Another shooting, another law enforcement failure that gun control wouldn’t solve

Colorado Springs Shooting California
A memorial sprang up for the victims of Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colo., outside Rocco’s WeHo in West Hollywood, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) Damian Dovarganes/AP

Another shooting, another law enforcement failure that gun control wouldn’t solve

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Once again, we have seen a high-profile shooting that wasn’t stopped by gun control but could have been stopped if law enforcement and prosecutors had done their jobs.

A gunman in Colorado Springs killed five people and injured 18, and unsurprisingly, he was already on law enforcement’s radar. In June 2021, he allegedly threatened his mother with a homemade bomb. Neighbors were forced to evacuate from their homes, and a bomb squad and crisis negotiators were brought in.

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And yet, according to the Associated Press, “there’s no public record that prosecutors moved forward with felony kidnapping and menacing charges.” In Colorado, first-degree kidnapping can be punished with up to 24 years in prison, and second-degree kidnapping can carry a sentence of up to eight years in prison. A felony menacing conviction can result in a sentence between one and three years.

Instead, charges were dropped. The shooter was out on the streets with seemingly no restrictions and no felonies on his record, meaning it is entirely possible that the firearms he used in the shooting were purchased by him legally, as CNN claimed law enforcement believes. Even if they weren’t, though, it is a moot point. The shooter should have been behind bars on felony charges.

There is also no indication that Colorado’s red flag law was ever used by the shooter’s family or by law enforcement to remove firearms from his possession. Colorado has also had universal background checks in place since 2013, and an “assault weapons” ban would have done little given that the shooter was also armed with a handgun. Yet again, it appears that none of the Democratic Party’s favorite gun control ideas would have done anything to prevent this shooting.

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This has been par for the course. The 2021 shooting in Boulder, Colorado, also was not prevented by the state red flag law or other gun control policies. The Washington Post determined in 2015 that no mainstream gun control proposals would have prevented mass shootings, and a follow-up in 2022 essentially reached the same conclusion. As usual, we have red flags around shooters being ignored and existing gun control laws failing or simply being ineffective. Once again, it was human error that allowed a shooter to slip through the cracks.

Perhaps if we focused our energy after shootings on holding people accountable for their failures, as it appears prosecutors failed last year, we would actually prevent shootings like the one in Colorado Springs. Instead, Democrats will whine about gun control for a week and move on to the next hot-button topic in the headlines and then wail and gnash their teeth over how we never “do something” to prevent these shootings.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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