FBI Director: Background Check System Failed, S.C. Church Shooter Shouldn’t Have Been Cleared to Buy Gun

From ABC News:

The FBI says its background-check system failed, allowing the man who allegedly opened fire inside a South Carolina church last month to purchase the gun he used in the rampage.

Speaking to a small group of reporters in Washington today, FBI Director James Comey said 21-year-old Dylann Roof of Lexington, South Carolina, should not have been able to buy the weapon that ultimately killed nine people, including the pastor of the historic church.

When Roof first tried to buy the weapon from a dealer on April 11, an FBI examiner spent several days determining whether the sale should be approved. The examiner missed Roof’s previous admission to drug possession during an arrest, which under FBI guidelines should have barred him from buying a gun, according to Comey. Roof obtained the weapon on April 16.

“This case rips all our hearts out,” Comey said.

***

This latest development raises a lot of what-ifs.  To state the obvious one, what if the check had worked properly and he wasn’t cleared to buy a gun, would that have prevented the tragedy?

Maybe.  But then again, maybe not.  This disturbed young man has a hate-filled heart and he was determined to start a race war.

Perhaps the background check could have delayed him from lashing out as he would have to figure out another way to get his hands on a gun or find another way to inflict harm on innocent people, but as far as stopping him altogether — short of killing him or arresting him and getting him off the streets for a significant period of time (not the type of shot sentence he would earn if he was arrested for being a prohibited person attempting to buy a firearm) — I’m not sure any law or background check would have stopped him.

So, yes, one can lament that the background system failed to do its job.  But I think what is more lamentable is that none of those victims had the means (maybe due to a gun-free church policy or maybe their own beliefs about gun ownership) to defend themselves against that sociopath.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Patrick W Coder August 8, 2016, 5:22 pm

    Are you willing to have an all out civil war to jeep our America

  • Mahatma Muhjesbude July 13, 2015, 1:16 pm

    Sorry people, but despite the inherent challenges of ubiquitous human tragedy, we can’t let our ‘moral subjectiveness’ outweigh the revelations of superior and honest reasonable objectiveness supported by liberty and justice for all.

    And as JC says, in the absence of verifiable fact, we STILL don’t know the truth yet? Everybody’s pet goldfish knows by now the agenda based mendacity of the MSM is rivaled only by the intentional totalitarian mission constantly perpetrated on the people by the government.

    So let me just point out something more ‘insidious’ in this information here.

    So according to the article above, the so called FBI ‘examiner’ spent several days ruminating over whether or not to decline the authorization and somehow supposedly ‘missed’ a ‘fact’ that the examiner “missed Roof’s previous admission to drug possession during an arrest”.

    Hmmm. Having just scrutinized the newest version of the form 4473–you know the one that cleverly prohibits PTSD combat Vets from possessing firearms., I still see no question on the form that asks anything like “Have you ever admitted you possessed drugs while being arrested?”

    Plus it’s pretty curious, to say the least, that according to director Comey that an examiner struggled for days laboring over the dilemma?

    It used to be pretty simple before 2012? What happened to simple ‘instant background checks’ for felony disqualification, only?

    It Couldn’t be that the government simply doesn’t have enough felons in the population to effectively disarm enough people to preclude what looks like an imminent ‘Jefforsonian’ resistance to obvious out of control totalitarian agendas…so they are now trying to figure out ways to make MORE of us Criminals!

    So I’d like to know the simple facts that if this Roof person was, or was not, a convicted felon, why was FBI, no less, belaboring the process over days? Was this a Freudian slip of the lip by Mr.Comey? The Background Check should have taken all of five minutes? I mean, by the wording the Director provided that means that about half of the people that most of us know would fall under that ‘guideline’ for non purchase approval in the form of “…a drug possession during an arrest”! Where’s the qualifiers and caveats?

    Are they saying that Anybody having any controlled substances in the form of prescriptions on them while being arrested for a traffic violation can now be declined a firearm purchase?

    You bet your last full magazine they are.

    Actually, it’s coming sooner than you think, to a fascist neighborhood near you.

    Don’t forget about one in every three of us out there now can be clinically diagnosed with some kind of ‘abnormal’ mental condition or emotional issues possibly requiring your body to be under the ‘constant’ (addictive) influence of some kind of medication(drug).

    What people are not getting yet is that the BATF forms are written by Administrators. The wording is specifically designed to circumvent the true meaning and Law of The Land regarding the 2nd Amendment. The BATFE and now, apparantly the FBI can interpret the questions and purchase mandates as they want to. If they can’t repeal the 2nd/A, they’ll just make more laws, or administrative mandates to get around it.

    The only way to beat it is the start counter attacks by repealing ALL anti-2nd/A laws in place. Starting with the one that is causing us all this illegal and unnecessary tyranny. The egregiously totalitarian confiscation Gun Control Act of 1968.

    It’s getting pretty obvious what they’re trying to do. And please don’t respond with any nonsense about it being physically improbable to accomplish such draconian measures en masse. FYI they do it with every truck driver you see on the road. They all must stop in one of the numerous ‘drug testing’ facilities before they are ‘allowed’ to drive. It would be no trouble at all to extend that to gun purchases in the specious spirit of ‘Public Safety’. The anti-2nd/A groups are salivating about this already. Imagine knocking out firearm ownership rights of multi-millions of gun owners, with one slick synergistic appliction of laws and mandates already in existence. Then bribe leftist oriented state governments to facilitate compliance and like the ‘devil’s magic show’, guess what?

    Oh, by the way. Upon tertiary perusal of the 4473 one more time before i ended my comment here, I found it.

    Yup, it’s there. obfuscated and convoluted but certainly subject to interperetational focus by agenda based agents.(see if you can spot it without me pointing it out)

    But then that still doesn’t explain why the FBI is conducting background checks taking several days to complete…just for a gun purchase, and still ‘failing’ on top of it?

    • Charles Boggs February 5, 2018, 9:52 am

      In 1975 a pastor friend of mine asked me to help “test” government controls and how far they could be taken using a church service as his stage. First, I do not in any way encourage or endorse this same action today and am still in awe of how things developed. With the approval of the police chief and the city council, all sworn to secrecy, we set up a test of how far would the “average” American let things go before they took action to protect their amendment rights. The church had an average attendance at their Sunday evening service of 250 people, not including children under 12 who met in a separate service area. I had 10 of my fellow officers agree to help. We took precautions…there were 6 members of the church who knew what we were going to do so they could step in and calm what could have been a volatile situation. All were to keep the test secret and all did so. The officers carried their usual side arms, unloaded, and couple had shotguns, again unloaded. Three plain clothes officers sat in various places in the sanctuary to provide additional control, non of them armed. Remember, this was in 1975 and few if any people carried weapons into a church. Although not written in church policy, it was understood that carrying a weapon into a service was not approved. The pastor started the service, there was a prayer and they congregation numbering 229 adults and teenagers who had been encouraged to sit with their parents that evening for a special family service. At the beginning of the second verse of the hymn “Amazing Grace”, the 100 uniformed officers and I quietly entered the rear of the sanctuary. We split up, with officers taking both the side aisles and myself and another officer going down the center aisle. The music continued, I stepped up next to the pastor and acted like I was whispering something in his ear. He did a great job of acting startled and confused and stopped the music, saying that the police department had an important announcement. I stepped forward, informed the congregation that there had been a major political action by both parties of Congress to change the right to worship in the nation. As officers we had been ordered to confiscate any and all types of Bibles or scripture, which included hymn books. The pastor acting startled and angry, quickly stepped back behind the pulpit and with the noise level in the sanctuary starting to rise, called for order. He told the congregation that he had heard rumors of this action earlier in the day, but thought it was a joke. He then encouraged a peaceful compliance with the restriction of scripture, giving his Bible to me. The congregation was told to pass their Bibles and the hymnals to the end of their pews for collection. Immediately people started passing these items down. No one said a word for about two minutes. Then, one 70+ lady stood up and said no one was going to take her Bible. She knew a lot of scripture by heart, but she was not going to let anyone take her Bible. One of the officers started to move in her direction and it was obvious that a disturbance was starting to grow. Quickly the pastor stood and told everyone to stop what they were doing. It took a couple of minutes, but finally silence was achieved. The officers had withdrawn to the sides of the sanctuary and the pastor explained that what they had just witnessed and participated in was something that happened regularly in other nations and it could very well happen in America. Only one precious elderly lady took a stand. Bibles and hymnals back in place the pastor explained all the precautions that had been taken and the undeniable truth of the event, very few would have stood up for their Constitutional rights. I would not dare to try this again, in this day of church shootings, pastors carrying guns into pulpits, deacons and others acting like greeters but really part of church security. And looking back on it, if it had not been for quick action by the pastor to regain control, who knows what would have been the result. Today we have become more conscious of our Second Amendment rights and hopefully all the rights guaranteed by The Constitution of our land. I did do a demonstration of that night for another church a couple of years later. Most of the people that listened easily said they would stand with the elderly lady. But it is easy to say something, more difficult to actually take the stand that could unlawfully land you in jail. I pass this event on to remind people that there is more at stake than the 2nd Amendment, which in itself is enough to have us take a stand to protect the rights it gives. Our political parties have become just what we call them…parties. Ethics, wisdom, common sense and a multitude of other great attributes have been sold to the highest bidder in the groups with their anti-freedom agendas. Make no mistake. I believe we should still do background checks, but do them correctly. I was a police officer for many years. Before that I was in Army Special Ops. I have seen what it is like to live in a country with tremendous restrictions on individual rights. I have witnessed arrests of people who were guilty of no more than protecting their family and property. It is up to me and you to insure that this nation founded upon the rights of individuals to live without fear of governmental authority gets back to its foundation. I can still hear that precious lady’s voice refusing to give up her Bible. Unfortunately the voices I hear today are those that would have arrested her, silenced her and silenced any that stood with her. The echoes I hear from citizens about regaining our true rights, reuniting our nation, and re-establishing its true foundation are silenced by those with money, power, their own agenda, and backed by much of the news media. I am proud to be an American, but saddened by where America seems to be going. I would gladly serve our nation again to insure its course of freedom and unity and to help others in so many nations who truly yearn to be free. And I will continue to hold my Bible in one hand and my service weapon in the other to teach and if, God forbid, it becomes physically necessary to actively protect the rights given to us by the Constitution. I believe that America was founded by very wise men, willing to give all and believing that their endeavors would be supported by God’s “Amazing Grace”. You may disagree with all or part of what I have written. I am sure some will. But remember, disagreeing is part of your right to freedom of speech. Sincerely submitted, Dr. Charles Boggs, D/Div, Th/D..

  • Mahatma Muhjesbude July 13, 2015, 1:13 pm

    Sorry people, but despite the inherent challenges of ubiquitous human tragedy, we can’t let our ‘moral subjectiveness’ outweigh the revelations of superior and honest reasonable objectiveness supported by liberty and justice for all.

    And as JC says, in the absence of verifiable fact, we STILL don’t know the truth yet? Everybody’s pet goldfish knows by now the agenda based mendacity of the MSM is rivaled only by the intentional totalitarian mission constantly perpetrated on the people by the government.

    So let me just point out something more ‘insidious’ in this information here.

    So according to the article above, the so called FBI ‘examiner’ spent several days ruminating over whether or not to decline the authorization and somehow supposedly ‘missed’ a ‘fact’ that the examiner “missed Roof’s previous admission to drug possession during an arrest”.

    Hmmm. Having just scrutinized the newest version of the form 4473–you know the one that cleverly prohibits PTSD combat Vets from possessing firearms., I still see no question on the form that asks anything like “Have you ever admitted you possessed drugs while being arrested?”

    Plus it’s pretty curious, to say the least, that according to director Comey that an examiner struggled for days laboring over the dilemma?

    It used to be pretty simple before 2012? What happened to simple ‘instant background checks’ for felony disqualification, only?

    It Couldn’t be that the government simply doesn’t have enough felons in the population to effectively disarm enough people to preclude what looks like an imminent ‘Jefforsonian’ resistance to obvious out of control totalitarian agendas…so they are now trying to figure out ways to make MORE of us Criminals.

    So I’d like to know the simple facts that if this Roof person was, or was not, a convicted felon, why was FBI, no less, belaboring the process over days? Was this a Freudian slip of the lip by Mr.Comey? The Background Check should have taken all of five minutes? I mean, by the wording the Director provided that means that about half of the people that most of us know would fall under that ‘guideline’ for non purchase approval in the form of “…a drug possession during an arrest”! Where’s the qualifiers and caveats?

    Are they saying that Anybody having any controlled substances in the form of prescriptions on them while being arrested for a traffic violation can now be declined a firearm purchase?

    You bet your last full magazine they are.

    Actually, it’s coming sooner than you think, to a fascist neighborhood near you.

    Don’t forget about one in every three of us out there now can be clinically diagnosed with some kind of ‘abnormal’ mental condition or emotional issues possibly requiring your body to be under the ‘constant’ (addictive) influence of some kind of medication(drug).

    What people are not getting yet is that the BATF forms are written by Administrators. The wording is specifically designed to circumvent the true meaning and Law of The Land regarding the 2nd Amendment. The BATFE and now, apparantly the FBI can interpret the questions and purchase mandates as they want to. If they can’t repeal the 2nd/A, they’ll just make more laws, or administrative mandates to get around it.

    The only way to beat it is the start counter attacks by repealing ALL anti-2nd/A laws in place. Starting with the one that is causing us all this illegal and unnecessary tyranny. The egregiously totalitarian confiscation Gun Control Act of 1968.

    It’s getting pretty obvious what they’re trying to do. And please don’t respond with any nonsense about it being physically improbable to accomplish such draconian measures en masse. FYI they do it with every truck driver you see on the road. They all must stop in one of the numerous ‘drug testing’ facilities before they are ‘allowed’ to drive. It would be no trouble at all to extend that to gun purchases in the specious spirit of ‘Public Safety’. The anti-2nd/A groups are salivating about this already. Imagine knocking out firearm ownership rights of multi-millions of gun owners, with one slick synergistic appliction of laws and mandates already in existence. Then bribe leftist oriented state governments to facilitate compliance and like the ‘devil’s magic show’, guess what?

    Oh, by the way. Upon tertiary perusal of the 4473 one more time before i ended my comment here, I found it.

    Yup, it’s there. obfuscated and convoluted but certainly subject to interperetational focus by agenda based agents.(see if you can spot it without me pointing it out)

    But then that still doesn’t explain why the FBI is conducting background checks taking several days to complete…just for a gun purchase, and still ‘failing’ on top of it?

  • DRAINO July 11, 2015, 7:31 am

    They say they are pushing background checks…..but like Obama-care….its not the end game…..they want background checks to fail as well so they can go for the out right ban.

  • JC July 10, 2015, 5:18 pm

    First we are told his father bought it for him, his mother took it away from him, he stole it back from mother, he commited the crime.
    Now we are told he fell thru the background check cracks and bought himself.
    So which is it?
    Not possible to trust MSM. What changed the agenda?

  • DRAINO July 10, 2015, 3:01 pm

    Uh….let’s face it….a back ground check is only as good as the information in the program, which is only as good as the people being paid to input said information. Just like the immigration system….it’s there but needs LOTS of attention. But could be much more effective if fixed properly.

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