“The four weapons recovered in the deadly shootings in Colorado all were purchased by the suspect in the case from retail gun stores in Colorado in the last two months, according to a federal law enforcement official,” the AP reports. “Holmes bought one of the four guns – the first of two Glock pistols – on May 22 at Gander Mountain in Aurora, Colo., according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe into the shootings is ongoing. The other purchases . . .

– On May 28, six days after purchasing the Glock, Holmes purchased the shotgun used in the [Remington 870] shootings from Bass Pro Shops in Denver.

-On June 7, Holmes bought the AR-15 assault rifle used in the attacks at a Gander Mountain store in Thornton, Colo.

-On July 6, Holmes returned to the Bass Pro Shops store in Denver and bought the other Glock pistol.

Both Gander Mountain and Bass Pro Shops offered their condolences to the survivors and the victims’ families. Both stores said they’d followed all applicable local, state and federal laws when making the sales.

Which means the “debate” surrounding the Batman Massacre will surely come to focus on Holmes’ mental health.

If Holmes was hospitalized or treated for severe mental illness, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and other pro-gun control groups will wave the bloody shirt, ratcheting-up their call for greater integration between state mental health records and the FBI’s mandatory background check for firearms purchases (the NICS system).

Check this article from thedenverchannel.com in January 2011, after Jared Lee Loughner opened fire on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tuscon . . .

7NEWS discovered that the background check gun buyers in Colorado must go through searches the person’s criminal and court record. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation looks for past felonies, warrants, restraining orders and court findings for mental deficiency.

The CBI said even a person who makes questionable mental health statements or admits to being seen by a medical professional for mental health issues, they could legally buy a gun as long as a court has not deemed that person “mentally deficient.”

What’s the bet that gun control advocates will try—again, still—to “tighten” reporting requirements for mental health professionals to the CBI (and thus the ATF) to increase the number of people excluded from gun ownership?

The problem: tens of millions of law-abiding non-violent Americans are taking prescription drugs for depression. Any effort to stop people with mental health issues from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms could prevent tens of millions of Americans from seeking psychological treatment—including a huge population of veterans.

Laurie Elliott, clinical director for Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network, struck a cautionary note in 2011:

“As inviting as it may be to blame individuals with mental illnesses for violence, this does a grave injustice to most of the people with serious mental illness who live in our communities and who pose no threat to themselves or others.”

The other problem: excluding people with mental health issues wouldn’t stop a madman from accessing a firearm or firearms and committing an atrocity like last night’s. CBI spokesman Lance Clem:

“You can never guarantee 100 percent that the wrong people have access to firearms because, one way or another, they may get them.”

72 Responses to Batman Massacre Shooter James Holmes Bought Firearms Legally. What’s Happens Next?

  1. Here in Suffolk County, NY, applicants are often denied a pistol license for having been treated for psychiatric disorders. So much for mental illness no longer carrying a stigma. We’ve progressed.

    • Do they get access to the applicants’ medical records or something? How the hell does that work?

      • Even down here in NC we must release all records from local hospitals and drug treatment centers.(Within your county)

  2. ‘What’s Happens Next?’

    It’s Friday. We should all enjoy a nice meal and a glass of wine or beer.

  3. That is Not a bullet hole in that shirt, unless it’s a slug or wadding…even then it’s doubtful. Bullets make very small holes in clothing….and skin upon entry.

    • last week i was showing a new shooter how to use a shotgun. we were using light birdshot loads on paper targets. the wads were tearing fairly large, round holes at close range. as the range increased we started to get semi keyhole tears in the paper. never tried it against a cotton t but that looks very similer to the results we were getting

  4. Well, I’ve investigated many shootings….anything is possible if maybe it entered at an angle…but I’d say no. And if it were a slug there would be a LOT more blood.

    • “And if it were a slug there would be a LOT more blood.”

      Not really. The shock and force of a slug is devastating. Often killing the victim instantly. When placed correctly it would cease all vital functions (heart beat) near instantly. This shot looked to be place mid, left of center chest. With a slug, that’s a non-functioning person instantly.

  5. Let’s not forget that firearms are not the only way to commit mass murder in a movie theater or other public gathering place. As in suicides, firearms are a tool of convenience and if someone who is intent on killing themself and others, can’t get a firearm, they will do it another way. However, the gun control advocates will only see this has another example for restricting the Second Amendment.

  6. I am not quite sure what the standard is in California. a 5150 (determined by the police or medical personnel to present an immenent threat of great physical harm to self or others) I think only garners a 5 year ban, but an adjudicated involuntary hold will result in a lifetime ban. The standard should never be neuroses, depression, anxiety, and the various humdrum mental health conditions that many suffer from, but instead an adjudication of risk of imminent harm to self or others. The opinion of a police officer or doctor, whithout a neutral fact finding tribunal allowing for the presentation and cross-examination of witnesses, should suffice to relieve a person of a constitutional right.
    And if the harm is to self, that restriction should be removable upon petition to the court when the condition is relieved; depression is for many an acute condition that can be helped with the proper drugs, drugs that do not efect mentition. Paranoid Schizophrenics? Yes, well, they probably should be treated differently, and most certainly are if they’ve been hospitalized.

  7. You’re all thinking too hard. That picture is just there as a representation of a generic bloody shirt.

  8. I get so frustrated at the red-herring of “who bought/stole what and when”.

    It doesn’t matter. The only point that matters is who USED what, where and when.

    Freedom isn’t safe by any stretch of the imagination and the best we can do is try to figure out how to minimize the damage that psychos can do.

  9. Just to play devil’s advocate…
    He was apparently apt with explosives. If he couldn’t get guns, we might be looking at a much higher death toll.

  10. Why should anything special happen?

    In the US alone, over 100 people die in car accident every day by legally purchased automobiles…

    • We’re those cars purchased legally…..Did the DOT send a few thousand of them to Mexico to be used in “accidents” down there. We are going to need to have a look at those dealership security cameras.

      • well thats the entire point isnt it? if you decide to run someone down while driving a car, it becomes a weapon , doesnt it? a firearm is a tool (when used correctly by your average human being) until turned into a dangerous weapon. its all about the user, not necessarily the item

      • cars are not weapons? something on the order of forty thousand deaths a year in this country alone says different. throw in evironmental destruction and then tell me cars are not weapons.

  11. What happens next?

    Since similar incidents were the cause of gun bans in the U.K. and Australia, I’ll tell you what I’m doing after this incident. I’m making a contribution to NRA-ILA (say what you will). I’m also going to start carrying more often then not now.

  12. What next, well we can think of other scenarios this could affect.

    To me, after reading it and finding it so reprehensible I decided against a hyperbole, I immediately thought of 3-Gun competition. While it is not inherently bad could the people against gun ownership find some malice in the sport now? I mean given he grabbed the essentials and dropped them as he emptied them it seems reminiscent of a course compete with varying distances. Does what he did villainize the sport given his tactics? I don’t think so but in the watch for copy cats you’ll find them all over the professional shooting circuit, fancy high cap mags and all. If the paranoia is being entertained then that could get nasty criminalizing the whole idea and anything connected with it.

    The only other thing that could happen is people somehow freak out that people who do these kinds of things look just like the rest of us…up untill they do a Sherwin Williams dye job and go ape shit. Instead of “who knew?” it’ll be “what will we ban to prevent this again?”

  13. The profile of these mass shooters means that they’re not going to go the black market route first. Nobody wants these psychos to have guns, but they’re going to get them. In a free society, they may get them easier.

    What scares me a lot more is one class of humans having to get any type of permission to exercise basic property and self defense rights. For this and other reasons, I do not believe there should be any back ground check laws. If someone cannot be trusted with a firearm, they need to locked up anyway; but, in a free society, we can’t always lock these people up preemptively.

  14. Nothing should happen next. A rare occurrence in which a relatively small amount of people died happened, and that’s that. One can legally purchase all types of things used to kill people, from knives to cars to rat poison.

    Like someone said previously, freedom isn’t safe. Those that can’t handle it should leave the country. I’m sure they’ll find their chains very comforting.

    • Like someone said previously, freedom isn’t safe. Those that can’t handle it should leave the country. I’m sure they’ll find their chains very comforting.

      Samuel Adams was the first one to say it on the record.

  15. What happens next? Watching the news and a survivor from the VA tech shooting working for the Brady Bunch is calling for stricter gun control laws. Shocking.

  16. Nothing will happen. Spree shootings are rare and account for no more than 1% of murders. Half of the nation’s murders are gang related criminal on criminal violence. Banning guns will make the tiny death toll tinyer but no one will notice. There is a 50-50 chance that this weekend’s kia total in Chicago will exceed this incident but no one will care because victims will be poor and black.

  17. But honestly, we must do SOMETHING, I’m with you guys, I’m a gun proponent as well but we gotta do something to keep this type of shit from happening, I don’t know what though.

  18. let’s think outside the box here. these guys are always lonely social outcast. they have no friends and the last date they had was inflatable. we do not need gun control. what we need is a corps of female social workers, 18 to 35, willing to sacrifice for the greater good. happy ending averts tragic ending, so to speak.

  19. What happens next?

    The usual stuff; cries for more gun control, cries for less gun control, talk about the national psyche and how we all need to come together, the blame game on all sides, the analyzation of every small detail with all the usual talking heads……………… until the next mass shooting happens and we will start it all over again.

  20. I think that, comments about Maoist and Stalinist willingness to sacrifice some people for the greater good aside (that can’t be what gun ownership is about; learn your Doctrine of Double Effect, people!), this should not be a sign to anybody that a radically new discussion is needed – unless of course one ascribes to some kind of totally unreasonable extremist position that has obvious holes but prefers not to accept them. I see some problems with the extreme “ban all firearms for everybody, everywhere, regardless of the circumstances” argument, but I also see problems with “everybody can have any firearm for any reason.”

    The one thing I’m pretty comfortable with getting behind is on some kind of screening based on mental disorder. Yes, could somebody meaning no good decide to call in to purposefully disqualify you for a gun for their own bad purposes? That sort of thing should be carefully considered. Is the State going to decide to classify willingness to pursue gun ownership as a sign of mental illness? We’re not there, not by a long shot, so don’t worry about that one yet. It is frustrating to think of how much time and expense are eaten up in doing useless background checks, transfers, and all the other rot for legally-minded, peaceful aspiring gun owners, but it is also frustrating to think of all the goofballs and nutcases who get guns with ease and then betray the trust of everybody who helped them out. But hell, flight instructors got a sampling of that, too, in the jet training the 9/11 highjackers received. Unfortunately, psychology is just not good enough or fast enough, and might never be (and attempting to force applying gun owners to take tests potentially raises other issues as well, like the 5th Amendment quite possibly).

    Anyway, enough rambling – I think that if there is a lesson, it will hinge upon how well the system would have worked if this shooter did everything according to the letter of the law. Maybe there is some simple modification to the system; I don’t know.

  21. I think one of the things that should happen next is that the audience gets a full refund and probably more for not allowing customers to bring guns in their theater to defend themselves.

  22. I gotta say its pretty disappointing to read an article like this here. I consider this site to be great source for objective info regarding 2nd Amend. issues. Mainstream media is always stating facts that don’t exist and drawing huge conclusions with no information. And now this site making assumptions that this shooter is crazy, and that the antis are going to jump all over it. Come on TTAG, you can do better.

  23. This is what they want to happen,

    “This year will go down in history, for the first time, a civilized nation has full gun control registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!”

    Adolf Hitler-1935

    What a good idea Huh? And we all know what happened because of firearms Being registered By that Murdering SOB! At least 200 million people murdered thanks to”gun control”.

  24. Listen, whatever the mental state of Mr. Holmes, the Colorado shooting will be used as a sword by the progressive left and its propaganda arm to propose myriad restrictions on gun rights beyond those tied to mental illness, e.g., calling for bans on Ar-15’s, bans on 100 round magazines, limits on the number of guns a person can buy, you name it. In the meantime, we also get the usual angst and specious arguments from people who want to control our lives for our own good.

    Moreover, the shooting will have legs. It is tied in with what was, for better or worse, a major cultural event – a new Batman movie. It has its own built in alliterative moniker and most assuredly will penetrate the psyche of your average shaking in the boots plebe who couldn’t explain the three branches of our form of government as they willingly acquiescence to the appropriation of their right to self defense in exchange for the illusion of safety.

    I’m in CT. I don’t think our all democratic legislature is in session right now, but I assure you we will see a plethora of anti-gun bills proposals in committee in direct response to this. Of course the NRA will do jack, just like they did when there was as major push to restrict magazines to 10 rounds or less last year. In the interim, I suppose when I go to see Batman, I will be greeted with a poster of silhouette of a Glock with a red slash across it. The poster will, despite all evidence to the contrary, make some people feel safe.

    The above being true, and despite being unemployed, I donated 15 bucks to the SAF tonight. Hell, that’s less that I pay for an hour of range time when I can scrounge up the money. There’s a storm coming with this one, so we need to prepare. Acknowledging this does not stem out of lack of sympathy for the victims of Mr. Holmes’ rampage, but derives from intimate knowledge of the agenda of those who will never, ever, stop until we have reached the bloody end of the road to serfdom.

    • In CT, the effective lobbyists are the Coalition of CT Sportsmen & Connecticut Carry. I’m a life member of CT Sportsmen & get emails during the legislative session about the progress of good & bad bills during the session.

      • Thanks, Steve. I’ll look into the CT organizations you mentioned. There are tons of ways our Second Amendment rights could be improved here in CT.

        And really, you make good point. The bulk of the legislation that restricts our rights are promulgated and passed by state legislatures and administrative agencies. So local gun rights organizations are better situated to lobby local lawmakers.

        But we should remain acutely aware of the fact there is a national narrative that can drive agendas on the local level and I think that the NRA, arguably a strong and necessary congressional lobbying organization, is not as effective in articulating Second Amendment issues in the courts and public arena, i.e., the media, where, despite the rise of the almighty internet, national consent and consensus is still shaped and formed. Hence the need for an organization that can do so. Sometimes a smaller, less moribund entity, can respond quicker and take more risks. For what its worth, I think the SAF fits the bill in that respect.

  25. I don’t know if one or two armed citizens could have stopped this shooter. They may have only guaranteed their own demise, if they shot back.

    However, I can’t help noticing that another mass shooting happened in another gun-free zone. The shooter obviously chose a gun-free zone as his target. And once the shooting started the victims had nothing to use to protect themselves. Their only options were cowering in fear or running for their lives.

    What should happen next? Seventy One families of the 71 victims should sue this Theater Franchise company out of business. I mean a huge, Billions of dollars lawsuit. Then we’ll see how many other businesses still believe that gun-free (victim-disarmament) zones are good business. Once the policy has been eliminated in the private business sector, then we use the precedents to go after all the government gun-free zones.

    • Won’t work. We’ve seen the aftermath of things like this before. The Bradys and their cult get their claws into these emotionally fragile families and turn them into talking heads to further their sick agenda. The families thus unwittingly become tools in ensuring more people die like their children.

      Victims’ families want to “do something!” about what happened rather than face the cold reality that their loved ones died for no reason, and that pointless death is a part of the human condition. So they go after the easiest thing they can: guns.

  26. What are we to do next?

    Do not forget: That a person is the killer, not the tool;
    And, that life, and freedom, present many conundrums.

    Nous Defions

  27. “Not really. The shock and force of a slug is devastating. Often killing the victim instantly. When placed correctly it would cease all vital functions (heart beat) near instantly. This shot looked to be place mid, left of center chest. With a slug, that’s a non-functioning person instantly.”

    I saw one case of a female shot with 45 ACP at contact range in the back of the neck while she was bent over, the bullet traversing downward into her body with no exit. There was absolutely no blood and it took the ER docs a while to even figure out that she was shot because her long hair covered the entrance wound and powder burns. She was, however, bleeding like hell inside which was obvious when the MAST trousers were applied and blood came from every orifice in her head.

    Having seen several people hit by shotgun blasts, including slugs, I would say there would be a lot more blood given the hole in the shirt. Even a shot through the heart does not always stop the heart from beating for a bit, and when major vessels are hit they will bleed a lot. It is my opinion that the shirt displayed was not hit by buckshot because there are no holes except for the one big one…which as I stated before could be shotgun wadding except for the fact that there would still be evidence of the buckshot strike…which there is not. And looking at that hole, I’ve never seen a slug shaped like that.This is my opinion based on about 100 shooting investigations. Of course it’s impossible to tell anything with absolute certainty from a picture that is not three dimensional off the internet. So I should have said in my first post that it was my Opinion based on my experience.

  28. One of the points of a constitutional system of government is to prevent spur of the moment knee jerk reactions by politicians to change the rules. This incident, despite being a shocking tragedy, is isolated to the perp and his victims. There can be no law to prevent someone bent on killing scores of people and the notion that making it harder will deter is simply wrong. In fact, history has proven how the alternatives can be worse than gun fire as previous posters detailed.

    Maybe we should rethink large gatherings of people without armed guards and security forces where they are sitting ducks. Our friends in Al Quaida have seen this and I’m sure it has given them a few ideas.

  29. The CBI said even a person who makes questionable mental health statements or admits to being seen by a medical professional for mental health issues, they could legally buy a gun as long as a court has not deemed that person “mentally deficient.”

    That’s the way it SHOULD be!! Anyone ever hear of something called DUE PROCESS that is guaranteed by the 5th amendment??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *