Texas Shooter Was Already Banned from Owning Guns ( Prohibited Person )

by Greg Camp ; Opinion
AmmoLand News welcomes Greg Camp to our list of the best and brightest Second Amendment contributors.

Devin Kelley Prohibited Person
Devin Kelley Prohibited Person
Greg Camp
Greg Camp

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Here we go again.

This time, a shooter has killed twenty-six, as of this writing, and injured at least twenty others in a small church in Sutherland Spring, Texas.

As the details come out, we’re finding that he’s yet another disaffected person who decided to dress up as an operator and take out his frustrations on innocents.

His name is all over the news and social media, and I’m opposed to giving such people the publicity that they crave. Suffice it to say that according to reporting by CBS, the killer served in the Air Force for four years, receiving a court martial and a bad conduct discharge in May of 2014 for assaulting his wife and child.

That latter statement is a significant point here that the advocates of gun control will muddle, if they notice it at all.

Under the Gun Control Act of 1968, the Sutherland Springs Church shooter was a prohibited person from owning guns.

He was convicted of domestic violence, and in such a crime, even a misdemeanor conviction is sufficient to make it illegal for someone to possess firearms.

How he got the particular gun, reported as an AR-15, that he used in this outrage hasn’t been revealed. Did he own it before the court martial? Did he buy it from someone who didn’t check on him since then? Or did he do what ordinary criminals do, acquiring their weapons on the black market or by stealing them?

The consistent belief among gun control advocates is that if only we’d pass one new control, one new restriction, or one new ban, we’d bring an end to mass shootings. Or at least reduce their frequency. This would be a surprising claim to the victims of such slaughters in nations that have strict gun control.

Do we have more guns here than any other nation? Yes. We also have a population that’s larger than most other countries. And, let’s concede a point that is obvious: We have the most guns per capita. The advocates of gun control see cause and effect here, though they don’t want to admit that we do NOT have the highest rate of homicides by gun in the world.  Not even close.

Mass shootings are events that gain our attention, but if people are dying one by one in huge numbers – as they are in Latin America in countries with laws that favor the politically connected – is it a relief to say that those deaths aren’t happening all at once?

The reality is that we’re a relatively young nation. That’s true in history, and it’s true demographically. As Steven Pinker discusses in his book, Better Angels of Our Nature, violence is a behavior of younger people more than those of us who have accumulated more years than would be healthy for a couple of dogs added together. One reason for the decline of violence here is that we’re aging out of it. And if we’d work on the our educational system—paying teachers what they’re worth, making class sizes reasonable for those teachers, and then bringing college within reach of more of us—we’d see a further drop. We’d also achieve the supposed goal of gun laws by ending the War on Drugs. In other words, if we’d do the things that the progressives call for, the emotional drive to impose gun control would have the supports kicked out from under it.

Each One, Teach One: Preserving and protecting the Second Amendment in the 21st century
Each One, Teach One: Preserving and protecting the Second Amendment in the 21st century

There was one interesting bit in the attack that may also get missed in the clamor. According to the reporting in the New York Daily News, Freeman Martin, Texas Department of Public Safety regional director, someone living nearby “grabbed his rifle and engaged” the killer, and as has been the case before, when confronted, the coward ran away.

The takeaway here is that fighting back does work, especially with weapons that are more effective than staplers, or whatever “run, hide, fight” tools the Department of Homeland Security would like us to have.

And for those of us who are not in the immediate action, working on the things that make a better society – opportunity and justice for all – are the solutions that make life more peaceful.

About Greg Camp

Greg Camp has taught English composition and literature since 1998 and is the author of six books, including a western, The Willing Spirit, and Each One, Teach One, with Ranjit Singh on gun politics in America. His books can be found on Amazon. He tweets @gregcampnc.

  • 28 thoughts on “Texas Shooter Was Already Banned from Owning Guns ( Prohibited Person )

    1. Since I am ranting, and disgusted, and feel for the victims and families, i need to tell a story. Last summer our youngest was invited to a church camp, in Island Park, Idaho. Sine we hunt, and are outdoor enthusiasts, we know that area, and the wolf, grizzly, and cat population well. Since we are firearms instructors, we offered no charge training to church officials, and camp parents, with the argument, first of protection from the above stated predators. We did not mention the possibility of human predators, to alarm anyone. We offered to watch the camp and the surrounding area as volunteers. The response and the look on the faces of the people we spoke to were priceless. All I can say is thank goodness our child has taken most of the training that we have, and can shoot and hopefully defend herself, or at least acknowledge the codes of awareness. (The young camp attendees cannot have weapons of any kind, and that is ok. What about the weapon of awareness?) We hope in the future our offers will be accepted. We live in the country and have our own shooting and training range. Thank the almighty that several of our county deputies are instructors and train regularly. We always welcome others to join us. A few years ago we offered to our local school district the concept of firearms training for teachers, with no compensation required. Same look and responses. In fact the situation was priceless. Idaho has become a permitless carry state, and enhanced concealed carry permits are available, with limited training required. As responsible concealed carriers we advocate training, and if and when we attend church, we always carry concealed. Praying, reading the bible, and supporting the constitution is our free agency. Again our prayers to the families, victims, and the community in Texas!

    2. @Peter…Something happened here you will never understand , or being a troll chose not to . The man who lived across the street is a perfect example of an American . I do not know if he was a veteran or not it does not matter . He was caught barefooted in his shirt sleeves . ” He was scared to death” but stepped up to do what needed to be done . Low and behold there was a second American who did not hesitate when needed . That is why America is America and what ever country you claim to be from is not . I really don’t believe you have the freedom to do the shooting you claim to do in a country with as strict of gun laws you claim .

    3. WHERE has Greg Camp, the author of this piece been hiding ???? Under a ROCK ???
      The LAWs already in place would have worked if only Air Force had done its JOB and REPORTED the shooter’s spousal and child ABUSE, the FBI would have had his RECORD and he would have been DENIED the purchase of the firearms…..

      1. We do not yet know how he obtained the weapon. While I’ve never asked, I don’t think the local black market sellers do background checks, nor do I think it likely that thieves would agree to submit to one before stealing a firearm. I also wonder if you are aware of just how easy it is to build a ghost gun:


        Nor are firearms even necessary to commit such crimes:


        However, firearms are the only viable means of defense against such criminals:


        As the Israeli experience should teach us, there is only one solution to a violent attack, regardless of the motive. Return fire.

    4. You cannot keep criminals from breaking the law by creating more laws…plain and simple. Imagine if Texas did not allow gun ownership and the good guy didn’t have that rifle to engage the shooter and end his spree? More people would have died. I think the entire country needs to allow the carrying of firearms by law abiding citizens, across borders and eliminate gun free zones.


    5. I live in a country with strict gun laws and feel much safer. I own guns and shoot regularly and we do not have these kind of incidents occurring ever year let alone every week. Explain to me why automatic and semi automatic weapons are so readily available to the average person let alone a person bearing a grudge with convictions for assault. Simple class restrictions on these weapons would go a long way to curtail mass shootings. This is not about taking away any second amendment right to bear arms. It is a simple matter of you showing cause to own particular weapons and if you can then you can own them. Restrictions on magazine size would reduce the number of people shot before a reload or change of weapon. Of course people will be able to illegally source these weapons but it will be harder. If they are stolen from a legal gun owner then they were not secured properly. If they were not as readily available to all then fewer would be stolen. The rest of the world is feeling less sorry for the USA every time this happens and nobody does anything. Forget the war on terror. They cannot come close to killing the number of people in the USA that you manage for yourselves.

      1. First of all – USA has 360 mill people, how many in your country that you compare too? Automatic guns are not ready available here in the USA that is plain and simple a lie. Educate yourself before you start ranting. And yes you are taking away 2A when you states that one have to have a cause to own a gun. 2A does not give us any rights, it protects our right. The rest of your ranting is nonsense again. Do you know how many crime guns that can not be traced? And why? For bying a gun in the USA you have to go through a NICS background check. If you sell privately you are committing a felony if you sell to a prohibited person. That is not a loophole. One of the biggest mass shooting here was done with a bolt action rifle with a magazine of 5.
        The facts are guns are not the problem psychic people are.
        If you are referring to the church shooting – get the facts first. He was a prohibited person with a known psychological problem. Medicated already in grade school.
        And again do not compare oranges to apples USA has 360 mill not 5 to 10 that the country you are from.

      2. Peter

        Good for you,glad you are satisfied where you live.

        Where I live the state only has federal law as to arms,with the exception of one fish and game law no loaded long guns in a vehicle and that’s it.
        You keep your laws and I’ll keep being a freeman in a free state. GMB

        1. I know the state of which you speak. The state constitution also has (I believe article 16) which is an exact quote of our Federal 2A. And since most households out side of the ‘urban’ areas have a shotgun or 30-30 behind the kitchen door to discourage bears, coons etc from knocking over the garbage containers outside the door. As well as occaisional miscreants in very rural areas. I know, I do.

          1. Vt Patriot / neighbor

            You are correct,Vermont Constitution Art. 16,A state and at one time the only state several states to honor the second amendment as the founders intended.

            I’m pleased 11 other states have joined Vermont in that sprit,now for the remaining 38 to jump on board and live the second amendment as the founders intended. GMB

      3. Peter feels. Peter does not research or think. Peter lives in a different country, and therefore has no standing to opine about our gun laws, and would receive no benefit from what he advocates. Peter, apparently, has no understanding of our God given, Constitutionally enumerated Civil Rights. I conclude that Peter and his opinions are wholly worthless. Peter is used to being a subject.
        Peter has no First Amendment Civil Rights, either. So it is safe to say that Peter should just STFU.

      4. @Peter – You post is so full of holes it not even funny. Automatic weapons are not readily available, there are class restrictions and you can stay if the hell hole you call a country. I’ve lived in other countries that have you kind of restriction and the same things happened there as do here. If the rest of the world feels less sorry for the US then maybe we will fell less sorry for you next time you have a disaster and need help. Go look somewhere else and yo will die waiting.!

        1. Form 4473 11.g
          “Have you been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions?”
          The only conditions that are not, are General discharge and Honorable discharge.
          So he was prevented, specially considering that he served 12 month in jail and was convicted of domestic violence.
          Form 4473 11.i Says any court.
          So the question is when did he obtain the guns?
          It is a felony to lie on a federal form.

          1. Good comment! My prayers for the victims! I was going to post something of the same. Did the background check fail? I guess, no I think, that the feds will cover up what they can, to avoid a mistake. Several lawmakers have spoken about more laws against guns, even before the facts, or covered up facts are revealed. What about the families, and the victims, and the ones fighting for their lives? Blame the gun and the laws first! I wonder if any of the paid off lawmakers will make a contribution to the Texas church? One commentor posted, here, about evil. That is true, maybe the concentration should be about eradicating the evil, instead of guns. I am appalled of the government cover-ups, especially the release of the JFK files. Maybe the lawmakers should spend more time unravelling their cover-ups, and making laws against government cover-ups. My prayers for the victims and families! Iam sorry to rant here, but the facts are correct, and what you stated on form 4473! Have the out spoken, gun grabbing lawmakers read form 4473? Have they researched the facts on how many background checks fail? Criminals will always have guns! Evil people will always find loopholes to obtain guns! Thanks for your comments!

    6. Good Comments. I feel that everyone, including children, criminals and psychiatric patients have rights too. If this does not happen then the value of my shares will decline. I joined the NRA to advocate the right for everyone to bear arms. IT is enshrined in the US constitution. If people value their lives they should defend them. Not just die when shot at. All there people should have brought their guns to town, including church. God gave them the brains and money to buy guns. It is their right . Why did they not exercise their rights? Do they deserve to live?

      1. The commandment is actually, “Thou shall not murder”. Having written that you are correct. No prohibition, either of God or man, will deter Evil from its ultimate end; the destruction of the Good.

        Our task is twofold; root out & find the evil before it can strike – give it no safe quarter, and to be properly prepared and willing to respond the moment evil shows itself. There is a reason why during an exorcism the evil is made to state its name. It is only then can it be sent back to hell because it can no longer hide in the form it has taken.

        Not trying to preach. However, we need to call this what it is – Evil, perpetrated on the innocent and the Good.

      2. The correct translation is
        Thou shall not murder.
        In several places in the Bible killing a thief in te night and killing in self-defense are specifically approved.

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