The Corner

Hillary Calls for New Laws That Wouldn’t Have Stopped the Oregon Shooter

“We need universal background checks, we know that they will work,” Hillary Clinton declared after a mass shooting by a perpetrator who passed a background check.

The Oregon shooter bought his guns legally. So did the Roanoake, Virginia shooter. The Tucson shooter passed a background check. The Aurora, Colorado shooter bought all of his guns legally.

Hillary blamed the Charleston shooter’s ability to buy a gun on a “loophole in the Brady Bill.” It wasn’t a loophole in the law; it was that local and FBI officials simply didn’t do their job correctly:

On April 11, Roof tried to buy a handgun at a store in West Columbia, S.C. And under normal procedure, that paperwork was assigned to an examiner at the FBI’s unit in West Virginia. The unnamed FBI examiner turned up Roof’s arrest on March 1 on a felony drug charge — but the system did not show a conviction, and it wasn’t enough to deny the purchase.

So she kept checking. And, Comey said, the first mistake comes in here. Roof’s rap sheet mistakenly listed the Lexington County, S.C., sheriff’s office as the arresting authority. The examiner then reached out to the sheriff’s office and prosecutors in Lexington for more information.

The sheriff’s office told her the Roof case was not theirs and advised her to check with police in Columbia, S.C.

And now, Comey said, the second mistake was made. The examiner consulted a contact sheet for local contacts in Lexington County, and didn’t see anything for Columbia. So she called West Columbia, where Roof allegedly tried to buy the gun, instead. Local authorities in West Columbia said they had no record of the case, and the examiner turned to other matters while she waited to hear from prosecutors.

Under the normal process, if gun dealers do not hear back from the FBI with a flat denial in three business days, they are free to sell the weapon to the person who filled out the biographical paperwork. And that’s what the gun store did with Roof on April 16.

There is no law that can overcome incompetence on the part of those with the duty to enforce it.

Hillary’s mention of the gun show loophole generated automatic applause. Again, none of the mass shooters above obtained their firearms at gun shows.

Hillary repeated the oft-debunked “40 percent of guns  are sold without a background check” statistic, a figure that stems from a 1994 study of 251 people.

Blame NBC’s Savannah Guthrie and Willie Geist had a responsibility to ask Hillary how any of the laws she suggested would have stopped the Oregon shooting. They didn’t. Hillary never seems to get those kinds of questions in her infrequent appearances for questions from the media.

Meanwhile, the man who had as much ability to shape the Oregon shooter as anyone else, his father, blames guns.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

ABC Chief Political Analyst: GOP Rep. Stefanik a ‘Perfect Example’ of the Failures of Electing Someone ‘Because They Are a Woman’

Matthew Dowd, chief political analyst for ABC News, suggested that Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) was elected due to her gender after taking issue with Stefanik's line of questioning during the first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday. “Elise Stefanik is a perfect example of why just electing ... Read More
White House

Trump vs. the ‘Policy Community’

When it comes to Russia, I am with what Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman calls the American “policy community.” Vindman, of course, is one of the House Democrats’ star impeachment witnesses. His haughtiness in proclaiming the policy community and his membership in it grates, throughout his 340-page ... Read More
Law & the Courts

DACA’s Day in Court

When President Obama unilaterally changed immigration policy after repeatedly and correctly insisting that he lacked the constitutional power to do it, he said that congressional inaction had forced his hand. In the case of his first major unilateral move — “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” which ... Read More
Books

A Preposterous Review

A   Georgetown University professor named Charles King has reviewed my new book The Case for Nationalism for Foreign Affairs, and his review is a train wreck. It is worth dwelling on, not only because the review contains most of the lines of attack against my book, but because it is extraordinarily shoddy and ... Read More