The Santa Monica College Mass Murder: How Did It Happen?
by Clayton E. Cramer
According to news accounts, the killer used an “assault-style weapon.” Unsurprisingly, the 24-year-old killer had a history of mental illness, a run-in with the police, and had been hospitalized at some point in the last few years (although it remains unclear if this was voluntary or involuntary). As regular readers of my columns know, this is the heart of the mass murder problem, not just in America, but in Europe and Canada as well.
But how could this happen? California has had an assault weapons ban since 1989, progressively tightened over a decade. This law has been on the books, and enforced, since the killer was born. The only lawful way for a Californian to possess a high-capacity magazine is if he owned it before 2000 – when the killer was eleven years old. California passed a firearms-transfer background check requirement that took effect on January 1, 1991, which checks not only for felony and violent misdemeanor convictions and pending charges, but also for involuntary mental hospital commitments. Even if you are only held for 72 hour observation and then determined to be not crazy enough for longer term treatment, you are ineligible to possess a firearm for five years. The shooter was 24– unless he was hospitalized between 18 and 19, he could not have legally purchased any firearm. You can’t drive across the border into Arizona or Nevada to legally buy a gun; federal law prohibits such transfers unless your state of residence allows such transfers — and California does not.
So we are again left with the question: how did the killer get this gun? It would seem as though he broke a stack of laws, without much of a struggle. …
We have a serious problem in this country with psychosis. This is not new; what is new is that we no longer make a serious effort to protect not only the society, but those suffering from these severe mental illnesses, by providing the treatment that they desperately need. Rather than confront this problem, the mainstream media keep screeching about gun control – ignoring not only that gun-control laws can’t do anything about the innumerable tragedies that do not involve guns, but very restrictive gun-control laws, such as California’s, do not seem to work.
This article makes points the MSM are likely to minimize or avoid. The killer wasn’t an NRA-fanboy-gun-nut, just mentally troubled or ill. CA has the strictest gun control laws in the nation, but they availed nothing in the face of some one intending to commit murder. Actually, that may be too kind to the efficacy of gun control laws! Whatever this killer’s mental state - at least CA taxpayers won’t be providing him with free room, board, and lawyers for life - he knew one thing about CA gun laws. Of all the public places he could have gone, he apparently knew he was unlikely to quickly face an armed opponent on the campus of Santa Monica College!