Sunday, July 7, 2013

No, She Isn't

The Maine Sunday Telegram had an editorial in today's edition speculating that the visit of Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly "could shake up gun stalemate."

They made this statement in the editorial.
We have just come through a legislative session in which no progress was made in the effort to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them.

Giffords is a national symbol of the consequences of doing nothing. Her career in Congress was cut short when a deranged man armed with a semiautomatic handgun and high-capacity magazines opened fire on her in a crowd of constituents, killing six people and wounding Giffords and 12 others.
If by doing nothing the editors of the Sunday Telegram mean implementing universal background checks, Ms. Giffords is NOT a national symbol of "the consequences of doing nothing." The shooter did not purchase his firearm through a private transaction, at a gun show, or in an otherwise prohibited transaction. The shooter and killer purchased his Glock 19 from a licensed dealer in Arizona and passed the requisite NICS background check conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

If Ms. Giffords is any sort of national symbol of the consequences of doing nothing, the fault lies at the foot of Sheriff Clarence Dupnik and his Pima County Sheriffs Department as well at the foot of officials at Pima Community College. Despite his run-ins with law enforcement and his suspension from Pima Community College for what appears to be mental illness, this information never went any further. Any database is only as good as the information in it and inaction by Dupnik and Pima Community College kept potentially disqualifying information out of the NICS database.

Universal background checks of private sales would not have stopped the shooter in Tucson nor at Virginia Tech nor in Aurora, Colorado and it is time to stop pretending that it would have. They all passed Federal NICS background checks.

1 comment:

  1. After Loughner was suspended from Pima Community College, the campus police visited his house and served him with basically a no-trespass notice, forbidding him from returning to the campus until he could provide proof from a mental health professional stating that he was not a danger to himself or others. And then they forgot about it, because they didn't give a damn what he did or didn't do, as long as he did it elsewhere.