Would Buying More Guns Make People Safer?

Gun sales spiked in Colorado after last week's shooting, but gun control proponents say that isn't the appropriate solution.


The movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo. has renewed the national gun control debate. Gun owners say the shooting is the perfect example of why more people need to carry firearms, while gun control advocates say it is instead an example of why guns need to be more tightly regulated.

James Holmes, who murdered 12 people and injured 58 when he open fired in a movie theater last Friday, had four guns with him that he had purchased legally in Colorado. Since the shooting took place, the state has seen a 41 percent increase in people requesting background checks so they can buy a gun. Between Friday and Sunday, 2,887 background checks were approved by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. This is a 43 percent increase over the previous weekend. Firearms courses have also seen increased interest.

[See photos as Aurora mourns shooting victims.]

Holmes ordered his ammunition online from ammunition retailers, purchases that were unregulated because there is no restriction on ammunition sales in the United States. Police say he had an "arsenal" of 6,000 rounds that had been ordered on the Internet.

While the reaction of some in the wake of the shooting is to arm themselves, gun control proponents say that is not the appropriate solution. They say tighter laws restricting those who can purchase and use firearms is the best way to stop gun violence.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said the Aurora shooting shows why guns must be controlled: "There are so many murders with guns every day—it's just got to stop."

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