For the National Rifle Association, or NRA, armed citizens are safer.
In Colorado, that message is resonating with hundreds of residents who recently sought background checks in order to buy guns.
Just days after 24-year-old James Holmes walked into a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colo., Friday, opening fire and killing 12 people -- wounding 58 others -- background checks for gun purchases have risen 41 percent, the Denver Post reported.
Local firearms instructors told the paper that people are showing increasing interest in the training necessary for having a concealed-carry permit.
By the Colorado Bureau of Investigation's count, between last Friday and Sunday it approved background checks for 2,887 people who are looking to own a firearm. That figure is 43 percent more than the same three-day period the week prior, the Denver Post reported.
When compared to the corresponding period last July, the growth is 39 percent. On Friday alone, more than 1,200 people sought checks, the Denver paper reported. It added that the number of guns eventually bought may be more than 2,887 because some people may have bought more than one.
A lot of it is people saying, 'I didn't think I needed a gun, but now I do,' Jake Meyers, an employee at Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo in Parker, told the paper. When it happens in your backyard, people start reassessing - 'Hey, I go to the movies.'
Colorado Gun Laws
An individual is allowed to carry a loaded or unloaded firearm in his or her vehicle in Colorado if they are lawfully using that weapon to protect themselves or their property, according to Colorado State Patrol's website.
Carrying a firearm on your person without a permit in Colorado is a misdemeanor and if done on school property, it becomes a felony, according to Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a group that describes itself as the state's only no-compromise gun rights organization.
In Colorado, there isn't any ban on assault weapons, no registration or licensing requirements, and no limit on the number of guns you can buy at a single time.
Holmes, the only suspect in the Aurora shooting, was found with an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle with a 100-round drum, two hand guns, and a rifle. In addition to his cache of weapons, police found approximately 6,000 rounds of ammunition and body armor gear, which they say Holmes legally bought on the Internet.
Holmes stunned the crowd, at a midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, with gas before discharging his weapons, police said.
With such a heavy arsenal ending up in the hands of a man who has carried out a mass shooting, there have been numerous cries from politicians and citizens for tougher gun laws.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said perhaps it's time both President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney stand up and tell us what they're gonna do about it.
Preventing More Auroras
In light of Friday's mass shooting, the White House was asked about gun control laws and Press Secretary Jay Carney told the media that Obama said common sense measures are needed to protect Second Amendment rights while making sure that people who shouldn't have guns under the current law don't get their hands on them.
We're making progress in that regard in terms of improving the volume and quality of information on background checks but I have nothing additional on that for you, Carney said, as reported by the Washington Examiner. This is obviously a recent event.
But mass shootings like the one in Aurora are becoming a pattern.
Last year, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others were shot at a Tucson, Arizona, shopping center. In 2007, 32 people's lives were snuffed out in a massacre at Virginia Tech university. Earlier this month, a gunman opened fire outside a crowded bar in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, killing 17 people.
Colin Goddard, who was shot four times during the Virginia Tech incident in 2007, is now working for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
He said it is beyond time to talk about solutions regarding this gun control debate.
This conversation should have happened before this shooting in the first place, Goddard told Democracy Now. The missing piece [is] in place in this, which is the public outrage. And it has to be focused directly to your representatives, because they are the ones, literally, with bills at their fingertips right now.