Inevitably, after President Trump announced his support for red flag laws yesterday, the civilian disarmament industrial complex immediately criticized him for not calling for passage of the federal universal background check bill. A bill which would have done nothing to stop any mass shooter in recent memory.
As far as we know, neither the El Paso nor the Dayton gunman would have been stopped from purchasing a weapon by an “expanded” background check or any kind of background checks that didn’t have a pre-crime component. Neither shooter had a criminal record. In fact, I can’t find any recent mass shootings that would have been prevented by instituting a universal background check.
Well, that’s not exactly right. The Sutherland Springs church shooter, having been convicted of assaulting his then-wife and stepson, should not have had a gun, but the FBI blew it. The racist Charleston church shooter should have been stopped by a background check, but his narcotics conviction never reached the FBI. Similarly, the Virginia Tech killer bought guns after a court had found him to danger to himself, but the information was never passed on to the federal background-check database.
Perhaps we should have a conversation about tightening up the system that’s already in place before we start passing new laws.
– David Harsanyi in ‘Do Something!’ Is Not Going To Stop Mass Shooters