A proposal to prevent dangerous individuals from obtaining firearms
(This is my first new discussion; if I have posted it in the wrong place, please accept my apologies)
In nearly all of the major mass shootings of the past few years, the fact that the shooter posed a danger was known in advance to various authorities. Loughner, Holmes, Cho, even Lanza (though that was more complex) were on the radar, but there currently exists no system for communicating that information to gun dealers.
I believe that we need a system to provide for a "red flag", much like a restraining order, to be entered into the background check system; with proper due process, this could be implemented while safeguarding individual rights.
For example, in the case of James Holmes, his psychiatrist had alerted the police via a Tarasoff letter. If the police had been able to red-flag the background check database, Holmes would have been unable to acquire his rifles. Similar conditions existed for the Tucson, Virginia Tech, Isla Vista, Orlando, and other shooters.
To protect the rights of the individual, such a system would require real due process; legitimate evidence of credible danger, and severe penalties for abuse of the system. A person in fear of an abusive ex must be able to taken seriously; one that just wants to make trouble should be held accountable. Conversely, there has to be a reasonable process for those so flagged to clear their names.
While a system such as this would not stop gun violence as a whole, it could have prevented the horrific mass shootings like we witnessed in Florida.
In Florida Omar Mateen was investigated and cleared. There would be no justification for withholding his 2nd amendment rights.
I certainly would have no problem with a system like this, with due process, but the fact remains that any charge that is cleared through a court, investigation, or hearing would not stop anyone from getting a weapon. Convictions or judgments against competency are what it takes.
Which could have drastically changed the investigation.
And even if it had not stopped Mateen, the Tarasoff letter from Holmes' psychiatrist, the Pima College police reports on Loughner, complaints about Cho, etc., could still have been significant.
and she chose instead to go with him when he bought the ammo.
Every indication seems to be that she knew what he was planning, and she chose to do nothing to try to stop it.