'It's Just Incompetence': There Were Red Flags Everywhere With the Buffalo Shooter

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Posted: May 16, 2022 6:00 AM
'It's Just Incompetence': There Were Red Flags Everywhere With the Buffalo Shooter

Source: AP Photo/Joshua Bessex

Rebecca covered this over the weekend. Tragedy has struck Buffalo. A mass shooter gunned down and killed 10 people at the Tops Friendly Market. The shooter, Payton Gendron, was taken into custody. There is a 180-page manifesto that the FBI is currently authenticating. Gendron appears to be a racist and targeted this area due to its high concentration of black Americans. 

Unlike other mass shootings, like Boulder in 2021 and the most recent New York City subway shooting, this one will remain in the news. Gendron is white. He's racist. He's everything the liberal media wants when an incident like this occurs. Boulder's mass shooting was committed by a Syrian. The New York Subway shooter was black. Both stories vanished into the ether rapidly because they didn't fit the liberal narrative. Yet, there's another common element with this story: the shooter exhibited red flags that authorities knew about but did nothing. 

Gendron threatened to shoot up his high school and was brought in for a mental health evaluation (via Associated Press): 

The shooter, identified as Payton Gendron, had previously threatened a shooting at his high school, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press. Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia confirmed at a press conference that the then-17-year-old was brought in for a mental health evaluation afterward.

Federal law bars people from owning a gun if a judge has determined they have a “mental defect” or they have been forced into a mental institution — but an evaluation alone would not trigger the prohibition.

[…]

Gendron had appeared on the radar of police last year after he threatened to carry out a shooting at Susquehanna Valley High School around the time of graduation, the law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity said. The official was not authorized to speak publicly on the investigation.

New York State Police said troopers were called to the Conklin school last June for a report that a 17-year-old student had made threatening statements. He spent a day and a half at the hospital before being released, authorities said, and then had no further contact with law enforcement.

So, what gives? Why was there no follow-up? I'm sure we'll know in due time, but the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in 2018, which sparked another wave of anti-gun activism, was also preventable. In fact, that might be an understatement. Students interviewed after the shooting were not shocked that Nikolas Cruz committed his heinous crime. Also, all three levels of government, state, federal, and local, knew about Cruz's mental health issues and never did anything. 

In Sutherland Springs, Texas, the mass shooting at a Baptist church that left 26 people dead could have been prevented if shooter Devin Patrick Kelley's brutal domestic violence charges and court-martial conviction had been reported to the FBI. They were not for some reason. Kelley went to jail over these charges, which included striking his stepson so hard that he cracked his stepson's skull. As The Spectator's Stephen Miller tweeted, "most of the time, it's just incompetence at this level" (via Fox News): 

While serving in the U.S. Air Force, shooter Devin Patrick Kelley was convicted of domestic assault against his wife. He pleaded guilty to multiple charges stemming from incidents including physically striking his wife and choking and kicking her. He also pleaded guilty to assaulting his stepson, severely enough to crack the young child’s skull.

Kelley’s court-martial conviction should have disqualified him immediately from purchasing any kind of firearms. So what happened? The Associated Press reported:

“Under Pentagon rules, information about convictions of military personnel in crimes like assault is supposed to be submitted to the FBI’s Criminal Justice Investigation Services Division for inclusion in the National Criminal Information Center database. For unspecified reasons, the Air Force did not provide the information about Kelley as required.”

The AP report continued: “Acknowledging its mistake, the Air Force said in a written statement that the top two Air Force officials – Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein – have ordered a review of the Kelley case by the Air Force Office of the Inspector General.”

Because of a law passed in 1996, it’s illegal for anyone convicted a domestic abuse crime to purchase a firearm, something some of our dutiful lawmakers in Congress seem to not be aware of.

So, while the media, the Democrats, and the rest of the anti-gun left mobilize for yet another push to shred the Second Amendment that will ultimately end in failure—just remember that all the things they will whine about are already law. It's just that the authorities aren't enforcing it. And yes, if they did, many, not all, but a lot of these recent mass shootings could have been prevented. Buffalo looks no different in that regard.