The Aurora theater shooting is sparking debates about gun control laws. Some argue the shooting could have been prevented if stricter gun laws were in place. Others believe the destruction could have been lessened if people in the theater had also been armed to defend themselves.
“Anytime there’s a real tragedy like this people are searching for solutions,” says Ed Nugent, criminal defense lawyer at Nugent & Palo, LLC law firm in Grand Junction. “Sometimes it distracts from the harder questions that we really don’t want to have to answer or look too hard at and that is why does somebody engage in such horribly violent behavior?”
Jaimie Cox, secretary for the Pro-Second Amendment Committee in Grand Junction, believes that there may have been fewer victims if more people in the theater audience had a weapon with them.
“A coward similar to the shooter that just preys on innocent victims watching a movie would be a lot less likely to do so if the audience was armed,” Cox says. “He clearly sought out a group of people that was unarmed so therefore we’re the majority and it really is so important for us to protect ourselves.”
On the other hand, pro-gun control groups such as the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, is advocating for stricter gun laws that they believe would prevent such tragedies.
“We’re not safe at all,” says Ladd Everitt, Director of Communications for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “This is just another example that anyone can be denied life liberty and the pursuit of happiness by a homicidal maniac who gains access to firearms with little or no screening.”
Everitt is fighting for stricter screenings to be required before purchasing a gun. He believes current screenings do not thoroughly examine a person’s mental state and history.
Nugent believes, despite the discussions and debates about gun laws, that the debate will be ongoing and little will change with regard to legislation.
“Traditionally, things have never gotten very far in terms of more regulation because of the deeply held feelings of a lot of people about guns in this country,” Nugent says.
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