Mass Shooting: The Cloud Over Aurora

This morning in Aurora, Colorado, there are far more questions than answers. Last night’s shooting at an area movie theater has left at least 12 dead, and over 50 injured. The theater-goers were there for a premiere showing of Batman’s The Dark Night Rises. And they had no idea just how dark that night would become.

The suspected is named James Holmes… a 24 year-old man from the area. The latest reports show that he had a semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun and two hand guns. He was able to fire over 70 shots in just over 1 minute. According to Fox News, Holmes did not have a permit for these weapons. This is a whirlwind of damage that was done, presumably by this “lone wolf” killer.

Among all of the questions and analysis that is sure to come over the next months, we should remember an important discussion on guns, and in particular semi-automatic weapons. Even for those that support open carry laws, we can hopefully all agree that there are certain types of guns that just shouldn’t be manufactured, sold, encouraged or licensed. Yet information on how to obtain these weapons is easily available on sites like They go through painstaking detail to help people purchase and sale weapons, along with discussing various topics related to gun ownership. As American citizens, it’s their right to do this, but it’s also the right of others to be concerned about why certain types of weapons are needed. Self-defense is one thing, but does a semi-automatic weapon that fires 50 rounds a minute going to be used to save lives? Or would it be used by those that are trying to take them?

More developments will be posted as this story unfolds.

11:15AM CST– James Holmes was a PhD student at CU medical school, and recently withdrew from the PhD program. He is under police custody. ABC news has confirmed a photo of the suspect

A little more research on Colorado Gun Laws…

The suspect James Holmes purchased and owned all of the firearms legally… that includes the semi-automatic weapons. It is legal in to have and purchase automatic weapons in some parts of Colorado. According to Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, Colorado’s most prominent pro-gun advocate, it’s relatively easy to purchase and possess these weapons in the state of Colorado.

At this point we don’t know how or where Holmes may have procured his weapons, but it appears that they are relatively easy to find in Aurora. According to Google Maps, the town has several gun shops. Apparently, you are not required to hold an open carry license to purchase a gun, but you must submit a background check.

Again, if your need for a gun is self-defense or hunting, why would you ever need to fire 70 rounds a minute? Should these weapons even be available for purchase? A simple handgun can’t cause massive tragedies like the one today.