Following Alison Parker’s August 26 shooting death at the hands of former station employee Vester Lee Flanagan, her father, Andy Parker, vowed to “shame politicians” into supporting more gun control.
According to Mail Online, Andy said, “I am going to do something, whatever it takes, to shame legislators about closing loopholes in background checks to make sure crazy people don’t get guns.”
But here’s problem—there are no “loopholes” in the background check system and, although Flanagan was admittedly angry and churning inside, there were no legal grounds on which to deny him a gun purchase. No one has come forward to show that he had a criminal record or an order to undergo a psychiatric evaluation or involuntary mental health treatment, so no criteria exists to deny him a gun purchase.
Nevertheless, Parker said “his daughter’s death is just one more tragedy that could have been prevented if there were stricter gun control laws in the U.S.” He pledged, “This isn’t the last you’ve heard from me.”
Alison Parker’s assailant reportedly passed a background check for his gun—the very background check President Obama, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), and gun control proponents Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly tell us will reduce crime. Yet Giffords herself is proof that background checks to do not deliver on the blanket safety that gun control proponents promise—her attacker Jared Loughner passed a background check to acquire the gun with which he shot her.
As New Hanover County, South Carolina, Sheriff Sgt. Jerry Brewer explained in February, background checks cannot stop potential criminals, only actual ones.
The country laments Alison’s death, and the death of Adam Ward as well. But making it even harder for law-abiding citizens to get guns for self-defense is not the way to address their absence.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.