Federal Government Deserves Blame For Sutherland Springs Mass Shooting
A few weeks ago, the Texas Supreme Court ruled, rightly so, that victims and their families would not be able to hold Academy Sports and Outdoors responsible for the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas in 2017.
Academy Sports and Outdoors did everything right. They ran Devin Kelley's background check, and it came back clean. There was nothing stopping Academy from selling Kelley a firearm. There was no way for the retailer to know that the sale would lead to a church shooting and the deadliest mass shooting in Texas.
While the shooter bears the main responsibility for his actions, a federal judge on Wednesday found that the federal government was also to blame for what happened in Sutherland Springs. The shooter in 2012 was convicted of assaulting his wife and stepson, and in 2014 was released from the Air Force under a bad conduct discharge.
The government failed to report those to the background check system, which would have prevented him from purchasing a gun, according to the Texas Tribune:
Rodriguez said the U.S. government was 60% responsible for harm caused by the shooting and liable for damages.
“The Court concludes that the Government failed to exercise reasonable care in its undertaking to submit criminal history to the FBI,” Rodriguez wrote in the ruling. “The Government’s failure to exercise reasonable care increased the risk of physical harm to the general public, including Plaintiffs. And its failure ... caused the deaths and injuries of [the victims] at the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church on November 5, 2017.”
Is the government 60 percent responsible? No, most of the blame is still on the shooter. He made the decision to pull the trigger, not the government. But the government did screw up and put its citizens in harms way.