The entire background check system is flawed
by Erich Pratt appearing in USA Today (July 28, 2015)
FBI Director James Comey recently said a flaw in the gun background check system allowed Dylann Roof to purchase the gun he allegedly used to kill nine people in a church in Charleston, S.C.
But the fact is, the entire background check system is flawed. Not only is it unconstitutional — and disarming many law-abiding citizens — it’s failing to keep guns out of criminals’ hands and is not keeping people safe.
Consider Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who used a gun stolen from a federal agent to kill Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco.
The same is true for Adam Lanza at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and Jacob Tyler Roberts at the Clackamas Mall in Oregon. Background checks failed to stop these killers from stealing their guns and committing atrocities.
If Roof had been denied a gun by a background check, couldn’t he have stolen his weapon, just as Lanza and Roberts did? Couldn’t he have used a fake ID to illegally purchase one?
Who really thinks that a top-down approach to controlling weapons will be any more effective than Prohibition was in the early 20th century or the war on drugs has been today?
No wonder we’ve seen such a long list of mass murderers who’ve passed background checks — including the recent shooters at a theater in Lafayette, La., and military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn., as well as the killers at Fort Hood (2009 and 2014), the Aurora, Colo., theater (2012), the Washington Navy Yard (2013) and many more.
So what does prevent mass shootings? Well, how about:
The Florida pastor who last December prevented a potential mass shooting — and saved the lives of several men, women and children — when he used his concealed firearm to incapacitate a shooter.
These are just a few of the many self-defense cases where armed citizens have stopped massacres and enabled others to stay, and feel, safe.
Erich Pratt is director of communications for Gun Owners of America. This oped appeared in paper version of USA Today on July 28, 2015, and the online version the day prior.