Politicians respond to Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting

Talia Tirella, Co-Editor-In-Chief

A man opened fire in a Colorado Planned Parenthood center last Friday, killing three and wounding nine. The suspect, Robert Lewis Dear, surrendered more than five hours after entering the center, according to the New York Times.

During those five hours, police exchanged gunfire with Dear until they were able to convince him to stop shooting.

Tactical officers stood guard throughout the shopping center where the Planned Parenthood was located. Shoppers and employees were ordered to stay away from windows and lock their business doors for the duration of the gunfire.

Dear’s motive is still unknown. Police said that Dear brought several suspicious items to the clinic. Investigators were trying to determine whether the items were explosives, according to the Times.

The shooting prompted sympathetic reactions from both sides of the political spectrum. President Obama again called for action on guns, according to NPR. Obama stated that Congress, as well as local governments, should act in order to prevent “people who are deranged or have violent tendencies” from getting weapons, such as guns, that can inflict mass casualties.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, condemned the shooting as well. Ryan called the shootings “appalling” and offered condolences to families of the victims, according to NPR. Ryan pointed to mental health as an underlying issue and cause of the shooting.

“Clearly we can do more,” Ryan said. “And one common denominator in these tragedies is mental illness. That’s why we need to look at fixing our nation’s mental illness health system.”