Police begin to clear booby traps
published : 22 Jul 2012 at 01:17
AURORA, Colorado : Law enforcement officials are starting the process of diffusing booby traps set up in his apartment by the Smirking Killer James Holmes, though it could take a few days to diffuse the massive network of tripwires and explosives he set up before leaving for the Aurora movie theatre.
Police in Aurora, a suburb of Denver, with help from the FBI and a collection of other agencies, began the process of entering Holmes apartment on Saturday morning (Saturday night, Thailand time).
They released a three point plan on Saturday morning for how they plan on tackling the complex apartment. Aurora police confirmed they were able to get past the first threat inside the apartment.
Police were worried diffusing the first trip wire might trigger an explosion, but things went off without a hitch. According to a tweet from The Denver Post's Dana Coffield, the tripwire was "set to detonate and kill anyone who entered [Holmes'] apt."
Holmes left a complex series of wiring and tripwires in his apartment. Per the city's plan, a robot will safely remove 30 "various devices" and 30 shells from his apartment, police officials will transport them to a safe area for detonation.
The latest shooting set off another debate over US guns laws, some of it misinformed. Gun laws in the US are mostly governed by state law.
Colorado has "right to carry" laws making it easy for trained and law-abiding citizens to receive a licence to carry a concealed handgun. But almost all malls, including the site of the Cinema 16 massacre by the heavily armed smirking Holmes, are private property and bar guns, so that only outlaws are armed.
AFP correspondent Robert MacPherson, in an analysis, said the massacre by the Smirking Killer could turn up the pressure on President Barack Obama over gun control, an issue critics say he has largely ignored.
Twelve people were killed and 59 wounded, police said, in one of the nation's worst acts of gun violence since the Virginia Tech bloodbath in April 2007 in which 33 died.
"This tragedy is another grim reminder that guns are the enablers of mass killers and that our nation pays an unacceptable price for our failure to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people," said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
"We are outraged," added Gross, whose advocacy group is named for former White House spokesman James Brady, who was shot and handicapped for life in 1981 by president Ronald Reagan's would-be assassin.
"Political cowardice is not an excuse for evasion and inaction on this life-and-death issue," Gross said.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who favors more gun control measures such as thorough background checks, called upon Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney to speak out immediately on the issue.
"Maybe it's time that the two people who want to be president of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country," he said.
"We've been very disappointed with the president's action on the gun issue," agreed Josh Sugarmann of the Violence Policy Center in Washington, which supports a ban on sales of handguns and assault weapons.
"We hope he moves beyond sympathy (for the Colorado victims) to action."
The AFP opinion piece, however, ignored public opinion in Colorado, including the state's elected officials, which make it highly unlikely there will be any tighter control on purchase or possession of personal weapons.
Gun ownership is included in several sections of the Colorado state constitution. One law specifically bars universities from banning guns if they receive any public money.
The Smirking Killer Holmes, like all those who purchase guns legally in Colorado, had to provide identification and have his purchase routed through a master list of US gun buyers to ensure he had no criminal record or other reason that would bar him from gun ownership.
While Colorado requires training and a licence to carry a handgun concealed while in public places, no special permission is required to own a gun that is kept in a house or personal vehicle.