The ongoing investigation into the motives of the Dayton, Ohio gunman who killed nine people on Aug. 4 raises more concern about the access to guns, ammunition and equipment that he easily obtained.
A longtime friend of the Dayton gunman bought the body armor, a 100-round magazine, and a gun accessory used to kill the nine people, but there’s no indication that the man knew that his friend was planning a mass shooting, federal agents said Monday, in an Associated Press report.
Ethan Kollie told investigators just hours after the shooting that he bought the equipment and kept it at his apartment so the shooter Connor Betts’ parents would not find it, according to a court document.
Federal investigators emphasized that there was no evidence that Kollie knew how Betts would use the equipment or that Kollie intentionally took part in the planning.
The accusations came as prosecutors unsealed charges against Kollie that they said were unrelated to the Aug. 4 shooting in Dayton. Betts opened fire in a popular entertainment district, killing his sister and eight others. Officers killed Betts within 30 seconds, just outside a crowded bar, and authorities have said hundreds more people may have died if Betts had gotten inside.
Just days after the shooting, Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine announced a package of gun control measures, including requiring background checks for nearly all gun sales in Ohio and allowing courts to restrict firearms access for people perceived as threats.
But again, a person with evil intent had access to equipment he didn’t need or have any business obtaining through a friend or otherwise.
A gunman wearing body armor is a frightening aspect wading into a crowd with a gun spewing bullets from a 100-round magazine. Such ammunition and equipment is typically reserved for law enforcement and military personnel.
The hindsight realizations and arguments are too late for the victims and the many who were injured in Ohio. Perhaps the nation’s leaders, at the urging of citizens, will devise common-sense requirements where guns and ammunition, and accessories, are concerned with respect to Second Amendment rights.
It’s time we listen to our senses. Better background checks and a system that allows cross referencing on large or out-of-the-ordinary purchases can at least help flag some would-be killers.