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Another Mentally Ill Mass Shooter Passes Background Check


The yellow, Do-Not-Cross police tape was barely in place before John Lott appeared on the Sean Hannity radio show to spin the Navy Yard shootings. Why were twelve killed and three injured this week at the Washington Navy Yard?  Because it was a "gun-free zone" says Lott! Criminals always choose gun-free zones says the author of the More Guns, Less Crime.Sure the Navy Yard has armed guards, sure it had the best Department of Defense security. Thanks to the 1993 Clinton administration ban on military personnel carrying personal firearms, the fortified compound was a mass shooting waiting to happen, says Lott. Who knows how many other criminals right now are planning to assault military installations because they are such easy targets?


What Lott did not address is why another mentally ill gunman mowed down innocents thanks to our EZ, NRA-driven gun laws. Aaron Alexis bought at least one of his weapons just last week, say news reports, at a Virginia gun store. Despite three gun-related violence events, he passed his federally-required criminal background check because the charges were dropped. And, like Virginia Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho who killed 32, records of Aaron Alexis severe mental illness were not forwarded to federal authorities so he could be stopped.


It is no secret that the NRA helps to restore gun rights to people with mental illness histories because sales are $ales. In 2007, after the Virginia Tech murders, NRA lobbyists slipped a provision into the NCIS [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 that allows the restoration of gun rights of mentally ill people if they “will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety” and if “the granting of the relief would not be contrary to the public interest.” The NRA also works to restore gun rights to felons and to let violent husbands and boyfriends under orders of protection keep their lethal weapons. Why should the fact that someone is a felon, hears voices or has threatened his intimate partner infringe on his right to buy and carry weapons that murder?


Of course the Navy Yard massacre will not pry federal and state lawmakers out of the NRA's grip. Lawmakers barely blinked when one of their own, Congressman Gabby Giffords, was shot in the head by a conceal and carrying legal gun-owner who was mentally ill. Nor did the death of 20 first-graders on December 14, 2012 even inspire Congress to pass universal background checks in April.


No wonder people who have had their fill of preventable gun-violence are circumventing NRA-indebted pols and going directly to the people with voter referendums. No wonder they are going directly to corporations like Starbucks who, today announced that guns are no longer welcome in their stores. Thank you, Starbucks!


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