Pearce Blames Victims for Aurora Shooting

Former Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, criticized victims of the shooting in Aurora, Colo. for failing to stop the attack, and gun control for a lack of weapons in the theater where 12 people were killed last Friday.

Pearce, the conservative legislator best known as the author of anti-immigration law S.B. 1070, wrote his comments on Facebook. In a post reacting to the attack, Pearce wrote, “Had someone been prepared and armed they could have stopped this ‘bad’ man from most of this tragedy. He was two and three feet away from folks, I understand he had to stop and reload.”

Pearce referenced the September 11, 2001 downing of United Flight 93, a hijacked plane which was brought down due to the actions of passengers, at the cost of their lives. “Where were the men of flight 93????” Pearce asked. “Someone should have stopped this man. Someone could have stopped this man. Lives were lost because of a bad man, not because he had a weapon, but because no one was prepared to stop it.”

Pearce added, “All that was needed is one Courages/Brave [sic] man prepared mentally or otherwise to stop this it could have been done.”

The assailant, James Holmes, used tear gas to disable and disorient his victims, and was wearing full body armor during his attack.

When his remarks appeared in the Arizona Republic, Pearce accused the newspaper of twisting his words.

“It sure didn’t take long for the AZ Republic to try and mischaracterize my earlier post as some sort of attack on the victims of the horrific attack in Colorado,” Pearce said. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

“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 save lives,” Pearce said.

The theater where the attack was carried out did bar guns from its premises, but the effectiveness of weapons against a man wearing body armor is far from clear. Additionally, Pearce never mentioned gun control in his initial post, and instead lamented the lack of “courages” men.

Among those killed in the attack were Naval Petty Officer John Larimer and Air Force Staff Sgt. Jesse Childress.

After criticizing the media for twisting the words he wrote, Pearce removed both posts from Facebook. Clearly the mark of a courageous, brave man, who absolutely would have tackled a killer and saved the day, if only he’d been there.

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Image Credit: Gage Skidmore


Silvia G.
Silvia G.4 years ago

What a stupid thing to say!! We better ignore him, I hope the victim's relatives and friends can do so.

Kim T.
Kim T.4 years ago

Why is it always these people making stupid comments and making us look like idiots to the rest of the world?

Lee Witton
4 years ago

Yet another A & M shooting. More guns, more violence. Insanity personified in this country!

Sadie M.
Sadie M.4 years ago

Mr. Pearce definitely has a wild west mentality, and like so many others has completely missed the fact that the wild west ended many decades before even he was born (and was nasty, brutish and short, for that matter...) Adding more guns to a situation has never, ever caused less violence rather than more. He should also be reminded that on Flight 93, in addition to having time to carefully formulate a plan, the heroes of the situation of course had no guns! And as has been pointed out, sitting there in his safe little home, ranting about the lack of heroes in a situation he has never been in himself, is just plain sickening. He very much owes the victims (and heroes!) in Aurora, and those who care about them, a very big, very sincere apology.

tiffany t.
tiffany t.4 years ago

only blame the mad man pulling the trigger

Lee Witton
4 years ago

Excuse the grammatical errors, but I am highly upset over this issue. The laws in this country are meant to protect people against themselves, instead of protecting victims from perpetrators.

Lee Witton
4 years ago

BTW; I have to show an i.d. in order to buy Sudafed to treat flu symptoms and yet anyone can buy ammunition over the internet (which of course, includes felons). I recently tried to buy a nebulizer after the one I'd had for years, broke. When I called HomeMedics, I was told that I had to have a prescription to buy the damned machine. I told her I had a prescription for the medication that goes in the machine and she told me I had to also have a prescription to buy the machine. Now, the only reason I can ascertain is they believe it may be used for inhaling drugs. Un-freaking-believable!

Lee Witton
4 years ago

Beth is very correct in that had someone else been carrying a gun and another innocent victim been shot or killed, there would be hell to pay. Where guns are concerned, unless it is a situation where there is an intruder in the home, they have no place in a movie theater. These people went there for entertainment; to see Batman no less. No rational person would ever entertain the idea of packing heat to a theater. Holmes bought 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the internet; he never even had to leave the comfort of his computer chair. This is astounding and Diana DeGette, my Congresswoman in Colorado, has sent a petition which would make this activity illegal. I signed right before posting here. We need to push back against the NRA and big gun business.

LD B.4 years ago

I've been in several unexpected situations where the time available for making a decision and acting on it was very small indeed.

An example of one such was a auto accident in progress. At high speed, the driver of the car in which I was a front seat passenger lost control on a turn on a damp highway. The car began spinning, and hydroplaned down the road for 90 yards before hitting a tree backwards, whereupon it went airborne and landed on the opposite side of the road.

For me, and none of the other 4 in the car, everything went into slow motion, so that I was able to brace myself and the 3rd person in the front seat for impact.

After the impact, I was the only one who was able to think clearly enough to deal with the one person who was injured and unconscious in the back seat of a car whose gas tank had ruptured, and get her safely out of the car without risking further injury to her neck.

It was not the case that the others were lacking for courage, or that I was a hero, but rather that their minds simply and uncontrollably reacted to the situation differently than did mine.

Were it not for the case that my mind shifts gears in such situations, so that everything seems to slow down - and, there's no guarantee that it will continue to do so in the future - I'd not have been able to respond as I have in the past.

Lee Witton
4 years ago

LD B - just re-iterating what you said and I certainly agree with you. I don't understand how or why anyone would even propose a possible scenario in light of the events of that horrific night.