Lack of gun control not behind UVA shooting

AP Photo/Steve Helber

The UVA shooting has made headlines and created tons of discussion throughout the nation. It’s unsurprising that many, including the president, are jumping on this as an opportunity to push their favorite gun control policies.

However, in a move that’s unsurprising to pretty much everyone who doesn’t have their head buried in the sand, it seems that gun control simply failed.

Jones purchased two firearms from a sporting goods store in the Petersburg, Virginia, area earlier this year, but it remains unclear whether either of them was used in the shooting. The store owner said in an email to The Progress-Index, a member of the USA TODAY Network, that Jones tried to purchase weapons on two other occasions, once in 2018 and again last year. He failed both background checks and did not obtain the weapons.

Jones bought the firearms in separate purchases, said Marlon Dance, owner of Dance’s Sporting Goods in Colonial Heights. According to Dance’s records, Jones purchased a Ruger AR-556 rifle on Feb. 19 and a Glock pistol with an additional magazine on July 8. He passed both background checks.

Dance said Jones failed the background check trying to buy a handgun on Dec. 31, 2018, because he was under 21. Jones failed a check last year because he was facing a felony charge of failing to stop for an accident in which he was involved. Jones ultimately entered a plea of no contest to a charge of not reporting a traffic accident – a misdemeanor, so Jones was eligible to purchase guns in Virginia.

So the issue wit the UVA shooting clearly isn’t a lack of gun control. In fact, existing gun control laws prevented him from buying weapons earlier this year. It wasn’t until the charges were reduced to a misdemeanor that he was able to purchase the weapons.

And he went through a criminal background check, passing it at that time.

See, some are eager to blame this shooting on a lack of gun control, but let’s also be realistic here. He had no felony history. I can imagine a few reasons why the charges on the hit and run were reduced, particularly if no one was seriously injured, and it’s only a bad thing in hindsight. Had this guy gone on to cure cancer or something, it would look like an amazing move. That’s just not what happened.

So gun control was in place and it kept him from getting a gun for a time. After that, there was nothing that would have stopped him from getting one.

Further, we need to remember that UVA is a gun-free zone. He ignored that law just as he did the laws about not shooting people.

The laws that were supposed to stop this kind of thing from happening didn’t work.

And yet, there are those who still think the issue is that we don’t have enough laws, that police aren’t useful but a law will be.

Ah, to be that blissfully ignorant of reality.

Unfortunately, the UVA shooting happened. Gun control didn’t stop it.

The end.