Aurora, Colorado was officially one of the safest places to live in America. That is it was prior to Friday July 21, 2012, when James Holmes dressed as something of a Dark Knight himself, opened fire in a packed movie theatre in the town, killing at least 12 people.
As America dusts itself down once again many are questioning what went wrong. Inevitably gun control is at the forefront of some people's minds. In an election year in America this will probably be as far as gun control changes goes. Both Romney and Obama will not want to ostracise the gun toting communities of the US but now could be the perfect time to take a step back and try a re-think on gun controls.
Americans continue to cling to their right to bear arms which inevitably will lead to such mass killings. Tighter restrictions may not prevent a person on the edge wreaking havoc but it could have stopped Holmes being able to arm himself in the way that he did.
The veritable arsenal which Holmes was able to use had been acquired legally. He may not have been able to purchase all of the weapons in some States of the US but in Colorado he broke no laws. During the last 6 - 8 weeks Holmes stock piled ammunition and weapons.
When he entered the cinema which was premiering the Dark Knight Rising he was carrying two handguns, a shotgun and a semi-automatic rifle. He needed no license in Colorado to purchase these weapons. In light of his previous good record he would have easily passed the police checks made.
He had purchased thousands of round of ammunition in recent weeks, without any retailer apparently batting an eyelid.
Holmes apartment is still inaccessible by authorities due to the complicated series of booby traps he had set. Police have said that a controlled explosion will be the only way to resolve that issue. The traps include chemicals so it seems that Holmes had spent a small fortune on amassing what he felt he needed.
Why is still not known.
A previous honour student who dropped out of medical school a short time ago for an unknown reason, he may fit the profile of other shooters. Mental illness could be at the root of the attack but we may never know exactly what went wrong.
Being able to buy 6,000 rounds of ammunition, weapons and chemicals without drawing any attention to yourself beggars belief.
After the event the authorities can pay lip service as much as they want to the victims of this tragedy but gun control inaction will mean that another massacre will happen in time. Surely the very least that will happen is a change in the purchasing of weapons and ammunition.
Latest: 12 people died at the scene. 11 remain in a critical possibly life threatening condition.The tragedy is the worst in American modern history.
Holmes' father has flown to Aurora. His parents have asked for privacy at what must be a shocking time for them too. Thoughts go to the victims and their loved ones. RIP
Tags: Aurora, James Holmes, Dark Knight Rising, Colorado gun laws, gun control, NRA, US election
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog