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Gun sales rise sharply after Colorado massacre

Amid the gut-wrenching sorrow that swept the nation following the massacre at a theater in Aurora, Colo., gun sales following the early Friday morning assault rose sharply.

The day after James Holmes burst into the theater and began shooting, 1,243 people applied for the state-approved background checks. The day of the shooting 1,644 sought background checks to purchase a firearm, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigations. That’s a 43 percent increase for the same period prior to the killings.

Why the sudden need to buy a firearm?

Perhaps it’s the fear of being in a vulnerable setting with no visible means of escape. Perhaps it has more to do with defending ones’ self.

Dick Rutan, owner of Gunners Den in suburban Arvada, Colo., said requests for concealed-weapon training certification “are off the hook.” His four-hour course in gun safety, required for certification for a concealed-weapons permit in Colorado, has drawn double the interest since Friday, according to the Denver Post.

“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,” Rutan said.

People seeking to own a gun was not limited to Colorado. King County, Wash., experienced a doubling of requests to carry a concealed pistol over the same period a year earlier.

A gun store in Smyrna, Ga., witnessed a 300 percent increase in the number of guns purchased on Saturday following the massacre when compared to sales the year prior.

Many are commenting that they do not want to be in a situation where they are not capable of defending themselves or their families.

Has this sudden urge to protect one’s self carried over to the Brainerd lakes area?

Baxter’s Gander Mountain gun department spokesperson said he was instructed not to comment to the media. However, Mills Fleet Farm in Baxter spokesman Jill Fish, sporting goods department head, said gun sales were “not out of the ordinary.”

Perhaps folks in the lakes area already possess hunting firearms and feel more secure in their environment.

Keith Hansen

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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