Radcliffe Haughton, who shot seven woman Sunday at a suburban Wisconsin day spa, killing three including his wife before turning the gun on himself, had a history of violent, abusive behavior, and was under a court order to surrender any guns. But that didn't stop him from buying one:
Radcliffe Haughton appeared in court Thursday, when a judge issued a four-year restraining order and told him to turn in all firearms to a county sheriff. It's not clear whether he turned in any weapons.
He bought the .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun used in the shootings on Saturday, Brown Deer police said in a statement.
People who buy handguns from gun dealers must wait 48 hours after they have cleared a background check from the Department of Justice to pick up their firearm. There is no such waiting period or background check required in Wisconsin for people who purchase handguns from private individuals, which police say Radcliffe Haughton did.
That is what is known as the "gun show loophole," regardless of whether the sale takes place at a gun show or in a private home. And it is a loophole that exists in Washington State the same way it exists in Wisconsin.
Other states have closed this loophole, requiring background checks on all gun sales, even those between individuals. Washington has not. Which means this tragedy could just as easily have happened here as in Wisconsin.
That tragedies like this happen cannot be disputed. Whether it will take a tragedy like this to happen here before our legislators finally act, remains to be seen.