CLAIM: During his Wednesday night CNN Town Hall, President Joe Biden suggested mass shooters are getting their guns illegally.
CNN reported that Biden responded to a question dealing with mass shooters by referencing “assault weapons” and claiming the people using weapons “are acquiring them illegally.”
But consider just a few of the high-profile mass shootings our nation has witnessed this year: the Atlanta area shootings (eight killed, March 16, 2021); the Boulder, Colorado, shooting (ten dead, March 22, 2021); the Indianapolis FedEx shooting (eight killed, April 15, 2021); and the San Jose shooting (nine killed, May 26, 2021).
In each of these instances, the attacker acquired his gun or guns legally.
Moreover, nearly every mass shooter of recent memory has acquired his gun(s) legally, which means they followed the process which entails passing a background check in order to get the firearms.
Here is a short list of said mass shooters who acquired their guns legally:
- Parkland high school attacker (February 14, 2018)
- Texas church attacker (November 5, 2017)
- Las Vegas attacker (October 1, 2017)
- Alexandria attacker (June 14, 2017))
- Orlando attacker (June 12, 2016)
- UCLA gunman (June 1, 2016))
- San Bernardino attackers (December 2, 2015)
- Colorado Springs attacker (October 31, 2015)
- Umpqua Community College attacker (October 1, 2015)
- Alison Parker’s attacker (August 26, 2015)
- Lafayette movie theater attacker (July 23, 2015)
- Chattanooga attacker (July 16, 2015)
- Alleged Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal attacker (Jun 17, 2015)
- Muhammad Cartoon Contest attackers (May 3, 2014)
- Las Vegas cop killers (June 9, 2015)
- Santa Barbara attacker (May 23, 2014)
- Fort Hood attacker (April 2, 2014)
- Arapahoe High School attacker (December 13, 2013)
- D.C. Navy Yard attacker (September 16, 2013)
- Aurora movie theater attacker (July 20, 2012)
- Gabby Giffords’ attacker (January 8, 2011)
- Fort Hood attacker (November 5, 2009)
- Northern Illinois University attacker (February 14, 2008)
- Virginia Tech attacker (April 16, 2007)
Background checks look backward at criminal records; they do not look forward and cannot foresee criminal intent. For this reason, would-be mass shooters with no criminal history pass background checks, get firearms legally, then use them criminally.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.