WTVM Editorial 03/03/23: Enforce the laws we have

Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 4:20 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The Justice Department is about to disperse more than $230 Million dollars of taxpayer funds to administer gun control laws, like so-called Red Flag laws.

Red Flag laws allow police to remove guns from a person flagged as dangerous or mentally ill.

But even our existing gun laws don’t prevent most mass shootings – because those laws are almost never enforced.

In case after case, mass shooters were known to authorities prior to their crimes. Many were never charged or faced lesser charges before a mass shooting event. Future mass shooters know police won’t stop them, or if they do, weak prosecutors will let them off the hook to shoot another day.

Before Nicholas Cruz became the infamous Parkland High School shooter in Florida, he was the subject of dozens of 911 calls and an FBI investigation.

But each time, Cruz was able to sneak past existing red flag laws, get a gun, trespass on school grounds, and eventually kill 17 people.

Police knew all about the recent Michigan State mass shooter, Anthony McRae, who was arrested in 2019 for illegally carrying a gun. McRae was allowed to plead that felony down to a misdemeanor and become a mass shooter four years later.

The Army and the FBI were both well acquainted with the radical Fort Hood mass shooter, Major Nidal Hassan. They admitted doing nothing prior to that tragedy, due to concerns of political correctness.

These mass shootings and many more like them happen when authorities lack the backbone to connect the dots and take preemptive legal action.

Even a study by gun control group “Everytown for Gun Safety” shows that dangerous warning signs were known before a mass shooting.

The study says more than half of all mass shootings in the past dozen years could have been avoided if only existing gun laws were aggressively enforced.

But as we’ve seen over and over again, too many future mass shooters were not taken seriously by law enforcement when they first became known.

That’s why we need to make sure current gun laws are always enforced and prosecuted in the strongest way possible.