A 46-year-old married insurance adjuster who moonlighted as an Uber driver went on a shooting spree in Kalamazoo, Michigan Saturday night. Over a period of five hours, he opened fire at three different locations on complete strangers. He killed six, critically wounded a 14-year-old girl, and left a mother in serious condition.
The alleged murderer*—who has apparently confessed to “taking lives” while being questioned—had no criminal record. He appears to have purchased the handgun he used in the murders legally, after going through FBI NICS background checks.
Nonetheless, President Barack Obama is attempting to exploit the murders in order to push for more gun control laws.
“Earlier this year, I took some steps that will make it harder for dangerous people like this individual to buy a gun. But clearly, we’re gonna need to do more if we’re gonna keep innocent Americans safe,” Mr. Obama said, referring to executive actions he took earlier this year to try to increase the frequency of background checks.
“I have got to assume that all of you are just as tired as I am of seeing this stuff happen in your states. So that’s an area where we also need to partner and think about what we can do in a common-sense way, in a bipartisan way, without some of the ideological rhetoric that so often surrounds that issue,” he said.
Tellingly, President Obama didn’t cite which of his gun control proposals might have prevented the shooting in Kalamazoo. There’s a very simple reason for that.
None of President Obama’s gun control proposals would have had any impact on the ability of a man with no criminal record to lawfully buy a firearm. The murderer had no prior record of violent crime. The murderer had no record of petty crime. His only brushes with the law had been minor traffic violations. He lived in a quiet neighborhood where he was sociable with his neighbors, living with his wife of 15 years and two children, ages 10 and 15.
President Obama wants more gun control. He says that he, “that will make it harder for dangerous people like this individual to buy a gun.”
But the fact of the matter is that President Barack Obama is lying. Here’s the proof.
- Redefine who was “in the business of” selling firearms. This was, like so much out of the Obama White House, “just words.” Neither Obama nor Lynch have the authority to arbitrarily rewrite laws. Only Congress can change laws. In any event, this executive action (“action” apparently meaning “empty rhetoric”) changes nothing, as the murderer had no criminal record, and had passed background checks.
- Change the law on “gun trusts.” The killer used a common handgun, a firearm not typically purchased by trusts. In unrelated news, I do thank the President for making it easier for me to buy a machine gun.
- Encourage more states are providing updated records to the FBI NICS background check system. The National Rifle Association has been calling for for years. While a good policy, the murderer had no record to update.
- Hire more FBI NICS investigators to conduct background checks. The murderer had no record of even non-violent misdemeanor crimes.
- Hire more ATF agents to inspect gun dealers. The killer passed all background checks, and bought his guns legally.
- Make it a crime to not report gun thefts fast enough. The gun used wasn’t stolen.
- Domestic violence outreach. There is no record or even hints that the murderer had anything but a good relationship with his family members or his spouse.
- Increase access to mental health care. There is no indication that the suspect or his family ever sought mental health care.
- Smart guns. Even if smart guns existed in a viable form (they do not) the murderer would have been authorized to use his own firearm.
President Obama’s January “executive actions” on firearms amounted to empty rhetoric. They cannot and will not save lives.
The murders in Kalamazoo simply underscore how ineffective President Obama’s proposals have always been.