Questions raised about gun control laws

The violent shooting in Colorado is resurfacing a long standing social argument. Should citizens have the right to bear arms? A local Sheriff says its hard to stop criminals who have a drive to commit the crime.

"I don't think that someone who has a want or desire to hurt somebody or many people with firearms can be detected," Grand Traverse County Sheriff Tom Bensley explained.

Grand Traverse County Sheriff Tom Bensley says the Michigan conceal and carry laws make it pretty easy for people to get a gun permit. If you're of age, have a clean criminal and mental history and complete a training course you'll likely be approved. The Sheriff says that the background checks can sometimes get complicated.

"There are ways of getting their mental history but because of HIPAA and privacy laws with the medical health industry, it at times, very difficult to get that information," Bensley said.

Shootings like the one in Colorado can happen anywhere. That is why Northwestern Michigan College and many other businesses have crisis plans in place incase of an emergency.

"And the idea is to look for things we haven't thought of, gaps in the plan and how to address them and you really have to put those things into some kind of practice, or you can't expect to do it when an actual crisis happens," Northwestern Michigan College Executive Director of Public Relations Andy Dolan said.

NMC has a emergency reponse committee. Their job is to make sure staff and students are reporting suspicious behavior to security.

"The very beginning of the incident that, people have to take some kind of action on there own. As soon as security or police are involved, they can take care of the situation," Dolan said.