POTUS continues briefings on Colorado shootings
The flag above the White House flies at half mast Saturday in honor of the shooting victims in Aurora, Colorado. (photo credit: AFP/Getty Images)
July 21st, 2012
05:08 PM ET

POTUS continues briefings on Colorado shootings

(CNN) – President Barack Obama has been kept abreast of developments in the mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater which left at least a dozen dead, an administration official told CNN on Saturday. Homeland Security adviser John Brennan updated Obama overnight Friday and on Saturday regarding the investigation and authorities' efforts to disarm traps which had been set at the suspect's apartment, the official said. (read more)

Obama has largely steered clear of gun debate
President Barack Obama speaks by phone Friday morning with the mayor of Aurora, Colorado after the mass shootings there. (photo credit: Pete Souza/The White House)
July 21st, 2012
10:26 AM ET

Obama has largely steered clear of gun debate

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(CNN) - In a speech after the Colorado shooting Friday, President Barack Obama asked Americans to pray, reflect and remember what's important in life while the city of Aurora mourned the dead and wounded.
"If there's anything to take away from this tragedy it's the reminder that life is very fragile. Our time here is limited and it is precious. And what matters at the end of the day is not the small things, it's not the trivial things, which so often consume us and our daily lives," Obama said in Fort Myers, Florida, before returning to the White House.
But Friday's shootings are likely to propel the issue of gun rights and gun safety into the national conversation again, even though the president did not address it on Friday and has largely avoided the subject while in office.
Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, criticized Obama on Friday for steering clear of the issue in office.
"President Obama has refused to even talk about guns. In a speech today he didn't even say the word 'gun.' The closest he came was 'gunman,' "Vice said. "Unfortunately the president has shown a lack of leadership in standing up to the gun lobby."
Talk of gun rights was largely absent from Obama's speech in the aftermath of the Fort Hood shooting in 2009 and after then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others were shot in Tucson, Arizona, last year. Obama mentioned gun safety only in passing after the Tucson shootings to describe the polarizing nature of the issue.
However, amid renewed discussions, the president penned an opinion piece two months after the Tucson shootings that acknowledged the importance of the Second Amendment and called for a "focus" on "effective steps that will actually keep those irresponsible, law-breaking few from getting their hands on a gun in the first place." FULL POST

POTUS and Boehner weigh in on Colorado shootings
(photo credit: The Denver Post)
July 21st, 2012
10:03 AM ET

POTUS and Boehner weigh in on Colorado shootings

(CNN) – Void of politics, the weekly address of President Barack Obama and House speaker John Boehner coincided on Saturday, with each sending condolences to loved ones whose lives were cut short and those wounded in the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting.
Standing by for further details, both parties expressed regret over the massacre, agreeing to set politics aside in light of the incident.
"This weekend I hope everyone takes some time for prayer and reflection – for the victims of this terrible tragedy, for the people who knew them and loved them, for those who are still struggling to recover, and for all the victims of the less publicized acts of violence that plague our communities on a daily basis. Let us keep all these Americans in our prayers. And to the people of Aurora, may the Lord bring you comfort and healing in the hard days to come," said Obama.
House speaker John Boehner also weighed in on the tragedy.
"My plan today was to share some thoughts with you about the economy. But life, they say, is what happens when you're busy making other plans. There is still so much, too much, to sort out about the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. Words cannot capture the horror, or make sense of something so senseless. So I won't try. This much I know. I know that when confronted with evil we cannot comprehend, Americans pull together and embrace our national family more tightly," said Boehner. (read more at CNN Political Ticker)