Was it the gun’s fault when a disgruntled employee murdered five of his fellow coworkers and wounded five responding police officers? Who will the anti-gunners blame—the shooter who had been convicted of multiple violent crimes and served time in prison, the authorities that made it possible for him to “legally” buy the gun, or the gun?
It is a trick question. The anti-gunners will blame you and me—the honest law-abiding gun owners. Had the gun been more scary than a Smith and Wesson pistol, they would have likely lumped in the gun or a high profile accessory or component. At a minimum, they will use this tragedy as justification to pass some new legislation that will only punish—you guessed it—by definition, the law-abiding gun owners.
Over two decades before Gary Martin went on his murderous, workplace-shooting spree in Illinois, he was convicted of aggravated assault in Mississippi. When questioned about the shooter’s criminal record, authorities reported that he had been convicted in the 1990s of regularly abusing a former girlfriend and at one point, hitting her with a baseball bat and stabbing her with a knife.
“All I can remember is him hitting and kicking me, I can remember fighting and screaming for help. I remember him pushing my head into that brick wall outside the apartment and thinking that he was going to kill me,” the woman told police in Mississippi in 1994, according to court records.
Martin was sentenced to five years in prison making him a convicted felon who should have never been allowed to purchase a firearm. In January of 2014, Martin applied for a Firearms Owner’s ID (FOID) card. Incidentally, Illinois is the only state that mandates a FOID card. in illinois, you have to present your FOID card to buy a firearm or ammunition. To obtain a FOID card, you have to pass a criminal background check by the Illinois State Police (ISP).
Unfortunately, the ISP did not catch that Martin was a convicted felon when he applied for his FOID card. Given the question about whether the purchaser has ever been convicted of a felony on the ATF form 4473 National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) form, I would have to guess that Martin, the then convicted felon, lied (shocker) and the BATFE failed to disqualify him based on his previous felony conviction during the NICS check. As a result of these two failures of the system that is in place, Martin was able to walk into a store in 2014 and “legally,” and I use that term loosely and in quotes, buy a handgun.
Later, Martin applied for a concealed carry permit. Getting a CCW in Illinois requires the submission of your fingerprints. The fingerprints outed Martin as having been convicted of a felony, Martin was denied a Concealed Weapons Permit and the ISP revoked his FOID card. However, losing your FOID does not necessarily mean confiscation of your firearms. The police simply send you a letter informing you that your FOID card has been revoked, and you have to specify that you either no longer have possession of the firearms, or have given them to another person.
Author’s note: Trusting a convicted felon’s response that he has gotten rid of his firearms, especially one who has most likely lied on an ATF form 4473, FOID application, and CCW application (all under penalty of perjury of course) may not be a sound method of handling a situation such as this.
At least six times after having his FOID card revoked, Martin was arrested by Aurora IL police. The most recent incident was in 2017 for disorderly conduct and damage to property.
Mississippi court records paint a picture of a disturbed man who frequently abused his former girlfriend, Chyreese Jones. Jones, brought charges against Martin after he stabbed her several times with a kitchen knife in March 1994.
On March 8, 1994, Jones told Martin she wanted to end the relationship. Jones recalled to law enforcement that Martin responded by telling her, if they were going to end their relationship, they were “going to go out with a bang!”
“We are all going to die…” Jones recalled when interviewed by the police. “That’s when [he] began to hit me.”
According to court records, Martin kicked her in the stomach and hit her with the baseball bat. Jones ran to her neighbor, and police later found her bleeding from several stab wounds, including two deep cuts to her neck.
The Bad Guy
After reading Martin’s history, most reasonable, sane people with at least a modicum of intelligence might conclude that due to the current laws in place to prevent a tragedy such as this—forget it; we are talking about politicians and a media with an agenda. Logic, or even the truth of the facts will mean little.
- Convicted of a felony for domestic violence, beating a woman with a baseball bat and stabbing her, and threatening her daughter’s life by holding a knife to her throat.
- Guilty of perjury? Multiple counts of perjury to obtain a firearm and FOID card, and attempting to obtain a concealed weapons permit.
- Arrested at least six times in between 2014 and 2017 by local authorities after having his FOID card revoked.
- In illegal possession of a firearm and illegally carrying a concealed firearm when he committed the heinous acts.
- The benefactor of people who believe they can legislate evil by passing feel-good laws, which only serve to punish the law abiding.
Yet, all of this was not enough to stop him. All of the forms or applications and background checks did not stop him. Multiple arrests did not stop him. One thousand new laws would not have stopped him. What finally stopped the bad guy? It wasn’t a law; it was a good guy with a gun. Enough said.
What do you think should be done to prevent further tragedies such as recent one in Aurora Illinois? What do you think of background checks or the confiscation of firearms from convicted felons? Who would you say is at fault for the shooting? Share your answers in the comment section.
Sign up for K-Var’s weekly newsletter and discounts here.