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More gun nonsense: Enforce the laws we have

EDITORIAL
November 11. 2017 3:42PM

Stephen Willeford, the man who shot the shooter in the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs shooting, reacts at a prayer vigil in Floresville, Texas, Nov. 8, 2017. (REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

When a terrorist murdered eight people in New York City by driving a rented truck down a bike path, politicians did not call for sweeping federal legislation to ban trucks.

Yet when a man with a history of threats, violence, and mental problems murdered 26 people in a Texas church, gun control advocates immediately renewed their campaign to take away the rights of law-abiding Americans.

Devin Kelley never should have been allowed to purchase a firearm. He had been given a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force for assaulting his wife and child.

The Air Force neglected to enter Kelley's record into the National Criminal Information Center database. This is a colossal institutional failure, but adding Kelley to the database would not necessarily have prevented his killing spree.

Texas denied Kelley a license to carry a gun, but that didn't stop him. It is folly to presume that someone bent on mass murder would balk at acquiring a gun illegally.

Kelley fled the church when a neighbor approached him with his own gun. The deadly spree was stopped by Stephen Willeford, a trained and responsible gun owner.

Willeford reportedly used his AR-15 rifle to stop Kelley. That is one of the weapons that Senate Democrats would ban under the "assault weapons ban" they reintroduced last week.

Such silly laws do nothing to lower crime rates, but they would have disarmed the man who stopped the spree.

So far, New Hampshire's senators have not backed this bad idea.


Crime, law and justice Politics Public Safety Gun Control Editorial