Sounds reasonable enough to me, at least at first glance.
The 2A guarantees our right to keep and bear arms, for incredibly important reasons. It does not, however, require us to be blind and stupid. It doesn’t mean we should ignore obvious warnings from aspiring mass killers, like last week’s high school shooter.
In many previous mass shootings, there were no clear prior warnings. Some vague danger signs may have been recognized afterward, but often, as with the Las Vegas shooter, nobody had any idea whatsoever of the shooter’s plans, and the shooter had no criminal or mental health history. But the Florida massacre was carried out by a teenager who announced his intention to be a school shooter. And he was still able to legally buy a gun.
Of course, we all know the two tips to the FBI about the shooter’s statements weren’t properly followed up. But what if they had been followed up? Depending on the jurisdiction, simply saying “I’m going to be a professional school shooter” isn’t necessarily an arrestable offense, isn’t necessarily a felony, and isn’t necessarily enough to justify an involuntary mental health commitment. So it’s plausible that even if the FBI had investigated, and confirmed he had made the statements, and that he talked about murdering people, and that he introduced himself as a future school shooter, and that he had a history of erratic behavior, he still would have been able to legally buy an AR-15 to murder people with. I say allowing a known aspiring mass murderer to legally buy guns is blind and stupid. And I think most of my fellow 2A supporters would agree.
So is there a way to legally prevent gun sales to those types of people, without infringing on the 2A rights of the innocent? Yes. Does supporting the 2A require us to support gun sales to people who are telling us they want to commit murder? No.
I’m not talking about banning the AR-15, advocating confiscations, repealing the 2A, or any nonsense like that. I’m not suggesting anything that would affect the tens of millions of legal, peaceful gun owners who we live and interact with every day. What I’m suggesting is that when someone tells us they’re buying a gun to commit a crime, especially a crime like mass murder, even if they haven’t broken the law or been committed, we listen to them. I’m proposing that we put laws in place to make those threats part of the background check system, and stop those wannabe murderers from legally buying a damn gun.
Like I said: sounds reasonable enough to me. But there are big problems with the idea, as Aesop points out. Basically, it still comes down to this:
I wish the FBI had done the job we pay them to do, and had gone out there to see if he’d have stepped in it with both feet, so they could haul him in, but then I’d also like a winning Powerball ticket and the phone number of the Playmate of the Year.
The sheriffs were at this nutjob’s house 39 times prior to this incident. One more visit about a FB post would probably have accomplished nothing. (Unless they screwed up in one or more of the other 39 visits.)
But somebody shooting him in the head during his rampage – say the football coach, but with a school-legal CCW and a .45 – would have solved his problems forever.
I know you’re sincere about this, and none of us wants to see dead kids again if there’s any legal way to prevent it.
But any “solution” that violates the Bill of Rights is de facto and de jure a cure monstrously worse than the disease.
I can’t see any way to make things work appreciably better than they do now by investigating every utterance everyone makes 24/7/365, other than people doing the jobs they’re paid to do in the first place.
Yeah, like that’s going to happen. I mean, these are government employees we’re talking about here.