Two were left dead this week after a shooting Friday morning at Lackland Airforce base. An airman shot his commander prior to a disciplinary hearing. The airman then killed himself. The incident left the base on lockdown for 2 hours. The identities of both men have not been released, nor have other details been made public. This is close to home for us Austinites, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families impacted by this senseless violence. As more details emerge, we will update our listeners.
Compared to 2015, background checks for gun purchases have surged by more than a third this year. This puts 2016 on track to surpass year’s record of 23 million background checks. Analysts believe that mass shootings last year in California and France are propelling gun purchases into this year. This is not necessarily an indication of actual gun sales and purchases, however, as a single check could be performed for one person purchasing multiple guns. If anything, this means that gun sales are on track to be higher this year than last.
In addition this was the tenth consecutive month in which the number of checks was the highest for the month in question. This means that more people are buying more guns than ever before. Since last March, more background checks were performed than in any other 12 month period. This is intriguing, especially in light of the presidential race this year. We have seen the Republican Party’s lack of competence, and some experts are all but ready to call the race for Hillary Clinton even this early. Clinton is easily the most anti-gun candidate in the race, so it makes sense that background checks and sales would be higher as she seems poised to take over the White House, barring any miracle from the Republican field.
President Obama has shown no reservation in insisting that America has a gun problem, but information has surfaced that indicates that executive clemency will be granted to dozens of felons convicted of firearm related events. For the most part, these criminals will return to the exact communities that they terrorized prior to imprisonment. Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama wrote a letter to Lorretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney General, outlining the difficulties of cleaning up crime in any area when individuals convicted of possession, drug trafficking, or violence in the furtherance of drug trafficking are released from prison. Rather than focusing on violent offenders, Obama seems intent on robbing rule-followers of their God-given right to keep and bear arms.
Texas AG Ken Paxton has found the “no guns” signage at the County government center in NW Dallas to be in violation of state law. The county has long had a gun ban at the government center, as it houses several courts. However, as the building also houses offices that are not court offices, the building-wide ban would be considered illegal under state law. This announcement from the AG comes amidst a tense stand-off of sorts from Dallas County, which has been very resistant to the new gun laws. This is one of a few arguments that will be fleshed out as our new gun laws continue to be enacted, and much of the fight will hinge on the word “premise.” One would have thought that they could have been clearer with the law, like allowing constitutional carry anywhere citizens damn well pleased, but perhaps that was too much to ask for.