Former Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce wrote a missive Saturday highlighting the collective failure of the victims of the Aurora, Colo. massacre to stop the shooter who left 12 people dead and nearly 60 wounded in a movie theater.
The outspoken conservative — known for his ardent pro-gun and anti-illegal-immigration views — later sought to clarify that he was merely blaming gun control laws.
Early Saturday morning, the former Republican lawmaker took to Facebook to mourn the victims. He then wondered why none were “[b]rave” enough to stop the atrocity.
“Where were the men of flight 93???? Someone should have stopped this man,” he wrote. “…All that was needed is one Courages/Brave man prepared mentally or otherwise to stop this it could have been done.”
Read Pearce’s full post below:
“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,” he wrote.
Pearce’s full follow-up post:
The lawmaker’s gripe echoes a sentiment commonly expressed by the National Rifle Association and pro-gun conservatives, which is that more lenient firearm laws will reduce gun violence. There’s little evidence to support the view.
Late Update: As of Sunday evening, Pearce’s two Facebook posts reported in this article have been deleted from his page.
Sahil Kapur is a congressional reporter for TPM. He previously covered politics and public policy for numerous publications including The Guardian and The Huffington Post. He can be reached at sahil [at] talkingpointsmemo.com.