On Sunday, the grisly murder of 26 parishioners of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs rocked the news world. Predictably, the m.o. of the Left has once again been to exploit tragedy in order to take away liberty. To that end, ABC and The New York Times have already begun twisting the facts.
Murderer Devin Patrick Kelley had a known record of domestic violence. In 2012 while in the Air Force, he received a court-martial for assaulting his wife and stepson, having struck the child so hard that he fractured the infant’s skull. Subsequently, he spent one year in confinement, had his rank reduced, and was discharged for “bad conduct.” He briefly escaped from a mental health facility in New Mexico the same year of the assault; he tried to bring guns onto a military base, and he made death threats to his superiors. Kelley additionally was named as a suspect in a sexual assault case in 2013, in his hometown approximately 35 miles from Sutherland Springs.
These incidents served as missed opportunities for Kelley’s legal firearms access to be impeded. Had his involuntary commitment to a mental institution been reported to the FBI for the federal background checks database, he would’ve been denied.
Monday, the Air Force acknowledged their failure to report his criminal history. Because of their negligence, Kelley bought his AR-556 rifle and two handguns without incident.
Nevertheless, the media have misrepresented the laws which are already in place for firearms purchases. In a broadcast of ABC’s World News Tonight, David Muir and Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl were incensed that President Trump wouldn’t enact “extreme vetting” upon gun buyers similar to what he endorsed for potential immigrants. Muir announced:
“Last week, after the deadly truck attack here in New York City, the President within hours calling for extreme vetting. He was asked today if extreme vetting on guns would have caught this guy.”
“Traveling in Asia, the President was asked whether, in light of the Texas massacre, he would favor the kind of extreme vetting he wants for immigration for those who want to buy guns. The answer? A definitive 'no.'”
Both pundits failed to indicate that Kelley had been granted access to guns due to the Air Force’s failure to report his history, not a loophole in the system which allowed him to purchase the weapons. Had the Air Force done its job, he would have been flagged. According to a CBS Evening News story Tuesday, failure to report criminality to the Criminal Background Check System is a problem across all branches of the military.
Nevertheless, reality didn’t support the preferred narrative of ABC. They want more laws and less liberty, by any means necessary. So they distorted the facts, one of which is that Kelley’s crime spree was cut short by a gun-owning neighbor to the church. Stephen Willeford heard shots coming from the church and engaged Kelley, distracting him from killing more victims, expertly putting a bullet where Kelley's body armor didn’t protect him. Kelley then fled in his car, pursued by Willeford and a driver who happened upon the church at the moment of Kelley’s get-away. However, that was not at all the way MSNBC’s MTP Daily guest, New York Times reporter Yamiche Alcindor, reported it:
“When I was watching President Trump today and he was making his argument that he was essentially stopped by someone with a gun, I kept thinking: “But he killed himself.” The shooter was not stopped -- there was not a big gunfight that this person came out. And I think there also needs to be a fact check about how this got stopped in the first place.”
Alcindor’s statement regarding the gunfight was a blatant lie. Kelley killed himself because a good guy with a gun backed him into a corner and he knew there was no way out. Willeford, to the Left’s greatest horror, was an instructor for the National Rifle Association.
But the real horror is the misrepresentation of the story in order to benefit the media's anti-gun narrative. They will lie about what stopped further mayhem in Texas because the Left never lets a serious tragedy go to waste.