“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.”