MIAMI (CBS4) – One week after a gunman’s rampage inside a Colorado movie theater, controversy over gun control is heating up in South Florida.
On a campaign stump for Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani tells CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that gun control would not have deterred the Colorado gunman and prevented the shooting that took 12 lives and left 58 with wounds.
After sipping Cuban coffee and giving a speech to Republican Party faithful at the Versailles Restaurant, Giuliani sat down for a one-on-one interview with D’Oench.
“Well, I think it would be a mistake to use Colorado as an argument for or against gun control,” said Giuliani, who was also an Assistant U.S. Attorney in New York City before becoming Mayor.
“This kind of killing would not have been affected by whether we had gun control or not,” he said. “Some people are determined to do certain things that if you didn’t have guns, they get access to explosives.”
Giuliani also made reference to Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people and injured hundreds of people when he bombed a government building last July in Oslo, Norway and then went on a shooting rampage at a summer camp.
That happened on July 22, one year and two days before the Colorado shooting.
Reports indicate that the accused Colorado shooter—James Holmes—was “influenced by the teachings of Breivik.”
“They have gun control and no guns in Norway,” said Giuliani, “yet this person was able to kill more than three times the amount of people who were killed in Colorado. You tell me how gun control would have prevented that.”
“Take a look at Chicago,” he added. “They have gun control yet they have one of the highest murder rates in the country.”
“I think it’s a shame to react like this after Colorado,” said Giuliani. “This has to do with human behavior and human psychology. This happened because we don’t focus enough on the kind of depraved human conduct. We don’t hold people responsible enough for their own activities.”
“We need to do a much better job of probing what makes people the way they are,” he said.
The public was prohibited from buying assault weapons until a 10-year ban expired in 2004. There is no official system nationwide to effectively track people who are stockpiling firepower and there are no restrictions on the sale of bullets in the U.S. except for armor-piercing rounds.
Reports indicate that Holmes bought 6,000 rounds of ammunition on line while using an unregulated online marketplace.
Many top police officials and prosecutors have expressed concerns about assault weapons, which have long been used in 3rd world conflicts and more increasingly have been used in street battles.
When D’Oench asked Giuliani about improving regulations for tracking people who stockpile ammunition, he said, “In the future we can look at this, but this is not the time. Once again I say this would be distorting how an incident like this in Colorado happened.”
“Quite often when these sorts of incidents happen, the Democrats can’t wait to line up and call for gun control,” Giuliani.
While Giuliani speaks out, the president of the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association tells D’Oench that lawmakers and government officials must do a better job of keeping assault weapons away from the public.
P.B.A. President John Rivera insists steps must be taken now to curb such violence with assault weapons. He favors re-imposing a ban on the public buying assault weapons.
“We believe that we should limit certain assault weapons from being sold to the public that have no reason to be on our streets,” he said. “We need to do a better job of keeping bad people away from these weapons.”
As for people being able to stockpile ammunition, Rivera said, “I think today’s technology gives government a better way to track these purchases, ammunition purchases of great quantity.”
Rivera also said background checks on people buying weapons and ammunition could be much more thorough.
He told D’Oench he would continue to speak out on these issues.