Requiring Background Checks Won’t Be Enough To Stop Gun Violence, University Professor Says


A university professor argued Wednesday during a television interview that requiring background checks won’t be enough to stop gun violence.

Based on information, shooters, including the alleged ones from Colorado and Atlanta, Georgia shooter, “don’t necessarily have egregious criminal backgrounds,” Jason Johnson, associate professor of politics and journalism at Morgan State University, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“There was no indicator that this guy was a terrorist. So it’s not just going to be enough to do background checks because a background check wouldn’t necessarily have stopped this guy. All he has is one sort of assault thing,” Johnson said.

In response to the Monday Boulder grocery store shooting, President Joe Biden urged Congress on Tuesday to pass common sense gun control measures, including two House-approved bills.

Johnson told the hosts of “Morning Joe” that special attention should be paid to what weapons people can obtain since shooters, mostly men, “don’t have some long obvious history that says ‘I’m a terrorist’ or ‘I’m gonna go shoot up a grocery store.’”

“They’re loners, they’re living below the radar. They’re going from job to job, they may or may not be living at their mother’s house,” Johnson said. “So it’s not just identifying and tracking those people, it’s limiting what they could get access to. There’s a big difference being able to use a semi-automatic weapon to shoot up a store versus something that you gotta reload and reload and reload.”

Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold identified the 10 victims from the incident during a Tuesday press conference and said 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa from Arvada was identified as the alleged shooter. Alissa faces charges of first-degree murder and is currently in custody at the Boulder County Jail.

Investigators found through law enforcement databases that on March 16, Alissa had purchased a Ruger AR-556 pistol, according to an arrest affidavit. Boulder banned assault weapons three years ago in an attempt to avoid mass shootings, but a court blocked the measure in March, according to The Washington Post.

No additional information was disclosed about the circumstances surrounding how or when the suspect got the pistol or whether the pistol was used in Monday’s shooting, the Post reported. Police still haven’t said if Boulder’s ban would’ve stopped the alleged shooter in purchasing or owning the pistol.

Johnson said ordinary people, people who have guns and both Democrats and Republicans have said although they’re not against guns, they believe whoever buys one “should be forced to prove they’re remotely responsible before they have them.”

“You should be able to make sure that the person buying the gun isn’t crazy,” Johnson said.

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