Nearly all the mass murders that have occurred in the United States during recent years have been committed by deeply disturbed people who "fell through the cracks" of laws intended to keep them from killing. Yet many politicians continue to insist severe new limits on gun ownership are the way to prevent such tragedies.
It was clear weeks ago that 22-year-old Elliot Rodgers was a ticking time bomb. But nothing was done to stop him from killing six people in a rampage a few days ago near Santa Barbara, Calif.
California places 72-hour "temporary mental holds" on more than 100,000 people a year. That gives the authorities time to determine whether someone they suspect is a threat to himself or others should be detained and treated longer. Most states have similar laws.
Journalists have begun looking into how Rodgers was able to deceive sheriff's deputies who conducted a "welfare check" on him a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, the inevitable demands for new restrictions on gun ownership - by everyone, not just the mentally ill - are surging.
Instead of drawing up lists of hundreds of types of firearms they believe should be banned, those truly worried about "gun violence" should be compiling lists of ways people like Rodgers avoid being taken into custody.
At one time, Americans would have been able to laugh off a thinly veiled threat last week by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. No more, thanks to President Barack Obama.
Rogozin referred to economic sanctions against himself and other Russian leaders, imposed by the United States because of Moscow's actions in Ukraine.
Then, he said, "I suggest to the U.S.A. to bring their astronauts to the International Space Station using a trampoline."
He can make that threat because U.S. astronauts can get to the space station and back only by riding Russian rockets. In addition, many American rockets used to launch military and civilian payloads into space now use Russian engines.
Why? Because early in his presidency, Obama decided to cripple the U.S. space program. The space shuttle program was scrapped. That left us at Moscow's mercy to transport astronauts to and from the space station. Other changes resulted in reliance on Russian rocket engines.
In effect, the United States no longer is part of the space race. Obama dropped out.
A few years ago when the Obama administration changes were contemplated, we warned of what would happen. Now, Russia is threatening to make our prediction a reality. It's time to, as an astronaut might say, reverse thrust and get us out of this mess.