Grandmother shows most effective way to prevent gun violence

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

A story in the Cincinnati Enquirer demonstrates just how difficult it is for authorities to use current gun laws to prevent mass shootings.

The paper reported that the weapon used in Dayton, an AR-15 style .223 firearm, while it looked like a rifle, was actually classified a pistol, meaning restrictions on short-barreled rifles don’t apply.

The weapon was legally purchased online from an online retailer in Texas, then transferred to the shooter by a local firearms dealer, who was required to perform a background check.

But, nothing in the shooter’s criminal record would have prevented him from buying a gun.

He used legal-to-own 100-round drum magazines, and fired at least 41 rounds in about 30 seconds; he could have had as many as 250 rounds.

While the lower receiver of the weapon required a background check to purchase, all other parts such as barrels and stocks, can be legally purchased off the shelf or online.

Meanwhile, according to the Patch news site, a Texas grandmother averted a mass shooting by taking action when she learned of her grandson’s plans.

The unidentified Lubbock woman found out that her grandson was homicidal and suicidal, had recently purchased an AK-47 rifle and was planning to “shoot up” a local hotel and commit suicide by police.

She persuaded him to go to a hospital, which gave police and federal agents time to confirm that he had illegally purchased a deadly weapon.

With the grandson’s permission, authorities searched his home and found the AK-47, 17 magazines loaded with ammunition, multiple knives, a black trench coat, black tactical pants, a black t-shirt that read “Let ‘Em Come” and black tactical gloves with the fingers cut off.

He had planned to carry out the attack only two days after purchasing the AK-47.

When he was released after a short hospitalization, the grandson was arrested, two days before a gunman opened fire at an El Paso Walmart, killing 22 people, and less than three days before nine were killed and 26 injured outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio.

It’s true that “a good guy with a gun” can stop a mass shooting once it begins, but how much better is it for an alert, involved grandmother to stop a tragedy before it ever gets that far.

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