Police officials have identified Seth Ator, 36, as the alleged shooter in yesterdays string of attacks that spread across parts of West Texas following a traffic stop by local police. The attacks have left at least eight people dead and dozens injured.
According to multiple sources, Ator had a criminal record, one that may have prohibited him from owning the firearms in his possession that were used in the shootings. It is not clear how he acquired the weapons or what “AR-style” weapons were used, but it is possible that he erroneously passed a background check. The Daily Beast reports:
Ator, who has a previous criminal record for trespassing and resisting arrest, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety records obtained by The Daily Beast, was killed in a shoot-out with police.
Journalists and activists are waiting on the details, as the circumstances surrounding his acquisition of the firearms used will have implications one way or the other. If he passed a background check, it will aid 2nd Amendment advocates in demonstrating legislation for universal background checks currently being considered in Congress are ineffective. If he did not have a background check and having one would have prohibited him from acquiring his firearm, then it will be an example for gun control advocates to use in their favor.
It’s unfortunate journalists and politicians are eagerly awaiting the details to determine their course of action regarding the Texas shooting. Legislation should be contemplative, not reactionary, so regardless of the circumstances behind this particular mass shooting, the stance on gun control should be locked in. It has already been demonstrated on numerous occasions that background checks are ineffective and have the long-term consequence of leading to gun registration, a prerequisite for gun confiscations in the future.
If it turns out universal background checks would have prevented this alleged shooter from acquiring firearms, this could be the nail in the 2nd Amendment‘s coffin as far as the GOP is concerned. We could see calls of “do something” turning into action in Congress and a signature from the President.
“The FBI has said that a preliminary investigation determined that the shooting is not connected to domestic or international terrorism.” – Connor Mannion
Criminals commit crimes. This is why it’s important that any and all attempts to slow gun violence focus solely on criminals. Laws that attack the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens should not be considered by the GOP, period.
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