Could Charles Manson Have Gotten A Gun Legally?

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Here’s a scary thought: Could Charles Manson have gotten a gun legally?

Anti-gunners would have you think that there is absolutely no way that a complete nutcase like Manson (I think that we can agree that he was completely crazy) could walk into a gun store and buy a firearm, especially when you take into consideration his criminal record (Wikipedia notes that Manson had been in jail for over half of his life by the time that he was 32 years old). Frankly, if you are a person who supports gun control, Charles Manson would be the poster child for the type of person that you want to keep guns away from.

But, a recent article from TMZ.com says that a background check from Manson came back clean. Yes, clean, as in no reason to keep him from buying a firearm. From the article:

Charles Manson never ran afoul with the law in his 83 years of existence on this Earth … this according to a recent background check on the convicted killer.

Manson’s pen pal, Michael Channels, filed new legal docs in his fight over Manson’s estate. Included in the docs — to determine how much property was in Manson’s name — was Manson’s background check performed earlier this year, and the results are stunning.

According to the docs, obtained by TMZ, “Charles Milles Manson” with a birthday of “11/11/1934” triggered “NO RECORD FOUND” results under federal criminal court and national criminal record search.

Think about that for a second. If Charles Manson can legally get a gun, what makes you think that background checks will prevent anyone else from getting a gun if they really want it?

But why didn’t the background check pull up any results for Manson? The TMZ.com article speculates:

Couple reasons why the background check might have missed all that — the database might not go all the way back to when he was convicted (January, 1971), and including Manson’s middle name and birthday may have thrown off the search, since it’s possible Manson’s criminal record doesn’t include his middle name.

To be fair, the article could be right, but that brings us to the whole problem with background checks: there is no way for the system to have complete and accurate information. It’s a denial of the tendency towards human error and a denial of the reality of how difficulty it is to cross reference all of that information accurately in a database. Not to mention how to handle it when a person uses identity theft to fool the background check.

When it comes down to it, this is just another real world example of why background checks won’t prevent mass shootings.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Charles Manson was an evil man, all of us can agree to that. Bugliosi made policy by convicting him in those crimes, because he wasn’t at the scene of the crimes. Since there was no profit in those crimes, convicting him on conspiracy would not have been an option.

    It is too bad we do not have places(other than prison) for the criminally insane, it would be easier to put them away, easier to treat them and would be cheaper to do so. We wouldn’t have a revolving door to prison, with proper safety features in place, we could keep doctors from releasing the criminally insane.

    • In all actuality none of us know anything about Charles Manson. Manson never killed a single person in his entire life. He was convicted for the deeds of others. If you told someone to go jump off a bridge and they did it and died should you be held responsible? of course not. every individual is capable of knowing right from wrong and should be held accountable for their actions. No one should be judged according to the actions of another. Sure he was different and a bit weird however every single person that he allegedly told to commit those murders were very capable of saying NO I WILL NOT.

  2. This is equally true, for immigration checks, where I suspect some people are purposely providing false imformation.

    • At our southern border, how many Juan or Maria Gonzales do you think are turned around every day? Many towns in Mexico are full of Juan and Marias, many people share the same surname. It is even worse than John Smith or James Jones. The only thing in favor of the police pulling someone in is for them to have a common name, because there are many people with the same name and birthdate, just bring them in on a warrant and kick them when the fingerprints do not match – if they can’t find another reason to hold them. Provide false info(using a common name) and play roulette whether or not you will be taken in.

  3. BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. IF YOU DELIBERATELY TAKE A PERSONS LIFE YOU LOOSE YOURS.
    REGARDLESS OF MENTAL CONDITION, UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR ILLEGAL DRUGS. WE NEED ACCOUNTABILITY FOR OUR ACTIONS. MEN AND WOMEN WANT TO MURDER UNBORN CHILDREN BECAUSE THEY ARE IRRESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS. 16 YEARS AND OLDER KNOWS THAT IF YOU HAVE SEX WITHOUT TAKING PRECAUTIONS A WOMEN MAY GET PREGNANT.
    IF PEOPLE WONT BE RESPONSIBLE THEN THEY SHOULD BE FIXED LIKE WE DO CATS AND DOGS.
    MEN WHO WILL NOT SUPPORT THE PREGNANT WOMAN SHOULD BE FIXED……… SO THEY CANT DO IT AGAIN. GROW UP WORLD YOU ARE COMMITTING MURDER. WOMEN DONT GO TO PLANNED PARENTHOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH CARE DEMAND TO GO TO REAL DOCTORS OR A HOSPITAL LIKE MEN DO. WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD WANT A BUTCHER WHO DOES NOT RESPECT LIFE TO GIVE THEM HEALTH CARE.

  4. Charles Manson had a gun, he threatened black panthers with it and so did his followers aka the first man encounters was shot , where did he get it From a douche named Tex, a real idiot, background checks today I know n my heart would stop him from getting a slingshot let alone a firearm.

  5. At the end of Bugliosi’s book, he speaks of a number of people who were associated with the Manson Family for varying lengths of times who had disappeared. Possibly as many as forty or fifty. I’m not sure of the right number and it has been decades since I read the book.

    With his talent for leading others into darkness, Manson was beyond evil.

  6. TMZ is a hack organization, there are 308 charles manson’s listed in 41 states unless they used his social security number its extremely possible it came back clean.. It also depends on the state it was run in there are a lot of parameters that go into a legitimate NICS check.

  7. We DO have places other than jail, for the criminally insane. Most states have secure psychiatric facilities for this purpose. In my state, TX, it is by the town of Rusk, TX. I remember there arising a problem on Guam, many years ago, because they lacked such a facility. But then, Guam is a small island in Micronesia.

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