In the early morning hours of Sunday, December 31, 2017, Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a domestic disturbance at the Highland Ranch Apartment complex, just south of the Denver metropolitan area. When officers arrived at the two-story building, they entered the suspect’s apartment only to find the suspect had barricaded himself in a bedroom. He then began shooting at the deputies, who were wearing bulletproof vests.
Sadly, five of the deputies were hit in non-protected areas and 2-3 civilians were also struck by the gunfire. Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Zackari Parrish, 29-years-old, was fatally wounded. When Parrish fell, other deputies tried to pull him out of the line of fire, but the shooting was intense and they were hit while trying to save their fellow officer. Parrish, only on the force for 7 months, left a wife and 2 young daughters. A GoFundMe page has been set up for Parrish’s wife and daughters.
The suspect, identified as 37-year-old Matthew Reihl was killed at the scene. Reihl was a veteran and attorney with no criminal record, however, he was known to the Douglas County Sheriff’s office as he had posted a video on YouTube calling for the firing of Sheriff Tony Spurlock. In the video, which was posted a couple of weeks prior to the incident, was filled with many highly personal terms directed at the Sheriff.
After all similar kinds of mass shootings, Democrats instantly call for more gun control, especially for universal background checks for every exchange of gun ownership including at gun shows. The universal background checks they call for would require a grandfather and grandson to both undergo a background check before grandpa could give his grandson one of his guns. If a wife was to buy a new rifle or shotgun as a gift for her husband, their universal background check would require that both the wife and husband undergo a background check before she could surprise him with the gift for his birthday or Christmas.
How successful would background checks be in preventing mass shootings, like the ambush of the deputies in Douglas County?
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Fox 13 in Denver reported:
“David Smith, the owner of Dave’s Guns, called the Laramie Police Department on Sunday in reference to the shooting earlier that day.”
“Smith told he police that he sold Riehl 11 guns from 2010 to 2013.”
“The police report shows the gun store had records of the sales. However Smith said he was going to continue reviewing records to see if there might have been more sales.”
- April 2, 2010: Springfield XD(M) pistol (semi-automatic handgun)
- May 3, 2010: Ruger MK III pistol (semi-automatic handgun)
- July 6, 2010: Smith & Wesson 629 revolver (not semi-automatic)
- July 22, 2010: Ruger SR9c pistol
- 3, 2010: “Plum Crazy” AR-15 receiver (semi-automatic that can hold 100 rounds)
- 19, 2010: FAL Type III receiver (semi-automatic)
- 1, 2011: Remington 700 SPS rifle
- 6, 2011: Smith & Wesson Model 66 revolver
- 5, 2011: Ruger Vaquero revolver (not an automatic)
- 10, 2012: Glock 30 SF pistol (semi-automatic handgun)
- March 3, 2013: Ithaca 37 shotgun (not an automatic)
“Smith said Riehl passed all background checks at the time. All of the guns from the police report were purchased before the gunman was hospitalized for a psychotic episode in 2014.”
Seeing that last bit of information would be instantly used by many anti-gun fanatics say that anyone with any kind of mental health issue, even a temporary one, should be banned from owning or possessing a gun. However, having one episode that appears to be treatable, should not be cause to strip someone of their constitutional rights. To do so would drive people who need help and can be successfully treated to avoid seeking the help they need for fear of losing their rights.
But, as you can see, Riehl passed every background check with flying colors.
Besides, Baltimore has very strict gun control laws and permit system and yet a recent report indicated that 85% of the suspects, in their record number of homicides, had criminal records and could not pass a background check, yet they managed to get guns anyway and use them in their crimes.
Background checks may stop some from legally buying a gun, but if someone is determined to get a gun, they will find a way, whether they buy it illegally, steal it or make it themselves. Background checks are nothing more than a federal gun registration which can be used to confiscate guns when necessary to do so.