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Here’s a news flash for you. Lafayette mass shooter John Russel Houser had a history of mental illness. Who could have possibly seen that coming? As ABC News is reporting, “The gunman who opened fire inside a packed movie theater in Louisiana Thursday night allegedly threatened his family and was involuntarily committed to a hospital in Georgia seven years ago, according to documents filed in court.” . . .

In April 2008, Houser’s family members filed a temporary protective order against him, according to court filings. …

Houser’s wife allegedly “became so worried about the Defendant’s volatile mental state that she has removed all guns and/or weapons from their marital residence,” according to documents.

So from the reports, what we have here is Herr Houser — a certifiable, Hitler-admiring, family outcast who couldn’t legally own firearms — walking into a gun-free zone and opening fire. Because of his involuntary commitment and order of protection, he couldn’t legally own firearms.

But the fact that he defied the law and committed murder and mayhem is somehow evidence that what we really need to combat these black swan events is still more gun control laws that would only encumber sane, law-abiding individuals who want to avail themselves of their natural, civil, Constitutional right to armed self defense.

Do we have that right?

86 Responses to After Being Committed, Theater Shooter Couldn’t Legally Own Firearms

  1. “Here’s a news flash for you. Lafayette mass shooter John Russel Houser had a history of mental illness.”

    Did the Lafayette mass shooter John Russel Houser have a history of VOTING DEMOCRAT???. We typically hear about the shooter’s voting preference before the 911 call comes in if they happen to be an (R) or Conservative. So we should probably figure he was evil house of inbred (D), blue-state a-hole.

    • Give it a rest? No, he should crank it up a notch. The media routinely speculates that various killers are angry, white conservatives, before anything is known about. They were calling Holmes a Tea Party member within hours of his attack.

      • You do realize that many pro-2A Americans lean Democrat, correct? Not everyone is a one-issue voter, and despite the narrative here, it does happen to be a fact. I fail to see the benefit of using as broad a brush as JoeR has in this matter, or anywhere in general. It risks insulting and driving away the very people we’re going to need in the future, and it comes across as simple-minded.
        But knock yourselves out.

        • “Lean” in the sense of what? A flag pole? Exactly zero inroads have been made in influential areas of the party as far as gun rights. Republicans aren’t a monolithic bloc of gun rights supporters, but there is a very solid corner dedicated to the importance of the issue, and a grudging respect for it by the remainder almost always these days. The best ‘pro-gun’ candidates and policies the Democrats have to show –the nation over– are a handful of lowest-level local officials drawn directly from their pro-gun constituency. The closest pro-gun person to reach any stature within the party is probably Sanders, which is pathetic since he’s at best a Fudd who’ll sell you down the river in an instant to get support for his real policy goals. And even he has reached his fame despite the best efforts of those running the show there.

          The party is simply not for gun rights. Not sure why anyone can delude themselves into thinking otherwise. Feel free to join the local party and seek to change it from within if you can, but when push comes to shove you’ll be voting Republican in all but the most infinitesimal of circumstances if you value gun rights. And if you aren’t voting for gun rights, you aren’t voting to oppose the assault on one of your most basic freedoms in our system of government. One which bolsters and is bolstered by the others. The Democrats fight for some freedoms alright, but almost all of them are freedoms that they have invented themselves in the last fifty years or so to snatch up demographic groups’ fleeting favor. Meanwhile there has been an almost systematic effort to infringe upon those rights actually enshrined in our founding documents (the Republicans often help, but out of political/personal expediency rather than official party policy)

        • We must always be looking for opportunities to sharpen our rhetoric. Each choice we make in a debate needs to attract markedly more support than it drives-off.

          It is sufficient to inquire into an attacker’s political antecedents and present the facts in the most dignified – yet effectively – as possibles. In the words of an astute lawyer friend: “Cast heavy stones lightly.”

          E.g., ‘An inquiry into his voter registration records in Podunk, Iowa, reveals a declared party affiliation that was NOT Republican.’ Neither an adherent to the Democrat party nor an avowed Independent need take any offense to such a statement. It doesn’t tar any group broadly. Yet, it refutes the meme that the attacker was an extremist from the conservative or Republican wing of the political spectrum.

          More likely, the attacker’s social media statements can be used to speak-for-himself. If he writes “Allah-willing” he’s probably not going to be mistaken for an Evangelical.

          The policies of the Democrat party or those who self-identify as “liberal” or “Progressive” can be attacked on their own merits, or lack thereof. Still more effective is to quote paragons of virtue from the Democrat Party (Hubert Humphrey, John F. Kennedy, et al) or the Civil Rights movement to decry the anti-gun policies of modern-day Antis.

        • Polls show that 30% of Democrat voters are pro-gun (here defined as “don’t want gun laws to be more restrictive than they currently are”).

          As far as voting goes, the simple answer is that people aren’t voting just over gun rights. If you’re a pro-gun conservative, then you can generally find a politician on your side of the political aisle that is both pro-gun and otherwise supportive of other things you might deem important. But for those of us on the liberal side, there’s no such option in most cases – there are a few Democrat politicians that are pro-gun, but a significant number of them are also socially conservative, so for someone who is socially and economically liberal or left-libertarian but also pro-gun, they have to set priorities.

          And given that the other (Republican) options keeps drifting further into the insane deep conservative right territory with every year, pro-gun becomes basically the only issue where I could possibly agree with that guy… vs like two dozen others on which I consider him a fool at best and a threat at worst, that should be kept away from public office at all costs.

          And so it goes, and will go until such time either the electoral system is reformed such that smaller parties become viable (and this whole thing with party platforms condensing many different unrelated things together and then forcing them onto the electorate goes away), or until GOP fvcks itself up so bad that it goes down crashing, and some more sane ideology (e.g. libertarians) appropriates that brand.

        • Int19h; thanks for your explanation of how things look from the other hemisphere of the political planet.

          If I prescind, for a moment, from my religious conviction that I am absolutely correct and you are absolutely wrong, it seems to me that all of us are largely trapped in a system where our elected officials “own” our votes and have no reason whatsoever to deliver anything they promise. That system is based on the axiom of voting for the lesser of 2 evils.

          I have come to the conclusion that the situation is so bad that we must now adopt the policy of voting – where necessary – for the GREATER of 2 EVILS. E.g., I plan to vote for the Democrat opposing my “conservative” Republican Senator. If the Republicans nominate another RINO to replace my retiring Representative, I will vote for his Democrat opponent.

          Our nation is going to hell-in-a-hand-basket at the hand of the Democrat party; with their loyal opposition handmaidens, the Republicans. Assuming that destination is inevitable, I want to push the peddle to the metal and get there fast enough for the nation to wake-up and avert disaster with something left of its capital stock. I don’t want any lack of clarity that we got there at the hand of the Democrats and the Democrats alone.

          I would advocate that you consider the mirror-image policy. You have probably been disappointed that the results you prayed for were not delivered by the Democrats’ efforts. Why should they deliver? They own your vote. If you continue to vote for the lesser of 2 evils the Democrats will continue to withhold their performance on goal achievement.

          Consider the fate of the inner-city minority parent. She wants good schools for her children. Yet, she should see that the Democrats won’t deliver on their promise. The Democrat party owes too much to the Teachers Unions. Yet, as she sees it, what will it profit her children to grow-up with a good education if – in the mean time – the Republicans starve them to death by cutting off their Food Stamps? Better they live on Food Stamps for the rest of their lives than die of starvation before they could earn a diploma.

          Those who choose to vote NOT AT ALL or vote for a 3’rd party candidate are in the worst spot of all. They disenfranchise themselves completely. The fewer contenders for political results from Democrats who win the easier it is for Democrat politicians to satisfy these few. The fewer contenders for political results from Republicans who win, the easier it is for Republicans to satisfy these few. Non-voters are – nonexistent for political purposes. Third-party voters (when their candidate loses) are equally nonexistent.

          Carry-on as you see fit. I don’t want you to corrupt any Republican politicians by putting yourself in contention for membership in their constituency. I – however – plan to try to co-opt your Democrat politician by using him to bounce my RINO.

  2. I can’t understand how he could have bought a gun. That would be illegal. As would shooting up a no-guns-allowed movie theatre.

    • Don’t forget the transportation of the firearm and the acquisition and transport of the ammo.

      If he was under the influence of anything (kind of like sh_t-A_ _ muslims do, ’cause 72 virgins is a little too much hetero-action for them to mentally fathom, much less stomach) there may be additional charges as well.

  3. The only person who is a bigger douche-bag than this guy, are the millions of hate-mongering sociopathic anti-gun zealots who want more of the gun-control laws that enabled him.

  4. He broke the law? Incredible! Common sense gun laws should have prevented this. Well then lets pass more so acts like this are more illegal-er

  5. I bet this really pisses off Obama. You can’t blame it on anything other than craziness and illegal possession, something that no possible law can address. It will be a cold day in hell that they ban firearms as that really would cause the proverbial doo doo to hit the fan, so what’s the head honcho in charge to do, besides be disgruntled?

    • “I bet this really pisses off Obama.”

      Oh, hell no.

      The more of these that happen, the easier it will be for him to pass the kind of firearm legislation he wants.

      As far as Obama is concerned, ‘Let the bodies hit the floor’…

    • Well there are things that can be done about “crazies killing” by confining them to places where they are monitored 24/7. In the 70/80’s the government decided to empty the asylums. Decisions have repercussions.

      • I recommend the book “My Brother Ron” by gun historian Clayton Cramer. It provides great insight into the long history (from the colonial period to-date) on American society’s treatment of the dangerously-insane and the vulnerably-insane.

        I suggest that we place the responsibility where it belongs. Since the Progressives insist on keeping the insane on the streets where:
        – the dangerously insane can prey upon the peaceable; and
        – violent predators can prey upon the vulnerably-insane;
        Then we the People will have to defend ourselves. The vulnerably-insane are left – by the prohibited-persons law – to lie as the lawful prey of violent criminals.

        • To be honest the emptying of the asylums (I believe) was a bipartisan action.

          The Left wanted to be “compassionate”
          The Right was happy to go along with “less government and less expense” of closed down asylums.

          30-40 years later…..
          I think the Right understands and admits it was a bad move…meanwhile….
          ..the Left never admits they are wrong so they keep saying that mainstreaming of crazies just “needs some tweaks” …. just like they said about Communism.

      • I guess Jefferson forgot to include locking up and monitoring 24/7 when he enumerated government’s powers…….

        Pre 80s, and worryingly on the rise again, a “mentally ill” diagnosis was just the random opinion if someone who got off on lobotomizing people while pretending to have nobler intentions.

        If one is worried about being killed by a “crazy”, one should arm oneself properly, and stay away from places frequented by crazies out for blood and notoriety, aka crowds. Just as if one is worried about having one’s skyscraper brought down by incoming jetliners, one should either procure some anti air defenses for one’s skyscraper of choice, or find work somewhere less likely to be targeted, or both. Or, at the very least, have the decency to leave the taxfeeders out of it.

  6. Clearly we need universal background checks, because that would have prevented the guy who sold him this gun illegally from selling him a gun…because it would have been illegal.

    • JasonM
      “Clearly we need universal background checks, because that would have prevented the guy who sold him this gun illegally from selling him a gun…because it would have been illegal.”

      Ok let’s see if you can follow this line of information: The LA. Movie Shooter bought and submitted a 4473 Background Check (Pawn Shops have run a 4473 Background check form for firearms sales just like any gun dealer) form that is checked and run by the FBI NICS system from ALABAMA that was approved (or not handled in the 3 day response period) for purchase by the Federal NICS system. Why did they miss his Involuntary (means someone ordered him committed) Mental Health commitment was it not reported up the line?, Court Ordered Protection Order not reported again?. Also why did Law Enforcement in various towns not prosecute Felony Charges? Why were these items not flagged in the system? Seems like there are some holes that needed filling. Legal Gun Owners did not make the mistakes that allowed this obvious “deranged” person to be able to gain access through a purchase, to a firearm.
      sorry this person got through a background check unless the Pawn Shop Owner did not run one, still not Legal Gun Owners problem or fault.
      Lock up the Mentally Ill, change the NOT GUILTY by reason Insanity or Mental Defect to Guilty DUE to Insanity or Mental Defect ( Think of all the new ObamaCare Dollars they could spend on Mental Institutions where all those Dr.’s could be employed to help the poor people that just can not cope with the real world and are a Danger to Society instead of on the street’s where they can harm themselves or others without any repercussions from the law.
      yours in service
      James Acerra

      • Agree with your analysis completely.

        The data on mass killings are pretty clear. Even the Fed’s studies reach the same conclusion. The loss-of-life from mass killings by crazy people are not statistically a significant enough problem to justify the enormous expense of trying to reduce them. Facts are stubborn things; but, if we have a billion dollars to spend on public health and safety, we should be able to spend it more wisely than on these cases.

        The data on criminals getting guns and committing murders (to say nothing of other life-threatening crimes) is nearly as clear. Criminals have ready access to the black-market for just about anything they might be interested in. (As contrasted with many crazy people who might have to go out and make some contacts before finding a black-market gun.) Criminals commit far more murders one-at-a-time than mass shooters who appear to be crazy. We know very well that controlling gun sales is like plugging a sieve. Choke-off one hole and the flow through the other holes picks up.

        Yet, these 2 threats pale in significance compared to the looming peril of “lone wolves”; a threat which our society insists upon ignoring.

        As a useful metaphor, let’s consider the threat of dangerous fauna such as wolves, bares, mountain lions and the like. Such predatory animals are indigenous to America; yet, there remain so few that they are but a minor threat. They are most rare in densely populated areas – the sighting of a coyote in NYC draws the attention of the press. We acknowledge the threat of death from a wolf; but discount it as statistically improbable. And, with respect to fauna, we analyze correctly.

        But this metaphor misleads us when the “lone wolf” is a terrorist. He can, and does, move among us freely without notice. He is numerous, not rare. He attacks using the same facilities of tools, transportation and subterfuge as are available to us as human defenders. And, most importantly, he has unfettered access to assault rifles; i.e., machine guns.

        Do we know what damage such a “lone wolf” can do to human prey? Why yes, of course. We have Charlie Hebdo, Israel, the Russian school at Beslan, and ISIS in Iraq and Africa to demonstrate. S**t happens to nice people while they do NOTHING to prepare.

        What could be done to prepare? Just about nothing; and so, as a society, we do nothing. Yet, there IS something; at least one demonstratively successful measure. When Israel was confronted by “lone wolves” they armed-up most of their society; and, that worked.

        Why is our society so unwilling to face-up to the looming problem and consider the one known successful solution? What’s at stake here? Beslan and Sandy Hook certainly illustrate the magnitude of the risk. These were singular incidents; but Israel’s comparable experience with attacks on schools demonstrate the repeatability of such attacks.

        We have a substantial base of experienced gun owners and gun carriers. We could easily expand this base to a population of 20% or 30% of civilian carriers. Such a measure – alone – might serve to avoid widespread lone-wolf attacks. Yet, if they came, such a pool of routine carriers could – nearly instantly – convert to routine carriers of carbines essential to amass the firepower to put-down a terror attack with minimal casualties.

        Why, as a society, are we fretting about insignificant mass killings or criminals with guns? Tragic as the casualties from these causes are, they do NOT threaten the survival of our society. While we fiddle with such discussion, terrorism is a conflagration that we ignore.

        And, by the way, this threat is not confined to misguided adherents to the “religion of peace”. We should also recognize – on our own Mexican border – the potential threat from drug cartel violence spilling across our unguarded boundary. Mass casualties from machine guns and beheadings – comparable to ISIS – are perpetrated by our Mexican neighbors. Why should we presume ourselves to be immune to migration of this violence?

    • “…was involuntarily committed to a hospital in Georgia seven years ago”

      This is an automatic prohibited possessor category. It doesn’t matter how he acquired a firearm, it is illegal for him to posses firearms according to federal law. Straight up, illegalness.

      • That’s some journalistic integrity there. But I suppose the grabbers writing falsehoods about things they simply do not know is nothing new.

        In this case it looks intentional to me. That’s the only reason I can them going about demonizing legal gun owners and pushing more gun control legislation. Don’t let the fact that he was a prohibited person slip through the cracks.

        Involuntary Committment in 2008 = Prohibited Person when he bought the gun in 2014.

    • Remember everything reported within the first 72 hours is wrong.

      He probably bought it off an illegal immigrant on the street.

  7. Other than being a white male not a whole lot of traction here…not much excitement from the anti-goons every weekend in Chicago either. He couldn’t have a gun and he had one. WOW Watching the “news” he had GASP! a second magazine-in a GUN FREE ZONE! I also saw a cop come on and explain “how to survive a movie shooting”-nothing about being armed or not going there at all…just remember concealed means concealed…

  8. Isn’t the most poignant lesson here is that the ALMIGHTY State was not able to connect-the-dots and do anything about this loose cannon as his rolling-across-the-deck accelerated?

    There just wasn’t enough evidence of his out-of-control mental disease to haul him in for a psych evaluation that could have led to a commitment to a mental institution.

    Well, then, OK: If this is the society the Progressives have designed for us to live in, who will be there to defend us in the moment of crisis?

      • Just imagine how that very draconian state control could be used against anyone the ‘State’ determines to be an enemy…

  9. Do we have the Right? On paper we do. The Constitution says we do, but not everyone does. And if the someone is bent on having the Right no matter who says they can’t? So it appears unless you are a law-abiding person who has lost the Right, you never loose the Right.

    • What you are saying is Shall not be infringed, which is an American’s right and their choice to make. This guy was evil not sick, and the victims were left defenseless because their countrymen have failed them by sacrificing our rights for a state controlled privilege. Preventing the state from having a monopoly on force is exactly why the Second Amendment was written.

      ” loose the Right.”
      Loose rights is exactly the problem the statists have, since they need constricting control.

  10. Judy Woodruff on Pee BS just got through saying Nazi John bought a handgun at an Alabama pawn shop. Of course they had Buffalo Bob on the show (sans Howdy Doody) pushing for more background checks.It would be interesting if the Pawn Shop was an FFL ( of which I would think it would be ) and if Nazi John was green lighted for purchase by NICS.

      • Houser was involuntarily committed to a nut house in 2008. It doesn’t matter when, where, or how he bought his gat. He was, and always would have been, a prohibited person under federal law, full-stop.

        • Not according to the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007. His right to own firearms could have been restored with a court order. Full-stop.

        • Yeah but that’s not bloody likely, Ray.

          More likely he lied on his form and the BG check failed because they aren’t doing their jobs.

  11. I’m guessing that the next media narrative will center on the story of where he got these guns, since he was not legally permitted to have guns. Did he come by them legally, or by more nefarious, illegal means?

    Wouldn’t it be horribly, and tragically ironic, if the “government” system; the system in which these anti’s place their indefatigable trust, was responsible for this guys mental problems slipping through the cracks of the labyrinthine federal bureaucracy, that may, in the end, have allowed him to still legally purchase a gun?

  12. As sorry as I am to have to say this, if he acquired the gun legally after being committed then yes we have to amend gun laws.

    • First, he didn’t acquire it legally. He broke several laws in acquisition.

      Second, let’s enforce the laws on the books before we start changing or adding to them. This is possibly the second high profile NICS failure in what, the last month?

      • If he bought it from a store I meant, that’s pretty legal right? I believe if the background check is inconclusive or the NICS doesn’t respond immediately the default action should be no sale. That’s not too horrible is it?

        • He managed to pass a NICS check even though he has been involuntarily committed at least once? That means he knowingly lied on the 4473, which is a felony.

        • If he was indeed involuntarily institutionalized, then he lied on his 4473. He actually broke the law just by attempting the purchase, filled-out form or not. How about some form of enforcement on that level? I remember watching the owner of my LGS turn someone away because he knew they were prohibited, but he had no recourse other than to tell the guy he’d charge him with trespassing if he came back (again).

          A slow or inconclusive NICS check should not be an impediment to an actual legal purchase. The FBI should be given a time constraint for providing a definitive result, and it’s not worth punishing the innocent when they fail to meet their deadline.

    • I’m literally not sure if you are joking or are just that naive. There was a DUI fatal in my jurisdiction a few days ago. Making DUI illegal-er, as we have already done, will not eliminate DUIs. Murder is illegal. Shooting at people with a gun is illegal. Making murder illegal-er won’t stop murder. Gun Free Zones don’t stop murderers just like speed limit signs don’t stop speeders.

      Even if we did “toughen” gun laws – to further screw over responsible gun owners for the actions of the irresponsible – murder will still happen. With guns. In fact, history shows us that murder will likely increase, since now government has no more checks and balances. Those in power can eliminate disarmed undesirables at will. Kinda like Hitler did, or the American government has done to Native Americans. See also the Armenian Genocide, Japanese Imperialism, Stalin, Mao, Mexican government / drug cartels, etc.

      The governments of the world, and their authorized agents, have committed murder at several orders of magnitude greater than individual psychopaths. More government is not the answer to this problem. And I can say that as someone who has worked for the government at various levels for over 20 years.

    • “being committed”

      By whom? Stalin’s personal doctor in absentia?

      He was a grown man not currently locked up for any crime. Nobody’s business but his own how many toothbrushes, boxer shorts or guns he may or may not happen to own.

      In a country of 300 million people, some times some of them die. It’s up to them individually to decide if reasonable steps to minimize the risk, like avoiding non vetted crowds, are worth the hassle. Police states running around “committing” and “restricting” people are an infinitely greater threat to all that is worth preserving, than some random yahoo will ever be.

    • Don’t worry, you might see it happen here and then “sorry” would be an understatement. 😉

      The Soviet Union had many people involuntarily institutionalized for “psychiatric” reasons (The_Gulag_Archipelago). The field of psychiatric healthcare in America might not be all that you think it is. Look up some articles critical of how the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Medicine (DSM), the gold standard for psychiatric diagnosis in the USA, is modified and standardized.

      • Agreed. The mental illness pretexts for denying the RKBA is obviously the greatest threat we face today. When the executive, by sweep of the pen and phone, can summarily strip vets and Social Security beneficiaries by the tens-of-thousands there remains no shred of due-process.
        And yet we know that only a few diagnoses are strongly correlated with an unusual propensity for violence; and then, typically, in conjunction with drug abuse. Never mind; The Presidential Diagnostic and Statistic-less Manual is sufficient to terminate an enumerated right.

        No more widespread abuse of rights under the guise of controlling the mentally ill can be found in our history. Why should we imagine that it will stop here?

        • And its precisely because most of us are NOT focusing on the obvious that we need to raise awareness on boards like TTAGs.

          The handwriting is on the wall for everyone to see:
          – vets
          – Social Security Disability recipients who have a fiduciary
          – Obamacare and the computerized record keeping being forced on doctors
          – on-line prescription record-keeping at pharmacies

          Let’s suppose that the typical PotG reader doesn’t take antidepressants nor took Ritalin as a teenager. He doesn’t have a fiduciary as a vet or SS-Disibility recipient. It doesn’t register with HIM that all of these developments are a looming threat. Odds are very strong that he knows or is related to lots of people who fall into one of these categories. The boa constrictor is tightening round the community of those near-and-dear to him; but he doesn’t recognize it.

          The boa constrictor is tightening around the national community. Every member of the community of PotG is threatened by a gradual loss of 2A rights. If the Antis see that they can disable tens or hundreds of millions of Americans by tapping into the pharmacy records why should we doubt that Congress will deliver the enabling legislation in the name of improving public healthcare?

          The threat of loss-of-privacy of our healthcare records is staggering. If we don’t stop it at the threshold of 2A rights, who will?

        • @MarkPA: The writing is on the wall for this nation. Individuals will have to choose to fight or bend over. I’m too old and too stubborn to bend over. We still have civil disobedience. Anything less will result in a mix of privileges that will further dilute constitutional protections on individual rights to near meaninglessness. The methods you suggest elsewhere in these comments are the methods that allowed us to get to a low point regarding individual liberties. They cannot restore them. In some ways, people like you are part of the problem, IMHO. They won’t actually fight when the need arises. They will want to talk their way out of it. It won’t work, friend. It simply won’t work.

        • And here it is where I respectfully disagree. “The methods you suggest elsewhere in these comments are the methods that allowed us to get to a low point regarding individual liberties.”

          We lost our rights incrementally, bit by bit over decades.
          And, yet, we have regained our Rights-to-Carry bit-by-bit over the last 3 decades. I can’t think of a State that converted from “Won’t-Issue” to “Constitutional-Carry” in one legislative session. Rights were restored incrementally State-by-State, subject-by-subject. And, through this process we are gradually get most of these rights back.

          Study the successful campaigns for Constitutional Carry. Were they summary restorations? Or, did they progress over a series of steps?

          Civil disobedience plays a noble role in our society, beginning at Lexington/Concord; carrying on through the Underground Railroad; on to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and milestones since then. And yet, none of them occurred with a widespread epiphany. All were gradual, incremental, recognitions of a “right path” toward a moral conclusion. They faced opposition all the way; until, they finally prevailed.

          In most such endeavors, they prevailed with a show of determination to use force of arms when necessary. While the 1960’s Civil Rights movement has been recast as pacifist, it was underwritten by the quiet report of a force-of-arms by the Deacons for Defense and Justice, among others.

          Our conventional wisdom is that the Revolution was won by fielding no more than 3% of the population. It is also conventional history that these 3% were supported by another 30% who advocated independence. These 33% were opposed by another 33% who were Royalists/Loyalists and 33% who stood aside.

          A second revolution – in the original sense of that term to restore the ‘ancient rights of Englishmen’ – will not be won by 3% of us alone. It will require another 30% of our daughters rolling cartridges by the fireside, wives hauling those cartridges and water for cannon to the front; and ploughmen raising crops to feed those in the field. All, of course, figuratively speaking.

          It is essential to cultivate at least a 30% base of popular support – people with the conviction to see the future of our nation the way we see it – if we are to prevail over the modern-day Royalists/Loyalists whom we call elitists or statists. We neglect the politics of incrementalism at our grave peril.

  13. So let’s pile insanity (more gun control) on top of insanity (gun free zones), that’ll fix it- NOT! (sarcasm high).
    Why can’t we come to a real understanding? This Sh*t doesn’t work.

  14. This is why I carry concealed. Because concealed means concealed. If I miss a sign, so be it. I’m not gonna die for a sign on the door.

  15. Here’s the deal. If you or your loved ones are a mental retard or deficient. Do us all a favor., contain the shit.

    • Judging by the downward spiral the US have been in since it’s founding, that would be about 95+% of the population…..

  16. I see headlines saying that he legally purchased the gun at a pawn shop. Not much info beyond that.

  17. If the credit card company can, in a matter of seconds, and in a VERY up to the second fashion, tell the seller if the buyer has sufficient funds to purchase the weapon, why cant the NCIS background check system do the same with whether or not the person trying to buy if prohibited? Assuming that when a person falls into a prohibited category, ala being involuntarily committed, that reporting to the federal system is required. It should be as easy as running a name/ss#/date of birth search.

    • LATEST: The Federal Board of Psychiatry, after extensive scientific study, have determined that the desire to own guns, stems from a dangerous mix of paranoia and schizophrenic belief that one is John Wayne. Hence, gun owners are all involuntarily committed.

      That was easy!

  18. It sounds like this guy got his gun presumably by lying on his 4473. However, couldn’t he have just as easily purchased a gun at a gun show or from an individual (that is not in the business of selling guns)?

    Don’t jump all over me – im just asking. I’m all for the second amendment and don’t want more gun laws but it seems like until these loopholes are fixed people will still be able to buy a gun without a background check (other than on the black market of course). Clearly the background check system is not working but as long as we have these loopholes the anti-gun folks will have a leg to stand on when they cry for common sense gun laws, right?

    • Gun show exhibitors are primarily – ie the vast majority – FFLs. FFLs are required to run BGCs w/Form 4473s with every transfer, whether inside their own store or at at gun show. There is no “gun show” loophole.

    • As for private sales: yep. But good luck enforcing BGCs for private sales. It is impossible, absent a complete police state. I choose liberty over feigned security.

    • The problem with UBC is that it doesn’t really close what is perceived to be a loophole while creating great jeopardy for peaceable people doing no harm whatsoever.

      First, the Captain Obvious statement: The NICS system fails to stop some FFL sales to prohibited-persons. Due to omissions in the FBI’s database, some records are missing; particularly commitment records. FBI personnel make mistakes in performing the checks; or, records are mis-coded or incompletely coded making it difficult for the FBI to make a correct determination. The FBI’s 3-days to complete the check “time-out” and the sale can go through anyway. The NICS check is a lovely feel-good system with holes in it. Extending it to cover non-dealer transfers won’t do anything to close the existing holes; it will be just more feel-good.

      Second, what accounting do you (and the unthinking public) make for the malicious prosecution of lenders, gift-givers and sellers who “transfer” guns to law-abiding recipients while skipping the NICS check? A man gives his wife a gun for Christmas; and, a DA sends him to prison for not running a NICS check on the woman he has been sleeping with for decades. That’s OK with you? Bear in mind a reasonable assumption: the recipient in such transfers is nearly always enabled of her 2A rights; i.e., no harm. No prohibited-person has received a gun. Husband goes to prison anyway. Is that REALLY what you intend to accomplish?

      Do you understand how onerous NICS-checking non-dealer transfers would be? Most such transfers are loans that endure for any amount of time from 4 hours to 40 years. (My record is 45 years.) Do you really think law-abiding gun users are really going to dash-off to an FFL to do the paperwork twice on a loan? Even for sales, the nearest FFL might be an hour or two drive each way. Law-abiding people will routinely skip the NICS checks making themselves vulnerable to malicious prosecution.

      The best I can think of to minimize these problems is to outlaw sales (not loans) to prohibited-persons ONLY. That is, to change the existing law that now only prohibits knowing transfers, leaving the loophole of allowing unknowing transfers. That would place on the prosecutor the burden of proof that the transferee is a prohibited-person. If the seller runs a NICS check on the buyer, he is allowed a “safe-harbor” against prosecution. Make access to the NICS system much more accessible – i.e., expand the user-base beyond FFLs.

      The Antis wouldn’t settle for an idea such as I’ve proposed. They will INSIST that husbands go to prison for gifting guns to wives without running the UBC. The entire idea of UBC is to impose an onerous burden on peaceful gun users; they don’t really care whether it is ineffective in impinging on the black market.

      Even with my minimization ideas, NICS would remain nothing more than a feel-good solution. The black-market for guns can’t be reduced any more than the black-market for drugs has been reduced. Prohibition simply doesn’t work. If prohibition of: murder; rape; armed-robbery; assault has not stopped these common-law crimes how will prohibition of sales to prohibited-persons stop felon-in-posession?

      UBS – if passed into law – would likely come with a 4473 record-keeping requirement. That would constitute a virtual national gun registry. Very probably, that’s a red-line. Far too many gun owners will not tolerate such a breach of 2A liberty. Observe that compliance rates with the “assault weapons” registry requirements in CT and NY are estimated at only 5%. Very likely, gun owners would openly defy such a law as they are doing in WA State – with the open support of their Sheriffs. These protests rally around the cry: “I will not comply!” What does that do to the erosion of the respect for law in general?

      The relentless drive for incremental gun control – futile though it obviously is – threatens a material risk of civil war. Remember, the Revolutionary war was sparked by gun confiscations by the British. Is the risk of civil war justified by a feel-good law in the futile cause of closing a black-market for a Constitutionally-protected right?

      The thoughtless public really ought to give this UBC idea much serious consideration before undertaking the risks to civil disorder that it portends.

    • You call it a “loophole” and that’s anti-speak. It’s not actually a loophole. The federal government horned its way into dictating firearm dealers’ business through regulation of commerce. That is why an FFL (Federal Firearms License) dealer must use the ATF forms and comply with BATFE regulations pertaining to firearm dealers. They are engaged in commerce. When it comes to individual sales (like yard sales, face to face non-commercial, family, etc), the federal government hasn’t YET found an effective way to unconstitutionally infringe far enough into their private affairs to require a background check.

      • Correct. Moreover, given the technology existent when the NICS system was authorized, it was feasible only to consider imposing a National Instant Criminal-background-check System on dealers with facilities for initiating the checks and receiving the responses.

        Under those conditions, Congress could not have considered imposing these same requirements upon non-dealers without adequate computer and telecommunications facilities. They explicitly chose to apply the NICS regime upon dealers but not upon others.

        Prescinding, for a moment, from the Constitutional limits that arguably put non-dealers out-of-reach, today the computer and telecommunications barriers have substantially declined. Could non-dealers today perform such NICS inquiries?

        The real intentions of the advocates of UBC can be inferred from the answer to this question. Imagine some arrangements where any gun owner could easily run a NICS inquiry on a buyer. We needn’t immediately resolve the details; just, assume it might be done in some acceptable manner. If so, the objections to a UBC scheme might be substantially mitigated (albeit probably not fully resolved.) Would the Anti’s agree to opening access to NICS?

        I very much doubt it. The Anti’s objectives are to impose a barrier to non-dealer sales by forcing buyer and seller to travel to an FFL during business hours and pay a “toll” to access NICS. Moreover, what is really central to their goal is to insist on a 4473 form on the non-dealer sale. That would close the gaping limitation on 4473 forms as a proto-national-registration system.

        A huge secondary goal is to create a vast body of gun-owners who are vulnerable to malicious prosecution for selling – or even loaning – a gun to another person who is FULLY ENABLED of his 2A rights. E.g., the husband who gives his wife a gun for Christmas skipping the BC.

        • Government doesn’t even need to be involved. If a seller, private or commercial, wanted to perform background checks prior to selling a firearm, there are already businesses providing such services. Undoubtedly, a small industry tailored specifically to such background checks would develop. Those that don’t want to perform background checks simply wouldn’t pay for and use the service.

        • You make a good point. However, what we should be arguing is that NICS ought to be opened widely so that all gun-sellers could access it voluntarily. Such an idea should have a lot of appeal to those who lend a sympathetic ear to UBC.

          IIRC, Nevada allows gun sellers to request a BC from the police in conjunction with private sales. Sounds like a marvelous idea to promote. Why shouldn’t the local police department make such a service available to its community members?

          Extending it further, why shouldn’t notaries public be able to sign-up for NICS access? Gun-clubs/ranges? Sporting-goods-Stores? Any established business? Any citizen? Some collectors/amature-traders would sign-up themselves. Folks who sell guns on rare occasion would avail themselves of whatever service is available to them locally. Or; some regional/national business would provide the BC via NICS for a competitive (e.g., $5 or $10) fee.

          The really important issue for us is to keep any discussion of BC on non-dealer transfers OUTSIDE of the FFL. The Antis want to herd us into the offices of the FFL where there is a stack of blank 4473 forms and a file-room to document the sale. That is PRECISELY where we don’t want to be herded!

          By being supportive of making NICS widely accessible we are being cooperative with the objective of “closing the gun-show loophole” without conceding the point representing the greatest threat.

          You make a great point about doing BCs voluntarily rather than as a mandate. Most private transfers are – I believe – gifts to relatives, loans to friends, sales to people the seller is already aquatinted with. If I give my wife/daughter a gun for Christmas, why should I be compelled to run a BC on her? This is an argument the public will find easy to understand.

          The harder sell will be the “I couldn’t-care-less” gun trader who will sell to anyone and doesn’t want to do a BC because he has reason to suspect the buyer wouldn’t pass. The public won’t like the idea of allowing him to carry-on doing business-as-usual because he is at liberty to choose to run BCs on no one whomsoever.

          I have a solution for this problem.

          It is already illegal for a (non-dealer) seller to transfer a gun to someone he knows, or has reason to believe, is a prohibited person. We don’t object to this law (so far as I have seen complaints about laws). The “gun show loophole” is really a “plausible denial” loophole. We are free to sell to anyone for whom we can assert plausible denial of their prohibited-person status. The perfect buyer – under this reasoning – is someone we don’t know at all.

          Suppose we close the “plausible denial” loophole; I.e., we agree to a change in the law making it illegal to sell a gun to anyone who is a prohibited person whether-or-not the seller knows him to be a prohibited person. Loophole-closed. We immediately recognize that we need some mechanism for a seller to sell a gun to someone whom he isn’t convinced is not a prohibited-person. We also ask for a law giving a seller a “safe-harbor” if he runs a NICS BC on his buyer. The buyer might well be a prohibited-person; but, if he passed the NICS check the seller isn’t culpable.

          This approach calls for opening access to NICS. If the buyer or seller can EASILY and ECONOMICALLY obtain a NICS check whenever a non-dealer sale is desired, then the practical and legal objections to non-dealer BCs are mostly mitigated. (I call this scheme the “Un-BC” reminiscent of the “Un-cola”).

          Observe, Un-BC keeps us out of the FFL and its blank 4473 forms and file-room. Un-BC preserves us for skipping the BC when we sell to a friend or acquaintance whom we know to have passed FFL-BCs on recent retail purchases; or, whom we have long known to be a law-abiding person. The only change to our behavior is that – on those occasions when we sell to someone we don’t know fairly well – we have to make a little extra effort to run a BC on him.

        • Thank you for elaborating your arguments to the fullest extent of your faculties of articulation.

  19. I’m sure this will fall on deaf ears, but he did legally buy the gun in Alabama. Consequently there must be a gap in the dreaded gun laws that permitted a person with a legally documented history of mental illness to purchase a gun. Ergo, the laws permitting gun purchases might require a review?!?

    I quote conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who worked for Nixon and was appointed by Reagan:

    Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. [United States v.] Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.

    I rest my case.

    • Was he not a prohibited person, having been involuntarily committed prior to this purchase? The only ‘loophole’ is the continuing inevitable fallibility of background checks (and to a greater extent your faith in government oversight)

      That little tiny tidbit of Heller actually contrasts with the broader argument (no wonder it’s cited by anti’s so frequently) and was basically bone tossed to Kennedy to get him on board. No, it does not allow for arbitrary or onerous or invasive background checks, delays, & false denials of law abiding citizens. We are innocent until proven guilty in this nation, but a background check on principle operates on the opposite assumption.

  20. I went to the movies tonight and carried(CC). Like I ALWAYS do.(shhhush!) I did notice a strong police showing there in the parking areas.(more than usual)

  21. I find it hard to believe the media when they report he “legally” bought his gun, when he had been involuntarily committed and had a restraining order against him, not to mention all the controlled substances he was prescribed for his mental conditions. The real news is that the magic 4473 form doesn’t keep one from getting a gun if one is willing lie on the questionnaire. Almost no one is ever prosecuted for falsifying their answers; it’s just a feel good exercise in futility.

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