On June 21 the FBI issued an update on the investigation of the Alexandria attack in which they said the attacker carried two guns, both of which were purchased from Federal Firearms License holders (FFLs).
The ATF released similar news shortly after the attack, and Breitbart News reported that this means the attacker passed background checks to acquire his firearms.
According to the FBI, the attacker is believed to have been in the Alexandria area since March 2017. “On the morning of Wednesday, June 14, 2017, [the attacker], who was living in his vehicle, which was located in the parking lot of the YMCA on East Monroe Avenue, is believed to have exited his vehicle with two weapons, a 7.62mm caliber SKS rifle and a 9mm handgun, for which he had a holster on his person.”
They then detailed what happened in the moments after he exited his vehicle:
He approached the baseball fields where practice for a Congressional charity baseball game was taking place. Acting alone, [the attacker] shot in the vicinity of the field where members of Congress and staffers were standing. Immediately adjacent to the field were two United States Capitol Police special agents who were detailed to a member of Congress and who engaged [the attacker]. Alexandria Police Department officers responded to the scene of shots fired and also engaged [the attacker] who, over police radio, was reported down at 7:14 a.m.
The FBI says there were still rounds “found to be chambered in the SKS rifle and the FBI’s Evidence Response Team found 9mm and 7.62mm shell casings on scene.” The Bureau confirms that both of the attacker’s guns were purchased from FFLs. The SKS was purchased “in March 2003” and the handgun “in November 2016.”
On June 14–the very day of the shooting–the Chicago Tribune reported that the attacker had purchased “at least three guns” from a gun dealer in Belleville, Illinois, his city of residence. They reported that one of those guns was “an SKS.” The next day–June 15–the New York Times reported that strict Illinois gun control failed to stop the attacker from acquiring his guns.
Breitbart News added the Alexandria attacker to the list of attackers and alleged attackers who have acquired their guns by complying with all federal and state gun controls, then reported:
Background checks do not stop latent criminals. They only stop actual ones. And this is why people who have a desire to commit heinous crimes — but have not yet committed such crimes — can legally walk into a gun store, pass a background check, and get a gun. The simple truth is that background checks look backward. They discover crimes committed, and where no past crimes exist, they are powerless to predict who could be holding criminal intentions.
Here is a list of high-profile firearm-based attackers and alleged attackers showing that background checks cannot stop latent criminals:
- the Congressional baseball practice attacker (June 14, 2017)
- the Orlando attacker (June 12, 2016)
- the UCLA attacker (June 1, 2016)
- the San Bernardino attackers (December 2, 2015)
- the Colorado Springs attacker (October 31, 2015)
- the Umpqua Community College attacker (October 1, 2015)
- Alison Parker’s attacker (August 26, 2015)
- the Lafayette movie theater attacker (July 23, 2015)
- the Chattanooga attacker (July 16, 2015)
- the alleged Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal attacker (Jun 17, 2015)
- the Muhammad Cartoon Contest attackers (May 3, 2014)
- the Las Vegas cop killers (June 9, 2015)
- the Santa Barbara attacker (May 23, 2014)
- the Fort Hood attacker (April 2, 2014)
- the Arapahoe High School attacker (December 13, 2013)
- the D.C. Navy Yard attacker (September 16, 2013)
- the Aurora movie theater attacker (July 20, 2012)
- Gabby Giffords’ attacker (January 8, 2011)
- the Fort Hood attacker (November 5, 2009)
- the Virginia Tech attacker (April 16, 2007), and many others.
The solution to high-profile attacks is not more gun control–i.e., more background checks, magazine bans, gun bans, etc. Rather, it is to remove laws and regulations that hinder law-abiding citizens from being armed at all times for self-defense.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.