Sutherland Springs Deserves Better
Sutherland Springs Deserves Better
“You can’t let your emotions take over, or you won’t be able to help anybody.” Those are the words of one of the first responders to the shooting Sunday in Sutherland Springs. He was speaking about how he, and others responding to the scene, had to steel themselves in order to do their jobs. His words can and should apply to more than just the first responders. Instead of having knee-jerk reactions to what happened and calling for even further restrictions on the Second Amendment, our politicians, not to mention those in Hollywood who were so glad to have a tragedy to take attention away from Weinstein and his ilk, should have set emotion aside and waited for the facts to be determined. If nothing else, they should have taken a moment to remember the victims, living and dead. But no, they saw a political horse and had to flog it.
No one denies the tragedy that happened in Sutherland Springs. When Devin Kelley opened fire, he changed that town forever. His actions also pointed out a major breakdown in a system that should have protected his victims. But, instead of focusing on that breakdown, liberals around the country stepped onto their soapboxes and once again began their chant of “Gun control! Gun control! Gun control!” Even as they do so, they ignore the fact that men who legally owned guns used those guns to drive the shooter away from the church and gave chase.
The system failed Sutherland Springs, not the law. Kelley applied for a concealed carry permit in Texas and was denied. The Texas Department of Public Safety found something in his background the precluded him from being licensed. Yet, as we now know, the standard background check did not reveal his conviction for spousal abuse. It did not reveal his dishonorable discharge. The Air Force failed to report those actions, actions that would have prevented him from buying a weapon.
How could further limiting the Second Amendment have prevented what happened in Sutherland Springs? It couldn’t have. The proper steps appear to have been followed, not only by the State of Texas but also by the store that sold Kelley the weapons used in the attack. Had the Air Force followed the law and reported Kelley’s history to NICS, his conviction would have been flagged and he wouldn’t have been sold the weapon.
Enter Sen. John Cornyn. In 2016, Cornyn introduced legislations that would have entered the names of those on the terrorist watch list into NICS and flagged them, preventing them from buying guns. It was defeated in Congress. He has now announced plans to work with Democrats “to create incentives for the military and federal agencies to quickly upload conviction records to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.” Why should “incentives” be necessary for the military and federal agencies to follow the law? Isn’t that the question we should be asking instead of finding a way to reward them for doing something they are already required to do?
Enter Senator Ted Cruz. He has not been quiet about his disgust with the Democrats in Congress who filibustered “legislation that he sponsored that would have forced them [USAF] to comply with the law which might have prevented this massacre from happening.” These are the same Dems who have been so loud in their demands for more gun control. I guess the only gun control they approve of is that which they put forth as law.
Getting lost in all the political cat-calling are the victims. No, that’s not quite correct. There have been a few of our so-called celebrities who have proven (as if there was any doubt) that they have no shame. Wil Wheaton tweeted the following in response to Senator Ryan.
Wheaton has since deleted the tweet and issued an “apology”, but it is too little, too late. Like so many others, he had to flog one of his favorite political issues instead of asking how to help the people of Sutherland Springs. He couldn’t even display enough humanity to offer a prayer or condolences. This is the true heart of so many so-called caring liberals.
So, how do we help a town that has been devastated by Sunday’s events? You can donate blood. You can donate to the First Baptist Church by going to their website. H-E-B Stores are also accepting donations as part of their “Helping Here” campaign. USA Today has listed several other ways you can also help those impacted by the shooting.
Sutherland Springs will survive what happened but it will never be the same. But it wasn’t a fault in the gun laws that caused this tragedy. The fault lies squarely at the feet of Devin Kelley and, unfortunately, the USAF for not following Pentagon guidelines. Find those responsible for the latter and make sure it never happens again. But do not punish legal gun owners for a failure in the system. This was not an instance where the rules couldn’t have helped. They would have, if the information had been there for the sales clerk to check.