The suspect in a shooting at a Durango, Colo., tavern last month has been identified as a 27-year-old man with a prior felony conviction and had recently been released from a community corrections center, according to a local news report, and it is one more example of a broken system that might help explain why increasing numbers of citizens are buying guns.
A months-long surge in gun buying is continuing in the weeks after Joe Biden was sworn into office promising moves on gun control. Estimated ranging as high as 22 million have been put on the number of guns sold during the past year, including more than 8 million to first-time buyers. Discussions about defunding police departments combined with months of social unrest have contributed to an environment of apprehension.
In the Durango case, the suspect was “cited with seven counts of attempted murder in the first degree.” The story noted the suspect “wore an ankle bracelet because he was still on parole,” according to Durango police.
Then there’s the story out of St. Paul, Minn., involving a suspect in the shooting of a pregnant woman and her two children. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Court records show the man served more than six years in a Texas prison following a 2012 aggravated robbery conviction. He was released in August 2019 and has no apparent criminal history in Minnesota — though it’s unclear when he moved to the state.”
So, what’s this guy doing with a firearm, which he shouldn’t have had due to existing gun control laws at the federal and state levels? If the suspect is responsible for the murders, it’s another gun control failure, which was predictable because criminals don’t obey gun control laws.
In Spokane, Wash., police arrested a guy for allegedly “breaking into a car and stealing a handgun.” There was obviously no background check involved here, and before anyone condemns the car owner, remember that former Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske’s gun was apparently stolen out of his department vehicle while he was in the downtown area shopping several years ago.
The suspect in the Spokane caper “has an extensive felony record going back to mre than 20 years,” according to KHQ News.
NorthJersey.com reported the misadventure of an overweight New Jersey prison inmate suffering from diabetes who had been released last year in an effort to contain the COVID-19 virus, but he’s back behind bars again. He is the “primary suspect in a massive Paterson narcotics bust.”
This guy’s defense attorney “noted her client’s health issues and said he would have a high risk of contracting the coronavirus if he is incarcerated while the new charges against him are pending.” The attorney suggested her client could be fitted with an ankle bracelet, although that didn’t seem to interfere with the aforementioned Durango shooting suspect’s alleged attack.
An Oklahoma man is behind bars, arrested in connection with several murders in Muskogee. The suspect’s criminal past includes three felony charges, though KJRH News didn’t say whether there were any convictions. In one case, he allegedly attacked someone with a piece of cement.
Denver police were holding a 48-year-old man in connection with a double shooting in Adams County, and he’s also a suspect in two other shootings. This fellow, according to KDVR News, “has been arrested 25 times since 1994.” He’s faced felony and misdemeanor charges, several which were ultimately dismissed, but he was sacked in March 2019 for a parole violation, which means he should not have had a firearm, because there’ a gun control law that says so.
KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia noted questions have arisen around how one of the suspects in the slaying of a man in the Brewerytown section could have been on the streets at all, considering his background. This 20-year-old was driving a stolen car when Philadelphia’s finest stopped him. The suspect had been arrested in February of last year and was charged with robbery “to inflict serious bodily injury,” kidnapping, conspiracy and gun charges. But the most stunning aspect of this case is that a judge lowered this man’s bail on a separate beef last October, from $200,000 to $12,000.
In Los Angeles, Immigration and Customs Enforcement was so outraged with the case involving the murder of a 35-year-old woman last month they issued a press release noting the suspect—who subsequently killed himself—was “a repeat immigration offender, (who) had been sought by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers for removal, but a detainer issued to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) last Fall was not honored due to California’s dangerous sanctuary policy.”
The suspect had a criminal history dating back more than three decades. His troubles included illegally carrying a concealed weapon, trespassing, burglary, disturbing the peace, possession and transportation of a controlled substance, driving under the influence, driving without a license, driving on a suspended license, vandalism and making criminal threats.
All of this makes it much easier to understand the frustration of law-abiding citizens when they hear about a new gun control law being proposed, rather than politicians calling for tough enforcement of existing laws.
Elections matter, not only for public office but also judicial elections. To turn this problem around will take a change of philosophy among politicians and judges.
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