The dumbest thing I’ve heard this year

Yeah, so the year isn’t that old; but this really is the dumbest thing I’ve heard all year, and probably for a good part of 2007 I hadn’t heard anything dumber than this.  From Uncle’s place I find the link to a “story” (and I use the term loosely) about the bill proposed in VA to allow CCW holders to carry on campus.  The story is basically a Brady Campaign press release and contains the gem which inspired the title of this blog entry:

“Had Mr. Gilbert’s law gone through [in 2006] and [the Virginia Tech shooter] had gone out and applied for a concealed carry license in order to bring guns legally onto campus, the state of Virginia would have given him a license,”(Brian) Siebel [attorney for the Brady Campaign] said.

Wait, what?  He said what?  There is so much ignorance in that one sentence that I actually don’t know how to respond.  When I first read it this morning, I literally stared, dumbfounded, at my monitor for a solid five minutes while my beleaguered  brain attempted to process the content of that quote, and ultimately failed.

The belief of the Brady Campaign, and what they wanted you to believe, is that the VA Tech killer would have applied for a concealed weapons permit to carry his guns onto campus so he could murder people with them.  Aside from the mind boggling stretch of imagination that it takes to imagine that someone who was bent on murder would have gone through the rather exhaustive CCW process in Virginia just so he could murder some people he was planning on murdering anyway; the VA Tech shooter couldn’t have gotten a VA carry permit anyway.  From the Virginia State Police I have a list of all of the steps that must be taken before someone is granted a VA resident CCW.

Now, if you look around on that page, it doesn’t take long to find out that the VA Tech shooter never would have been granted a Virginia CCW permit, for any number of reasons.  Remember, he was able to purchase his guns because Virginia didn’t report his mental problems to the NICS system (an issue which should have been solved by HR 2640); but those same mental problems would have been readily available to the VA State Police, who conduct the background investigations for CCW permits.  They would have seen his involuntary mental care, and denied him a permit.

18.  An individual who has received mental health treatment or substance abuse treatment in a residential setting within five years prior to the date of his application for a concealed handgun permit.

Basically, what I’m saying is that the Brady Campaign needs to get their facts straight.  Lying in the press is common, but if you’re going to lie at least lie in such a manner that I can’t uncover it in less than 10 seconds with a Google Search.

12 thoughts on “The dumbest thing I’ve heard this year”

  1. First, I agree that Siebel’s statement is ludicrous. There’s no reason to believe that the murderer would have bothered to get his Concealed Handgun Permit had this law been in place, and more importantly, his victims wouldn’t be any more or less dead than they already are had he chosen to do so. Just shows how little thought these people put into there statements.

    I’m going to disagree with you, though, on your opinion that the murderer wouldn’t have been able to get a CHP and some of the details you state in support of your opinion.

    First, for Virginia residents, the background check is conducted by the law enforcement agency of the municipality where they reside, (city/town Police, county Sheriff). They undoubtedly use the same system as the Virginia State Police (who are responsible for non-resident CHPs), but the point is, it’s done locally.

    Secondly, that background check is completely automated (at least it was in my case). I waited for about 20 minutes at the Sheriff’s Office for them to do the check, fill out the appropriate paperwork and seal it all up with strict instructions to hasten over to the Clerk of the Court’s office. Anything that wasn’t available for an automated check wouldn’t have been found.

    And thirdly, I think the #18 that you quote says something different from what you think it says. Notice the phrase “residential setting.” As far as I know, the murderer never received any mental health treatment in such a setting, and even if he was, its absence in NICS tends to make me believe it wouldn’t have been available for an automated CHP background check.

    In the end, though, it wouldn’t have mattered. He was going to murder as many people as he could, and no law or college rule was going to affect his intent, either positively or negatively.

  2. Residential setting as I understand means any facility which is equipped to house the mentally incapacitated for longer than 2 weeks, or 30 days.

    I think though that his mental records would have been available at the state level.

  3. I agree with Ahab – the local officials would have checked more than just the National NICS database – they would also conduct a local criminal history check & easily would have seen the data missing in the National database.

    I also agree that it is unlikely that the killer would have bothered to apply for a CCW even if CCW carry were legal on campus. Someone willing to murder really could care less about any rule or law that says you can’t bring a weapon on campus.

    It is however likely that without the gun free zone ban one or more of the students or teachers in that building would have been carrying their own self defense weapon on that dreadful day. I can’t say for sure that the killer would have been stopped much earlier in his killing spree, but one thing is for sure – such a person would have had much better chance with a gun than trying to hide behind a desk.

  4. Ahab: Since the murderer was ordered to seek outpatient treatment, then it would not have been in a residential setting, no?

    Ahab and Dustin: Virginia’s CHP background check is undoubtedly different from a NICS check, but I’m curious what leads you to believe it would have turned up his outpatient treatment order.

  5. There’s the misunderstanding, I was under the impression that his treatment was at a residential facility, not outpatient.

    My other understanding is that court ordered mental care, whether outpatient or otherwise would be part of the records search conducted by the Sheriff’s Office/State Troopers.

    In Indiana, your entire history of everything is searched, including medical records.

  6. I feel pretty confident that this wouldn’t have turned up on a CHP check, just like it didn’t turn up on a purchase check, because I’m pretty sure the criteria in this area is the same for both in Virginia.

    In the end, though, this piece of the discussion doesn’t matter much. Except for the fantasies of the anti-gunners, the murderer would never have sought a CHP, regardless of which law was in place.

  7. I agree that it’s mostly an academic discussion; but it does interest me. I would think that the background check for a CHP is a little more significant than the NICS check.

  8. Actually, in the State of Virginia, the background check is not much more exhaustive than the NICS + State background check they do for over-the-counter firearm transactions. If you can legally own a firearm in VA, you can get a CHP.

    The catch here in all of this is whether Cho’s mental health issues before the judge would have be reviewed to a denial standard for a CHP that allowed him to pass under a regular state purchase check? My answer would be: No. Had he applied for a VA CHP, he would have gotten it. Essentially, if you fail to qualify for a CHP in VA (other than due to failures on your part in filing the application), you aren’t qualified to own firearms in the State of Virginia AT ALL.

    Bear in mind for VA, fingerprints are not a requirement for a permit and it varies from county to county. The checks are done by the local jurisdiction through their systems. Only a few counties require them. Many of the databases they check for a CHP are the same ones checked by NICS. I do believe they contact the State Police as part of the process to hit the FBI among others.

    At the end of the day, as you say, it’s academic. He didn’t apply for a CHP and just broke the law. Carrying on campus with a permit is irrelevant even if the campus had allowed it. It would have only been valuable to the anti-gunners if that were so if and only if Cho had applied for and gotten a CHP prior to his killing spree. That would have been ammunition (pardon the pun) they could have used against us.

    Alas, grasping at straws, the poor things. CHP holders do not do what Cho did. They aren’t wired for it. People who legally seek out the right to carry a concealed weapon are the ones least likely to use them in a criminal murder spree.

    Matt

  9. From everything I’ve read, there’s very little difference in disqualification criteria for purchasing a gun vs receiving a CHP in Virginia. And I don’t think there’s any effective difference at all when it comes to the mental health criteria.

  10. “Lying in the press is common, but if you’re going to lie at least lie in such a manner that I can’t uncover it in less than 10 seconds with a Google Search.”

    Anyone who is anti=guns won’t bother to research; it is easier to swallow the drivel doled out by the Brady Bunch than to actually do some reading and thinking.

  11. Have a listen to the talk given by the VCDL at VA Tech recently over on Pro-Gun Progressive. It’s a great speech. The speaker basically clarifies that Virginia was more vigilant than most states in reporting mental health statuses to NICS, and still this guy slipped through. VCDL points out that these safeguards alone just aren’t enough to keep citizens safe…systems break down, and the only way to give joe public the best odds against armed maniacs is for responsible members of joe public to get training and get their CCW and carry for self defense.

    I guess VA Tech can posthumously expel Cho for violating VA Tech regulations.

    Campus carry is currently illegal in Texas also, and I work for a university in northern Texas, which means my CHL isn’t valid there; I carry everywhere else, but as I walk to and from work of a morning and evening, I have to be disarmed. University regs further state no WEAPONS on campus, so I can’t even carry a defensive knife. And this is a university that caters primarily to women, also. The only good thing is that since it’s such a small campus, and the UPD is centrally located, the cops could respond more rapidly than on other campuses–IF they’re aware of what’s going on, and are notified…but they’re in the “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away” situation. A few less minutes, 5 instead of 15 maybe, but still minutes.

    It’s rather unnerving, at times. I posted an add for USCCA on the Student Union Free Speech board. Next I’ll put up a Concealed Campus flier and maybe Second Amendment Sisters for good measure.

  12. When BobG says, “Anyone who is anti=guns won’t bother to research; it is easier to swallow the drivel doled out by the Brady Bunch than to actually do some reading and thinking.” I think he’s including the MSM, too.

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