What pundits and victims had to say in the past, after a tragic mass shooting.
John McCain in a letter to then-President Bill Clinton following the shooting at Columbine:
"Our concerns have been heightened by the pattern emerging from the recent school massacres, which indicates that the gunmen involved have been immersed in and fascinated with hyperviolent films, record lyrics, videogames, or Internet sites in varying combinations."
Torrence Brown Jr., victim of the Aurora shootings, said Warner Bros., among others, to blame:
Through his attorney, Donald Karpel, insisted that "Dark Knight Rises" was particularly violent, and Holmes mimicked some of the action — theatergoers were helpless because they thought the shooter was part of the movie. "Somebody has to be responsible for the rampant violence that is shown today.”
Charles Hurt of the Washington Times, after the Aurora shooting:
"Senseless? Really? If by 'senseless' you mean carried out almost precisely from the scripts of your own movies, then, sure, it was 'senseless.'"
Rush Limbaugh on Aurora:
"And every time Batman punched somebody, the word 'POW!' in a comic book bubble came up. Burgess Meredith played the Penguin. I forget who was the Joker. Cesar Romero was the Joker. It was a comedy show. It was a cartoon show. It was a charming, funny, wholesome 1960s kids’ show that was on at 7:30 ET. But how long has it been since Hollywood metastasized that show with sick, dystopian and occasionally anti-American worldviews? Do you know what 'dystopian' means?
"For those of you in Rio Linda, it’s the opposite of utopia. 'Utopia' is perfection on earth. 'Dystopia' is utter, total failure and chaos. Dark, dank, colorless, finished. It’s over. So Batman in the '60s on TV metastasizes to a sick dystopian, hyper-violent Batman movie in 23 years. Twenty-three years since Batman on TV to the first Batman movie. And the birth of the modern Batman series of films with which the killer in Aurora explicitly identified, by his own admission…"
Linda Gray, Arizona state senator, after the Tucson shooting:
“The problem is not the gun but about respect for all human life, from the unborn, a 9-year-old child, a senior citizen or a political leader. The shooter had no respect for the value of any these innocent citizens who were injured or killed.
"Our children are bombarded with TV programing showing a multitude of killings. Children are given games to play in which they earn points for killing people. Where are the TV programs that promote good role models? … Children are becoming more desensitized and complacent toward their own violent acts and those of others.”
Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the NRA on Tucson:
The media “turns a madman into a hero for every potential deranged copycat out there. It’s sick, it’s wrong, and the media ought to be ashamed of themselves.”