Why Didn't the Police Ask About His Guns?


"Chris died because of craven irresponsible politicians and the NRA."

These are the words of the father of Chris Martinez, who was one of six killed by Elliot Rodger in last week's mass shooting in Isla Vista, California.

"When will this insanity stop?" "The NRA talks about gun rights. How about Chris's right to live?" "We have to stop this madness." "Why do we have to live like this?"

In some bizarre way, more gun control regulations seem to be largely off the table in the United States, unlike in every other country in the civilized world.

Madness, craven politicians and the NRA... that's the way it is.

But, simple sharing of gun ownership information (which is available when people buy a gun) to state police should be routine. It might even be possible.

When I get stopped for a traffic infraction, the police immediately pull up all of my records.

They can tell if I have parking tickets outstanding, how many moving violations I have, whether there are any warrants out for my arrest, whether there are any moving violations against me.

But, apparently, the California Santa Barbara police couldn't tell that Elliot Roger had recently bought three handguns. They couldn't tell whether he had been hospitalized or treated for mental illness.

Why Didn't the Police Ask About His Guns????

If they had this information on the guns he purchased, they could have asked during his welfare check, "Do you have any weapons? Do you mind if we come into your apartment?"

Elliott freely admitted in his manifesto that had they asked to come into his room, they would have "found all my guns and weapons, along with my writings about what I plan to do with them."

His suicide by mass murder plot would have been foiled.

Most of the recent spat of mass murders -- Virginia Tech, Aurora, Sandy Hook -- were committed by young men who obtained guns legally.

All firearm sales in California are recorded by the state and have a ten-day waiting period.

This information could be easily logged into the police data bases, so that when they go to investigate a domestic dispute or strange, deranged behavior, they would know whether the person has a gun -- or has recently bought three guns!

Would set off some red flags, don't you think?

But, unfortunately, the NRA has vigorously fought these provisions, even in our security-minded state in which all of our phone calls, texts, emails, and social media are easily monitored.

Of course, there are millions of illegal guns out there, but most murders are probably committed by legally owned guns.

But, giving police information about gun purchases would be a small step.

Email: jfleetwood@aol.com Twitter: @BlakeFleet