Conservative commentator S.E. Cupp used her HLN show, “Unfiltered,” Tuesday night to propose something the U.S. could do “immediately” to curb gun violence: actually follow the laws already on the books.
Cupp's comments came just days after 26-year-old gunman Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire during a worship service at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday morning, killing 26 people and injuring 30 others.
The HLN anchor criticized breakdowns in the system that resulted in Kelley purchasing guns. The U.S. Air Force took responsibility earlier this week for failing to disclose Kelley's criminal background to the FBI after he was given a bad-conduct discharge, a direct violation of Pentagon regulations.
The Air Force's oversight resulted in Kelley's information not being placed in the National Instant Check System (NICS) database, a pervasive problem that's led to numerous unfit citizens getting their hands on firearms.
“There is something we can do immediately, we can actually use our existing background check system,” Cupp explained. She continued:
“As was horrifically the case in Texas ... it turns out our national instant criminal background check system is not being used as it was intended. … The Texas killer should have been in that system due to any number of his issues — from being involuntarily committed to a mental facility, to his conviction for domestic abuse. However, although he was convicted in a military court of assault, the Pentagon failed to submit those records to the NICS database.”
Cupp's guest, National Shooting Sports Foundation Vice President Larry Keane, agreed. In fact, his organization has been pushing for “Fix NICS” legislation that would incentivize states and government agencies to submit all relevant information to NICS so that when unfit individuals attempt to purchase a gun, they are barred from doing so.
So far, so many states have failed to submit critical data to NICS that Cupp posited: “Why even have a database?”
“We're calling upon the Department of Defense, the [Government Accountability Office], to conduct an investigation to find out why this happened, what needs to be done so it never happens again,” Keane said, noting there is “no excuse” for the breakdown, which he described as “systemic.”
This is the conversation that needs to take place rather than the constant berating of religious Americans who pray in the wake of such horrific tragedies or playing the blame game to score political points.
Watch the segment below, via HLN.