Gun control supporters have constantly argued that “universal” background checks are the most important single element to stopping mass killings… despite the mountain of evidence proving their position to be categorically false.
The mass murderers at Virginia Tech, the Aurora Colorado movie theater, Fort Hood, Isla Vista, the Washington Navy Yard, the attempted mass killing at Arapahoe High School and indeed, the majority of other mass killers since 1993, purchased their firearms legally after passing background checks.
Perhaps even more tellingly, the murderer at the Washington Navy Yard purchased his weapon legally through a system that was “strengthened” after the massacre at Virgina Tech.
CNN is claiming this morning that the murderer who killed nine innocent people at Emanuel AME Zion Church in Charleston Wednesday night did so after buying his Glock .45 through a gun shop, passing a FBI NICS background check.
Dylann Roof has confessed to authorities to shooting and killing nine people this week at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, two law enforcement officials said Friday.
One of the officials said that Roof, who is white, told investigators that he wanted to start a race war.
He himself bought the .45-caliber handgun used in the shooting last April at a Charleston gun store, according to the two officials. Earlier, a senior law enforcement official had indicated that Roof’s father bought him a Glock firearm for his birthday.
If CNN’s sources are correct, then the murderer—who was legally prevented from possessing any firearm under both South Carolina and federal laws—was able to buy his handgun through a licensed dealer because the FBI NICS background check database did not have him listed as a prohibited person, despite his February arrest more than 60 days before.
The background check system simply does not prevent mass killings. More than a dozen mass killers bought their firearms legally since federal background checks were implemented. The rest simply went around the failed system, either murdering to get their guns as the child killer did at Sandy Hook, or through illegal straw purchases as they did at Columbine, or through theft, as they did in Joneboro.
Background checks—universal or otherwise—are no impediment to mass killers, and the most devastating mass killers in modern American history haven’t even used firearms, but have instead relied upon bombing attacks and arson.
The background check myth is only a myth, and those pushing it as a way of preventing mass killings are only lying to themselves… and everyone else.