The number of Colorado citizens who have applied to buy guns since the terrible massacre at a late night showing of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ last Thursday has soared.
Masked gunman James Holmes, 24, released 2 canisters of gas into the audience and then opened fire on movie goers at random. 12 people were killed and 59 others were injured. Of those who were injured, 20 are still receiving treatment in hospital and 6 of those remain in critical condition. Holmes was apprehended by police at the scene where he did not resist arrest. It was the worst mass shooting in Colorado since the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999. He made his first court appearance on Monday where he was told he would be denied bail because of the seriousness of the allegations against him.
Prosecutors have stated that Holmes legally obtained the 3 firearms and ammunition that he used to carry out the shooting.
According to reports, applications for the background checks that you need to complete in order to legally purchase a gun soared by a staggering 43% in the 3 days after the massacre.
Data released by the Colorado Bureau of Investigations revealed that 880 people applied for the state-approved background check on Friday 13th July, 6 days before the shooting as opposed to the much larger number of 1,216 who applied on the Friday after the shooting. The figures for the Saturday of the weekend after the incident were 1,243 and over the weekend a total of 2887 people were approved to buy a gun. The bureau has stated that this is an increase of 43.5%.
These figures just account for the people who were approved to own a firearm, they do not tell us how many of those approved then went out and purchased a gun, however gun shop owners have also reported a rise in sales since the terrifying incident.
Dick Rutan, who owns the Gunners Den’ in Arvada, Colorado described sales as “off the hook.” He told the Denver Post that he believed it was because people wanted to have a chance of protecting themselves and their loved ones should something like the cinema massacre take place again!
Other gun shop owners and employees reported a similar rise, with some stating that people were waiting outside shops for them to open on the morning after the shooting.
Reports from the Associated Press stated that gun sales in other states have also gone up in the days that followed the shooting, but by smaller percentages than Colorado.
Incidents like the so called ‘Batman Massacre’ usually provoke mixed reactions from the general public. Some people head straight to the gun shops to purchase a weapon that they feel they need in order to protect themselves in the event of such an occurrence, whereas others call for gun controls to be stricter. Those who want stricter controls on firearms believe that incidents like these would take place much less frequently, if access to weapons was not so easy.