It was reported earlier today that Devin Kelley, the Texas church murderer, had purchased four firearms over the last two years. The AR he used yesterday (and probably all four guns) was purchased from a federal firearms licensed dealer, Academy Sports. It’s easy enough to lie on a form 4473. Applicants no doubt do it every day. The question was, how did he pass the FBI’s background check? Well now we know.
The Air Force failed to enter the Texas church shooter’s info about his domestic violence conviction into the federal background check system — allowing for him to purchase the weapon he used to slaughter 26 people on Sunday, a military spokesman says.
Devin P. Kelley, a former airman, was convicted of domestic assault on his wife and child in 2012 and then confined for 12 months and discharged for bad conduct two years later. But for some reason, nobody chose to let the government know about his criminal past.
Some reason? Let’s see, we can think of a few. Rank stupidity. Bureaucratic indifference. Organizational negligence. Legendary military efficiency.
“The Air Force has launched a review of how the service handled the criminal records of former Airman Devin P. Kelley following his 2012 domestic violence conviction,” the Air Force said. “Federal law prohibited him from buying or possessing firearms after this conviction.”
I know I feel better. You?
The point: those who continually call for expanding the FBI’s background check system — to enact a “universal” background checks — do so based on the underlying assumption that the data base is worth a damn. News flash: it frequently it isn’t. Garbage in, garbage out.
Dylan Roof passed a background check, too, despite a criminal record of drug convictions. That snafu was due to FBI incompetence. Nine churchgoers died.
Devin Kelley passed multiple background checks. The screw-up in this case was due to the Air Force’s negligence. And 26 churchgoers are dead.
Who knows how many more times the FBI OK’s prohibited persons every day, either through its own mismanagement or because of inadequate or faulty data provided to them?
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.