Gun sales in Colorado spiked in the days immediately following the mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, according to Associated Press.
Colorado approved background checks for 2,887 people who wanted to purchase a firearm during the three days (Fri.-Sun.) following the shooting, the AP reported. That is "25 percent more than the average Friday to Sunday period in 2012 and 43 percent more than the same interval the week prior."
While a spike in gun sales makes for a great headline, I'm not surprised.
Any time a mass shooting occurs, two things are going on that influence this consumer behavior.
First, politicians start talking about the need to tighten gun-control laws and/or ban guns outright. Anyone who believes in the Second Amendment will view that dialogue with indignation and rush out to buy the guns before the politicians take them away.
The second thing going on is people feel unsafe. Any act of terrorism will have that effect, and people are buying more guns to protect themselves now that even going to the movie theater can turn into a shootout (depending on your view of guns, you'll think that reasoning is either true or paradoxical).
The AP spoke with one gun dealer in Arvada, Colo. Dick Rutan, owner of Gunners Den, said inquiries about his concealed-weapon training certification "are off the hook." He continued: "What they're saying is: They want to have a chance. They want to have the ability to protect themselves and their families if they are in a situation like what happened in the movie theater."
Gun debate will continue, but it doesn't appear there's much political will to do anything about tighter restrictions.
One security professional I spoke with on Monday about the effects the event will have on movie theater security believes that guns shouldn't be the focus in the aftermath of this event. Jeff Slotnick, president of the security consulting firm Setracon Inc. and chairman of ASIS International's Physical Security Council (he's also both CPP & PSP certified), said the blame for this tragedy should not be placed on the weapon of choice. The suspect could have used a bomb, or grenades, or pistols.
Slotnick believes these types of events speak more to a failure of the country's mental health system, as well as lapses in basic physical security procedures and emergency preparedness training of employees and normal citizens. Those are the topics we should focus on following an event like this, and the initiatives that have the best chance of preventing future tragedies like this.
What do you think?