After a mass shooting there are always cries from the media and the left to “do something.” The something in question isn’t really that important: It’s just the fact that it’s done that matters. Whether it be a restriction on random types of firearms, or limits on firearm accessories, liberals need something to be “done” to placate them.
Unfortunately, as anyone with an elementary understanding of firearm regulation will tell you, doing something for the sake of doing something won’t produce results. Banning bump stocks won’t prevent another Las Vegas style mass shooting. Banning the AR-15 won’t reduce these types of crimes either.
That said, reforming the background check process could prevent someone like the Texas church shooter from legally purchasing firearms.
Background checks didn’t prevent the Texas church shooting because of a military loophole
It didn’t take long for the life history of the Texas shooter to be dug up. The public soon learned that this was a person who never should have been allowed to purchase a firearm in the first place.
The shooter was convicted of assaulting his wife and infant son by a military court in 2012. If the conviction was administered in a civilian court it would have been classified as domestic abuse. That would have automatically revoked the ability to purchase firearms.
However, the shooter was convicted in military court. In such courts, there is no separate distinction for domestic abuse versus traditional assault. Because it was only an assault charge, and a misdemeanor, the Air Force never submitted the paperwork to the national database.
Senator Flake and Senator Heinrich have proposed a fix for the loophole
While it is statistically improbable that another member of the military convicted of domestic abuse will ever commit a mass shooting, the loophole should still be closed. Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico have proposed bipartisan legislation to do so:
This bill permanently clarifies the ambiguity in 1996 Lautenberg amendment to the Gun Control Act of 1968 as it applies to the military, and requires the military to report misdemeanors of domestic violence to the NICS database to be used in background checks for all legal gun purchases.
If closing this loophole, which never should have existed in the first place, prevents future gun violence, it’s worth it.