Romney on Guns: "There Were Very Stringent Laws That Existed in Aurora"

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 23 2012 4:41 PM

Romney on Guns: "There Were Very Stringent Laws That Existed in Aurora"

The governor sits with Larry Kudlow for his first actual interview since the Aurora, Col. shooting. The relevent section:

ROMNEY: I still believe that the Second Amendment is the right course to preserve and defend and don't believe that new laws are going to make a difference in this type of tragedy. There are--were, of course, very stringent laws which existed in Aurora, Colorado. Our challenge is not the laws, our challenge is people who, obviously, are distracted from reality and do unthinkable, unimaginable, inexplicable things.
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This is the opposite of true. The Century 16 theater was a "gun-free zone," of course. But George Zornick did a pretty good job of laying out the laws that make it easy to buy and carry guns in Colorado. Liberal municipalities (and Aurora isn't particularly liberal, unless you're comparing it to Colorado Springs) can't contravene those laws.

KUDLOW: As the governor of Massachusetts, you did sign legislation restricting or banning assault weapons. Did that work in Massachusetts to your satisfaction?
ROMNEY: Well, actually the law that we signed in Massachusetts was a combination of efforts both on the part of those that were for additional gun rights and those that opposed gun rights, and they came together and made some changes that provided, I think, a better environment for both, and that's why both sides came to celebrate the signing of the bill. Where there are opportunities for people of reasonable minds to come together and find common ground, that's the kind of legislation I like. The idea of one party jamming through something over the objection of the other tends to divide the nation, not make us a more safe and prosperous place. So if there's common ground, why I'm always willing to have that kind of a conversation.

Honest question: What does that mean? The liberal bloc of one party, the Democrats, is indeed interested in gun control in a way no Republican is. But show me this example of gun control being "jammed" through since 1993.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.