FORT WORTH – Anytime after a mass shooting in America, there are prayers, fundraisers, and vigils, and almost always soon after – there are conversations about gun control. Is that the answer to stop these mass shootings or will that only stop the good guys from fighting back? Was this even an issue of gun control?
Here are the facts as we know them:
Devin Kelley open fired on a Sutherland Springs Church Sunday morning, killing 26 and injuring 20. A local plumber shot Kelley, causing him to drop his weapon and flee in his SUV. The plumber and a second man in a truck chased Kelley, who then wrecked his vehicle and shot himself.
We also know that Kelley bought the guns ‘legally,’ because the Pentagon failed to disclose his record like they should have.
The topic now in front of us?? Gun control and everything it encompasses.
Texas Firearm Attorney Justin Sparks says Kelley shouldn`t have been allowed to purchase firearms in the first place. “If our federal system, federal registry, that reports these crimes had done what they were supposed to do we should have known about what happened in his court marshaled hearing anything that had happened with a domestic assault, that would have prevented any purchase from a firearm from a licensed dealer.”
Unfortunately, 30-year Dallas police veteran Rich Emberlin says, most bad guys don`t get guns in stores. “If they repeal the Second Amendment, I don`t think any bank robber would say, ‘Honey, I`m going to go turn my gun in. Apparently, it’s against the law to have that now.'”
A former FBI special agent said on CNN it comes down to state regulation and background checks. “In private transfers, that check is not necessarily required; some states require it, some states don`t.”
So are more regulations needed? Some think – yes!
“After each one of these events, we always search for some type of legislative action that might have made a difference,” retired FBI Special Agent James Gagliano says. “There are a number of states in the country that do not require a citizen to report a stolen firearm. It’s insane!”
Some don’t think having “stricter laws” is the answer.
“I think having stricter laws, I think, prohibits those people that are trying to abide by the law from carrying,” Sparks says, with this most recent shooting as a prime example. “If someone`s going to obtain a firearm with the intent of committing a bad act, it doesn`t matter what laws are in place. They`re going to find one.”
As for President Trump’s comment.. “This is an issue of mental health.”
“I’ve purchased guns in stores,” says Emberlin, “and you fill out the form yourself and you say basically, I’ve never been in a mental institution, and nobody checks and they can’t check because of HIPAA but I think that there probably needs to be some section in there that allows people. I know Constitutionalists are gonna go nuts, but if it’s their family member getting killed, I bet they’d be all for it.”
“I think what we’re going to see is a new legislation in the future,” Sparks says, “and what it’s going to entail. If there’s an official diagnoses, there is a requirement to report it to the government. And that is probably going to fall under a HIPAA arm to where it`s not going to be disclosed; however, it can prohibit you to own or possess a firearm,” says Sparks.
So – simply calling for “gun control” may sound nice to some, but it seems like the issue is a lot more complicated than that.