Local gun stores react to Colorado massacre
MISHAWAKA, Ind. – A debate about gun control is looming in the wake of the Friday massacre in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, that left 12 people dead and 59 wounded at the hands of a gunman.
For Brad Rupert, General Manager at Midwest Gun Exchange, the potential for arguments over gun laws wasn’t his first concern when he saw the first images of the shooting on the news showing the aftermath of the shooting that happened at a midnight premier of the new Batman movie.
"I have a daughter that lives in Denver and that was my first thought,” Rupert described. “Immediately sent her a text to make sure she wasn't at the premier last night, not that she's necessarily a Batman fan, but of course, being a parent, you always think the worst."
Thankfully his daughter wasn’t at the theater where police say a lone gunman opened fire in a crowded theater. According to investigators, the shooter wielded four guns including an AR-15, a type of semi-automatic rifle that can also be purchased at Midwest Gun Exchange. Despite the bloodshed in Colorado, Rupert said he has no qualms about selling the rifles.
"No, I've never thought that, I've never believed that a law abiding citizen shouldn't buy a rifle because of what they could potentially do,” Rupert explained. “Obviously we need to figure out how to keep the people who could potentially do something like this from buying firearms."
Rupert said keeping guns out of the hands of somebody who could carry out a shooting like the one in Aurora won’t be easy. Anyone purchasing an AR-15 is required to undergo an FBI background check. However, Rupert explained, the checks likely don’t flag people with mental or medical problems that could inspire them to carry out mass shootings.
"I mean I still believe in everybody's right to privacy so you have to weigh what's the lesser of two evils,” he explained. “Your right to medical privacy in a mental health issue basis or the right to public safety."
For now, Rupert said he doesn’t know which choice to make, something the rest of the country will also likely be struggling with in the aftermath of the massacre.