By Matthew Hoh |
Since the horrific massacre at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater last week, gun control activists have stepped up their calls for more firearm regulations. James Holmes, the alleged shooter, reportedly used a semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun, and a pistol (another gun was found on the scene) to kill 12 people and injure dozens more. Additionally, he is reported to have bought some 6,000 rounds of ammunition as well as explosives to set a series of booby traps in his apartment that took authorities days to dismantle. It appears that he purchased the guns he used in the shooting legally at major supply chains Bass Pro Shop and Gander Mountain.
Gun control proponents say the tragedy is proof that the United States needs tougher gun laws or, at the very least, a more open conversation on how to prevent firearms from landing in dangerous hands. Among their proposals is a ban on assault weapons like the semi-automatic rifle Holmes used and better regulation of Internet distributors as Holmes reportedly spent $15,000 buying ammo and gear online.
Gun activists accuse such critics of politicizing the tragedy to infringe on their Second Amendment rights. They insist that tougher gun laws would not have prevented the shooting. Some go as far to say that had some of the theatergoers been carrying firearms of their own that night, they could have defended themselves against Holmes.
Does the Colorado shooting prove the need for more gun control laws? Here is the Debate Club's take:
Mike Sweeney Communications Manager at the Gun Owners' Action League
Erich Pratt Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America
Dave Workman Senior Editor of TheGunMag.com
Dan Gross President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Center
Joshua Horwitz Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence