The story of Devin Kelley just keeps getting worse. According to a report by click2houston.com, “Channel 2 Investigates uncovered law enforcement documents showing Devin Kelley escaped from a behavioral center in New Mexico a little more than five years before Sunday’s deadly rampage in Sutherland Springs. The incident report, filed by the El Paso Police Department, states Kelley was picked up at a bus terminal in downtown El Paso before midnight on the evening of June 7, 2012.”
Which means that Kelley had been involuntarily committed to mental health facility. Another factor that would disqualify him from legally purchasing a firearm.
When they arrived, the two officers learned Kelley had escaped from Peak Behavioral Health Services in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. A witness on the scene told the officers that Kelley, who was 21 years old at the time, had “suffered from mental disorders and had plans to run to from Peak Behavioral Health Services” by purchasing a bus ticket out of state.
Why was he committed?
The witness informed officers that Kelley “was a danger to himself and others as he had already been caught sneaking firearms onto Holloman Air Force base,” located approximately 100 miles from the bus terminal. The report further states that Kelley “was attempting to carry out death threats” he had made on his military superiors.
Wait, shouldn’t that kind of interaction with law enforcement have been communicated to the FBI? Why yes. In fact . . .
The final page of the report states that there was an entry submitted to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database.
So let’s recap. The Air Force court-martialed Kelley for domestic violence and incarcerated him for a year before discharging him. But they failed to inform the FBI of Kelley’s violent record.
The El Paso police did, however, inform the FBI’s NICS system that Kelley had escaped from a mental health facility. A fact that should have prevented him from purchasing for firearms over two years, including the Ruger AR-15 he used to kill 26 people on Sunday. And yet NICS gave Kelley a pass. A cock-up they can’t blame on a lack of information.
Never mind that background checks are a clear infringement on Americans’ Second Amendment rights. Almost as bad is the fact that far too many people derive a false sense of security from a flawed, poorly run government system. Ask a veteran what kind of care they get at a VA hospital. Have you talked to anyone at the IRS or Social Security Administration lately?
Throwing more taxpayer dollars at the NICS system or expanding its remit won’t make it any better. It never does. Government programs are black holes of money, with gravitational pulls from which competence and efficiency can’t possibly emerge. But that’s a lesson that we seem to have continually learn and re-learn. The hard way.
So will someone in the anti-gun community who’s constantly squawking about our inadequate gun control laws and the urgent need for “universal background checks” to reduce gun violence please tell us, once again, how enacting more laws and expanding a broken system will do any good at all?