These stories should trouble us. We want security not only for the President and our top officials, but also for ourselves and our families. Yet as a nation we make it very easy for dangerous people to arm themselves.
For example, several events attended by President Obama this past summer featured protesters armed with assault rifles and semi-automatic pistols. At least one protester had a state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon even though he had recently been released from jail.
The Fort Hood shooter had been issued a concealed carry permit by Virginia. This killer raised a number of red flags before the shooting, including several apparent contacts with a radical cleric “sympathetic” to Al Qaeda. Yet he was able to walk into a Texas gun store, pass a minimal computer background check, and easily arm himself with a “cop killer” pistol (capable of firing armor-piercing bullets) and formerly banned high-capacity ammunition magazines which allowed him to fire 20 rounds at a time without re-loading.
Even if the Fort Hood killer had been placed on the “Terrorist Watch List” because of his reportedly erratic behavior and connections to radical ideology, our weak gun laws would not have been an obstacle to his gun purchases.
I really find it amazing that some people want to argue with that. But supporting this, is just too much.
And now some elected officials actually want to make it easier for “mentally incapacitated” veterans to get guns. Legislation sponsored by Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.) would give immediate access to guns to over 100,000 veterans already found to be “mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or experiencing an extended loss of consciousness.”
Sen. Burr wants to take these individuals out of the “prohibited purchaser” category in the Brady background check system even though professional Veterans Affairs personnel made those competency determinations after hearing medical evidence and following a rigorous system which protects due process.
One of our frequent commenters responded to this on the HuffPo posting of it by offering Senator Burr's comments on Health Care. I just couldn't see the connection, although the objection was clear, perhaps Jay will explain.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.