( ENSPIRE News ) Texas Church Massacre, Gun Violence, and the Flawed System
ENSPIRE Contributor: Djata Doumbouya
26 people lost their lives and 20 were wounded in church on Sunday, November 5th in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The shooter, Devin Patrick Kelley, 26 was found dead in his car eight miles from the church. It is unclear if he shot himself or if a neighbor shot him. Kelley previously served in the US Air Force. In 2012 he was charged with assault for abusing his ex-wife and stepson. Kelley went to prison for a year in prison, his rank was reduced and given a bad conduct discharge. “He had a lot of hatred inside of him,” said Tessa Brennaman, Kelley’s ex-wife. Brennaman confessed that Kelley has threatened to shoot her in the past.
The Airforce did not enter Kelley’s criminal history in the Federal database. Kelley had two handguns in his car and an AR-556 rifle at the church. The Federal database is used to perform background checks on people interested in buying firearms. All three of these firearms were bought by Kelley. His reason for the shooting was motivated towards his mother-in-law who sometimes attends the church but wasn’t there that particular Sunday. He had sent threatening messages to her stemmed from a domestic violence dispute.
In the state of Texas carrying a firearm (loaded or not) in your vehicle if registered is legal, machine guns, suppressors, and semi-auto rifles are legal too. Carrying a firearm as long as it’s hidden doesn’t break any law. It’s not a requirement to register a firearm once you move to a different state. In the states of Arizona, Mississippi, Kentucky, Missouri, Alaska, and Louisiana gun laws do not require the transfer of a firearm between private parties. According to the Centers for disease control and prevention gun deaths in the United States rose in 2016, 12 per 100,00 people. In 2015 there were 11 per 100,000. More than 33,000 people die in firearm-related deaths every year. Numbers keep increasing and laws aren’t changing. States that aren’t doing background checks or mental illness checks are helping fuel these statistics.
Gun laws, in all states, should be firm. Gun laws are extremely flawed and aren’t being changed even with the recent shootings. To make a change, contact your federal lawmakers, state your opinion and your concerns.
For more information on Gun laws and to voice your opinion visit: www.nraila.org/gun-laws