Gardner discusses Florida massacre without saying “gun” or any related word, like “rifle” or “firearm” or “weapon”

In what appear to be his most extensive media comments on the Florida school massacre, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) made no mention of the word “gun” or anything similar or related.

“We have to come together as a society… on ways that we can stop this from happening again. And it’s not by hurting people’s rights. It’s by making sure that we respect people’s rights,” Gardner told KDMT Business for Breakfast host Jimmy Sengenberger.

Continuing without mentioning “gun,” “assault rifle,” or even “firearm,” Gardner then described vaguely what could be done to prevent more school shootings. He wants to gather more information about the “evil actor” and understand why he wasn’t already “behind bars.” Gardner wants better communications among schools, law enforcement, and mental health officials.

“I hope that over the coming days that this discussion leads to a solution that protects innocent, law-abiding people: those people in harm’s way, and those people who respect the rights that they have in our Constitution,” Gardner said, in part.

It was the conservative radio host who introduced the word “gun” into the discussion, but not because he wanted to discuss any proposed gun-safety laws.

“And yet, we’re focused on the gun issue,” Sengenberger told Gardner. “We’re focused on raising the age to buy a rifle. We’re focused on bump stocks, and a number of other issues, as opposed to some of the things you were talking about.”

Sengenberger’s references to “gun,” “rifle,” and “bump stocks” bounced off Gardner without acknowledgement.

Gardner responded by suggesting schools be equipped with airport-style security measures.

Gardner: “Well, and I think, again, where we have to go is, ‘How do we protect our schools? How do we make sure?’– I mean, the comment made yesterday by one analyst on TV said, ‘You have a lot of protection at an airport. We don’t have the same protection at a school.’ And what can we do to provide protections for our schools, the most vulnerable, most precious in our in our society?

“What can we be doing to to provide the resources? Let’s say that the sheriff’s office, you know, did respond, and did take this gentleman — not gentleman, this horrific individual — into custody. What then? Was he going to be released, or was there a mental health system in place that could have provided the treatment and custodian efforts that would have prevented this person from happening — this person carrying out this evil act. This has got to be something that is more than just — more than just political division, here, but something that brings America together for solutions to prevent this from happening, wherever. We’ve seen far too many of this in Colorado. And we’ve got to do what we can to prevent it from happening elsewhere.”

Despite his avoidance of the use of the word gun, Gardner said:

Gardner: “And there is no person in this country that thinks that what happened is something that shouldn’t be discussed, talked about, or figure out how to prevent this from happening again.”

Gardner’s office did not answer my question, left on the voice mail at his office, of why he didn’t use the word “gun” or any related word, in this radio interview.

Gardner, who holds a Republican leadership position in the U.S. Senate, has been criticized by progressives for taking over $3 million during his career from the National Rifle Association (NRA), which is the fifth highest amount accepted by a U.S. Senator.

Elsewhere in KDMT interview, Gardner showed no signs of bending toward Democrats on key issues facing Washington lawmakers, advocating for even bigger tax cuts and blaming liberals for the impasse on legislation to help Dreamers, saying people who are “serious about finding a solution on DACA, then I think they’ll come to an agreement with the President on border security and other measures that he has talked about needing in order to support it.”

Listen to Gardner talk about a gun massacre without using the word gun on KDMT 690-AM Jan. 28.

Here’s the full segment of the radio interview during which the Florida massacre was addressed:

SENGENBERGER: [00:05:44] Senator Cory Gardner, our guest here on the program. One issue that obviously has sucked up a lot of oxygen in the room — and understandably so — has been the issue of guns in our society and what’s going on there with regards to the mass shootings that we have seen and so forth. [I’m] wondering what your thought is on, first of all, what we saw take place — that tragic incident, you know, just horrible — in Florida, and also moving forward in this gun debate.

GARDNER: [00:06:14] Well, you said it very well. This was a horrible, horrible tragedy done by a person of evil. And there is no person in this country that thinks that what happened is something that shouldn’t be discussed, talked about, or ways figure out how to prevent this from happening again. We have to come together as a society; not be divided, not let the loudest voices try to divide us, but to come together on ways that we can stop this from happening again. And it’s not by hurting people’s rights. It’s by making sure that we respect people’s rights. It’s about making sure that law enforcement can communicate with schools, can communicate with mental health officials to have the resources they need to address somebody when they have the kinds of problems that this perpetrator — this evil actor — seemed to have. You know, why –. There are still answers that we have to get. Where, in the police investigations, did they go wrong, contacting the sheriff’s office over 40 times? You know, the cyberstalking that this guy –. There was an article in The Miami Herald yesterday that said he should have been you know in jail, and he should have been already behind bars. This is the kind of thing that we have to figure out. But I hope that over the coming days that this discussion leads to a solution that protects innocent, law-abiding people: those people in harm’s way, and those people who respect the rights that they have in our Constitution.

SENGENBERGER: [00:07:45] You know, it’s just interesting to me that we see this debate focus on the issue of guns and so forth, when there seems to have been so many failures on the part of law enforcement — which is rare! It’s not a common thing for law enforcement to not follow up and do their job diligently. But that seems to have been the case, here. And yet, we’re focused on the gun issue. We’re focused on raising the age to buy a rifle. We’re focused on bump stocks, and a number of other issues, as opposed to some of the things you were talking about.

GARDNER: [00:08:14] Well, and I think, again, where we have to go is, “How do we protect our schools? How do we — how do we make sure –“? I mean, the comment made yesterday by one analyst on TV said you have a lot of protection at an airport, We don’t have the same protection at a school. And what can we do to provide protections for our schools, the most vulnerable, most precious in our in our society? What can we be doing to to provide the resources that –. Let’s say that the sheriff’s office, you know, did respond, and did take this gentleman — not gentleman, this horrific individual — into custody. What then? Was he going to be released, or was there a mental health system in place that could have provided the treatment and custodian efforts that would have prevented this person from happening — this person carrying out this evil act. This has got to be something that is more than just — more than just political division, here, but something that brings America together for solutions to prevent this from happening, wherever. We’ve seen far too many of this in Colorado. And we’ve got to do what we can to prevent it from happening elsewhere.

One Community Comment, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenver says:

    Cory can string lots of words together without saying much of anything at all.

    "something that brings America together for solutions" is a classic … No clue what it could be, no commitment to finding something specific to do, no hint that the NRA positions will need to be abandoned.

    Most of all, no awareness showing of a 96% agreement with strengthened gun checks among the public (which I think is higher than the percentage willing to agree with the statement that the earth is round).

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