John Lott’s latest piece at the Daily Caller discusses the FBI’s announcement that mistakes were made in the background check for his gun purchase. His piece starts this way:
“This rips all of our hearts out,” says FBI Director James Comey, who blamed the mistake at least partially on improperly labeled paperwork.
But the truth is more complicated. First, even a perfectly functioning background check system very likely wouldn’t have stopped Roof from getting a gun. Second, the current background check system is a much worse mess than Comey recognizes.
The truth is, the databases the government uses to determine eligibility for gun purchases are rife with errors. Comey’s comments focus on one type of error, where someone who should have been prohibited from getting a gun wasn’t stopped. But a much more common error involves people who should have been able to buy guns but are stopped.
This is the same problem experienced with the “No Fly” list. Remember the five times that the late Sen. Ted Kennedy was “initially denied” flights because his name was on the anti-terror “no fly” list? His name was just too similar to someone that we really did want to keep from flying. . . . .
The rest of the piece is available here. What is at issue is Roof’s answer to question e (click on the copy below of the 4473 form to enlarge).