Pearce (Matt York/AP)
Former Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce took to Facebook to comment on the Aurora, Colo., theater massacre on Saturday, criticizing moviegoers for their failure to stop the suspected shooter in the mass killing.
"Had someone been prepared and armed they could have stopped this 'bad' man from most of this tragedy," Pearce wrote. "He was two and three feet away from folks, I understand he had to stop and reload. Where were the men of flight 93???? Someone should have stopped this man. Someone could have stopped this man."
Twelve people were killed and 58 others wounded in Friday's shooting at a midnight screening of "Dark Knight Rises."
[COMPLETE COVERAGE: Colorado theater shooting]
"Lives were lost because of a bad man," the Pearce continued, "not because he had a weapon, but because no one was prepared to stop it. Had they been prepared to save their lives or lives of others, lives would have been saved. All that was needed is one [courageous]/brave man prepared mentally or otherwise to stop this. [I]t could have been done. When seconds count, police are ony minutes away.
"My prayers are with all of those suffering from this senseless act," Pearce added. "May God be with them in this moment of pain and heartache."
It sure didn't take long for the AZ Republic to try and mischaracterize my earlier post as some sort of attack on the victims of the horrific attack in Colorado. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims and their families as they should. All I did was lament that so many people should be left disarmed and vulnerable by anti-gun rules that try to create a sense of safety by posting a sign that says "No Guns", when the only real effect is to disarm everyone who could have saved lives. The madman had guns, but even those with the training to handle a firearm could not stop him because they had been disarmed. Had they been prepared (and maybe that's the word that is throwing off the writers at the Republic) and been able to fire on their attacker, lives could have been saved. In Arizona we have passed laws to free our people so that they can defend themselves and their loved ones. You cannot predict where evil will raise its head, but you can be prepared for it.
As the newspaper's blog points out, Pearce was an outspoken supporter of gun rights during his time in the the legislature:
He successfully changed state law to allow gun owners to carry weapons without a concealed carry permit and unsuccessfully supported efforts to put guns in public buildings and on college campuses.
Pearce was also a champion of Arizona's illegal immigration law. He was removed from office during a recall election last November, but is currently running to return to the state Senate.
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