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Cedric Ford (courtesy Harvey County Sheriff)

“Authorities on Friday were investigating whether the man who opened fire on co-workers at a Hesston, Kansas, industrial plant used guns purchased through a third party and not at a licensed gun dealer because his criminal background prevented him from buying guns legally, law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation told NBC News.” We now know that . . .

Mr. Ford got his AK-47-type semi-automatic rifle (still not specified) and a Glock Model 22 40-caliber handgun from his girlfriend,who bought them legally. (She claims she tried to recover them when they split-up.) Bottom line: the background check system failed.

The antis will no doubt claim an improved background check system would have prevented Ford from tooling-up. In Washington State, for example, Mr. Ford would have been legally obliged to undergo a background check when Sarah Hopkins “transferred” her guns to Mr. Ford.

Is there anyone who seriously believes that Mr. Ford, an eventual spree killer, would have subjected himself to that process? Or that he couldn’t have obtained his firearms by some other extra-legal means?

And yet, after every high-profile mass shooting. the antis and their mainstream media enablers always want to know where’d the bad guy get the gun? Their morbid fascination is based a simple premise: if we can stop bad people from getting guns, bad things won’t happen!

It’s a fundamentally flawed argument. We can’t stop criminals, crazies and terrorists from getting guns. Ipso Ford facto, regardless of the source of Mr. Ford’s firearms. Trying to prevent bad actors from obtaining guns in a nation awash with guns (as it should be) is like trying to prevent teenage boys from increasing their fertility in the privacy of their own room. Details at Meanwhile this . . .

The [ATF] official said it could take several days for authorities to figure out [how Ford got his guns], because federal law prohibits authorities from keeping a database of personal gun purchases and ownership. So the ATF literally has to start each gun trace by contacting the manufacturer, determining when it was made and who it was sold to – often a gun wholesaler that must then be contacted to find out which licenses firearms dealer ultimately sold it, and to whom. Sometimes those checks can be done by phone, but the official said that in a high-profile case like this, it is more likely that federal agents will do personal – and time-consuming – site visits.

“We trace the gun to the first retail purchaser and the rest of it is old-fashioned police work- what did they do with the gun, where did it go from there. There are a lot of layers to that onion,” the official said.

Awwww. Don’t you feel sorry for those poor investigators at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (And Really Big Fires)? They have to use old-fashioned police work. Anyway, mission accomplished, and quickly too.

Wouldn’t it have been so much easier if the ATF had a computerized database of all “personal gun purchases and ownership”? Then they could skip all that preliminary investigation and go straight to the first legal buyer and arrest his ass and stop bad guys from getting guns! Only . . .

Most guns used in crimes were stolen from their first, legal owner. And even if they weren’t, even if the ATF found, arrested and jailed thousands of “straw purchasers” like Ms. Hopkins (which they don’t) or pulled the license on so-called “bad apple gun dealers” who sold a legal product legally (which they can’t, thankfully), it wouldn’t move the needle on criminal use of firearms. [See: masturbatory metaphor above.]

Don’t get me wrong: tracing the source of a killers’ firearms to arrest and prosecute their provider is OK with me. But believing this police work will prevent future criminals, crazies and terrorists from tooling-up is delusional.

The only way to stop bad guys from doing bad things with guns is to lock them up. Perhaps the feds should be spending more time and money investigating how and why Mr. Ford was running around free when he should have been behind bars. Or, God forbid, restore Americans’ gun rights in full so they can defend themselves against killers like Ford.

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  1. Hopefully they throw the book at her and she gets the full 10 years. If we start enforcing the laws already on the books, maybe we wouldn’t need those new “reasonable” gun laws.

        • A judge removed his constitutional rights via due-process. She presumably purchased firearms for him knowing that, this is and should be illegal. Should a convicted felon be able to restore their rights, IMO yes, but that is not where we are at today.

        • Jeff – There are no such things as “Constitutional Rights”. There are only natural, civil and CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED rights.

          Since the Bill of Rights was written and ratified with the express purpose of instructing the new government what it WAS NOT ALLOWED TO DO it is plain to see that neither the Congress, the President, nor any portion of the judicial branch has the authority to “take away” a Constitutionally protected right. As I have stated repeatedly, the best they can hope for, in certain limited circumstances such as conviction and incarceration, is to inhibit the exercise of a right during that period of incarceration and they are often spectacularly unable to accomplish even that.

          To claim that the government has any authority, much less the ability, to revoke, repeal or rescind any natural right is to entirely misunderstand the purpose of the Bill of Rights. That being the case, the government has no authority nor ability to restore those rights.

          The fact that a law exists that makes something “illegal” and has been used by the courts and not struck down does NOT make it Constitutional.

        • Cliff H – We have a natural right to liberty and to property. Those rights can be lawfully denied those who commit crimes. If it is always wrong for natural rights to be denied, then no criminal violation can ever be punished.

        • Kevin – The Declaration of Independence states in its preamble the we (the people) have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (property). I agree that these are natural rights, but they are not specifically itemized as Constitutionally protected rights in the Bill of Rights except as covered in the 9th Amendment on Unenumerated Rights.

          The point being that the courts, and even the legislature, can find wiggle room to restrict certain natural rights following procedures for arrest, conviction and incarceration, but they most certainly cannot “take away” those rights. Ask any Correctional Officer how much of their time they spend attempting to restrict the right of convicts to their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, and how much of the rest of the time they worry that they have been unsuccessful. And that is not to mention the convict’s right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness. They will defend their life by any means they can devise, attempt to the best of their ability to be happy (and acquire property) even though incarcerated, and spend a great deal of time and effort seeking liberty.

    • She’ll tear up about her two “little angelz” in front of the judge and get PBJ – no jail time or time served. Just watch…

      • Somebody has to want to do the nasty with white landwhales. It keeps them away from thinking they can have the average white guys. Selective breeding and all that…

  2. “The only way to stop bad guys from doing bad things with guns is to lock them up.”

    Must disagree, RF. The other way to stop Bad Guys from doing bad things with guns (or any other offensive action/weapon) is for Good Guys to avail themselves of their Second Amendment protected right to keep and bear arms in order to protect themselves and their communities from the Bad Guys.

    And by the way – Many years ago I had a friend in Montana who had been a C.O. at the old Deer Lodge State Prison. He quit after being shot in the back of the head by a zip gun using match heads as propellant and cut-up paper clips as projectiles.

    While it is true that Bad Guys, while locked up, have a difficult time obtaining firearms and can only hurt themselves and Correctional Officers, for the most part, most of them will eventually be released and as we can see from this and many other incidents they WILL arm themselves.

      • All too true, but I see one major hurdle to this desired end: Overzealous prosecutors enforcing unconstitutional laws that punish otherwise law-abiding citizens who exercise their right to self defense.

    • “The only way to stop bad guys from doing bad things with guns is to lock them up”

      Locking them up is so wasteful of resources, much better to grind them into Soylent Green and feed the homeless.

      If they can’t be so direct about it, there needs to be more “fatal fall accidents” in prison. Steps, they are soooo dangerous.

      And non I’m not talking about first offense possession charges. We all know how to identify the real turds in the bowl that need flushing down. Rehabilitation of those people is a farce.

    • We need to completely revamp our judicial and “corrections” system. It should be three strikes you swing, and change life sentences to death. No point in keeping people alive and fed if they will remain a threat to society for ever. If twenty years isn’t long enough to punish some one, execute them and be done with it.
      Excel is partly to blame if their plant is a gun free zone.

  3. I’m surprised the ATF or police weren’t working with Facebook. All those selfies of him with his guns before the shooting and not a peep.

    Maybe the cop who served the order of protection should be whipped for not doing some basic background work before serving the notice. Oh, and doing it at work in front of his friends and coworkers? Classy move, d*ckhead.

    • Agree. The guy had videos of him using his guns and he was a prohibited person. This was telegraphed long before the shooting.

    • Its almost like youre advicating for the authorities to go to silicon valley companies and give them back door access to YOUR private social media accounts….. Now private citizens who are made privy to your social media have no such restrictions, especially when they sell access (your photos, coments, etc) to news outlets…… Did you vote for Obama? Because he’s been lobying Facebook, Apple, Twitter, etc for years to do what youre suggesting.

  4. If they weren’t so prohibitive and restrictive towards legal gun ownership, the progressive gun laws and executive actions by obama would be laughable.

  5. Ms Hopkins is far from off the hook. They will go back and look at the date of purchase of the guns and if bad guy made an ATM or cash deduction that date for about that amount that is all they need to file on her for a straw purchase. Secondly, it is always a engligence case to allow any felon access to your guns and she can be sued by all of the victims. While she may have no money, many attorneys like me would take those cases on a contingency, that is the families of victims only pay court costs unless there was some money collected down the line. We do this knowing we will probably never get a dime, but we send a message to people who are evil enough or stupid enough to allow felons to have access to here guns. She could easily called the cops and recovered those guns, but she chose not to do so.

    • You’d have a good point if the government actually cared to prosecute straw buyers. Even when it’s a slamdunk case (which this one might not be), they usually decline to prosecute or just go with a few months probation.

      If it doesn’t make life harder for people like you and me, the anti-gun establishment just doesn’t care.

      • Case in point, former state senator, illegal arms dealer, and racketeer Leland Yee just received a 5-year sentence for campaign finance irregularities. We can always count on our public “servants” to take care of their own.

    • Robyn Anderson, who bought 3 guns for the Columbine shooters, was never prosecuted. She was used as a political tool instead.

  6. I read today that she bought them, took them with her when she moved out and filed for the PFA, but then later returned them to him.

    Providing firearms to a known felon is stupid. Providing firearms to a violent felon, who’s attacked you, whom you’ve taken out a protection order against, is more than a little beyond stupid.

    She shouldn’t be alive (statistically, not wishfully, speaking).

  7. There should be laws against felons being able to have guns. Oh wait.

    There should laws against being able to bring guns into GFZ’s. Oh wait.

    Hmm, the people that say there should be laws against felons having guns, and laws making places GFZ’s are both being delusional and in denial.

    .Meanwhile, the felons that have paid their debt to society, that decide they want to be law abiding will be treated as a sub-human despised class without the right to defend their life, or any family they might have.

    And the predators that decide they are going stay predators will simply ignore the laws.

    That river in Egypt keeps getting wider and deeper.

    • Meanwhile, the felons that have paid their debt to society, that decide they want to be law abiding will be treated as a sub-human despised class without the right to defend their life, or any family they might have.

      Which is what they are until they pay their debt to their victims. Not “society,” whatever that is. Their victims. You know, the people you forgot about. Yes, those people.

      • Sorry Ralph, but “Paying ones debt to society” in this current day, is by being incarcerated, losing ones freedom for a specified time. In a Heinlein universe, your point would be valid, but that is not the universe we live in.

        But to deny ones rights of carrying a firearm to defend ones life, is part of the punishment of being in jail, along with all of the loss of other freedoms. But to continue that loss of freedom, once out of jail, of the RKABA, is an abomination, a violation of that right. Especially when we all acknowledge that the law to deny a felon a gun has no more efficacy than a sign with a circle and slash over the picture of a pistol.

        It serves no purpose other than to punish the felon that wants to be law abiding, and has absolutely no effect in stopping the felon that wants to keep being a predator.

        So you are no different in your delusion than an anti-freedom progressive that believes that a GFZ keeps them safe, and the only effect the law has is to keep the law abiding from effectively defending themselves. In this case, the felon that wants to be a law abiding citizen.

        • If by “abomination” you mean a just punishment for being a scumbag, you’re correct. If they were concerned about their freedoms they wouldn’t be criminals. They made conscious decisions to commit crimes and thereby agreed to the punishments society metes out. Adult choices have adult consequences.

        • So a law to keep felons from having guns only works on felons that agree to be law abiding; and felons that decide to continue to be predators, will ignore said law, and use easily accesible guns to continue preying on other law abiding citizens, which would include the disarmed, law abiding felon.

          So the law only keeps disarmed, the one person that actually can be trusted to stay within the law, the law abiding felon.

          You really can’t see the obsurdity of your position?

    • There is a valid and logical distinction that can be made between a “felon” and a “violent felon” (who has demonstrated a propensity towards getting his/her whims via violence). Agree, non-violent “felon” should be able to possesses a weapon that a 5 year old can kill an adult with (gun), as this is a serious tool not to be taken lightly. No gat for those who show a leaning for violence against society. Responsibility for actions and choices.
      What say Ralph?

      • I agree with you. There definitely should be a distinction between violent and nonviolent crimes and felons.

        Nonviolent felons should be disbarred for the period of their sentence and probation. If there were victims, they must be compensated. That’s only fair. Keep in mind that Bernie Madoff was convicted of nonviolent offenses. He will never see the light of day, of course, but if by some miracle some future Madoff were to be released, he should never have any of his rights restored until and unless all his victims are made whole.

        Violent felons should be looking at permanent disbarment for heinous crimes or several to many years with no 2A rights restored until the victims are compensated. This is risky — a stupid bar fight could be the basis of a violent felony conviction in some states.

        Because being stripped of 2A rights should be part of the sentence, it would be fair if the sentencing judge chose the disbarment period based upon reasonable guidelines.

        • The majority of felons have no “victim” but the State – their actions hurt no one, save for the fact they violated a “rule”.

        • @16V, those felons who did not have a victim usually cannot be called violent. Which is why Jjimmyjonga and I both feel that, when it comes to 2A rights, a distinction should be made between violent and nonviolent felons. I also add that some nonviolent felons, for example Bernie Madoff, have caused such great harm that they should never walk among us and should never have their rights restored.

        • Theives steal, murderers murder. The gubment can pass laws until the ink well ocean is dry. ( confession time) My past life was unlawfull, my cohorts and I didnt give two shts about no stinkin law. What we worried about was getting caught, thats all, not time in jail, or sentances.And when they got out, do it all over again. If anyone thinks a law will stop a criminal from crime they are mistaken. All this gun law crap does is make it easier for…You… to become a law breaker. I can gaurentee that Ford fellow wasnt thinking of what laws he was breaking, only how to break the law and not get caught. Prison time for 3rd n 4 time offenders aint nothing, they shoot the sht, lift weights, hustle what they can, and count days. Some, like me, once was to much, so you change, others dont. I think its at what age you start getting in trouble.

        • Yep Caveman..Stats show that if a person survives the criminal life, they usually end up going straight.

          So give the younger felon his rights back, and give them an incentive when they’re younger, to make the right choice and choose the lawful path.

          And if they don’t, well, that’s another reason I carry a gun, the real deterrent to the depredations of a predator, felon or not.

        • The 2A ban on felons was originally limited to violent crimes but in the end was applied to all felonies.

    • Get ready. Hillary Clinton will add this to her list of reason why to register both guns and gun owners common call universal background checks.

  8. The only way to stop bad guys from doing bad things with guns is to lock them up.

    That’s not the only way. One other sure-fire and permanent way is for the intended victims of bad guys with guns to exercise their natural, civil, and Constitutionally protected right to self defense and to kill their assailants. That, by the way, is the only clearly and unquestionably moral way to carry out the death penalty.

  9. The only way to stop bad guys from doing bad things with guns is to lock them up. I personally like Gladiator Games better.

  10. Here in Australia the media, left wing politicians and some police keep pushing the guns stolen from legal owners theme to try ban them. Reality is less than 1% for this

    Criminals buy black market or make their own

    Customs caught one of their own postal inspectors bringing Glocks 50 to 100 at a time using fake gun import business about two years back.

  11. So, what is the solution to the problem of violent criminals obtaining firearms to be used for criminal purposes? It would be great if we had an answer. I feel stiffer penalties for those who use guns for evil in the first place would be a good step forward, as well as stiffer penalties for those who assist (straw purchasers).

    • “So, what is the solution to the problem of violent criminals obtaining firearms to be used for criminal purposes?”

      There is no solution that will prevent criminals from procuring their weapon of choice by whatever extra-legal means they can.

      The solution to violent criminals, on the other hand, is simple – make the actual performance of a criminal act so hazardous that they will individually determine that it is not worth the risk. This happens when the potential pool of victims is populated by a similarly potential pool of people who will shoot you dead.

      “Manners are good when one may have to back up his actions with his life.” – Robert A. Heinlein “Beyond This Horizon”

    • I read an article a number of months back that went through a typical scenario of a felon acquiring and committing a crime with a gun. The article stepped through each gun crime committed and the mandatory sentence for that crime. Assuming these gun laws were enforced, a felon with a gun would spend something like 700 plus years in prison. We already have the laws to put felons with guns in prison for life, but the laws aren’t enforced.

  12. What you won’t hear about in this story is how this felonious murderer should have still been in prison for previous convictions. You also won’t hear about how this violent felon was exhibiting violent behavior and should have been locked up for domestic abuse prior to the murders. Why? Because that would mean that some judge, parole officer, or other state criminal justice minion failed. It really is time to start holding law enforcement accountable when they prematurely release or choose not to prosecute violent felons who eventually murder people.

    • Nobody failed here. Cold hard truth, laws were broke, prosecutors plea bargained, judges ruled, corrections contained, girlfriend goo’ed then wised up. Employer got duped and dude got trigger time on coworkers. Lawyers parachuted in, insurance paid out. And if coin is your measure, murder paid well…only the innocent are damn’ed

  13. Sometimes those checks can be done by phone, but the [ATF] official said that in a high-profile case like this, it is more likely that federal agents will do personal – and time-consuming – site visits.

    Translation: the ATF will take advantage of this case to photocopy the Federal Firearm Licensee’s entire bound book/s so that they are one step closer to universal registration.

  14. I understand the girl friend is being charged with making a straw purchase. I hope she gets a real sentence instead of a light slap on the wrist.

    Not quite a year ago, Omaha, Nebraska lost a police officer, murdered by an armed felon she and other officers were trying to arrest. The felon got his gun from a gullible girl friend in another state. He had persuaded her to make a straw purchase for him. The girl friend was tried and convicted in federal court for the straw purchase. Although it led to the death of a police officer, the girl friend’s sentence was a year of probation, hardly something to strike fear into the hearts of future straw purchasers.

  15. According to reports, an important detail seems to be missing as seen below

    “Hopkins had previously lived with Ford in Newton and had been in a relationship with him, according to the criminal complaint. She moved out of the home in July 2015 and had returned with police officers the next month to retrieve the guns, which she purchased.
    Hopkins told police that she returned the guns, which she purchased at a pawn shop in Newton, to Ford that same month because he had threatened her, according to the complaint.”

    I would have assumed that when an individual seeks police assistance retrieving fireams they did so because they were afraid, the officers might think to look into that person’s record? (seems fairly simple, heck they do it for traffic stops!) If they did so at the that time he probably would have been arrested for illegal posession of firearms . Ultimately responsibility lies with the murderer and the person who gave him the guns (especially after giving them back, another oppurtunity to report the threat he posed), but looking up a name on the way to get the 2 firearms,, something so simple might have prevented this tragedy. That seems like common sense to me..

    • she returned the guns, which she purchased at a pawn shop in Newton, to Ford that same month because he had threatened her

      That has got to be the dumbest thing I’ve heard all year, hands down.

  16. Background checks did not fail in this case because Sarah Hopkins was not prohibited from buying/owning firearms. She knew Cedric Ford was prohibited and bought the guns knowing it was illegal to give them to him. She chose to engage in criminal acts. Morally-speaking she’s as guilty of the murders and wounding of those people as Cedric Ford. It remains to be seen how legally responsible she will be held by the D.A. with jurisdiction in the case.
    “Straw Purchases” are definitely a problem. Criminals are actively engaged in selling guns to other criminals on a daily basis. I don’t know what the ratio of Straw Purchases to Criminal-to-Criminal purchases is. A good start would be extra prison time for those convicted of furnishing firearms to prohibited persons where the Arms are used to kill or wound other people in a criminal act, but that’s still an after-the-fact reaction, not an effective preventative measure. There may not be an acceptable, effective way to prevent prohibited persons from illegally obtaining firearms.

  17. Sight visit? BS! The same form goes through manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer.

    If the ATF has to visit “Trunk of My Car Gun Sales” then it might take longer since their business model is mobile access and free delivery.

  18. Yes.

    But very much no.

    Specifically… “Don’t get me wrong: tracing the source of a killers’ firearms to arrest and prosecute their provider is OK with me.”

    How can that be OK? Did they pull the trigger? And unless the transfer was in the very recent past how is it relevant in any way? What if said girlfriend gave him the gun a year or more ago how would she be in any way culpable for his actions now?

    I’m OK with the investigation of who got the guns from whom because it might be relevant. MIGHT is the key word.

    • i agree. Straw purchasing is llegal and she should do the time.

      But…. uness she gave him the gun in the last week or so she has no cupability in his shooting those people.

  19. So, it was already illegal for this guy to have a firearm, or anyone to give him one. Plus, you know, various laws against menacing, brandishing, firing, and, you know, killing people.

    So, making it illegal one more administrative way, that would fix it.

    It’s almost as if reducing violence, including violence done with guns, is not the actual goal with all these regulation proposals. (“Everything not compulsory is forbidden!”)

    /Again, anticipating Our Little Troll’s most likely non sequitur …

    The reason people think there’s an unadmitted agenda of ultimate universal gun confiscation is because the intermediate, “common sense” steps proposed won’t help with reducing violence, but will help with eventually confiscating guns from citizens. That and the same people who say, for example “No one is coming for your guns.” both come for people’s guns (Happened more than once in NYS within weeks of the SAFE act.), and point to places where guns have in fact been confiscated from citizens as examples of “common sense” gun regulation.

    It’s not like the people “against” regulation haven’t expressed their concerns. The way to a common solution once that’s happened is to address them. When the regulation side immediately starts disparaging the concerns, it makes people believe their concerns won’t be addressed.

    If they are looking for common ground here, the gun-restriction folk could stand to brush up on “Win / Win Negotiation.” The well-known book of that title is a little lightweight, but not a bad starting place.


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