The threat of a mass shooting is something Americans have to live with today. A mass shooting can occur anywhere. Who would ever have thought a shooter would enter a small church in a tiny town in Texas and kill 26 people and wound another 20?
We have many people today who have mental health problems. It is far too easy for them to get a rifle or handgun.
Our background checking system for a person to obtain a gun, even an assault weapon, is broken. The gunman who entered the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was a former member of the Air Force, who had been dishonorably discharged and had a record of being violent. The Air Force admitted it erred in not sending his name to a national registry that may have stopped him from purchasing firearms. It was required to do so. New legislation is being proposed to close loopholes in the vetting process.
owever, even if Devin Kelley’s name had been sent to the national registration name-bank as a dangerous person and not allowed to buy firearms, he would have been able to purchase guns somewhere, at a gun show or through some person. Gun traffic is strong. The police were well aware of Kelley, chiefly through domestic and animal abuse violence.
e even once fled from a mental hospital. It also has been learned that the Air Force caught him while he tried to sneak firearms into an air base in New Mexico. He was attempting to carry out death threats that he made toward his military chain of command. The military had sentenced him to a year of confinement for domestic assault on his wife and her child. He received a bad conduct discharge.
Kelley’s mother-in-law be-
longed to the church where he killed and wounded people, but she was not there when the shooting occurred. Reportedly he had a dispute with her.
Mass shootings have led to tight security at public events, but few churches have ever had a need for protection. Shootings can occur anywhere and there is no 100 percent guarantee of security.
The only solution is to try and keep track of people with mental problems who tend to have violent behavior. The problem is if they haven’t committed a crime, they can’t be arrested.
The law enforcement agencies often are aware of a potentially dangerous person, but they can’t keep him under surveillance 24 hours a day. It is very important to report any threats made by troubled people.
We live in a dangerous world!