just the facts ma'am..(recent shootings.)
Good afternoon, I hope this finds you safe and well.
As is usual, with more shootings, there are more calls for gun control this or bans on so called "assault weapons."
Unfortunately, as is often the case, these snap commentaries made by the media are done so to sensationalize stories for ratings versus focusing on any real problem. in this case the topic is firearms or "guns" and specifically "assault rifles."
We now know that both the texas shooter, and the shooter in northern california both had outstanding issues that disqualified them from having firearms, and yet they had them.
in the case of the texas shooter, here are the facts:
1) the shooter was dishonorably discharged for domestic violence, and was dishonorably discharged.
2) the shooter was committed to a mental institution
3) the Air Force failed to enter his violent past into the NICS system/report this information to the FBI. per federal and military guidelines.
4) the shooter passed the background check because of this missing information
5) the shooter committed multiple felonies in falsifying his form 4473, and because the information in his background check was not there, nothing could be done about it.
6) even had the shooter not been able to get his hands on a semi-automatic rifle such as the AR-15, (which is not a military grade rifle, and by federal definitions, not an assault weapon,) as some suggest is the problem, he would have still been able to have been able to purchase handguns and various other firearms to do the same amount of carnage.
7) the shooting would have and could have been much worse if two civilians didn't take action and engage the shooter, forcing him to flee.
The weapon used is not the issue. The issue is that the system that is in place for dealers like myself and others to run background checks in order to help prevent an individual such as this from getting the firearm in the first place, was not kept up to date by a decision made by a government agency , in this case, the Air Force. When the system is hamstrung by the government itself, and information is not given to the NICS, then it cannot hope to possibly work as intended, and in this case, people died.
in the case of the California shooter, here are the facts:
1) the shooter was out on bail for stabbing his neighbor.
2) as part of his arrest, his firearms were confiscated from him.
3) the sheriff's department which covers the area concerned, received complaints that the individual had been shooting off a large amount of ammunition leading up to the incident.
4) the sheriff's have used the excuse that when they visited the residence the individual would not answer the door, and instead of following up, they decided to leave because they could not determine whether or not he was there.
5) the individual was in violation of the law, not because he built his own guns, which is perfectly legal, but because he was under court orders not to have them.
6) despite this the sheriff's department still chose to do nothing.
Again, in this case, it wasn't the fact that there were guns involved that should be center stage, or even that he built his own, but rather that a law enforcement agency, aware that he was barred from having firearms, chose not to get a search warrant to investigate further.
incidents like these ones, the shooting committed by dylan roof, and others, highlight and issue where the government agencies failed in doing their job, either by error, or failing to follow up on reports, or failure to disclose vital information.
now there is a story in usa today highlighting that congress is recognizing that some of this is a problem, and senators have introduced the "fix nics act", which deals with fixing some of the problems with reporting errors.
" Federal agencies and states would be required to produce NICS implementation plans. Any agency that fails to comply would be held accountable through public reporting on the Department of Justice website and a loss of bonus pay for political appointees.
States that comply would be rewarded with federal grant preferences and incentives and penalized with public reporting if they fail.The bill also creates an initiative to ensure states have resources and incentives to upload information to NICS showing a felon or domestic abuser is excluded from buying a gun. "
things like this should be the focus of efforts. banning firearms effectively does nothing to prevent the next mass shooting because they don't deal with the problems at hand: mental illness, failure to report information by federal and state agencies, lack of man power and resources for said agencies to actually do their job.
for more information on fix nics, pleas check out http://fixnics.org/#&panel1-3.
as always, stay safe, and happy shooting.
-The views expressed are strictly those of Ken Kraushaar-
Ken Kraushaar is a gunsmith, avid shooter and craftsman with over 30 years shooting experience. Ken is a DOJ certified firearm safety certificate instructor, NRA certified Range Safety officer, and is an IFSA Certified Firearm Specialist. He lives and works from his home located in Sonoma County, CA