Mentally Ill South Carolina Woman Shoots Down NRA’s Gun Control Positions

UPDATED

Welcome to the NRA’s America.

A mentally ill South Carolina woman is charged with attempted murder after she showed up outside a local school, pointed her gun at teachers and pulled the trigger.

The gun did not fire.

Alice Boland, a 28-year-old Beaufort woman with a long history of mental illness, was arrested at Ashley Hall in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday, February 4th 2013 in the midst of gun control debates in the US.

According the The Post and Courier:

About 50 students and school officials were standing outside the gate on Rutledge Avenue waiting for parents to pick up children. Boland walked up to Mary Schweers, director of the upper school, pointed a Taurus PT22 with eight rounds in the magazine at her and pulled the trigger several times.

The .22-caliber didn’t fire. The semi-automatic has a capacity of nine rounds, but there was no cartridge in the chamber.

But is was loaded and it was functional. Thankfully, she had no idea how to use it. (so much for gun owner education)

What’s worse is that she had a long, documented history of threatening mental illness:

In 2005 she was indicted in a federal court and ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation after an incident at US Customs pre-screening at Montreal’s Trudeau Airport.

“I am going to kill President Bush with a gun,” she said, according to an arrest affidavit. “Just give me a gun. I am going to come back and shoot you all.”

Doctors deemed her mentally unfit to stand trial and forcefully injected her with anti-psychotic drugs.

You really need to read the whole bizarre story to understand how incredibly lucky those teachers and students are.

And now the part that completely destroys the core arguments made by the NRA and other gun support lobby groups:

She legally obtained the handgun two days earlier.

Let that roll around in your mind for a moment.

Yes, because there are no universal background checks, because there is no mental health database linked to it, because of the ridiculously easy access to semi-automatic weapons, this delusional psychopath almost killed a number of people, including possibly, young girls waiting for their parents.

Is this your America NRA?

And with all due respect to the stupidest of the NRA’s ideas – no – armed guards would not have stopped her from getting off a number of rounds before reacting, thanks to the nature of the gun and the element of surprise. It would have been too late for the victims.

I want you to really think about this situation the next time you hear some lobbyist for the NRA or other such gun groups spout off about the root causes of the problem.

They will blame violent video games, but then release a shooting game of their own.

They will blame mental health “issues” but then block any form of national database and universal background checks that could have prevented this woman from obtaining this gun legally.

And if she had been successful, if she had known how to fire this loaded weapon, the lack of these sensible laws, the common sense ideas being blocked by the NRA would have been one of the root causes of this tragedy.

And the NRA would have blood on its hands.

The other root cause would be what is always the single, common thread in all of these incidents.

The common denominator.

Ridiculously easy access to guns.

Eliminate this one thing, make it far more difficult to qualify to carry, limit the automation of these weapons, and you go a long way to solving the problem.

The time to act is now, before the next gun fires as planned.

 

UPDATE

It appears this young woman, Alice Boland used her parent’s old checkbook to spend the $320 required for the Taurus PT22.  Worse, the gun shop failed to notice that the name on the check did not match the name on her drivers’ license.  That one small step should have prevented the sale.

Attempts to contact Walterboro Gun Shop and its owner, Robert Mock, were not successful.

Despite her very troubled mental health history – reported by the Post and Courier,  Boland passed a background check and correctly answered that she had never been deemed “mentally deficient,” which would have prohibited her from buying the gun. She has never been convicted of a crime, though she faced a felony charge in 2005 for reportedly threatening the president.

Does anyone else see a huge problem with the system as it is?  Can anyone honestly say that it doesn’t need fixing?

This proves, with certainly, that guns are far to easy to purchase.