According to reports by the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, along with other agencies and public reports elsewhere, gun sales are up following the shooting in Aurora, Colorado.
In Colorado, sales are up 43%, while nationwide, sales are up 9% as people flock to gun stores hoping to "ease their sense of vulnerability to being a victim in a violent crime" according to physiologist Nancy Roerbuk. She adds that this reaction is not much different than a homeowner who has had a break and installs a home alarm system, or someone who was mugged starts carry pepper spray.
The difference is, owning a gun does not necessarily ensure or increase your protection like other options above do. According to criminologist professor Henry Deaneur, "statistically, most people end up hurting themselves when trying to use a gun to protect themselves from a 'perceived' threat", or end up shooting someone unnecessarily over a petty crime.
Gun experts and gun advocates say owning a gun comes with a responsibility to use it safely, legally and to take appropriate safety and education classes. They agree that not everyone should own a gun, but want to remind the American public it is a constitutional right and owning a gun should be done in a responsible and safe manner. They also point out that all of the guns bought by James Holmes were bought legally, and that new laws restricting gun purchases will only hurt law abiding citizens.
That stance is in stark contrast to some who see this as an opportunity to put into place stricter gun laws. Already Colorado's congressional representation has began talking about introducing new legislation. But most think it will go now where because this is an election year, and it is more feel good politics for their own election campaign.