Christie chides gun debate in Aurora aftermath
July 23rd, 2012
10:45 PM ET
11 years ago

Christie chides gun debate in Aurora aftermath

(CNN) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday chastised those who seized on Friday's Aurora, Colorado, shooting to call for gun law changes, saying it was too soon to use the massacre as part of a political debate.

"This is just not the appropriate time to be grandstanding about gun laws," the Republican governor said at an event in Trenton, New Jersey. "Can we at least get through the initial grief and tragedy for these families before we start making them political pawns?"

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While Christie didn't mention names, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been at the forefront of urging elected officials to clarify their positions on gun laws and offer solutions this weekend.

"You and I can't solve the problem, but we can demand that those elected officials who are, or want to be in charge, have a solution to the problem," Bloomberg said Monday on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."

Christie, however, said he finds it too early to begin using the massacre as a rallying cry for political change.

"I am a little bit disturbed by politicians who, in the immediate aftermath of this type of tragedy, try to grandstand on it, and I'm not going to be one of those people," he said.

The Republican governor, a strong surrogate for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, said he agreed with President Barack Obama on the issue.

Speaking aboard Air Force One as the president flew Sunday to meet with families of those killed, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Obama did not have plans to push for new legislation in light of the Colorado massacre.

"The president's view is that we can take steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them under existing law. And that's his focus right now," Carney said.

Romney also stated Monday that he saw no need for new laws, saying in a CNBC interview that he disagreed with the idea 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," Romney said.

Christie on Monday took the same position.

"I think that we've got enough gun laws now. It's time for us to address and enforce the gun laws that we have," he said.

- CNN's Stephanie Gallman contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Chris Christie • Michael Bloomberg • New Jersey
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. aaron

    When does he think calls are appropriate for gun control? The only time that anyone listens is right after one of the now frequent massacres.

    July 24, 2012 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
  2. Tony

    The tragedy in Aurora is monumental.

    Governor Christie is so out of touch with reality, or in-touch with the NRA, that he thinks any discussion of gun laws at this tme is inapropriate, grandstanding (isn't that what he's doing?).

    Really, we have enough gun laws? I wish that Aurora was an isolated case, but it isn't. I think stronger gun laws are important. With the exception of the tragedy in Norway, we are the only industrialized country, without gun laws, that keeps having mass killings WITH GUNS. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see the connection.

    I really hope that it's Romney-Christie, that way we'll never have to hear from either one of them again.

    July 24, 2012 04:43 am at 4:43 am |
  3. Gurgyl

    I told the same three days ago. Same thing.

    July 24, 2012 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  4. don

    GOP plan is to shoot our way out of these "problems"

    July 24, 2012 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  5. Marie MD

    Because if anyone knows what GRANDstanding is is this tub of lard who likes to fight people on the boardwalk on the beach!

    July 24, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  6. The Other Dale

    "This is not the appropriate time to grandstand on gun laws," said Christie ... as he grandstand on gun laws in a public forum.

    "It's time for us to address and enforce the gun laws that we have," said Christie about ineffective gun laws that he knows doesn't work.

    Whereupon everyone in the universe realized Christie was just being his typical blowhard self and ignored him once again. But he got his picture on TV, so he was happy.

    July 24, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  7. sick of republican phonies

    "I am a little bit disturbed by politicians who, in the immediate aftermath of this type of tragedy, try to grandstand on it, and I'm not going to be one of those people," he said, as he proceeded to grandstand on it.

    July 24, 2012 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  8. Squigman

    Here's where a tub of lard, needs to shut up and keep quiet. Just because he's well fed, makes him no closer to a man that knows everything. So set down and shut up.

    July 24, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  9. when your nightmares end WILLARD begins

    so far neither candidate has come out for any type of gun control debate after this tragic situation. Perhaps Gov Christie should direct his complaint across the river at his fellow Republican the mayor of NYC who so far is making the most noise about it.

    July 24, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  10. saintsfanallday

    Please, tell us, Mr Christie, when, then, is a good time to talk about how to avoid these sort of events? A week after the event? How about after all the funerals? A month after the event? A year after the events? How about 2 weeks BEFORE the next event?

    NOW is no better time to talk about what we can do than RIGHT NOW, instead of waiting for the next time that we can't talk about what to reasonably do.

    July 24, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  11. TomNPitt

    We can't enforce the gun laws as long as we're getting rid of policeman because we don't have enough tax money to pay them. It's a matter of where we place our priorities. Balance the budget by cutting all of our services? Or get the wealthy, like Christie, to put their money out and pay for what we need.

    July 24, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  12. JPX

    Christie is the epitome of the "republican". He's a fat, bloated, bombastic, white, male bully who is on the wrong side of every social issue. It baffles me that anyone would like this man. He's just an absolute vomit.

    July 24, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  13. Butler

    It wasn't the time when Columbine occurred; it wasn't the time when Virginia Tech occurred; it wasn't the time when Grabriel Giffords was shot, and now it isn't the time when Aurora CO had its tragedy. Since there are almost 9000 gun deaths a year in the United States, that equates to about 25 deaths per day attributed to guns, I guess there is never a day to talk about it. Politicians like Christie are panderers. Selling their souls to lobbyists for their own benefit. This is insanity and it must stop! NOW IS THE TIME. I fully understand the Second Amendment, however, our founding fathers knew nothing of automatic weapons or armor piecing bullets. Keep the flintlocks and ball and power, out with the rest.

    July 24, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  14. Arun

    Just up Christie!! You probably said the same thing after the Arizona attacks too!! Look, the NRA has bought the whole Repube party and the rural areas of the Democratic party. We need to get rid of the NRA so we can pass gun laws that are actually affective!!

    July 24, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  15. LovesIrony

    It's time for us to address and enforce the gun laws that we have," Yeah, enforce them after the tragedy. The time to enforce the gun laws that we have would have been when they were enacted.

    July 24, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  16. a in austin

    He would be the loud mouth had that been his family in the movie theater. Laws banning assault weapons do need to be addressed again. How many more "sitting ducks" need to be killed before these politicians wake up!

    July 24, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  17. American People

    The American People want to see Romney's tax returns for the last 20 years.

    July 24, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  18. Micheal Turner

    I wonder if he would feel the same if immediate members of his family were killed in Aurora, Colorado. Why does any needs to own a AK-47 weapon? Time for stick gun control laws.

    July 24, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  19. American People

    American People are "distracted from reality" says Romney. Like........Distracted by not being able to make a decent living...............Distracted by not being able to afford college..................Distracted by not being able to afford health care.........But the "Distracted" GOP have NO SOLUTIONS to any of these, except, "More tax breaks for the rich to create jobs in India & China!"

    July 24, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  20. Common Cents

    It's called outrage, genius! How many people in this country are outraged that this guy was able to easily purchase a semi-automatic rifle. capable of shooting 60 rounds per minute, with a 100 round magazine? How many people question why this happened, or how this was able to happen? These are perfectly sound emotions in the aftermath of a tragedy of this kind. People are questioning what place do these guns have in our society. These are fair questions. It only becomes political when you get defensive about the questions.

    July 24, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  21. Doug in NYC

    The time to discuss this was BEFORE the massacre happened. Now is the PERFECT time to talk gun control BEFORE the next one happens!

    July 24, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  22. enuff

    I guess it's easier to stay in the grey area, rather than just saying it's black ot white.

    July 24, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  23. tv22

    If he crashed a car into a group of people would be talking about banning cars? Because when an Islamic terrorist did it in NC nobody seemed to raise that issue.

    What about car bombs? Remember the guy who tried to blow up Times Square?

    Ban all cars!

    July 24, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  24. Yeahona

    Wow, so when do you want to have the debate? I'm guessing never. You're just using your bully status to silence people.

    July 24, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  25. Mike

    The gun debate will never end and there will never be any change to the laws. The NRA is too powerful a union to allow anything to happen to the second amendment. They can urinate on the first amendament but don't touch guns. They are stupid and nothing good ever comes from their use against one another.

    July 24, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
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