Article from Town Hall by Guy Benson.

Before I make a political point, let me first acknowledge the horrifying loss of life in Sutherland Springs, Texas.  A lone gunman — who should never have had a gun — murdered 26 innocent people in cold blood as they worshipped in church Sunday morning.  Nearly two dozen more were wounded, some of whom remain in critical condition.  The death toll included multiple children, as well as eight members of a single family.  The terror and carnage is so awful to contemplate that it’s tempting to avoid doing so; but for an entire close-knit community, the pain is inescapable and searing.  May God rest the victims’ souls, and may He comfort the bereaved.

Which brings us to the latest savagery in Sutherland Springs.  Amid the sound and fury, two salient facts have emerged, each of which complicate cheap and simplistic anti-gun narratives: First, as Christine noted, the murderer — who was denied a carry permit by the state of Texas — was already legally barred from purchasing a gun, due to his military court martial conviction for domestic abuse.  That disqualifying conviction, however, got lost in the federal bureaucracy.  It was never transmittedfrom one element of the federal government to another, and therefore the relevant red flag never popped up during the background check to which the killer was subjected.  He improperly passed:

Sickeningly, it was a similar bureaucratic oversight that allowed America’s previous church massacre perpetrator (what a revolting sentence fragment) to obtain a firearm.  The Charleston killer should have been prevented from buying a gun under existing law, but the system failed.  This strikes me as manifestly true, both in this instance and on many other topics:

It seems wise that rather than piling up new laws, we should work together to ensure that the ones we already have are actually applied and enforced effectively.  Rather than pretending that virtually-universal background checks aren’t already mandatory, or that convicted criminals aren’t already banned from buying guns, let’s work to ensure that our background check databases are current and streamlined.  Second, as Matt wrote, for all the demonization and scapegoating that the NRA endures after gun-related mass killings, their members (who are overwhelmingly and assiduously law-abiding) rarely if ever turn out to be the killers.  And for all the misplaced mockery the left heaps upon the “good guy with a gun” argument in favor of gun rights, the Sutherland Springs attacker’s rampage — which may very well have continued elsewhere — was stopped by a good guy with a gun…

Read the entire article at Town Hall.

Image Credit: Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons