The Hard Truth about
'Tougher Background Checks'

(Marco Bello/Reuters)

By Jim Geraghty. May 25, 2022

On the menu today: Yet another horrific school shooting, and yet another call for legal changes that, had they been in place before the shooting, would not have changed the outcome.

A few months ago, the National Institute of Justice, the research agency of the U.S. Department of Justice, and The Violence Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research center, completed what they called the most comprehensive study ever done of mass shootings in the U.S. from 1966 to 2019. Among the report's conclusions:

Persons who committed public mass shootings in the U.S. over the last half century were commonly troubled by personal trauma before their shooting incidents, nearly always in a state of crisis at the time, and, in most cases, engaged in leaking their plans before opening fire. Most were insiders of a targeted institution, such as an employee or student. Except for young school shooters who stole the guns from family members, most used legally obtained handguns in those shootings. [Emphasis added.]

Nearly half of individuals who engaged in mass shootings (48 percent) leaked their plans in advance to others, including family members, friends, and colleagues, as well as strangers and law enforcement officers.

This morning, there are reports that the 18-year-old gunman who yesterday killed 19 students and three adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, sent "cryptic and now chilling messages to a stranger" through his Instagram account hours before the attack. The shooter posted pictures of two rifles and pictures of himself. His account sent a message to a woman that said, 'I got a lil secret. I wanna tell you.' (The woman, who is a minor, later posted that she 'does not live in Texas and does not know the shooter personally.') At 5:43 a.m. local time, he sent a message to her that said, "I'm about to." She asked "about to what," and he responded, "I'll tell you before 11." The shooting started around 11:30 a.m. local time.

There is another report that on another social-media platform, the Uvalde shooter showed his weapons as well as receipts for his purchase of two rifles from Daniel Defense. .....


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