Mass Shootings

Obama Falsely Implies His Gun Controls Could Have Stopped the Kalamazoo Shooter

Background checks do not affect murderers who are legally allowed to own guns.

|

White House

Speaking at a White House reception for the National Governors Association yesterday, President Obama mentioned the series of shootings that killed six people in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, on Saturday. "Earlier this year, I took some steps that will make it harder for dangerous people, like this individual, to buy a gun," he claimed. At this point there is no reason to believe that's true.

Obama's "executive actions" on gun control included a "clarification" of which gun sellers are "engaged in the business of selling firearms" and therefore must conduct background checks. But even if we assume that more gun buyers will undergo background checks as a result of that initiative (which is by no means assured), it is almost certainly irrelevant to the the case at hand.

The man charged in the Michigan attacks, Jason Dalton, had no criminal record, and he apparently was never compelled to undergo psychiatric treatment either. Police say he used a pistol in the attacks, and they found various other guns at his house. But according to the Associated Press, "there was no indication that he was prohibited from owning the weapons." If so, even the "universal background checks" that Obama wants Congress to require (covering all gun transfers, not just sales by federally licensed dealers) could not have stopped Dalton from buying the weapon he allegedly used to kill six people and wound two others.

Once again, Obama is presenting background checks as a solution to crimes they cannot possibly prevent: murders committed by people who are legally allowed to own guns, as is typically the case with mass shooters. The New York Times says Obama thinks "it should be harder for troubled people to obtain guns." But since there is no way to know in advance which people are "troubled" in a way that will lead them to shoot random strangers, there is no way to implement that policy without disarming millions of Americans who pose no such threat.

NEXT: Brickbat: A Black Day

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “Troubled people” meaning whoever they deem troublesome. Some people will avoid psychiatric help they desperately need because all this rhetoric does is make them more paranoid and fearful they’ll be under increased surveillance.

    1. Just because you’re paranoid don’t mean you’re wrong….

      1. …or that they’re not out to get you.

        1. That’s just what they wanted you to say.

    2. “Troubled people” will one day include those that think that they need guns, the only people allowed guns will be those who don’t think that they need them. Joseph Heller would’ve been real proud.

      1. Call it Catch-.22: You can have a gun as long as you’re not crazy, but only crazy people want guns.

  2. “Earlier this year, I took some steps that will make it harder for dangerous people, like this individual, to buy a gun,” he claimed.

    I stopped paying attention to this man’s braggadocio at “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and” whatever the fuck it was supposedly happened next.

    1. “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow, and our planet began to heal.”

      What a narcissistic fucknut.

  3. GOOD NEWS!!! We can use a senseless shooting to advance out political agenda!!!

    http://gawker.com/the-ultimate…..1760586051

    OF course, we should subscribe to the “ideal version of our deeply shitty country”, as Mr Jordan Sargent says:

    A man who would never be stopped from legally purchasing a gun taking his Saturday to irregularly murder people he doesn’t know is America’s most uniquely unstoppable and unpreventable crime. It is baked into our society, and ours alone.

    YOU GOT THAT?!?!? This thing that has happened ONCE is now “BAKED INTO OUR SOCIETY”!!! Strangers murdering other strangers with guns NEVER happens in other societies with sensible gun control ? LIKE FRANCE!!

    Comments are pure derp ? “THE SECOND AMENDMENT IS JUST FOR ARMING THE GOVERNMENT!!”

    1. From the article: In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.

      In retrospect Nanping marked the end of the Chinese knife control debate. Once China decided killing children was bearable, it was over.

      1. Guns kill our kids!

        Keep abortion legal!

        /lefty bullshit

    2. It is almost unbearable to read that steaming pile.

      I notice that most of the authors pontificating at these left wing rags aren’t old enough to shave.

      1. Nah, they’re old enough, just have a bit too much estrogen to need to.

        1. Well that certainly feels the Bern…

    3. “A man who would never be stopped from legally purchasing a gun taking his Saturday to irregularly murder people he doesn’t know is America’s most uniquely unstoppable and unpreventable crime.”

      and there you have it. they see the fact that people can legally own guns as the problem. it’s not just the crazies, or the criminals… they explicitly have a problem that anyone can legally own a gun, because they might lose their shit at some random future point.

    4. “THE SECOND AMENDMENT IS JUST FOR ARMING THE GOVERNMENT!!”

      you are absolutely correct….. but please let us be certain we remember WHO are government in this nation….

      WE THE PEOPLE are the government and THIS is why WE THE PEOPLE have the right to arms, no mattter WHAT the marxist megalmaniacal falsehood emitter might exude via his pie hole……..

  4. “Earlier this year, I took some steps that will make it harder for dangerous people, like this individual, to buy a gun,” he claimed. At this point there is no reason to believe that’s true.

    How is it not true that he has made it harder for dangerous people, like this individual, to buy a gun? He’s saying that it is harder for dangerous people to buy a gun and that this individual is a dangerous people – two distinctly different groups. He’s not saying that it’s now harder for dangerous people who are dangerous in the way that this individual is dangerous to get a gun. He could have said he made it harder for dangerous people, like Vlad the Impaler, to buy a gun and that would have been just as true. You gotta parse the politispeak.

    Of course, he also said he understands the Second Amendment and only wants reasonable common-sense gun safety laws and then turned right around and said we gotta do what we can today and a little more tomorrow and a little more the day after – that’s politispeak for “it is true we’re eventually going to take all your guns but we’re only going to take them one at a time”.

    1. We need Vlad the Impaler back.

        1. Sounds like an envelope for French people.

          1. Norman Tickler?

    2. And that is the argument for AWB [assault weapons ban]; though some mass shooters use them, they also use lots of other types of guns [shotguns, pistols] with equal devastation. Banning so called “assault weapons” [meaning black rifles like the AR and AK] would result in no measurable change in actual crime statistics [per admission of Justice Departments own study of the matter] because those types of weapons just are not employed to any extent by criminals; such a ban would however play well politically to the progressive [I love big government and want more of it] crowd and serve as a precedent and template for “gee, it wasn’t enough, so we need to do more.”

      The predictable outcome of that would be the Australian model, wherein a Remington pump action shotgun and a 19th century lever action Winchester would no longer be available for sale.

      1. but not necessarily unavailable when the NEED should arise. Because, what these ninnies forget is that there are about 400 Mn guns in about a 100 Mn private hands….. and once they get serious about finding them, and have collected all they think they know about, there will most likelyh have been close to 200 Mn of them ferreted away in places that would take all the kings horseheads about twenty years to find……
        Half the guns in private hands are “off the books”, so buried in multiple transfers over years and places they no longer have any trail. The only ones that have such trails for certain are those that were bought new and never resold…. or perhaps the legal new owner, after some years, moved into a different state. Once the original new purchaser resells it, the direct trail from the manufacturer through distributor and retailer is broken, and odds are very high that the many hours required to trace it will never be spent. That does not include private sales not required to run the BGC. The kinyun blows much smoke…… polluting the air but, in essense meaningless. He is too incompetent to modulate that smoke into intelligble smoke signals.

        Now, i states like Califirnoa New Jersey, New York, Illinois…..who require registration (illegally, I believe, but so far no one has legally challenged that) know where most of their people’s guns are… except for those “grandfathered”, owned prior to the requirement are exempt if still owned by the same person.

        1. the only guns these guys will get, at least for a long time, are those owned by the lemming types who blindly do all the government ask of them, unthinkingly. Heads in sand, unaware of the “signs of the times” and what they portend, if gummint come round for their guns, they shall relinquish them.. after all, don’t governemnt know what they are about? (yes, they do, but it is not what these sorts THINK they are about). We who are wide awake will not easily part with what we have.

        2. Hell, I wonder how many gun people with technical know-how are milling out AR-15 receivers in their garage, buying the rest of the components through cash purchases at local gun stores, then assembling them and squirreling them away for the “shit hits the fan” situation.

  5. “there is no way to implement that policy without disarming millions of Americans who pose no such threat.”

    That is EXACTLY the point of their policy….

    1. I’ll hand it to to him. The man has turned the rather innocuous phrase of “common sense” into one that seriously makes my blood run cold. It’s all about the incrementalism, baby.

      1. Add to that “reasonable.” It is a shame that perfectly good words have been parsed into such nauseous pablum but I have to agree with you: I will never hear them the same way again.

        1. I think they’re doing the same shit with “equality”, which is really a shame since equality before the law and equality of rights is an important goal. But they’ve twisted it into equality of outcome.

          By the way, why should a doctor and a fast food worker make the same amount? If one of them is doing much more difficult and important work, and leftists are all about “equal pay for equal work”, shouldn’t the one who works harder get paid more in return for his harder labor and greater risk? How is “income equality” promoting any kind of equality at all?

    2. I don’t buy into the conspiracy theory that politicians want to take all the guns so that they can avoid another revolution (I know you didn’t say this, but the implication is there and has been said by others). Instead I think they just want to stay in power and there are a bunch of people in this country who are willing to give power to anyone who talks big about taking away everyone’s guns. I just don’t think politicians have it in them to see past the next election cycle.

      1. The end result is the same.

      2. I agree wholeheartedly. King George wasn’t acting on some secret Illuminati agenda. Parliament was all in with him in putting those damned colonials in their place.
        Freedom isn’t lost primarily due to a Sith Lord acting behind the scenes manipulating the Force, all the while acting like the cool uncle. In many cases, the people clamor for it with their eyes wide open.

      3. No, it is not a conspiracy. But he didn’t call it one either. He spoke of their policy. Which, really is about as far from conspiratorial as you can get.

        But that doesn’t mean it isn’t due to a select group of people acting in concert to support a shared goal. It just means they aren’t all to careful about trying to conceal it.

        What it is is exactly what Heinlein described. It is the people who want you and all others to be controlled doing their level best to get you further under their control.

  6. “…there is no way to know in advance which people are “troubled”

    Haven’t you heard?

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/…../79347926/

    I don’t think for one minute that isnt what this is about.

  7. Next stop: You want a gun but never had a psychiatric examination? Well, now you have get a doctor’s note, pal.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/…..-1.3416918

  8. President Obama merely conflated what he did with what he wanted to do. What he did was attempt to increase the thoroughness of background checks. What he wanted to do was to eliminate guns in civilian hands. This is the reason for the confusion.

    “If I’d got what I wanted, there’d be no guns available for these kinds of incidents.” This is what he wanted to say.

    1. spot on, we would be having a tiananmen style massacre sponsored by big brother government. for a so called constitutional scholar he seems to be removably ignorant of the protection it provides the citizenry

  9. What is Obama doing in that photo? He looks a bit, um, troubled.

    1. He’s smearing something under his eye to generate the tears he can’t muster up on command.

      1. Some comedian had a routine about how actors cry on command by yanking out their nose hairs, and when their nose hairs are all gone their career is too.

        1. Based on my experience, one has an inexhaustible supply of nose hairs to yank.

          1. Does that explain your name?

            1. no he wasn’t called “the Bush”…..

  10. Fantastic work-from-home opportunity for anyone… Start working for three to eight hr a day and get from $4000-$8000 each month… Regular weekly payments… You Try Must…

    http://www.workprospects.com

  11. how do background checks work again? and why doesnt he want metal health checks when its the cops that are the ones doing the murdering? gun control worked out really well for those victims of the tiananmen square massacre, but the so called constitutional scholar doesnt seem to understand anything about that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7grD5VYFlp0

    1. BGC work to impose a sense of guilt or shame on the law abiding for daring to think they must have firearms. For criminals and other prohibited persons they simply open the door to easily acquire them on the underground black market, a source we law abiding never utilise. So these ridiculous nuisances called BGC are certainly a restraing on lawful trade.

  12. There are over 370 “mental disorders” listed in the latest version of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.) The list includes “Tobacco Addiction Disorder” among other equally mundane and ridiculous so-called “mental illnesses.”

    If the DSM is the standard by which Obama wishes to remove our rights to own guns, then I’d guess 90% of the American people could probably be classified with a mental disorder of one kind or another.

    BEWARE, BEWARE

    1. RE: Tobacco Addiction Disorder?

      Sounts like almost everyone is some kinda ‘sicko’ in the new DSM.

      1. ADDENDUM: Does the new DSM have disorders for:

        ?Conservative Christians
        ? Non-Combat Experienced Veterans
        ? Republicans
        ?Libertarians
        ? Jews
        ? Roman Catholics
        ? Fill-In-The-Blank as Identified by Progressives

  13. Mental health as a weapon against the people is communist in origin..

    Deceptive Transformation: The Truth of Soviet Influence in America and Gun Control..

    Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.

    The idea of using mental health as a weapon against the people is communist in origin, and the social sciences, or the studying of human behavior has its roots in early twentieth century Russia when Ivan Pavlov developed his
    “classical conditioning” theories. In fact, Pavlov was disturbed that Vladimir Lenin would use these conditioning methods against the people in order to get them to accept communism. Since that time the social sciences have been used as a means of maintaining control over populations and getting them to accept their own down fall. This is happening today in the United States as our universities and public schools have long ago adopted educational techniques based on the social sciences and classical conditioning methods.

    1. Subjects like White Privilege and Multiculturalism are used to demoralize our population, create a guilt consciousness and silence us into accepting a new agenda based on the idea that we have been unfair, and our lifestyles are oppressive, and offensive to others. This agenda dates back to the early twentieth century; however, it saw some of its most major advances in the mid 1900’s after the U.N. was created in 1945. While many people today view the Democrat Party as being made mostly of communists or socialists; the sad truth is that the Republican Party is just as responsible for what we are seeing in education and culture in the United States today.

      (Note: Many websites are now appearing claiming this list of communist goals to be a hoax. If you read them for yourself you will see many have been accomplished and that they bear a striking resemblance to many things currently happening in the U.S. The claims that they are a hoax could be a deliberate misinformation campaign headed by the Information Regulatory Affairs office led by none other than Cass Sunstein. Just looking at the state of our society, it is clear that these goals are not a hoax.)

      Freedom outpost

  14. RE: What’s a Liar to Do?

    I suspect he’ll try to shut down Uber.

    He’s got the necessary?pardon the term?’ammo’. Uber was warned about the perp hours before. But did nothing.

    I suspect that what will REALLY happen is the survivors and family members of victims will sue Uber into oblivion. And Obama will help.

  15. Stop being racist and questioning what Obama says.

    1. Sorry, but I simply cannot contain my skepticism, my tendency to question.

  16. Passing a background check is a nebulous standard, a democrat would make the standard near impossible for anyone to own a gun. Every thing democrats do with gun policy is evil.

  17. President Obama claims:
    Credit for lower gas prices.
    A movie caused Benghazi.
    That (after receiving 18 emails from SecState Clinton) he knew nothing of the private server.
    He has to follow the Constitution, before he doesn’t.

    The only serious question is, why anyone would believe anything he says.

  18. Re the referenced claim, did Mr.Obama explain, in detail or even in general, how his proposals would have stopped this shooter? He didn’t? Why am I not surprised?

  19. Please just give Dear Leader’s visionary ideas a chance.

    If you really knew what He was up to, you would agree.

  20. ….$….Just before I looked at the paycheck that said $6914 , I didnt believe that my mom in-law really bringing in money in their spare time from their computer. . there neighbour had bean doing this for only six months and resently paid for the mortgage on there place and bourt a top of the range Saab 99 Turbo . look at this site….

    Clik this link in Your Browser..

    ???????? http://www.Wage90.com

  21. ….$….Just before I looked at the paycheck that said $6914 , I didnt believe that my mom in-law really bringing in money in their spare time from their computer. . there neighbour had bean doing this for only six months and resently paid for the mortgage on there place and bourt a top of the range Saab 99 Turbo . look at this site….

    Clik this link in Your Browser..

    ???????? http://www.Wage90.com

  22. RE: Obama Falsely Implies His Gun Controls Could Have Stopped the Kalamazoo Shooter

    Gun control laws have always prevented shootings of the innocent. That’s why there are no people shot to death in the United States.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.