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Timoney: Mass Shootings Happening With ‘Regularity’

Friday, 20 Jul 2012 | 10:09 PM ET
Investigators are on the scene at the Century 16 movie theatre where a gunmen attacked movie goers during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado.
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Investigators are on the scene at the Century 16 movie theatre where a gunmen attacked movie goers during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado.

Following a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater that left 12 people dead and 59 wounded, former Miami Police Chief John Timoney told CNBC that such incidents were happening “with some kind of regularity.”

“This guy was coming in to do battle, to get a high body count. It’s horrible. It’s almost every other year, if you go back over the last dozen years. Every year we see it happen. It’s not just in the United States, by the way,” he said on “The Kudlow Report.” “However, it’s starting to happen in the U.S. — I hate to say it — with some kind of regularity, which is disturbing.”

A neuroscience graduate student James Holmes was arrested following the shooting at the midnight premiere of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo. Police said he was armed with an AR-15 assault rifle and two Glock pistols.

It was the worst mass shooting in the U.S. since the Nov. 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood, Texas, when an Army psychiatrist killed 13 soldiers and civilians and more than two dozen others wounded.

Timoney, who also worked for the New York Police Department and is now a security consultant for Bahrain’s Ministry of the Interior, also said copycats were “a distinct possibility” but advised against overarching measures.

71 Shot in Colorado Movie Theater
NBC's Miguel Almaguer reports on the latest details of the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado; and former Colorado Governor Bill Owens (R), and Former Miami Police Chief John Timoney, provide perspective. "This is starting to happen in the U.S. with some kind of regularity, and it's disturbing," says Timoney.

“We’ve got to be on our guard, but we can’t put up security to the point that we can’t live semi-normal lives,” he added.

Timoney said that he “completely” agreed with a ban on masks in public places.

“I was in the airport today. You go through the screen. You have to take off the sunglasses. People want to see who you are. Same thing for the movie,” he said. “I think there should be certain prohibitions on bringing things in such as a big knapsack that could contain weapons or a bomb or things of that nature. In the New York City subway system, your bags get checked before you go on.”

Neither Timoney nor former Colorado Gov. Bill Owens mentioned gun control.

Owens, who was in office at the time of the Columbine High School mass shooting, called the latest incidence of violence rare.

“You know, it’s truly an aberration,” he said. “I don’t think you can defend every venue, every bit of the time from every crazy person.”

Owens said police departments learned from the Columbine tragedy in which 13 people were killed by two gunmen.

“Last night the police were there within 90 seconds of the first call and they moved dramatically in and the results could have been worse,” he said.

Owens, who said he had raised his children in Aurora, said he expected Coloradans to come together.

“This is a horrible tragedy. Our hearts are broken, but you look at the way people come together, the way the Red Cross rallies, the Salvation Army, the state, the emergency responders. It makes you proud that this is an aberration, that it doesn't happen often,” he said. “When it does, we learn from it. We get better by it. We move on. I think that’s what Colorado is going to do after this latest tragedy.”

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  • Lawrence Kudlow is a CNBC senior contributor. Previously, Kudlow was anchor of CNBC's prime-time program "The Kudlow Report"