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Shortly after South Carolina's history-making removal of the Nazi backup flag after a contentious local debate on its supposed historical merits (it has none), FBI director James Comey revealed to reporters that Charleston Church Massacre shooter Dylann Storm Roof should not have been able to obtain a gun — a statement which effectively dismantles previous statements that no errors existed within the process of Roof's background check.
The FBI reportedly made a daunting clerical error related to a "breakdown in paperwork between police departments and counties" during the process, reports CNN. Roof's previous arrest — in which he admitted to possessing drugs — should have served as the proverbial red flag, signaling a denial of purchase. However, an NICS agent was unable to trace the arrest to a specific county or confirm a conviction. After the process crossed the three-day threshold, the shop owner was allowed to sell the gun to Roof — who would later brutally murder nine people at Emanuel AME Church using the .45 caliber handgun.
As President Barack Obama has expressed on multiple occasions, our gun control tactics here in the States are — to put it quite mildly — embarrassing in the face of global statistics. For example, the United States possesses nearly 50% of the world's civilian-owned guns — despite only representing 5% of the global population. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the United States has the highest homicide-by-firearm rate among developed nations.
The time for change is profoundly overdue.