"Before a half-dozen sheriff’s deputies knocked on Elliot Rodger’s door last month in response to concerns raised by his mother about his well-being, they could have checked the database and discovered he had bought three 9mm semiautomatic handguns. Several law enforcement officials and legal experts on gun policy said this might have given deputies greater insight into Rodger’s intentions and his capability for doing harm." Washpost
It MIGHT have given them greater insight?
- Rodger's three pistol purchases from three separate federally licensed firearms dealers were each separately subjected to an electronic federal firearms background sales check. He passed all three because privacy concerns prevented the transmission of the record of his mental illness to state government and to federal government.
- The three pistols had a clear chain of accountability from factory to wholesaler to dealer. It has been suggested that they had been smuggled into California. That was not the case.
- State law in California forbids private sales of handguns. So much for the supposed "gunshow loophole" in California.
- California law requires a waiting period between sale and delivery. That was accomplished in this case.
- California has created an electronic data base that records all firearms sales. The federal fireams sales check is not a data base of ownership. They say they destroy the record of the check after completion. Do we believe this? Maybe. But this California data base retains the record of sale and so IS an effective register of ownership.
- The Santa Barbara County sheriff's department had jurisdiction. They were contacted by Rodger's parents who were concerned by signs of mental illness in him. Six sheriff's deputies went to his Isla Vista apartment where he talked his way past their enquiry and they left. They left him with his guns and ammunition.
- These deputies went on this "wellness call" without running Rodger's name and address through the state registry of sales. Every one of these cops had an internet capable computer on his desk. I would have thought that they would have made the instant check of the data base for self protection if nothing else.
- Rodger killed three people with a knife as well as the four (counting himself) that he killed with his pistols. In the UK certain kinds of knives are prohibited. Perhaps we should have knife control in the United States.
Some people think that AR-15s and semi-automatic handguns are military weapons that should not be availale to the general public. 1 - They are not military weapons. They are just sexy looking black guns. There is nothing special about them and Rodger could have done just as much damage with a couple of .38 special revolvers. (Look up what they are.)
"Gun Safety" advocates say they want universal background checks. I would say that to make any such measures effective transparency to the data bases for mental illness treatment is necessary.
If that is a no go, then some measure must be adopted that encourages cops to do their work properly.
Failing any of that, confiscation on the British, Canadian and Australian model will inevitably become the open goal of the anti-gun nuts. pl