Monday, November 6, 2017

Background Checks Only Work As Well As the Government That Runs Them

11/6/17 New York Times:
SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Tex. — A day after a gunman massacred parishioners in a small Texas church, the Air Force admitted on Monday that it had failed to enter the man’s domestic violence court-martial into a federal database that could have blocked him from buying the rifle he used to kill 26 people.
Under federal law, the conviction of the gunman, Devin P. Kelley, for domestic assault on his wife and toddler stepson — he had cracked the child’s skull — should have stopped Mr. Kelley from legally purchasing the military-style rifle and three other guns he acquired in the last four years.
“The Air Force has launched a review of how the service handled the criminal records of former Airman Devin P. Kelley following his 2012 domestic violence conviction,” the Air Force said in a statement.
The statement said Heather Wilson, the Air Force secretary, and Gen. David Goldfein, the Air Force chief of staff, had ordered the Air Force inspector general to “conduct a complete review of the Kelley case.”
The Air Force also said it was looking into whether other convictions had been improperly left unreported to the federal database for firearms background checks.
Someone admits they screwed up.


  1. Moreover, all four services and the Coast Guard ought to be in a white-hot fury to review every court-martial conviction rising to the level of a felony conviction (i.e., an award of one year or more of confinement) for the last 75 years... and then making damned sure that every one of them is in that NICS database.

    Is that an unreasonable request? When the Walker Spy Ring was busted every command in the Navy got an immediate order to lower or eliminate every last security access (access not clearance) where it wasn't an absolute requirement to do the job. (E.g., everyone in the frigate in which I was stationed got a Confidential access as a matter of course -- cooks, boiler techs, and the kid reporting from boot camp.) We sat up most of that night pulling records, making the entries, and compiling the list to be forwarded the next morning up the chain to Big Navy.

    Somehow I'm thinking that kind of thing won't happen with this... and that the services won't budge until Congress puts boot to backsides.

  2. Sufficient levels of Bureaucracy will protect us from evil.

  3. Now they say he escaped from a mental health center after threatening his commanding officers. Definitely not self admitted. The number of rules that were broken is getting excessive. And I want to know where this guy got a helmet and a ballistic vest.

  4. Responding to Mr. Gibson...

    That helmet -- presuming it is a kevlar military helmet as I haven't seen it -- is readily available online. Ditto the body armor. And we ought not get ourselves wrapped around the axle about it either, brother. Those of us who condition ourselves mentally to be sheepdogs rather than sheep must be prepared to confront this kind of threat. If the wolf shows up carrying a rifle and wearing body armor... shoot him. If that first brace of bullets doesn't drop him -- shoot him again. Rinse and repeat. The best way I've seen this put is: Shoot until the bad guy changes shape or catches on fire.

    Odds are that the bad guy WILL stop when confronted with counter-violence. Getting shot wearing body armor is like getting whacked with a baseball bat; it HURTS. That kind of hurt will, at minimum, interrupt his intentions and that will save lives. Yes, you might get shot and you might die... but you're a sheepdog and you knew that was a possibility when you picked up the weapon. Right?

    Woof, woof...