gun laws. The two don’t quite match up.
Holmes bought a shocking amount of weaponry, ammunition and other gear online. He also booby-trapped his apartment with explosives. A look from the AP:
In a world where Amazon can track your next book purchase and you must show ID to buy some allergy medicine, James Holmes spent months stockpiling thousands of bullets and head-to-toe ballistic gear without raising any red flags with authorities.
The federal law enforcement source also told CBS News that authorities obtained a video of Holmes picking up approximately 160 pounds of ammunition from a FedEx store.
Authorities say all of Holmes’ purchases were legal — and there is no official system to track whether people are stockpiling vast amounts of firepower.
Still, in the NBC interview, Romney said there should not be any change in any existing laws or any addition of new laws. He spun it very quickly, even, to change the subject to the economy. From the NBC transcript:
Well, this person shouldn’t have had any kind of weapons and bombs and– and– and other devices. And– and it was illegal for him to have many of those things already. But he had them. And– and so we can– we can sometimes hope that just changing a law will make all bad things go away. It won’t. Changing the heart of the American people may well be what’s essential to improve the lots of the American people.
I recognise that there’s some things Washington and the law can do. And there’s some things the law can’t do. What we can do is remove the impediments for free people wanting to build enterprises from having the capacity to do so and going to work to hire people and putting people back in good jobs. For me, this campaign is overwhelmingly about getting more good jobs for middle-income Americans, getting them rising incomes.
When that happens, they’ll have more money to buy the things they want to buy. That helps the economy.
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