The Air Force’s blunder

In 2012, an Air Force court martial found Devin Patrick Kelley guilty of assaulting his wife and child. He served a year of confinement before receiving a bad conduct discharge.

That should have disqualified him from purchasing firearms. Yet he was able to do so. He used them to massacre 26 people at a church in Texas.

The armed forces are supposed to share information about crimes such as domestic violence with the FBI. That agency enters the information into the database used to do background checks on those who want to purchase guns. Had those checks divulged Kelley’s assault, he would not have been permitted to buy the firearms he used to kill so many.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said Tuesday the Pentagon will be looking into what went wrong. Let us hope so.

Mass murder such as that at the Texas church usually results in calls for more laws restricting gun ownership. But new restrictions will do no good if they are not enforced better than the ones we have on the books now.


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