What the Texas Attack Means for the Military

By Jeff Knox: Opinion

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What the Texas Attack Means for the Military
Jeff Knox
Jeff Knox

Buckeye, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- The brutal assault on a Baptist church in a small town in Texas is reverberating through the U.S. military, and the results are not going to be pretty.

The murderer who killed 25 worshipers in a Texas church, had previously been found guilty of domestic assault in an Air Force court-martial.

He’d served a year in confinement and received a Bad Conduct discharge from the service. He had also been sent to a mental institution after making threats and trying to smuggle guns onto an Air Force base and was reported to have “escaped” from that facility shortly after that, suggesting that this was an involuntary committal.

What that all adds up to is that this dirtbag should have been prohibited from purchasing a firearm through legal channels. The second assault conviction appears to qualify as a felony for federal gun law purposes, which would make him a “prohibited person.” Even if that conviction didn’t rise to the level of a felony, the fact that the victims were his wife and step-son, means that it was a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, which would certainly have made him a prohibited person. The information on the “escape” from the mental institution is sketchy, but if it were indeed an involuntary commitment for mental health reasons, that too would disqualify him under federal law from purchasing or possessing a firearm or ammunition.

Still, on several occasions over the ensuing years, this low-life was able to walk into a gun store, fill out the federal forms – lying about his criminal and mental health history – pass federal background checks, and purchase firearms.

The reason he was able to do this is that the Air Force failed to submit his criminal records to the National Crime Information Center so they would be discovered when the National Instant Background Check System queried that system with his firearm purchase information. The NICS check came back clean, and this guy walked out with the guns.

Of course, this created a mad scramble among the brass at the Air Force, but the panic quickly spread throughout the Pentagon, and soon inspectors general and military auditors were combing through the criminal and mental health records of every service, and forwarding records to the NCIC and other data centers around Washington, D.C. They all knew early on that they had documents that hadn’t been adequately reported, and they wanted to be sure that when they were forced to admit that fact, they would also be able to report that they had already begun to rectify the situation.

And these aren’t just cases of records not being sent in. There is also a problem with the way the military has been classifying certain crimes, particularly assaults involving domestic partners.

Lautenberg Amendment


Senator Frank Lautenberg (NJ-D) (Anti-Gun) (DEAD)
The Lautenberg Amendment named for rabid NJ gun banner, Senator Frank Lautenberg (NJ-D) (Now DEAD), still destroys lives.

The problem is that the Lautenberg Amendment, the piece of legislation that added misdemeanor, domestic violence convictions to the list of things that trigger a permanent loss of Second Amendment rights, makes no exceptions for those who must handle firearms in the line of duty, whether in the military or law enforcement. That means that even a minor conviction for a domestic violence charge, doesn’t just result in a small fine or extra duty, it is a career ender. Even office workers and computer technicians in the armed forces are required to train, qualify, and re-familiarize with weapons on an annual basis, and if they can’t legally do that, they can’t serve in the military. The services are required to kick them out.


I recall a case of a young soldier who phoned home from Afghanistan, only to have a man answer the phone, and then hears his new wife describe in detail what that man was doing to her at that moment. Of course things went downhill from there, and at some point the soldier threatened to come home and shoot them both. This error in judgment, like the marriage itself, was a big mistake, as the woman was recording the soldier’s end of the conversation. She filed charges against him for threatening her with a weapon. He ended up pleading guilty to that charge and paid a small fine. Then he was kicked out of the Army, and his right to possess a firearm was lost forever.

Many military leaders don’t like service members marrying at all, and they certainly don’t like losing trained people over momentary lapses during a heated domestic quarrel, so things began being swept under rugs, reclassified, and “lost.”

Now all of those records are being “found,” and a lot of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are going to suddenly find themselves out of a job, perhaps losing retirement benefits, and losing their gun rights, when they thought they had already paid the price for their mistakes.

There won’t be much discussion about this aspect of the military record audits in the dominant media. What discussion there is will approach it from the perspective that a “wife-beater” deserves what they get. What no one will talk about is the fact that none of this helps anyone, and it hurts many.

Yes, the cowardly scumbag who murdered all of those people in Texas should have been prohibited from purchasing guns through legal channels, but it is doubtful that such a prohibition would have made a whit of difference. This was an evil, demented person, who had decided that he had been wronged, and deserved revenge – from babies, teenage girls, and little old church ladies. Whether with a gun or a can of gasoline, he was going to get his revenge, and the notoriety that would come with it.

Neal Knox - The Gun Rights War
Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War

Meanwhile, thousands of service members – and their families – will be re-punished for long-past crimes.  Though they were never going to harm anyone outside the line of duty, they will pay an additional price for this scum’s heinous crime.

About Jeff Knox:

Jeff Knox is a second-generation political activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His father Neal Knox led many of the early gun rights battles for your right to keep and bear arms. Read Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.

The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition has offices in Buckeye, Arizona and Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org.

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Alex T.

It so happens that the imposition of controls does npot work. Even an illegal Mexican who has been deported five times could obtain a weapon which was used in the murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco. And then he is acquitted? Did controls work or was it only in San Francisco. It is a sadly screwed up situation.


Everybody just remember when the 2020 election rolls around, that Joe Biden said that the guy that shot the killer should not have been carrying that kind of gun. I guess Biden thought guy should have grabbed his sling shot. Biden is considering a run for president and we need to remember this incident if he runs. He is a first class socialist and don’t need more of that thinking.

Peter Wall

Perhaps the problem is larger and more complex, than a lost record or a glitch within the NCIC system? Could a breakdown in morals and values, where a person who performs acts that are outside human comprehension be the problem? Ascending monsters like the Texas shooter to a position of notoriety and celebrity for committing crimes of rape murder, is the problem. Maybe not putting these scum on a pedestal, will vastly diminish these types of crimes. No unfortunately it won’t eliminate mass murder, but decrease it’s occurrence? Society should not look for an excuse to forgive these monsters, but… Read more »


Or, perhaps the real problem is lack of….wait for it…MORALS. We have decided to ignore moral teaching, because it is ”uncool”…we now forbid prayers before a football game, or a baccalaureate service…we have demonized preachers and priests, and we have lionized non-heroic types. So…we should be surprised at this immoral killer? Not sure about that.

Roy D.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

A. X. Perez

Funny how it seems NICS is enforced in a way that people who should not be on it get on it and people who should be on it get left off. It’s almost like someone wants people like Evil F***, my name for the Texas Church shooter, to commit atrocities to provide an excuse for more gun control.
Or maybe I’m just paranoid.

mike hubbard

Yea, I too think this way. In my opinion we should study the past, and note the fact that the kind of rulers who have disarmed his people were the evil rulers. Such as NAZI Germany, etc.


Since my original comment won’t be shown, I’ll try this. The Lautenberg Act was just another tool for the socialist tool box. Just as F. Lautenberg himself was a tool in their arsenal, dedicated to destroying freedom. Until happy obtuse gun owners and so called Constitutionalist become enlightened to reality expect more and worse infringements on your freedoms. If you are a gun owner and not a member of the NRA you are a weak sister letting others do your bidding.

James Higginbotham


John Richardson

If the General Court Martial had sentenced the Sutherland Springs killer to the 8 years that a Sec. 128 allows for a aggravated assault, he’d still be in prison. Checking civilian law in both Washington State and North Carolina, his assault on the child which resulted in a fractured skull would have given him even more time in prison. I have read the court martial report and it is obvious that there was a plea bargain. He pled guilty to two charges and had 3 dismissed. Frankly, I think the Air Force just wanted him gone and this was the… Read more »

Marc Disabled Vet

The Guy was a loose lugnut from the start .
He would have done something in civilian life to get locked ,
up or even killed . ( hurt a kid ! go to jail ! Jailhouse justice )
He should never been in the military in the first place .
Today’s Military requirements seem to have lost something .
In my day that type of actions put you behind bars for a long time .
The Military court did what civil court’s do everyday !
They got a conviction without a fight.

No Excuses

The Lousenberg Amendment exempts police, and only police, from losing their weapons for a MISDEMEANOR DV conviction. This was done so all the politically-apppointed police chiefs wouldn’t lose their entire departments, and therefore their higher bosses would have a reason not to oppose this proposed law. The weakest points are “zero tolerance” and a misdemeanor conviction, regardless of reason. Slam-dunk felonies are one thing, a misdemeanor should have some mechanism for proper adjudication. The only thing to watch out for is a misdemeanor plea as part of a bargaining agreement. This happens all the time in the civilian world, too,… Read more »

Mark Are

How about we all get out a dictionary, especially Mr. Knox, and look up the words SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED and then in the context of the 2nd amendment apply them to the meaning. ALL of this gooberment crap about the 2nd amendment is a VIOLATION. A murderer obtained a firearm. What a BIG surprise. And you stated he obtained them through “legal” channels. So I guess Armslist or a gun show would be what? An “illegal” channel? Maybe stolen ones out of the trunk of some gang banger might be illegal, but so far private sales aren’t. And if… Read more »


What, exactly, is your problem? Jeff reported on the law as it stands not as pie in the sky, we wish it was or should have always been. He’s written numerous columns on why repeal of laws is the best way to go and certainly doesn’t need you sitting at a keyboard criticizing him. Speaking of which, while Jeff has been speaking, organizing, attending conferences and trying to either modify existing legislation or eliminate it for decades what have YOU been doing except sitting back at your computer whining and complaining because people like him aren’t doing enough? Let’s see… Read more »

Roy D.

Vanns40, sometimes a fella just feels like blowing off some pent up steam. And that’s not a bad thing, And sometimes that steam contains some truth, and that’s not a bad thing either. Of course I think everyone should have the ability to separate the wheat from the chaff.


This guy has been on the wrong side of damn near everything, every time.

Wild Bill

@mac Are, Mr Knox is as devoted to our Second Amendment enumerated, God given Civil Right to keep and bare arms as you are.


This is a great article. I do know personally a young man who was committed while in college after a discussion with a counselor. He had suffered from depression an did seek help. 8 hours later he was committed, after being taken into police custody for his own protection. He had not made a threat to anyone, only spoke of his lack of a will to live. To be sure, he thought he was seeking help from a professional and it was the right thing to do. He considered it voluntary, they thought it involuntary. No charge, no trial, short… Read more »


ALCON, Not a week goes by I don’t read a reference to “criminals” and firearms. Well….WHO defines “criminal” ? There are so many violations of the CON-stitution by “laws” of legislatures and alphabet agency scoundrels that each and every one of us can be classified as a “criminal”. The argument that criminals should be denied the right to own private property, firearms, is music to Dianne Feinstein and most every weasel’s ears, on Capitol Hill. Why ? Because fUSA citizens today are committing crimes everyday courtesy of both stategov & fedgov scum. There are so many laws & regulations in… Read more »


Google Atascadero State Hospital.

Background checks do not find the ex con in San Diego using my ID. Commercial websites did,


While bad things happen to good people all the time, you cannot choose which laws to obey or ignore. GET THE LAW CHANGED. Don’t make exceptions or exemptions, change the law. It’s about time all of Congress represents the people and not the special interest or minority groups. Keep voting them out until you get the right people in place. Right now, you have liars, rapists, thieves and assorted criminals in Congress and they excuse themselves with numerous reasons.

This is unacceptable.

Wild Bill

@Al, Yes, but Congress has been corrupt since before we were the United States. Simply voting one out and a different person in has never been sufficient. We the People need new and harsher controls on our employees.

Roy D.

You say, “you cannot choose which laws to obey or ignore.” Laws are like commands from military superiors. They are to be “obeyed” unless they are illegal or immoral. Now a law which for no good reason forces me to leave myself and or my family unable to ward off an assault is in my view an immoral law. Fortunately, in my state this isn’t an issue and when I went to Hawaii I chose to take my chances being unarmed. Spent eight days on Maui and the Big Island in September and never felt in danger for one second.… Read more »


Part of the problem with Lautenberg is that it has no provision for time. It also has no provision for state differences or the seriousness of the original charge. Treating one time misdemeanors– he/she pushed me– the same as felonies is preposterous. And, if there are children, courts will usually find the man guilty because of the bias toward mothers, even if the wife threatened the husband with a butcher knife. All misdemeanor convictions should be expunged after a period of time. And Lautenberg should not be used to look back to years before it was enacted. There should also… Read more »

Wild Bill

The Laughtenberg amendment never was Constitutional as it does not differentiate between pre and post amendment violations. Just another example of knowingly ignoring the Constitution and getting their way as long as possible.

Bippa Varello

Let me start out by saying I am in agreement with you on most of your statements of opinion. The facts are a little cloudy. First, mental institutions don’t exist anymore. Neither do loony bins, insane asylums or crazy houses. Second, a person can be held for 24-72 hours for observation without being formally committed. Second, even if you are (voluntarily) committed, once you have completed your treatment, your firearms are returned to you. The only reason one would be considered a prohibited possessor is if they were court ordered (involuntary) to treatment. That is, if the courts report it.… Read more »


Remove any restrictions on the individual right to keep and bear arms in nearly all places. Only recently did Texas allow ANYONE to carry their personal weapon in church, so recently a long established smaller congregation like the one attacked were probably just cruising on the way things were two years back. Thus NO ONE inside that building was armed. I know of a number of congregations in other states where carry in chruches has never ben prohibited, and if anyone wiht evil intent starts shooting innocents, they’ll get their second victim. Same wih concerts….. that Las Vegas shooting was… Read more »

No Excuses

In the old West, unless there was a “wanted” poster out on you, it was assumed that you had done your time, and had all your rights restored, if you were walking around free. The prison gave you your weapons back on your way out of the gate. Now, there are people walking around free, but are under various restrictions concerning the. 2A. That’s why the NICS database, which is, at best, 90% accurate. Like the “no-fly” list, 90% is considered “close enough for government work”. That same 90% accuracy would get you fired from a civilian job, even if… Read more »