While Australian politician Tim Fischer reacts to the murder of baseball player Chris Lane by blasting the NRA for fighting expanded background checks, he overlooks that the alleged shooters were in breach of state law by possessing guns in the first place and were not capable of passing national background checks already on the books.
Thus, what good would more laws barring these individual from possessing guns have accomplished?
Oklahoma law states that an individual “must be 18 years of age to possess any weapon, except rifles or shotguns used in education, hunting, or sport.” Yet the two teens charged with first degree murder in Lane’s death were only 15 and 16 years old.
The Daily Mail reports that James Edwards, the 15-year old, ran into trouble with the law in the past, according to his father.
A third teen allegedly involved in the murder was “charged with the use of a vehicle while a weapon was discharged and [for] accessory after the fact of first degree murder.” The third teen was only 17.
In addition to violating Oklahoma’s law on possession of a firearm, individuals 15, 16, or 17 could never pass the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in place now. The NICS system has been in place since Bill Clinton’s presidency.
Yet none of these laws deterred the individuals allegedly involved in this crime. And the lesson for us is that laws do not deter those intent on committing crime.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.