Below are some of the notable comments made Sunday on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” Guests included Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, ABC News’ Pierre Thomas, ABC News’ Dan Abrams, ABC News’ Dr. Richard Besser, former Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, author of the new book “A Nation of Wusses,” ABC News’ George Will, ABC News’ Cokie Roberts, TIME Magazine political columnist Joe Klein and The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin.
Gov. John Hickenlooper
HICKENLOOPER: I think that if you look, his intent maybe wasn’t political, but what he was, was, I mean, clearly, deranged, twisted, demonic in some way, and he wanted to create fear, intense fear. He wanted to create terror.
On taking another look at Colorado’s gun laws
HICKENLOOPER: You know, I’m sure that that is going to happen, but I look at this, this wasn’t a Colorado problem, this is a human problem, right? And how we can have such a warped individual and no one around him be aware? You know, I worry that if we got rid all of the guns — and certainly we have so many guns in this country, we do have a lot more than gun violence than many other countries — but even if you didn’t have access to guns, this guy was diabolical. Right? He would have found explosives, he would have found something else, some sort of poisonous gas, he would have done something to create this horror.
Mayor Steve Hogan
HOGAN: He just, by every standard, appeared normal. Clearly there’s something wrong here. There was something wrong with this individual. He had friends. He had made connections. He had people he went drinking with on Friday nights. And all the comments to date are normal guy. Just something very seriously wrong here.
Thoughts on president’s visit to Aurora
HOGAN: Well, I think the president coming in is a wonderful gesture. He’s coming in, really, to have private conversations with the families. I think that’s totally appropriate. You know, as the governor’s indicated before, he certainly could have come to the vigil, but that would have made the focus on the president, not on the community, and he was well aware of that. I’m not so sure it’s message to the community other than him coming here. It’s more a message to the families and to the victims, and I think that’s totally appropriate. I thank him for doing so. I wish he — that were not part of what he had to do this day, but it certainly means a lot to Aurora to know that the president cares. I talked with him on Friday. Personal conversation. Told him I deeply appreciated that phone call. We have had numerous other contacts literally from around the world. We know people care. We know in this time of instantaneous communication that people know what’s going on. And there are still feelings for all of us as part of humankind. And the city will go on. We’ll get better. We’re — we’re a great place. But, we need a little bit of time to grieve, and then start to heal, and it’s just good to know that others care.
Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey
RAMSEY: Well, for me the question has been, you know, what will change as far as any gun control legislation in the wake of Aurora, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Ft. Hood — I mean, the list goes on and on. And unfortunately, in my opinion, the answer is absolutely nothing. There will be a lot of talk, there will be a lot of discussion, there will be some debate. But this will fade into the background, like all those other instances that have occurred, unfortunately, and people will just go on and continue to be able to get their hands on guns and continue to inappropriately use those guns to commit violent acts on the streets of our cities.
If he had decision over gun control
RAMSEY: I would put in place some reasonable gun control laws. I don’t think you ban all guns. That’s not the solution. Most people are reasonable and legitimate gun owners. But why not have registration, why not have mandatory recording of any sale or transfer of a firearm that’s done privately? Why not ban assault weapons and large capacity magazines? I mean, we don’t need this stuff. And you have got to have serious consequences for people who commit crime using a handgun, and I mean very, very, stiff prison sentences.
Should Homeland Security be concerned?
THOMAS: Well, they’re concerned about it. But what we see more and more are these disturbed people. The concern is that someone who might be associated with Al Qaida, influenced by Al Qaida, terrorist organizations might do something like this. But they are perplexed as to why groups like that haven’t tried this, because it clearly would be effective. So they are scratching their head over there, they don’t know why it hasn’t happened.
What Holmes faces on trial – death penalty case
ABRAMS: Absolutely. Remember, we’re talking about 12 people dead, many more attempted murder charges as well. He’ll have no chance at bail. Not just because of the crimes themselves but also because he remains a danger to society, based on the booby trapping. Interestingly, on Tuesday, his attorney is going to get access to the movie theater. That’s pretty unusual, that before the theater gets its back its own property, the defense team is going to get an opportunity. I think they’re trying to bend over backwards, to do everything by the book. Because I think they know that they have such a strong case against him already, that they figure, we’d rather err on the side of doing everything we can to make this clear that we’re giving him any and all rights that he’s entitled to.
Dr. Richard Besser
BESSER: We haven’t heard anything so far that he was incoherent, that he couldn’t talk to people, that he was what people would take to mean crazy. When they look back at people who do school shootings, the vast majority, almost 80 percent of people who do those kind of shootings, had inwardly — inwardly directed anger and self-loathing that got turned outward. Very rare in depression, but most of those people were depressed. They weren’t what you would call crazy. Often, their inward perception of what their life is like is not what other people are seeing. And so they’re going to talk to his family, his friends, and get a picture of him. But for people to be making a diagnosis now that he was schizophrenic or something is absolutely premature. You don’t want to go there.
WILL: Say what you will about or against our political parties, they are magnificent market research mechanisms. They respond to every tremor of human desire and appetite. And let me tell you, if you don’t like our parties, you don’t like our country, because what they are doing is giving the people what they think, and they’re not fools, what they think the country will respond to.
RENDELL: Reasonable gun control laws aren’t going to eliminate problems like this from happening, but they’re going to reduce their frequency. No one in America should be able to have, no citizen, should be able to have an assault rifle, an automatic assault weapon. No citizen should be able to have a clip that has more than 10 bullets in it. Had the congress not, in an incredible act of cowardice, let the assault weapons ban s expire, the gun would have been illegal that he bought. And he bought it at a Gadner Mountain. They couldn’t have sold it. And he wouldn’t have had that 100 round magazine, 100 rounds.
ROBERTS: The only problem is, that, of course, is that also becomes fraught — because people think of government as evil. And then when they actually are asked — And when you get to specific programs, they want them. So, you know, you have to be very careful when you talk about just government as government.
KLEIN: I’m just shocked to hear a conservative like George Will making an all or nothing argument on this issue. People died from getting the polio vaccine, that doesn’t mean that we should do away with it. If this can limit the number of gun incidents — if some laws can limit the number of gun incidents, then we should have them.
RUBIN: You’re right, George. These tend to happen with single men of a certain age, that is also the age at which certain mental illness begins to manifest itself, whether it’s schizophrenia, whether it may be depression, it’s aggravated in many instances by drugs or alcohol. And I think it’s aggravated in a societal sense because we live in atomized societies. This person lived alone. Now if he had had a roommate — we don’t think he had a roommate, I am sure he would have, you know, seen something that was a bit odd. His family didn’t live in the same city as he did. So all of these factors, I think, contribute. But they are — as George said, you can study them, you can analyze them. We have a history. And it is simply not the case that we have had an increase in gun violence or crime. That’s just factually wrong.