The mother of a young man killed in the Aurora, Colo. movie theater massacre told TPM on Thursday she was appalled at the way Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) handled her question about an assault weapons ban at a town hall event in Phoenix. [...]Um, no. No, wrong, fail, and no. "You need some straight talk" is not, in fact, on the approved list of things you say to a grieving mother when her son has been killed. In fact, it's damn near the top of the list of things that will pretty much guarantee your seat in hell.
At Wednesday’s town hall, Teves told McCain that her son, Alex, was killed in the massacre, and she urged the senator to support a ban on assault weapons. McCain responded: "I can tell you right now you need some straight talk. That assault weapons ban will not pass the Congress of the United States."
It doesn't matter whether you support the proposed ban or how you feel about the Second Amendment. When you're a United States senator, and you're talking to a constituent whose son was murdered a mere seven months ago, the correct response is, "I'm sorry for your loss." It's not about politics; it's about humanity. But that's something McCain doesn't understand—and apparently, his staff doesn't either.
Teves said her husband recently wrote McCain a letter addressing the Aurora shooting, which took the lives of their son and 11 other people. But she said McCain’s office responded with a impersonal form letter that focused on an an entirely different massacre: the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Neither McCain nor his staff approached her after the town hall event, she added.This was an opportunity for McCain to demonstrate a shred, just a shred, of compassion and decency. Instead, he recycled his tired old campaign slogan to score a cheap round of applause, rubbing some salt in the fresh wound of a grieving mother. That's something only a ginormous asshole would do. And that is some real straight talk.
“I was surprised at that,” Teves said. “It takes a lot for me to just get out of bed every morning. I mean, this is still so new and so fresh, that my son was murdered. And I just expected a little more respect from someone who’s been in office over 30 years, and his staff. Between that and the form letter that we received, it’s just, it’s appalling.”