The tragic event that unfolded last week in Aurora, Colo., left many harmed both mentally and physically. As the citizens affected attempt to heal, the gun control debate is gaining momentum across America in a search for the correct preventive tactic in keeping mass murders at the hand of a gunman from happening.
Early Friday morning, a graduate student dropout who police identified as James Holmes allegedly opened fire on a full theater in Aurora at the midnight premiere of the much-anticipated film “The Dark Knight Rises.” The horrifying event left 58 injured and 12 dead, with the victims ranging from a six-year-old girl to a 51-year-old man. Many East Lansing and Lansing residents headed local theatres for the midnight release, and it’s terrifying to imagine if the shooting happened here.
Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said the event transpired after months of “calculation and deliberation,” with Holmes receiving deliveries of weapons to his work and home. Holmes also warned police after his capture that he had booby-trapped his apartment, and federal authorities disarmed his apartment Saturday.
The story of Holmes is not unfamiliar to those who have organized mass shootings. Neighbors and friends said he was a student who kept to himself and possibly faced bullying during his years as a student. Holmes, however, has not cooperated with Aurora authorities and has given no motive as to why he coordinated this tragic event.
It is frightening to think that a man could plan this months in advance, and had no issue getting heavy-duty artillery and equipment necessary to create bombs without anyone noticing. He would have, undoubtedly, cleared a background check, as he has no history of criminal behavior.
He obtained these weapons legally up to 60 days prior of the event, with police confiscating such items as a Smith & Wesson .223 semi-automatic rifle, an assault rifle, when Holmes was taken into custody.
The debate over gun control and regulation has happened at the Capitol and around the U.S. for decades, with one side arguing they have a constitutional right to bear arms, and the other arguing strict gun control will keep the streets of America more safe.
Many Americans do not use guns to construct an event as Holmes did, and instead use them for hunting and other legal activities.
But it is somewhat alarming that a man like Holmes could get such an intense assault weapon with no issue.
The guns used to go hunting are a lot less powerful than the .223 semi-automatic Holmes was armed with, and lawmakers should strongly consider whether or not more regulations should be placed on allowing the sale of assault rifles like this, which are usually used as weapons of war.
It is terrible that a man would coordinate such an event at somewhere as public and, what most people would be secure, as a movie theater. Metal detectors and security precautions are necessary for other events, but one wouldn’t expect such a tragic event to occur at a movie theater.
Americans have a constitutional right to bear arms, as stated by the Second Amendment, but the sale of assault rifles that are as heavy-duty as weapons of war should be taken with more precautions in order to keep an event like the movie theater shooting in Aurora from happening again.
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