In the wake of the latest massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas we’ve heard numerous Democratic politicians call for additional gun control measures to be implemented in an effort to prevent further massacres. Conservatives are answering back with staunch defenses of the Second Amendment coupled with the cold-hard facts surrounding the event which unfolded Sunday morning at the First Baptist Church.
President Trump was pressed by an NBC reporter about on the matter of “extreme vetting” as it pertained to American citizens exercising their Second Amendment Rights:
“You’ve talked about wanting to put extreme vetting on people trying to come into the United States, but I wonder if you’d consider extreme vetting for people trying to buy a gun.”
President Trump responded by reminding the reporter of how inappropriate her question was as he rebuked her for immediately politicizing the event. President Trump went on to explain the obvious:
“If you did what you’re suggesting [extreme vetting], there would have been no difference three days ago, and you might not have had that very brave person who happened to have a gun or a rifle in his truck, go out and shoot him and hit him and neutralize him. I can only say this: If he didn’t have a gun, instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead. So that’s the way I feel about it. Not going to help.”
The President is correct. The problem wasn’t whether or not Devin Patrick Kelley was properly vetted while trying to purchase a firearm, he was screened as it pertained to NCIS. The failure came from the Air Force under the Obama Administration, failing to log Kelley’s domestic-abuse convictions into the NCIS database. The government’s error is the reason Devin Patrick Kelley was able to purchase that firearm. We have laws in place that would have prevented Kelley from purchasing any firearm, the failure was human error not legislative inaction.
The laws Congress enact become feckless when government bureaucracies fail to follow protocol, which is part of the reason the Conservative movement pushes for smaller government presence. Far too often, the failure is on behalf of the government rather than the individual. The probability of bureaucratic failures resulting in catastrophic events increases with the size of government.
We’ve seen a similar error occur in Charlestown, South Carolina where Dylann Roof murdered 9 African-Americans in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Dylann Roof, an admitted white nationalist, was arrested on a drug charge back in 2015 which should have barred him from purchasing a firearm in the state of South Carolina. The gun control measures that were in place would have stopped Roof from purchasing a gun had it not been for human error regarding protocol. Then-FBI Director, James Comey, made the following statement regarding Roof’s ability to purchase the firearm used in the massacre:
“After that horrific day when Roof allegedly used the gun in Charleston, the matter was obviously researched and the rap sheet confusion—listing the arresting agency as the Lexington County Sheriff—and the internal contact sheet omission were discovered. But the bottom line is clear: Dylann Roof should not have been able to legally buy that gun that day.”
There is no point to call for additional gun measures since there were already systems in place that should have prevented these individuals from purchasing firearms. Had it not been for government failures in following their own protocols, we may not be having this debate right now. The answer is not nearly as energetic as Elizabeth Warren’s grandstanding in blaming the NRA, even though it was an NRA instructor that ended the massacre in Sutherland Springs.
We will never prevent every mass shooting just as we cannot prevent every terrorist attack, car accident, or suicide. By tightening up the protocols contained within current gun laws and streamlining pertinent information to the proper agencies, we may be able to prevent the next massacre; may be. Enacting more laws before addressing the failures of existing laws will only result in more bureaucratic errors. Common sense dictates, as the size of government grows so does the margin of error within various bureaucracies.