If you were a U.S.senator who had voted against background gun checks, what would you tell a grieving mother whose son was fatally shot in the Aurora, Co., theatre massacre?
It apparently was not a problem when Rob Portman, the Ohio Republican, met with Jerri Jackson, of Springfield, Oh, whose son, Matthew McQuinn, was killed by nine bullets while he tried to shield his girl friend from the madman's weapon. As reported by the Springfield News-Sun, Portman was shown a picture of her son by Mrs. Jackson, who told the senator: "We're not saying you can't have have a gun. You don't need 100 rounds at a time."
Portman, a gun enthusiast who has repeatedly insisted that background checks would not save lives, later described Mrs. Jackson as a "great lady" and her son as a "hero", adding, without a hint of heroism guiding his own conscience, "I respect her tremendously, and what she's going through is very difficult."
"We agree on a lot," he said. We don't agree on everything,".
Oh? He tried to explain: "Ultimately, there's no one answer to this." Problem solved.
What did Portman's old boss, George W. Bush call it? Compassionate conservatism?