Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the man who shot and killed two NYPD officers over the weekend, was later to found to have had multiple arrests and a convicted felon, reported New Republic. According to federal law, he shouldn’t have been allowed to possess a gun.

In Brinsley’s lifetime, he’d been arrested 19 times and received multiple felonies in 2011 after pleading guilty to shooting a woman’s car with a stolen pistol. When gun control advocates insist that tighter gun laws would make it tougher for criminals to get guns, the pro-gun lobby and the NRA just ask “what’s the use?”

The assumption of the NRA and pro-gun nuts is that criminals will always find a way to get guns, therefore, they believe gun laws are pointless. Despite the presence of laws that make it illegal for people like Brinsley to walk into a licensed gun dealer and make a purchase, the commerce of firearms has disturbingly weak regulation.

Whereas licensed gun sellers conduct background checks, secondary person-to-person sellers don’t have that same requirement. Basically, any felon can walk into a gun show at the local fairgrounds and buy a gun easily, which happens in states with loose gun laws. For instance, the state of New York has tight gun laws, and most of the guns used in crimes come from other states.

“The most recent ATF crime gun trace data for New York City show that 2,186 – or 90 percent – of traceable guns used in crimes in the five boroughs came from out of state, up from 85 percent in 2009,” wrote former New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly. “This, even as the number of shootings in New York City has declined approximately 30 percent in both incidents and victims so far this year, and the proportion of young people carrying guns here hit an all-time low.”

Protest politics aren’t the problem, as many conservative pundits and politicians like to say. The problem is America’s gun culture. If Brinsley had limited access to guns, the tragedy that took the lives of two officers might have been averted.