United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- The recent shooting in Illinois is one that need not have happened. A convicted felon (a category long prohibited from even touching a firearm) acquired a gun and killed five people before cops took him down. In this case, the shooter (who we will not name, so as to not provide additional notoriety for his actions) had been convicted of a felony in 1995, but still got an Illinois Firearm Owners ID (FOID) in 2014.
Like the Sutherland Springs shooting, where the shooter passed a background check despite a clearly disqualifying criminal conviction, this was a clear failure of the National Instant Check System (NICS). A failure that should not have happened – and yet, what do we get from the usual suspects?
The same old calls for gun bans. They’ll add red flag laws. Or maybe, they’ll demand universal background checks. But they don’t enforce the laws they have, and as a result, there is a trail of preventable carnage that is all too often blamed on Second Amendment supporters.
When rapper Chris Brown was arrested for assault for pointing a gun at a stripper in 2016, he could have been hammered on federal gun charges, big time. How big is big time? Try just 40 years for violating 18 USC 922(g)1 and 18 USC 922(g)3 as both a convicted felon and a regular marijuana user. Then tack on a mandatory seven for brandishing a firearm while committing a crime.
What does that mean for Illinois? Well, if the laws on the books were properly enforced and the people who ran the background check and the database had been minimally competent, the Sutherland Springs shooter would have likely been in jail, five people would be alive, and we wouldn’t be dealing with another round of anti-Second Amendment extremists trying to take our rights. Worse, those same extremists seem to be okay with people getting shot, as long as they can call for gun bans.
In the minds of those anti-Second Amendment extremists, the people who should be punished for the failures of the State of Illinois to find a felony conviction that should have disqualified the shooter from even touching a gun aren’t the bureaucrats who screwed up. It is the law-abiding citizens who never shot up a workplace, school, or other public venue who are instead told to give up their rights, and when Second Amendment supporters object, they get called domestic terrorists, child killers, or “gun zealots.”
Just recently, in the debate over a “universal background check” bill in the House of Representatives, anti-Second Amendment zealots shot down an amendment that would have required a notification to be sent to Immigration and Customs Enforcement when a person in the United States illegally tries to buy a firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensee.
Keep in mind, 18 USC 922(g) also covers illegal immigrants. Violation of that provision is a ten-year felony. But it seems that Jerrold Nadler doesn’t want to target real criminals – he just wants to punish the law-abiding citizens who do nothing wrong, proving why his ascension to the chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee is a nightmare for law-abiding gun owners. Does he want illegal immigrants to acquire firearms illegally?
Want to bet that when a high-profile shooting is carried out by someone who is illegally in the country, that he will happily use that to push through new legislation targeting the wrong people, rather than focus on actual solutions. Think he will be held accountable by the anti-Second Amendment media types that will parrot his demands that law-abiding citizens surrender more of their rights? Don’t bet your mortgage payment on that.
One way to help discredit anti-Second Amendment extremists is to show America that they have no interest in anything that solves the real problem, but just want to take guns away from law-abiding citizens. So, Second Amendment supporters should put forth a NICS fix that adds all disqualifying convictions as well as tying it in to eVerify. There would be a catch: This improved NICS (call it INICS) would also override all state licensing and/or waiting period schemes [blocking New Jersey and other states from making money off the system and adding delays].
I know, some will object to fixing NICS, and view it as an infringement of our Second Amendment rights. But if you’re understanding the need for strategy and tactics, you’d recognize this as making a major improvement for many in states like California, New Jersey and New York – in essence taking a slice out of their restrictive gun laws – as well as undercutting those who would take our rights away.
That’s good news for Second Amendment supporters all around.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.