Fair and Unbalanced

Mike Littwin
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Mike Littwin

"The pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handles."

Recall anyone? Bernie Herpin says “maybe a good thing” Holmes had 100-round magazine

Now it’s official. If you were wondering when Republicans at the state legislature would finally overreach on guns, you can circle Feb. 12 on your calendar.

And it was Bernie Herpin, the recall senator, who pushed his party over the line. Yes, way over the line.

In defending a bill that would repeal the 15-round magazine limit, Herpin was asked whether the law, passed last year, would have stopped James Holmes from buying the 100-round magazine he used at the Aurora theater killings. Herpin answered that it was “maybe a good thing” that Holmes had a 100-round magazine because large magazines tend to jam.

Herpin didn’t stop there.  “If he had instead had four, five, six 15-round magazines,” he said, “there’s no telling how much damage he could have done until a good guy with a gun showed up.”

Fox 31, which first tweeted the story, has the audio. You can fill in your own gasp. You can imagine what Senate committee witness Tom Sullivan, whose son Alex was killed that day, said.

“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 said, according to Fox 31. “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.”

Herpin was apparently trying to make the point that big magazines aren’t so dangerous because they jam. So was he saying that we should we ban all those dangerous 15-rounders? Of course not. He was saying … I don’t know what he was saying.

In the July 20 shooting in which 12 were killed and dozens wounded, the 100-round magazine apparently jammed after 45 rounds. According to reports, Holmes then picked up a Glock handgun. He had reportedly purchased large magazines for the Glock as well.

Herpin’s argument is absurd on its face. But imagine making it in front of victims’ families.

Asked directly by the Denver Post whether he thought it was OK for Holmes to have a 100-round magazine, Herpin tried again: “No, I don’t think it was good for him to be in the theater to begin with.”

It was Herpin, of course, who won his Senate seat in the successful recall of Sen. John Morse. What hasn’t been successful is the Republican repealathon of last year’s modest gun laws. At most of the committee hearings, the repealers have been heavily outnumbered. And at this committee hearing, the repealers must have wished that, whatever the numbers, they’d had at least one less senator.

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About the Author

Mike Littwin

He has covered Dr. J, four presidential inaugurations, six national conventions and countless brain-numbing speeches in the New Hampshire and Iowa snow.
mlittwin@coloradoindependent.com | Twitter @mike_littwin

9 Comments

  1. Will Morrison on said:

    Asking for sanity out of a republican, especially one who got his seat in the manner this one did, is a fool’s errand. He’s NOT sane, and he wasn’t elected by sane people. He has ONE thing on his mind, and one thing only, GUNS. If there is one thing you can count on, it’s that this guy will do his best to seem like Rudi Juliani mentioning 9-11 every 14 seconds, only his topic is guns and how WONDERFUL they are. It’s all about how we need MORE guns everywhere, in every school, theatre, government building and crib in the state. Once everyone is armed, things will only get better when everyone has to have TWO guns. People like this will NEVER be satisfied, no matter how dangerous they make society in general.

    I will never understand those who are SO afraid that they have to carry a gun everywhere they go. And this is supposed to be the home of the brave? WHERE? It’s not those behind the guns, that’s for sure.

  2. Doc Johnson on said:

    Obviously sanity is creating knee-jerk laws that do nothing to make anyone safer and which wouldn’t have prevented the Aurora theater shooting (according to GOV Hickenlooper before he then signed them into law). Then, more gun free zones could be created. It worked so well in Aurora and Sandy Hook. The reality is that larger capacity magazines do tend to jam and the make the weapon heavier and less stable. My drill instructors in Basic Training even told us not to put 30 rounds into our 30 round magazines because they would likely jam.
    Advocating removing someone from the gene pool because they don’t agree with you sounds like something that someone like Hitler might think was a good idea. Does Mr. Hahn have a framed photo of the Fuhrer in his home? “Mein Kampf” on his Kindle? Advocating the removal of an elected official from the gene pool could also be considered a crime. Who’s the stupid one?

  3. Ryecatcher on said:

    How did Hitler enter the discussion? Talk about morbid.

    I agree with Bill Hahn. Herpin is obviously impaired. In fact I think the gene pool remark is quite funny.

    It appears gun nuts can’t take a joke they take themselves so seriously. But then they are being trampled on by a tyrannical government filled with leftist liberals. The poor babies and their defective Magpul clips. How sad.

    Mein Kampf on Kindle? What a sad sack comment. Why would anyone care what others read unless of course you think banning books is the solution. It’s really none of Mr Johnson’s business what anyone reads on their Kindle.

    Bernie Herpin is an ignoramus.

  4. Doc Johnson on said:

    While Mr. Herpin’s comments may have been insensitive with family members present he could have given a more clear answer to the question like, “No, the law wouldn’t have stopped him from buying a 100 round magazine. He could have taken the short drive to Cheyenne or Laramie to get one. Did the law against shooting unarmed movie goers stop him from committing the crime?” He should leave the intelligent gun remarks the likes of the brilliant Diana DeGette who said that once high capacity magazines are shot up that there wouldn’t be any more.
    Perhaps I should have left Hitler out of the discussion. It’s better when pillars of the community like Bill Maher, Chris Matthews, and Martin Bashir liken people to Hitler. I don’t care what Mr. Hahn has on his Kindle. I assumed, by HIS comment that it might be the case. Kind of like you assuming that I am a gun nut. I’m a Constitutional rights nut. I don’t own any Magpuls, defective or not, or so-called assault rifles but I should be able to if I want to. Also, why is Mr. Hahn’s comment about removing Herpin from the gene pool a joke but my asking about Mr. Hahn’s Hitleresque comment not a joke? Do you think Amazon even sells Mein Kampf? I thought it was funny. So did some of my associates. I think that Ryecatcher is the one with no sense of humor. You probably really would like to see Mr. Herpin removed from the gene pool. There I go assuming again.
    Have a nice day.

  5. Ryecatcher on said:

    OK Doc. I get the joke and am sure Amazon sells Mein Kampf. I thought of reading it but have so much on my platter I haven’t the time or inclination at this point. I love American history by the way and I too am a nut when it comes to the Constitution. That makes us two nuts in a pod.

    My apologies for the gun nut remark. Like you I do not own a gun but am certainly not opposed to gun ownership per se. Guns are not my thing. But it is none of my affair if my neighbor enjoys shooting or hunting. I do support reasonable gun regulation and that is where you and I disagree. Where do we draw the line on who has a right to what kind of weapon.

    I do think Herpin’s remarks were ill timed and thoughtless in the presence of a family member lost in the Aurora shooting.

    I thought the entire recall business a waste of time and money. In my opinion it is a shoddy slip shod way of conducting politics. The recall process should be done away with. I fail to see why a recall was necessary with the regular election less 9 months away. I think the majority of Coloradoans feel the same way.

    By the way. I don’t watch Maher, Matthews, or Bashir. Internet news and information is far superior to corporate news or in my opinion. You have a nice day too.

  6. Doc Johnson on said:

    I will have to agree that nothing about Hitler is funny. It was more the thought of Mr. Hahn goose stepping around in his parent’s basement saluting his framed photo. Advocating the removal of someone from the gene pool because you think that what they said was stupid is not funny either. I would prefer that the stupid remove themselves from the gene pool hopefully before they procreate and hopefully without taking an innocent someone with them. I guess I could have said, ” insert name of your favorite thug dictator, early pope, or Mohammed here.”
    I didn’t say that I didn’t own guns. I don’t own any high capacity stuff. I’m sure that many who are referred to here as “gun nuts” would think that my meager arsenal was woefully inadequate.
    I think that the ability to recall a public servant who is legislating against the will of the people that they represent is a good thing. It can work on both sides of the aisle. I don’t agree with the amount of outside money that was spent by the NRA or Mayor Bloomberg on two local elections.
    I agree about corporate news. I can’t watch it. I seldom agree with what I read here but value other opinions and I like it because it’s local.
    I am disheartened by the fact that civil discourse has gone the way of the dodo and has been replaced by yelling at, name calling, and hoping for the removal from the gene pool of people who have different views about what’s going on around them.
    Spend tomorrow with someone you love but give Hallmark the bird.

  7. Mister Bill on said:

    Its not too hard to see the trend of thought about this subject but what he said is true and it does only take a split second to change clips. If I were in that theater I sure would have hoped it was a high cap. magazine (knowing they do jamb) and not guy with a pocket full of the smaller.
    Lets try not to cloud our thinking with emotions and just get down to the facts.

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