Is that even possible?
Jared Lee Loughner was disturbed. Clearly. His YouTube diatribes about grammar and illiteracy and his shrine to a skull in his backyard show the 22-year-old was wacked.
But can Congress prevent such deranged people from purchasing firearms?
It’s not as easy as it sounds, cautions John Lott Jr. “Surely we want to stop [Tucson] cases from occurring,” but do we really want lawmakers building a federal database that records people with the slightest mental problems, he asked in the next installment of his interview with HUMAN EVENTS.
As far as we know, there was nothing on record certifying that Loughner was a threat to himself or others. Currently, it’s illegal for any person “adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution” to buy a gun. Firearms dealers must verify a person doesn’t fit into the above criteria as well as verify he isn’t a felon, which is done via a federal background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
But Loughner wasn’t flagged since he didn’t fit the profile. But even if he did, Lott warns, there would be no way of knowing it would have inhibited the shooting spree.
As he points out, Europe has much more stringent laws when it comes to purchasing a firearm, “and yet Europe has about the same number of multiple victim public shootings per capita as the United States does.”
In Germany, for instance, it takes about a year to obtain a gun, and within that waiting period, the potential buyer must undergo a psychological test.
And even with such austere rules, Germany still has an abundance of gun violence.
“Germany has the two worst K through 12 shootings, and those just occurred in the last decade. In fact, of the four worst in the world, they have had three of the four worst,” noted Lott.
The fact remains that Jared Lee Loughner went through painstaking detail to plan his assassination attempt, with his interest in Rep. Gabrielle Giffords developing in 2007.
No amount of laws stop mad men committed to carrying out evil acts.