In the aftermath of the worst mass shooting in the history of Texas, people all over America are questioning why Devin P. Kelley was allowed to own the Ruger AR-556 rifle that he used to kill 26 church-goers on Sunday.
Devin Kelly led a life that showed ample signs of his violent nature. While serving as a logistical readiness airman in the US Air Force in 2012 he was court-martialed in New Mexico for making violent threats against his superiors, and was subsequently sentenced to a year in military prison for assaulting his wife and child. Also in 2012, Kelley escaped from a mental health facility after he was caught sneaking guns onto an Air Force base and “attempting to carry out death threats” against senior officers. Two years later in 2014, Kelley was charged with cruelty to animals in nearby Colorado.
Kelley’s crimes during his time in the Air Force and his criminal convictions should have prevented him from purchasing firearms legally. However, the Air Force failed to report Kelley’s crimes in the FBI database, as is required by existing laws.
The Air Force failed to submit information about Texas church shooting suspect Devin Kelley’s convictions to the FBI, the Air Force said today.
The failure was a result of what one law enforcement source described to ABC News as an administrative error. Had the conviction information been entered into the NCIC, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System should have prevented the sale of the firearms Kelley purchased, law enforcement sources said.
This seemingly insignificant “administration error” during Kelley’s conviction for violent crimes during his time in the Air Force eventually ended up playing a very significant role in his ability to murder 26 innocent people in Texas. To be fair, humans are not perfect and mistakes happen, especially when dealing with massive amounts of data. However, the main takeaway from this revelation is that current gun laws were in place to prevent a violent offender from obtaining firearms, yet due to human error these laws were ineffective, indicating that new laws restriction gun ownership could suffer the same ineffectiveness.
The question remains: Would any additional gun laws have prevented Kelley from carrying out this attack, or at least minimized the causalities that Kelley was able to inflict. It’s easy for Democrats and anti-gun lobbyists to paint this shooting with a broad brush, insisting that if “assault weapons” were banned, then lives would have been saved. However, it’s important to note that a “good guy with a gun”, Stephen Willeford, was able prevent the shooter from inflicting further causalities on innocent Americans. Willeford, who successfully shot through a gap in Kelley’s body armor and was able to significantly wound him, stated during an interview on the Louder With Crowder show yesterday that he wouldn’t have stood a chance against Devin Kelley if he only had a handgun instead of his legally owned assault rifle.
The fact remains that a person who is willing to slaughter innocents and sacrifice their own lives will ALWAYS have the capacity to commit murder or other heinous acts. Therefore, the argument to ban assault rifles or all guns will never prevent all incidents of mass murder, but can only be said to possibly reduce the number of deaths when a murderous individual seeks to end lives. The argument can be made that if Kelley did not have access to an assault rifle, the loss of life may have been reduced. However, as has been seen time and time again in the past few years, terrorist and murderer do not need firearms to end mass quantities of lives. From France to Germany to the United Kingdom, radical terrorists have used everything from nail bombs, bucket bombs, machetes and vehicles to inflict horrific numbers of causalities.
The question should not be which objects can we take away from citizens to prevent mass murders from taking place, but rather what is the root cause of the murderer’s desire to kill innocent people in the first place? Whether it be a radical ideology straight out of the dark ages, mental health problems or the product of sheer hatred for a particular section of society, seeking to solve the root cause of mass murder rather than simply treat the symptoms will always be more effective in saving lives.
The exclusive interview with Stephen Willeford, the man who is being hailed as a hero for preventing Devin Kelley from taking more lives during his rampage in Texas, can be viewed below. If anyone has lost confidence in America or humanity due to the recent mass shooting, then knowing that good people such as Willeford still exist and are willing to risk their lives to save innocent Americans will help you maintain your faith.