Would a database would have stopped Jared Lee Loughner from his murderous rampage? Sorry, your NICS background check says you’re prohibited from purchasing a firearm. Really? Huh. I was going to go on a murderous rampage but you know what? Screw it. No Glock no rock. And you can trust me when I say I won’t find a gun elsewhere, because there’s no way I can get a hold of a gun anywhere else but a legal gun store like this one. And I won’t use another method to murder people because . . .
I can’t think of any. Can you? No? OK then. Have a great day.
If gun control advocates are serious about stopping psycho-terrorist types from shooting people, they need to take a leaf from the playbook of a society where this sort of shit happens all the time: Israel.
Now I’m not going to say that gun control advocates should perform a volte face, clock the Israeli situation and conclude that arming civilians is the ultimate that is to say last defense against an individual intent on mass murder. Even though that’s the truth.
My point here: the Israelis know that computerized security systems are inherently flawed. Vulnerable. Weak. Just as prisons only warehouse stupid criminals, data-driven spree killer prevention methods only prevent unlucky or stupid terrorists/murderers. There’s no substitute for vigilant people taking decisive action.
You want to capture terrorists at the airport. Put people on the ground who know what to look for and what to ask, and let them look for it and interrogate passengers. You want to keep college campuses safe? Put people on campus who know what to look for and what to ask. Political rallies? Same again.
Where was Giffords’ security?
Even before that fateful day, Loughner had made death threats to staff of Pima Community College, radio personalities and local bloggers. Some of these folks—we don’t know which ones or how many—reported Loughner’s criminal threats to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. Apparently, deputies assured citizens raising the alarm that Loughner was being “managed” by the Arizona’s mental health system.
Why didn’t Jared Lee Loughner’s teachers, classmates, friends, the police—especially the police—and his parents take decisive action? Perhaps they were scared about legal blowback. And? If taking down a potential madman triggers an unlawful arrest suit, well, get on with it. If not, STFU when bad shit goes down.
Sorry, but I’m perplexed. Large scale government run computer systems are as leaky as a child’s beach sieve. Even setting aside the limitations inherent in a system limited to legal firearms purchases, adding tens of millions of pieces of data to the NICS system is bound to make the system worse, not better.
Congressional investigators estimate that there are as many as a million false or (at the least) highly debatable entries on the FBI’s Terrorist Watch List (with no protocol for correction or appeal). Check this out from the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association:
This month marks the 10th anniversary of New York’s Combined Ballistic Identification System (CoBIS) program.
Under this program, all new handguns sold in the state must be test fired and the shell casing imaged and entered into an electronic databank for possible crime scene identification.
Since its inception in March 2001, a total 311,859 shell casings have been cataloged. At an estimated cost of $4 million dollars per year, $40 million dollars has been spent on CoBIS over the past decade.
What have taxpayers received for this? Absolutely nothing! Not a single crime has been solved because of it. By any measure, CoBIS has been a total failure and a public policy disaster.
Why don’t gun control advocates understand that computer checks are nothing more than security theater? In fact, the gun control community’s faith in “gun checks” indicates willful, wishful ignorance. They simply refuse to wake up and smell the gunpowder. And dynamite. And fertilizer.
If gun control advocates wanted to stop spree killers or straw purchasers at gun stores—although I’m thinking of barn doors and bolted horses—they should do everything in their power to enlist the aid of the one group of people who can stop the madness at the goal line: gun dealers.
The same gun dealers they’ve been vilifying for decades. The same gun dealers that phoned the ATF when gun smugglers came knocking on their door. Gun dealers who were told to shut up and sell the damn guns. Where’s the gun control advocates’ indignation about that problem?
I digress. Bottom line: I reckon relying on computers to prevent a recurrence of the Loughner spree killing is dangerous nonsense. It will take society’s off the ball. Fixing gun checks is not only impossible, it actually makes spree killings more likely to happen. Am I wrong?