On the other hand, what does it REALLY matter? The guns didn't kill anyone, James Holmes did. I know we disagree on this, but the inanimate object isn't at fault.
Colorado is a "shall issue" state, meaning that unless there is signs of mental illness, or the applicant is a felon, they shall issue a permit to carry and/or legally purchase a weapon. And the signs of mental illness where there. It is physician/patient privilege that prevented his shrink from discussing the violent attacks that Holmes had discussed. Hell, they can't even use it as evidence AFTER the fact. Shrink's need to be able to have some input into this system without worrying about privilege. Could it have been stopped if the shrink was allowed to discuss? We won't know. Could it have been stopped if his classmate had spoken up
? Who knows... Just like we will never know if it would have not occurred without his "assault" weapon. He also had a shotgun and two glocks (which he turned too after his "assault" weapon jammed). We know this was one crazy bitch.. he had rigged his apartment to blow if anyone entered. Using grenades.
We do, indeed, need to improve regulations. But restricting the weapon isn't going to change anything. There are already too many of them on the streets, their single most devastating function (semi-auto) is a capability found in most other weapons including those NOT being considered for a ban (i.e., non-revolver pistols), even an amateur can change a magazine in 2 seconds, and too many people are afraid a gun is going to come to life and kill them all by itself.
No...we need to TIGHTEN up the requirements on who can purchase and mental health, training and security all need to be a part of it. The weapon is irrelevant.