Mr. Fryberg applied to buy the Beretta from a gun shop on the Indian reservation where he lived with Jaylen. A background check failed to come up with the protection order because it was never entered into the system.But really the problem comes down to this: it is very, very hard to accurately diagnose serious mental illness, or to predict which people might become violent. So as long as we treat gun ownership as a right that can only be taken away for probable cause of danger, we will never be able to keep potentially dangerous people from owning guns. Most mass shooters buy their guns legally. To keep this sort of thing from happening, we would have to turn our attitude around and make gun ownership a privilege available only to those who can prove themselves fit. I think that in our democracy this would be impossible; too many law-abiding Americans passionately love their guns. Given that there are already a hundred million guns in America, and that buying one illegally is about as hard as buying pot, I doubt that would make much difference anyway.
Personally, I hate guns, and wish they were as rare here as they are in Britain. But count me as a skeptic that gun control will ever make any difference to crime in America.