A mass shooting occurred because of a failed background check. Background checks exist so that guns do not fall into the hands of those who may potentially do harm to others. For example, minors should not be able to buy a gun. A person convicted of a violent crime should not be able to purchase a gun. A person who has exhibited some record of mental illness should not be able to buy a gun. While background checks will not prevent a person who possesses none of the red flags cited from buying a gun and later committing a mass shooting, background checks will prevent those whose history demonstrates that he or she is a threat to society, from legally buying a gun.
Just a few months back, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) declared that the mass murderer who sat through an hour-long Bible study meeting inside a Black church before shooting and killing the pastor and eight parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina, should never have been able to legally buy a gun. A member of the FBI admitted that flaws in paperwork and communication between a federal background worker and state law enforcement allowed this man, a convicted drug felon, “to pass” a background check. “The gun dealers never heard back from the FBI” and as a result, the shooter was allowed to buy the gun.
Background checks need to be thorough to lessen the likelihood of felons getting their hands on firearms. The tragedy that occurred in that South Carolina church raised awareness here in South Jersey where churches are now raising awareness about “open door policies and background checks against people.” Where accurate and thorough background checks exist, less mass shootings will occur.
Oh, Inae. NPR. FBI Says Background Check Error Let Charleston Shooting Suspect Buy Gun. 10 Jul 2015. Dec 4 2015.
Flowers, Matt. Courier Post. Charleston Shooting Shakes South Jersey. 19 June 2015. Dec 4 2015.