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Oregon Has a Universal Background Check Law...They Still Had a Mass Shooting

Michael Sullivan /The News-Review via AP

Another mass shooting, another call for new gun control measures. It’s a day that ends in “y.” That doesn’t take away from the fact that the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas was horrific. It left 19 kids dead, along with two teachers. And now, the police response appears to be bungled beyond belief. It’s so bad that the Department of Justice is investigating the matter. Miscommunication and bad intelligence might have cost lives. Once again, the shooter, Salvador Ramos, raised multiple red flags, including multiple rape and death threats to others on the app Yubo. He also posted pictures of dead cats as well. The problem is that no parent or teacher saw these posts, but Ramos was a troubled kid who needed help. 


One cornerstone of the liberal gun agenda is expanded background checks. If there are universal background checks, no mass shootings can ever occur or something. The problem is that the system is only as good as the people in charge of keeping it up to date. The Charleston shooter, Dylan Roof, would have been barred from buying firearms if his drug charge was properly cataloged. In Sutherland Springs, Texas, Devin Patrick Kelly would have been prohibited from buying his firearm if the Air Force had informed the authorities of his domestic violence conviction via court-martial. The man went to jail for his abuse. The Air Force admitted they simply forgot to forward the paperwork to the FBI per regulations. 

In Oregon, they passed a universal background check law in 2015. It didn’t stop Christopher Harper-Mercer at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg. Did Harper-Mercer suffer from severe mental illness? Yes. Was he mentally adjudicated? No. Does the state have an existing law on the books to help with these sorts of people? They do now (via The Oregonian c. 2017):

Oregon lawmakers passed the bill … to reduce the state’s rising suicide rate and to try to head off mass shootings.

In Oregon, firearms were used in 53 percent of suicides in 2016, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

The law would require people to surrender their guns if a judge determines they pose a safety risk. They would have to turn over their guns within 24 hours to a law enforcement officer, gun dealer or third party once the order is issued.


In Harper-Mercer’s case, his mother, Laurel Harper, told police he’d long been prone to anger and mood swings, he’d seen multiple psychiatrists and taken medications at some point, though not as an adult.

About six years earlier, he pointed a shotgun at her, but she was “just too weak” to call for help, according to a transcript of the police interview of Harper.

“So you called the cops?” asked Oregon State Police Detective Kyle Wilson.

“I probably should’ve,” said Harper, “but I didn’t.”


So, once again, we’re back to mental health which is a topic no Democrat wants to talk about because there’s no expansion of government power to be had. Well, maybe regarding red flag laws, which sounds great but could be prone to overreach by authorities. The golden goose for them is universal background checks which is the basis for a gun registry. That is necessary for confiscation. 

The point here is that we have enough laws and protocols to prevent troubled people from committing mass shootings. It’s just that we have authorities that either drop the ball, or family members who simply don’t want to do what is necessary. The latter you cannot do much about, but most mass shooters have exhibited severe mental illness prior to their attacks. It’s a system that’s in a horrible state of disrepair. It needs fixing, but until Democrats let go of their national gun registry pipe dream—the true reforms probably won’t happen. 

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