Scalise might be right about the nearly unavoidable nature of the Las Vegas massacre. Stephen Paddock, the gunman, didn’t have a criminal record and he passed background checks to purchase weapons he used in the shooting.


But James Hodgkinson, the man who shot him, did have an extensive criminal record — one that included charges for domestic battery. That charge was dropped, allowing him to legally buy a gun under current law. Republican lawmakers could change this, but they consistently vote otherwise at the behest of the NRA.