Mass Shootings

Why Did Texas Church Shooter Devin Kelley Pass Background Checks? [UPDATED]

His conviction for domestic violence legally disqualified him from buying guns.

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Devin Kelley, who police say murdered 26 people at a rural Texas church yesterday, seems to have been legally disqualified from owning a gun. It's not clear why he repeatedly passed federal background checks while purchasing firearms, including the Ruger AR-556 rifle he used in the attack, which he bought last year from an Academy Sports & Outdoors store in San Antonio.

The Air Force says Kelley, an airman who served in logistics readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, was convicted by a court martial in 2012 of two counts under Article 128 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which applies to assault. The victims were his wife, from whom he was subsequently divorced, and their child. Kelley's punishment was 12 months of confinement, a reduction in rank, and a bad-conduct discharge.

As Christian Britschgi noted this morning, the discharge itself would not have prevented Kelley from legally buying a gun, since it fell short of the "dishonorable conditions" specified by federal law. But the same law prohibits the purchase or possession of a gun by anyone who "has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence." Kelley's crimes seem to fit the definition of that phrase, which includes "the use or attempted use of physical force" by a spouse or parent of the victim.

The form that Kelley would have filled out while buying guns from Academy or any other federally licensed dealer asks, "Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence?" Kelley presumably checked "no," but the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which includes the National Criminal Information Check (NCIC) database, should have flagged the court martial convictions.

According to a 2001 article in The Military Lawyer, "A court-martialed soldier convicted of a reportable offense entered into the NCIC/NICS will be denied the sale of a firearm." A footnote says reportable offenses include cases involving "a dismissal or punitive discharge" or "conviction of an offense that carries a possible sentence of confinement of one year or more."

In a CNN interview, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Kelley had applied for a concealed carry permit but was rejected by the state's Department of Public Safety. "So how was it that he was able to get a gun?" Abbott asked. "By all the facts that we seem to know, he was not supposed to have access to a gun. So how did this happen?"

The criteria for a Texas carry permit are stricter than the federal criteria for gun ownership. People who have been convicted of a Class A or B misdemeanor in the previous five years, for instance, are ineligible for a carry permit. But if the state's background check flagged Kelley's military convictions, why didn't the FBI's?

Although mass shooters typically do not have disqualifying criminal or psychiatric records, it looks like Kelley did. But as with Dylann Roof, the perpetrator of another horrifying assault on a church, the system that is supposed to catch people who are not legally allowed to buy guns failed to do so.

President Obama cited Roof's attack in making the case for "universal background checks," meaning a legal requirement that all gun transfers, not just those involving federally licensed dealers, receive the FBI's approval. Since Roof passed a background check, that argument did not make much sense. The problem was not the absence of a background check but the inadequacy of the background check that was performed. The same thing seems to be true in this case.

Update: USA Today reports that Kelley was tried by a general court martial (as opposed to a special court martial, which is for less serious offenses and can impose terms of confinement no longer than 12 months). If so, Kelley would have been doubly disqualified from buying a gun: because conviction by a general court martial is treated as equivalent to a felony conviction in a civilian court and because separation from the armed forces ordered by a general court martial is treated as equivalent to a dishonorable discharge.

Update II: Citing an unnamed "defense official," USA Today reports that "the Air Force failed to enter Kelley's conviction in the National Crime Information Center database." The paper adds that "the Air Force was required to provide the information to the database because Kelley was convicted of a domestic assault and would not have been able to purchase a gun legally."

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191 responses to “Why Did Texas Church Shooter Devin Kelley Pass Background Checks? [UPDATED]

  1. Either the Air Force or the FBI fucked up.

    1. What?!?! The government never does that! Never! Ever EVER!

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    2. The FBI obviously since the Texas CCP picked up the conviction.

      Most people don’t know that these applications “time out”. If the FBI doesn’t complete the check within a certain number of days they get approved by default.

      1. Most likely this. I’m sure they need more funding, amirite?

      2. According to this, they have 3 days or else it is approved by default. If the check subsequently fails, the ATF is supposed to go retrieve the gun.

        http://www.thetrace.org/2015/0…..-shooting/

        I don’t know if this is a “new” time limit. A few years ago, I was sold a gun after the shop waited only 30 minutes.

        1. Its not new, in your case it probably took 30 minutes to come back with “Proceed” (meaning you passed the check) During the “Obama Panic” the system was so overwhelmed that “instant” checks often took several hours

        2. The BRADY INSTANT background check is “instant” but depends on the database being up to date. When there is confusion about name or identification of a person there is a delay. There are millions of John Smith or Mary Beth and such is a problem.
          There is a lot of information on http://www.atf.gov about the procedures that dealers follow.

      3. NICS check usually takes half an hour. They screwed up by not getting his conviction in a military court into the system.

    3. The government didn’t fuck up. They actually followed the 2nd Amendment by being a bureaucracy.

      2nd Amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

      This guy was not currently serving a criminal sentence (probation, parole or in prison), so the government cannot infringe on his rights to keep and bear arms [period]

      Otherwise, the state could just pass ex post facto laws that use past behavior to prevent gun ownership (past Domestic violence) and make up laws that say person “x” cannot have a gun because of reason “y”.

      1. Which they have done. Google “Lautenberg Act.”

    4. The Air Force fucked up. As of the end of 2016, there is ONE (misdemeanor) domestic violence conviction that DoD has entered into NICS. They’ve entered just under 11,000 dishonorable discharges – but this guy got a bad conduct discharge not a dishonorable discharge.

  2. Just a thought. But, my money says that since he was convicted in a Courts-Martial and not a civilian court, the conviction never made it to the Federal Database. I’m wondering why he wasn’t tried in a civilian court as well as the Courts-Martial. Nothing in the UCMJ precludes both a civilian trial and courts-martial. It happens all the time.

    1. Because the civilians don’t want or really need to spend the effort to convict someone who has already been convicted by Court Martial, which is a valid federal felony conviction.

      1. Apparently, it’s not valid enough.

      2. Bad Conduct Discharge does not automatically equate to a felony. More akin to a misdemeanor (incarceration for one year or less.)

    2. One guess would be that in a courts-marshal the burden of proof is on the defense, as opposed to the prosecution in a civilian court. Maybe the situation was kind of a he said, she said and the civilian DA felt that there wasn’t enough evidence to guarantee a conviction and didn’t want to risk their conviction rate taking a hit by prosecuting a marginal case where the military could more easily get a conviction?

      That’s wild speculation of course, but knowing what spineless, feckless creatures tend to become prosecutors it wouldn’t surprise me.

      1. NICS doesn’t allow you buy a gun if you have a restraining order against you. One could certainly make the argument that the burden of proof is on the defense in such a case.

      2. That was my thinking as well.

      3. Your guess is wrong. And since you admit it’s wild speculation, why engage in it?

    3. But Texas found it and rejected the CCP application.

  3. That photograph tells me everything I need to know about this guy.

    1. Weird, i looked at that picture and i got real hungry for potatoes.

      1. “This is important… this means something.”

    2. You were seduced by those baby blue eyes, too?

    3. Some people are just ugly. Yuck.

      1. For what it’s worth Memory Hole’s mom makes up for her homeliness in other ways.

        1. So much for the effort to memory hole Memory Hole’s mom’s hole.

  4. If the Kochs and other billionaire cucks ever stop funding Reason Sullum could land a good job with the NRA.

    1. Did your ad hominem even have any point? Or did you just want to flop your tiny, leftist dick out there, and get in a bleat about the Koch brothers, who are actually rather liberal in their donations?

  5. In other words, stop clamoring for new laws and enforce the ones we already have.

    1. If they can. Not much sense in creating laws were to inept to actually enforce.

      1. They only enforce them when they’re trying to coerce or steal from someone. The laws aren’t for them or people they stand no gain in interacting with.

      2. You’re basically acknowledging that properly enforced gun control laws would have prevented this and if that’s true then imagine how many future attacks could be prevented with more comprehensive gun control.

        1. “You’re basically acknowledging ”

          Nope, try again.

        2. Yeah, I’m sure one we’re under a totally effective and repressive government, individuals behaving badly will get stamped out, good and hard.

        3. this clown would still have managed to kill at this church, somehow, and the guy who DID take this one out before the coppers showed up would have been disarmed. He had more guns and ammo in his car, and seemed ready to use them. He already knew he was a dead man after those murders, to all bets were off as to what other mayhem he might have effected.

          So, no,. Massive fail on your “logic”.
          Had a dozen or so of the folks inside that church been armed, as they always are at another church in Texas I’ve attended a few times whilst visiting, the perp never would have got off his second round. Take your gun control insanity and bring it to where someone cares about such things. That ain’t here.

      3. were to inept to actually enforce.

        we are too inept to actually enforce.

        Get it together, Brian.

        1. Side note: I am as much a pro Second Amendment NRA supporting AR owning 3 gun participating “gun nut” as anyone I know, but today I seem to be failing the libertarian purity tests.

          Are you saying that the Second Amendment is absolute and there should be NO laws regulating the ownership and use of firearms? I guess my willingness to even address that matter [the utility of guns] got me a “fuck off slaver” comment in another thread. If that is indeed the case then “pure” libertarians are living in a dream world from which they can express their curmudgeonliness for eternity, with about as much an outcome as you would expect.

          1. I think you earned your “fuck iff slaver”, here, if not earlier.

            1. This is almost amusing; so we have some ideological libertarians who for all I know have never so much as picked up a gun in their life, but the real measure is just how absolute and uncompromising they claim to be. That’s nice, but I live in the real world, not your imaginary utopia whatever you may choose it to be. Get real.

              We have sufficient laws in place to make it illegal for convicted felons to possess a gun, and also illegal for straw purchasers to procure them. Those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence are also proscribed. Had that been followed this latest shooter may have still gotten his Ruger 556 but it would not have been as simple as walking into Academy Sports and taking one off the shelf. I support that because I do not want it to be more difficult for law abiding person like myself to buy and use guns like that; taking the “fuck all laws” attitude will only make it more likely that eventually enough shit bag politicians will decide they have the clout to further gut the Second Amendment and do just that.

              1. “who for all I know have never so much as picked up a gun in their life, ”

                You keep trying to make this point as though it isnt stupid and irellevant.

                I own guns. I’ve used them.

                Now that we have established that, no slaver, owning guns does not make YOUR opinions any less tyrannical.

                Fuck off now.

                1. No, not quite ready to “fuck off” as you eloquently put it [though I’m strongly suspecting that this is a waste of my time] Now that you’ve established that you are not totally ignorant of guns [I’ll just take your word for it], for the life of me I still cannot see what your point is.

                  I’m guessing that you do not believe in any regulation of the matter, to include convicted felons, of firearm possession? Does that in your mind seriously amount to tyranny? If so try responding beyond simple assed profanity and diatribe.

                  1. “No, not quite ready to “fuck off” as you eloquently put it”

                    Fuck off anyway, slaver

              2. “…so we have some ideological libertarians who for all I know have never so much as picked up a gun in their life, but the real measure is just how absolute and uncompromising they claim to be. ”

                7 years active duty U.S. Army, 19D Cavalry Scout, four deployments.

                I own several firearms, all of them “scary.” I participate in two-gun shoots regularly (because shotguns are antiquated piles of junk that serve no purpose anymore). I also think AR-15s are a great starting rifle for women or Air Force veterans (heyo!) and my go-to is an FAL.

                So allow me: fuck off, slaver.

                1. Hmm. I don’t know a single libertarian that doesn’t have a well stocked armory. (well, not well *enough* stocked, according to them)

              3. A valid enough point I suppose considering that as far as I’m aware no right is absolute. They all come into conflict on occasion.

                A reasonable example is should someone convicted of murder with a gun be allowed to own a gun after they get out of prison? Or while they’re in prison?

                There are very good arguments on both sides, in my view, but it has proven to be a somewhat slippery slope as well when it comes to regulation. They call them all ‘common sense’ regulations but it seems that they rarely approach so-called ‘common sense’.

                1. “A reasonable example is should someone convicted of murder with a gun be allowed to own a gun after they get out of prison? Or while they’re in prison?”

                  My point exactly, and thank you for introducing civility into an otherwise “my balls are bigger than yours” discussion, speaking as the owner of “antiquated” shotguns and apparently “wimpy” AR [a 15 and a 10 so maybe having a .308 makes it a tad more “manly” in Cavadus’ view]. Since we do not live on the frontier where we simply settle our disputes by shooting one another [though I am clearly getting the sense that is exactly what some of you want], it seems axiomatic that those who willfully commit violent crimes should be prevented from owning firearms with which to commit more crimes. I suppose the alternative is to ditch all the laws and just live by the sword every day.

                  If that is the issue here, that advocating for any law or regulation at all is just plain unacceptable, then you can pretty much go fuck yourselves because you are being fucking ridiculous..

                  And speaking of ridiculous, you can now return to your latest episode of Alec Jones.

                  1. I expect the question is more one of imprisonment and its purpose. If we’re locking someone up to protect society then why let them out? If we’re trying to rehabilitate them then why not restore their rights once “rehabilitated”? If we’re simply punishing them for doing bad things then why isn’t the punishment allowed to end and when released they are stripped of their rights forever and/or placed on a naughty “was seen pissing by someone who was offended by it and took it sexually” list? In short if they’ve paid their debt to society why not make them whole? As it is, sure, it’s not exactly the death penalty but it might not be that much different if they have to wear this scarlet letter forever.
                    I suspect it is because our prisons are inept, Institutions of Never Ending Punishment and Turmoil.

          2. There should be no federal laws regulating the ownership and use of firearms.

            State laws should be subject to strict scrutiny with respect to the 14th Amendment.

            1. ALL laws should be subject to the Constitution. As for federal vs. State I do not see a problem with that either. What I contest is that some damned fools seem to think there should be no laws period.

            2. Well put Bubba.

            3. I’m going to buy my grenade launcher as soon as all the federal laws regarding weapons get rolled back.

          3. Every “gun control” law is bullshit.

            All nations have roads, speed limits, stop signs, traffic lights. There’s a universal consensus on what works to control cars.

            So why are silencers unrestricted in a dozen countries, taxed stupidly in America, felonies elsewhere? Why are some rifles good some places but not others? Why are pump shotguns illegal in Germany, but semiautos okay?

            Has France banned trucks since their recent terror attack? Has NYC?

            Every “gun control” law is a panic-response to some incident, under the fallacious belief that a law can dictate intent and behavior.

            This is what happens when you let pussies legislate.

          4. Every “gun control” law is bullshit.

            All nations have roads, speed limits, stop signs, traffic lights. There’s a universal consensus on what works to control cars.

            So why are silencers unrestricted in a dozen countries, taxed stupidly in America, felonies elsewhere? Why are some rifles good some places but not others? Why are pump shotguns illegal in Germany, but semiautos okay?

            Has France banned trucks since their recent terror attack? Has NYC?

            Every “gun control” law is a panic-response to some incident, under the fallacious belief that a law can dictate intent and behavior.

            This is what happens when you let pussies legislate.

          5. If that is indeed the case then “pure” libertarians are living in a dream world

            They are, and it is here.

            1. A Dream world is anything not socialist, says the socialist.

          6. “”Are you saying that the Second Amendment is absolute and there should be NO laws regulating the ownership and use of firearms?”‘

            Before we can answer that question, we must define the word infringed.

          7. We have laws that absolutely forbid Devin Kelley from possessing firearms. How much good did they do?

            I would rather not have a pointless, expensive, unconstitutional law. Does that mean I’m living in a dream world?

    2. And even currently laws are less than satisfactory (from the gun control side), so it might do to scrap all of it and start again (like a straight up repeal of the 2nd).

      And even supposing this guy were denied a legal sale, that is still little protection of him actually getting a hold of a gun.

      It is essentially supply side control as applied to the drug war, and we all know how well that works.

      1. Repeal the Second Article of Ammendment, and we STILL retain the right to arms, as that right predates, is not dependent upon, and exists irrespective of our Constitution.
        So, repeal away, our right to arms remains. SOME will continue to make use of the right despite government’s feeble attempts to the contrary.

        Consider AUstralia: After near total gun confiscation (sorry I don’t buy that load of bilge that it was a “buyback”, as gummit never owned them in the first place) violent crime rates continued to climb (almost no one were armed to put a stop to muggings, rapes, housebreakings, etc). Of late, GUN violence is increasing at a rapid rate in the Land of No GUns…….. or consider Mexico, where the laws disarming citizens are amongst the strictest and most comprehensive in the world, yet the droguistas are better armed than military are and the peasants defenseless against their tyranny of violence

    3. Problem is, just passing a law ain’t good enough. That’s what progressives (and most conservatives) just don’t understand. Murder, theft, and rape have been illegal for thousands of years. Yet we still have murder, theft, and rape.The idea that we can just pass a law to stop gun violence (or drug use, for that matter) is supremely silly.

      1. If we followed your reasoning then murder theft and rape should not be illegal because we still have murder, theft and rape even with the laws.

        About this guy:

        “He assaulted his stepson severely enough that he fractured his skull, and he also assaulted his wife,” said Don Christensen, a retired colonel who was the chief prosecutor for the Air Force. “He pled to intentionally doing it.”

        He should not have been able to legally buy a gun, and the guns he had should have been confiscated. So what if he could still have gotten a gun. He’s the kind of person who should have as tough a time as possible getting one.

        1. The dude should be in jail.

          1. Dude should be under ground.

            1. He will be by next week.

        2. He seems like a real douche but the 2nd Amendment makes it clear that the state cannot infringe on his right to keep and bear arms.

        3. Once again we have to smartsplain to the liberal:

          Laws prescribe acceptable limits of behavior and punishment for violating same.

          They have zero effect on controlling the behavior.

          A law against murder makes sense. You punish the murderer.

          Gun control is the equivalent of trying to prevent disturbing the peace by restricting bullhorns.

        4. If we follow your reasoning, shouldn’t we ban his fists? He didn’t assault his son with a firearm.

        5. “If we followed your reasoning then murder theft and rape should not be illegal because we still have murder, theft and rape even with the laws.”

          Your hyperbole is noted, but laws aren’t generally meant to STOP any particular behavior. Anyone rational knows that ink on paper will not discourage anyoner who is irrational.

          Deluding yourself otherwise is…. irrational.

          The problem is that there are two types of laws. Look up ‘Malum Prohibitum’ and ‘Malum In Se’. Then try to justify Malum Prohibitum laws.

          1. Laws do stop people who are somewhat rational because they don’t want to be punished. Don’t you think that more people would steal if it weren’t illegal and they couldn’t be punished for it? Of course laws don’t stop all bad behavior but they do reduce it.

    4. When there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them, which, sadly, leaves precious little time for the pursuit of actual criminals. Oh well, it’s all about give and take, I guess.

    5. Did you deliberately misspell repeal? Freudian slip?

    6. Why are immoral, illogical and destructive “laws” ok when they are “old?” Why do you want to infringe on the rights of anyone?

      Oh, and this murderer probably would not have been stopped by any check or law in any case. But he would have been incapable of killing anyone again if his FIRST intended victim – or their guardian – had blown his head off….If I’d been the mother of the infant he hurt… he would not have survived very much longer afterwards. Hell, he would never have had an opportunity to harm my child… or me.

  6. So you’re not familiar with how government operates? If the system fails to operate correctly, you need more system. A sufficient amount of complexity in a system is the amount necessary to cause the system to fail to operate all together, not to merely operate haphazardly. Put the VA in charge of background checks if you need a demonstration of how to not get something done.

    1. “Put the VA in charge of background checks if you need a demonstration of how to not get something done.”

      It would also serve as an example of “we need more funding to fix this!”

  7. Because they wanted him to pass the background check.

    Who’s “they” you ask?

    Exactly.

    1. Don’t ask questions. Just tune into Fox News or CNN. They’ll tell you all you need to think.

    2. Abundantly scaled hot blooded abled-body peoples of multiple colors?

    3. The IRS?

    4. Yes, please tell us who this “They” is.

      Did they use chemtrails to incite him?

      Oh, also, I need to see your birth certificate.

  8. So basically the 2nd Amendment makes mass shootings more deadly and likely to occur but it’s worth enduring these for freedom?

    1. So basically, you are retarded and lack the ability to do basic reasoning. We already knew that but I guess it can’t hurt to remind everyone just how stupid you are.

      1. You attack with an ad hom and accuse another of stupidity with nothing to support your opinion so that makes you the idiot and a dick.

        1. “with nothing to support your opinion”

          Your posts are nothing?

          Ok you said it.

      1. Like when you’re cooking nude and some of the bacon grease spatters, innit.

        1. The only activity I conduct while clothed is frying bacon, so I don’t know the feeling.

          1. Mohammedan readers will kindly disregard the infidel’s gibbering, nothing to read here… no cultural dissing intended…

    2. Yes, just like your buddy Tony says that speech should be policed by the government, because look what the government of Nazi Germany did with unchecked free speech!

      1. Tony is always projecting his faults on others. Sad!!!

        1. But he has so many faults and so little time to project! He just HAS to stick with it!

      2. My argument is that propaganda can be a tool of evil, and if you deny that then you’re not thinking clearly. I merely pose the difficult question of how do you prevent the evils propaganda can do while maintaining a free speech absolutist position? At first glance, any crackdowns on purveyors of destructive propaganda would seem to run afoul of that, and as you imply the power to do so could easily get in the “wrong” hands. On the other hand mass media technologies make the spreading of harmful bullshit an epidemic, and resulting problems are happening as we speak.

        1. “My argument is that propaganda can be a tool of evil”

          And that’s because you’re not very bright and easily duped. We get it man.

          1. It’s why I see people like you not as terrible jerkoffs, but as victims. Of course you are free enough to turn off FOX News and consume information from somewhere real.

            1. Well, yeah, you project constantly.

              We already covered that.

        2. The only legitimate “crackdown” on propaganda includes more propaganda that counters falsehoods.

        3. Those evil words!

          *says Tony

        4. Isn’t there supposed to be something in between the “if you question the proof of a negative” and “then (meaning therefore)”?

        5. I’m all for free speech, but….

        6. Anyone can speak… nobody has to listen…

          The harm comes from blindly believing and failing to make the effort to comprehend and measure what is said against history and rational thinking.

          My mother said it very clearly 50 years ago… “If people around you were jumping off a cliff, would you just jump off too? Or would you think about it and try to figure out what is really going on first?

          Critical thinking and analysis are not easy, but quite possible. Try it sometime.

        7. On the other hand mass media technologies make the spreading of harmful bullshit an epidemic, and resulting problems are happening as we speak.

          Don’t worry, “harmful bullshit” that has been published in conventional media for a century has resulted in moral panics, crazy reactionism and stupefying actions for a long time.

          It’s only an “issue” to Republicrats when it’s perceived as influencing people against their interests. Exhibit A: crudely photoshopped social media images.

    3. It’s worse than that. The Bill of Rights is one giant loophole factory!

      1. Worse or better, I didn’t make a value judgment?

      2. Can’t have free will to choose between good and evil, someone might choose evil!

        1. “When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong …”

    4. Shootings and/or violence are more numerous in lots of parts of the world that don’t enjoy a 2A. Apparently, whole villages of people are being wiped from the face of the Earth in Myanmar. Anders Breivik, without a 2A, was able to kill more people and will, not unplausibly, go free before he dies.

      It’s really weird that you think these people are skimming over the Constitution and going, “Oh, right there! I *can* go shoot a few dozen people to death legally!”

      1. The prime concern of murderers is, of course, obeying laws.

      2. I am suggesting that gun laws make the task of committing gun murders more or less complicated. Not impossible but more improbable depending upon the restriction and other factors. A less determined or competent plotter might trip up on that added step. Of course you’ve identified instances in which very restrictive gun control did not prevent the murder and may have exacerbated the slaughter.

        1. I am suggesting that gun laws make the task of committing gun murders more or less complicated. Not impossible but more improbable depending upon the restriction and other factors. A less determined or competent plotter might trip up on that added step.

          If you really wanted to trip the shooter up, fuck the 1A and forbid the congregation of more than 5 or so people in a building or outdoor venue. You could also require double-wall security with a minimum transit time so that even if an intruder blasted his way through the outer wall, people inside have time to egress or defend themselves before being face-to-face with the threat.

          This has the added benefit of not thwarting just firearms attacks. Anything short of a Davy Crockett and in order to kill 50 people he’d have to get 10 separate groups to agree to disobey the law. Otherwise, even the dumbest schmuck is going to be able to lay hands on a gun or rent a truck from Home Depot and plow through a crowd of people.

        2. “I am suggesting that gun laws make the task of committing gun murders more or less complicated.”
          You are incorrect though.

          Armed citizenry allows for average people to defend themselves and others who need help. Its worth the risk of a few more crazy people shooting innocents. At least hundreds of people use guns to protect themselves which is far more than innocents who die each year from criminal mass shootings.

      3. “will, not unplausibly, go free before he dies.” Relatives of victims can look forward to vengeance then?

    5. Please expand on the “more deadly” and “likely to occur”.

      I may be incorrect, but I believe the 2A has been around since the beginning. Maybe it just has a latent effect?

      1. I was implying that as gun technology advances those improvements would produce ‘better’ results, i.e more deadly gun attacks.

        1. It’s like you’ve never even heard of a Girandoni rifle. (or that the Girandoni 22 shot, .46 cal repeating rifle was equipped by the Austrian army in 1815).

        2. The gun he used was designed in the 1950s, and has direct ties to guns designed in the 1880s.

          Still waiting for that “advanced technology.”

    6. So basically the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments make it easier for criminals to avoid punishment altogether or receive reduced punishment and therefore makes it more likely that they’ll commit more crimes but it’s worth enduring those crimes for freedom?

      See how easy it is to let the camel’s nose under the tent?

    7. So basically, the 1st Amendment makes child porn more available, but it’s worth enduring for freedom?

  9. I heard somewhere recently that background checks shouldn’t be a thing anyway. So, win?

    1. You heard right. The 2nd Amendment prohibits said background checks preventing people from keeping and bearing arms.

  10. Funny how an evil scumbag with a violent record ten miles long can fall thru the cracks while those with a petty Marijuana charge from 30 years ago are denied the right to protect themselves.

    1. Well, that “evil scumbag with a violent record ten miles long” is an actual dangerous person, who you probably wouldn’t want to piss off by denying them the ability to arm themselves. If pot smokers were more prone to violence perhaps more of them would “fall through the cracks” too? /sarc

  11. He passed the checks because he’s part of that protected class of Americans who do not fall under the same rules and regulations as the rest of us: He’s a Left Wing anti-American.

    1. That is certainly a comment.

    2. He’s a Left Wing anti-American.

      Citation needed. Nowhere has anyone even remotely mentioned his political leanings. As far as anyone can tell, this was a domestic situation gone very bad. His ex mother-in-law went to that church, so he probably went to kill her (and anyone who got in the way), but she wasn’t there. So he decided to settle for gunning down a bunch of random strangers instead.

      1. My bad, I didn’t realize that self-confessed atheists who loath Christians are radical conservatives.

        1. You just described significant portion of the libertarian population, but go on thinking you struck gold there.

          1. Libertarians don’t believe in pushing their wills on others, whether through force of government or a gun. Leftists seek to push their wills on others using both government and weapons.

  12. The only thing I see coming out of this is Texas taking over as POC for FFL transactions.

    1. What do people of color have to do with this, weirdo?

      1. I’ll admit that when I first saw the headline about a shooting at a Baptist Church, my first thought was that it was a largely black church in another Dylan Roof type of situation.

        1. Thankfully it wasn’t a black church, or the media would be going hog wild ballistic right now, even if the shooter was black too. I’m relieved when the shooters turn out to be Muslim or left wing radicals because we never get 2 months worth of how evil capitalist racist America is and how only communism will save us. Instead, we get 24 hours of speculation of “what could his motives have been?” and then the story dies.

          1. Exactly. Does anyone remember the press coverage of the Antioch, Tenn. church shooting(1 killed 8 wounded) by Emanuel Kidega Samson, from Sudan at the mixed-race church? Just back in September?

            That’s what I thought…

      2. EVERY gun control law (every morality law) ends up affecting poor people and black folks far, FAR worse than anyone else?

        Gun control advocacy is BY FAR the largest and most mainstream position in support of white supremacy today.

  13. According to a 2001 article in The Military Lawyer, “A court-martialed soldier convicted of a reportable offense entered into the NCIC/NICS will be denied the sale of a firearm.” A footnote says reportable offenses include cases involving “a dismissal or punitive discharge” or “conviction of an offense that carries a possible sentence of confinement of one year or more.”

    In a CNN interview, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Kelley had applied for a concealed carry permit but was rejected by the state’s Department of Public Safety. “So how was it that he was able to get a gun?” Abbott asked. “By all the facts that we seem to know, he was not supposed to have access to a gun. So how did this happen?”

    My guess is that some pencil pusher in the Air Force neglected to report his conviction to the FBI or some pencil pusher at the FBI didn’t bother to enter the conviction into the NCIC/ NICS database. That’s the problem with relying on a database to decide who does and doesn’t get to exercise certain rights: you have to trust that the data entered is complete and correct.

    1. In other words, you have to assume that some idiot who couldn’t qualify to work in the private sector where they actually expect results (which is why they’re working at a boring, do nothing government data entry job instead) is actually competent at their jobs. These are fucktards who couldn’t even get a job at McDonald’s for fuck’s sake. Why would anyone expect any kind of competency from them?

      1. Actually, it must have been in the database for it to pop up for the state of Texas. Therefore, the problem is probably that the permit application to the FBI “timed out” and was approved by default.

        1. I don’t get this “timed out” thing. Whenever I have purchased a new gun, I wait until the NICS is done or else I don’t leave with the gun.

          1. NICS can respond with three answers: 1) yes, allow the transaction; 2) no, it’s forbidden; 3) indeterminate. It can be indeterminate for any number of reasons. If 3) happens, NICS needs to come back with a 2) in a specified time period or it automatically becomes a 1).

            1. And it was done this way so that the NICS records check did not become a de-facto gun ban.

              1. Exactly

                About 5 or 6 years ago, Illinois was failing to meet its statutory requirement of issuing FOID cards within 30 days. They were actually taking five or six months claiming they did not have the money.

                There were no consequences for failure. The applications could sit around a year for all the Gov, Attorney General, and head of the ISP (all anti-gun owner) were concerned.

    2. Yep – the Air Force fucked this up. There’s an Air Force Spokesperson who is going to have a really bad day tomorrow.

  14. It’s not clear why he repeatedly passed federal background checks while purchasing firearms…

    They should make that illegal.

    1. Beautifully observed. I could definitely see this cross the minds of our great lawmakers but it run up against another prime directive that cops/govt have no duty to protect.

  15. A couple locks, some chain, 5 gallons of gas and a match would’ve probably done the same thing.

    1. In which case we’d all be treated to lots of calls for “common sense padlock control” today. /sarc

    2. Was your church formerly a government installation or strip club? Every church I’ve been in has great big windows and all manner of heavy objects to toss through them.

      1. My church is a government strip club.

    3. Odd, but that was one of my first thoughts. Along with, “Even if he’d used two Colt double-action revolver from 1877, he could have easily killed 12 people right off the bat–as fast as he could pull the trigger–without reloading.”

  16. Anyone who thinks the government can prevent crazy people from doing crazy things is delusional. We live in a somewhat free society. Within that structure, pretty much any nut can go beserker on people and cause deaths, be it with guns, hammers, trucks, or probably rabid hamsters if they’re motivated enough. Stop imagining the world can be made risk free. That world does not exist. It doesn’t matter if you burn the whole Bill of Rights to ashes and disarm every single person. Crazy people don’t give a fuck about the rules or morals or whatever else you can dream up to define proper behavior among others- end of story. It’s amazing to me people argue about gun control as if then they’ll magically be safe when only the government has guns. You have to be willfully stupid to believe that. An armed citizen actually shot this asshole, possibly preventing others from dying. Even if he only shot at him and distracted him, it’s a win for whoever did not get shot due to the distraction. Gun control is just liberal’s way of virtue signaling each other. Control is the operative word, and guns prevent them taking it.

    1. It is worth keeping in mind, that he could probably have done just a much damage running a Ryder truck through the church, with or without fertilizer and diesel fuel in the back.

    2. Why not create a prison society; everything is so peaceful in actual prisons, we should try it for the whole society.
      Actually, one wonders if all this violence and “people snapping” is due to less freedom in our society?

      1. At a glance on Google News archives, the average death toll for “prison riot” looks to be about 28 people. The “people snapping” question does indeed get raised in studies of overpopulation, albeit never in anti-choice literature. Another thing hardly anyone questions is whether government policies requiring the initiation of force may be setting the example.

      1. Lol the Onion isn’t real news bruh. Now your posts make more sense.

      2. Care to comment on this?

        1. God damn it. Why does HTML not work here?

          goo.gl/r6i7KE

          1. Because they don’t want it to work.

      3. Way to link articles from the Onion?

      4. ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens

        Satire about a 2A-loving nation.

        26 Gunmen rob, rape nuns voluntarily delivering earthquake relief aid in Mexico

        Not satire about a nation that weakened (arguably to the point of destruction) its equivalent of the 2A.

        On the bright side, only one person in Mexico was shot and one raped (well, for all we know, the victims refused to file charges).

        1. 26 out of 27 people had a good time. That’s just democracy.

      5. Finland and Switzerland both have higher incidences of mass shooting that the U.S.

        1. France has strict gun control and they seem to have a mass shooting every year.

          1. I hear they import a lot of those, especially from Germany…

            1. How similar! We import quite a bit of our violent criminals from Mexico, South America, Muslim countries, and Africa.

      6. Bataclan
        Oslo
        Charlie Hebdo
        Munich
        Liege
        Brussels
        Cumbria
        Stockholm
        London Bridge
        Westminster
        Berlin
        Barcelona
        Nice

        Plus a few dozen others I can’t remember the names of.

        It is amazing that you get away with continuing to use this lie when anyone who’s paid attention to their pusher alerts for the last 10 years knows it isn’t true.

  17. t’s not clear why he repeatedly passed federal background checks while purchasing firearms

    To easy…white privilege, duh…

    1. Too easy…the 2nd Amendment says government shall not infringe on the People’s right to keep and bear arms?

      1. No infringement.

        He voluntarily surrendered that right.

        1. No he didn’t.

          The state took away certain rights because of him violating the law. After his sentence, he got his Liberty back.

          The main reason why prisoners typically cant vote in custody is because some people are afraid that thousands of prisoners voting will skew tiny local elections. This has happened and they never thought to say that prisoners are not residents of a jurisdiction but cattle being housed to complete their sentences.

          Problem solved.

  18. This one is on the Feds. If the state of Texas found out about his record and denied him open carry permits, then that means this mistake can’t be pinned on oversight on the part of the army. Unless there are separate databases they had to file report on.

    In other words, (for all intents and purposes) the feds said it was ok for him to own guns, whereas the state government said he couldn’t. Yeah, I don’t have much faith in the feds running a single “universal” background check.

  19. If this guy got special treatment during the Obama administration, someone should check to see if he’s a Clinton Foundation donor.

  20. No dates are given as to when he applied for permission to buy a gun and get background checked but i would bet thah it was on obama’s and Loretta Lynch’s watch.

  21. if a monster wants a gun – he will get one!!

    The TRUTH about the “supremacy clause” – our Constitution does not delegate to the national government authority to restrict our arms, ammunition, regulate firearms dealers, do background checks, etc.

    https://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/ ?s=The+TRUTH+about+the+”supremacy+clause

  22. *The Second Amendment was not inserted into our Bill of Rights for the purpose of hunting or target shooting. It was put there for the purpose of the people being able to defend themselves from criminals AND from oppressive governments.

    The 2nd Amend is a RESTRICTIVE admendment. It states such in the Preamble to Bill of Rights. the 2A does not grant nor convey any right, but RESTRICTS and PROHIBITS the government from infringing upon this enumerated, pre-existing, God given right.

  23. “By all the facts that we seem to know, he was not supposed to have access to a gun.”

    He was also not supposed to carry a gun into church. He was not supposed to kill people. The government failed to stop these crimes despite laws against them.

    1. Because these laws restricting gun purchase by a person convicted of domestic abuse (giving his stepson a skull fracture in this case) were not effective and the government is not effective in enforcing them, what I am hearing from some people here is that there should not be any such laws. Because….liberty…

      I think nuts, former convicted murderers and domestic abusers should have a difficult time getting guns. Yes, they will still be able to get guns but making it more difficult for them to get them could slow them down. Slowing them down could very well save lives.

      1. We need miore restrictions on domestic abusers.

        they should be prohibited from voting.

        They should be prohibited from practicing law or medicine.

        They should be prohibited from residing within five miles of a public school or public park.

        They should be required to wear a distinctive badge on their left sleeve.

  24. The USAF has admitted that they requirement to report the offense and conviction to the FBI for inclusion in the National Instant Check System database. Was this a civilian clerk or an enlisted or an officer who failed. Ultimately it is an officer who is responsible.
    Will they face a reduction in rank?
    The NICS background check system fails so often because of false positive results that point out a criminal record for someone with a similar name. In this case it failed because data the was required to be entered wasn’t.
    The dealers who sold the guns and ammunition followed the law exactly.
    Will Schumer, Finestien, Bloomberg et all condemn the laxitude and errors in the system that denies the rights of honest citizens and fails to function to identify the truly violent.
    http://www.atf.gov has all the laws that apply to firearms purchases, as I recall it is Title 18 section 926 and the domestic violence conviction while in the USAF and if the family had filed a domestic violence restraining order, the NICS database should have flagged the killer as “Do Not Sell.”
    News reports he was sending threatening emails, that too should have brought the sheriff to his abode where his guns would have been found and his criminal record would have caused his arrest on the spot for federal and state law violations. Were the emails reported and investigated?

    1. Will they face any liability from the families of the deceased?

      I think that a FOIA to find out what officer is (ir)responsible for not entering the many thousands of military convictions into the NCIC should be on the list of things to do for any attorney associated with said families.

  25. Obviously we need to expand the size of the Air Force by lots and lots so these things don’t fall thru the cracks anymore.

  26. The left must be pissed right now that this can be reasonably explained. My guess is they will put forth the narrative that this could happen again and again, so we still need to ban something just to be sure.

    1. The most obvious argument is for larger bureaucracy so that these kinds of things don’t slip through any more.

  27. This is one of the many problems with control. The same people who deliver the mail and work at the DMV will be deciding who is eligible to purchase a gun.

  28. “Update II: Citing an unnamed “defense official,” USA Today reports that “the Air Force failed to enter Kelley’s conviction in the National Crime Information Center database.” The paper adds that “the Air Force was required to provide the information to the database because Kelley was convicted of a domestic assault and would not have been able to purchase a gun legally.””

    As anyone can plainly see, just one more restriction on gun ownership by the general public would have kept the gun out of this guy’s hands!
    Just one more!

    1. Oh, and some time-stamps on the updates would be appreciated, Mr. Sullum.

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