A Backdoor Approach To Gun Control

At some point you have to ask yourself why the Obama Administration and the political left are so desperate to separate Americans from their guns. Statistics show that the cities with the strictest gun laws have the highest crime rates, and criminals do not obey gun laws anyway. There is no logical reason to take guns away from Americans, yet the left seems convinced that the Second Amendment doesn’t really mean what it says and that Americans are not smart enough or stable enough to own guns. Well, the left is at it again.

The Daily Caller posted an article today about President Obama’s two new executive actions that would expand the government’s access to mental health records when doing background checks on gun buyers. Now admittedly that sounds like a good idea, and if you looked into the backgrounds of some of the recent acts of gun violence and who committed them, it might make sense. But wait–there’s more. In every case of a shooter (from the Arizona shooter who shot Representative Giffords to the Colorado theater shooter to the Newtown Connecticut shooter), there was more than enough evidence that the shooter was mentally ill long before the shooting incident. The government would not have to have access to anyone’s mental health records–the people around the shooters could have easily alerted local police to the danger.

The problem was not the background check, the problem was a society not willing to put the mentally ill in mental institutions. In the case of Newtown Connecticut, the mother of the shooter was going through the process of having her son committed. The process took long enough for the son to find out and shoot his mother to prevent being committed.

The article at the Daily Caller describes the two Executive Orders:

It (the first order) modifies the HIPAA Privacy Rule to allow institutions “to disclose to the NICS the identities of persons prohibited by federal law from possessing or receiving a firearm for reasons related to mental health.”

The other executive action, issued by the Department of Justice, clarifies what exactly in someone’s mental health history would prohibit them from owning or purchasing a gun. Persons who fall under the category of “adjudicated as a mental defective” and “committed to a mental institution” include those who are “incompetent to stand trial or not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect; persons lacking mental responsibility or deemed insane; and persons found guilty but mentally ill, regardless of whether these determinations are made by a state, local, federal or military court,” as well as “a person committed to involuntary inpatient or outpatient treatment.”

There are some concerns with these Executive Orders. There is a basic danger in allowing the government to be involved in any way in determining a person’s mental health. Is the next step declaring members of the Tea Party mentally unstable?

In April 2009, I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) detailing a government program targeting veterans as unstable. The article stated:

“The aim of the FBI’s effort with the Defense Department, which was rolled into the Vigilant Eagle program, is to “share information regarding Iraqi and Afghanistan war veterans whose involvement in white supremacy and/or militia sovereign citizen extremist groups poses a domestic terrorism threat,” according to the Feb. 23 FBI memo.”

Our returning veterans are not a threat. They do not represent a domestic terrorism threat. However, the government, at its whim, can declare them as such. At this point in history, I am opposed to anything that limits the rights of Americans to own guns–there are too many freedoms being infringed upon by our government right now, and I think the Second Amendment is more important than it has ever been.

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The Second Amendment Is In Danger

How many times have the proponents of limited access to guns told us that they weren’t going to confiscate guns–they just wanted to make sure that guns sold were sold to people who had undergone thorough background checks. Well, it doesn’t always work out that way.

The Blaze report today that a California man had his guns confiscated (he had three) because his wife had been in the hospital voluntarily for mental illness last year. Evidently his wife reacted negatively to some medication she was taking and checked herself into the hospital to have it taken care of. However, the guns were not hers–they were legally owned by her husband.

The article reports:

Just last week, the California Senate approved a $24 million funding bill to expedite the process of collecting guns from owners in the state who legally acquired them but have since become disqualified due to felony convictions or mental illness.

That sounds like confiscating guns to  me. The problem here is defining mental illness. Who is the judge of that? How many witnesses?

 

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Some Perspective You May Not Have Heard

On Sunday John Fund posted an article at the National Review that provides a slightly different perspective on the murders in Connecticut on Friday. The first thing Mr. Fund points out is that mass murders are not becoming more frequent–their frequency has actually declined.

The article reports:

In fact, the high point for mass killings in the U.S. was 1929, according to criminologist Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

Incidents of mass murder in the U.S. declined from 42 in the 1990s to 26 in the first decade of this century.

The chances of being killed in a mass shooting are about what they are for being struck by lightning.

Until the Newtown horror, the three worst K–12 school shootings ever had taken place in either Britain or Germany.

Obviously the statistics do not mask the horror of what happened, but we do need to put this in perspective. I don’t think it helps that every newscast has at least three stories about the shooting or that a lot of the information being put out is false.

Mr. Fund mentions the two aspects of this tragedy that are not being widely discussed–how we treat the mentally ill and the fallacy of creating gun-free zones.

Mental illness has played a major role in many of these shootings. The article reports:

First, the mental-health issue. A lengthy study by Mother Jones magazine found that at least 38 of the 61 mass shooters in the past three decades “displayed signs of mental health problems prior to the killings.” New York Times columnist David Brooks and Cornell Law School professor William Jacobson have both suggested that the ACLU-inspired laws that make it so difficult to intervene and identify potentially dangerous people should be loosened. “Will we address mental-health and educational-privacy laws, which instill fear of legal liability for reporting potentially violent mentally ill people to law enforcement?” asks Professor Jacobson. “I doubt it.”

There will always be a danger of someone being wrongly committed to a mental institution, and there will always be an issue about how institutions treat the mentally ill and how much room is available at these institutions. A blog called “The Anarchist Soccer Mom” posted an article on Friday entitled, “Thinking the Unthinkable.” The writer states her challenges and fears in dealing with her own teenage son who has threatened to take her life and his own. She states that she is unable to have him committed until he actually follows through on his threat.

The article also reports on the failure of gun-free zones:

Gun-free zones have been the most popular response to previous mass killings. But many law-enforcement officials say they are actually counterproductive. “Guns are already banned in schools. That is why the shootings happen in schools. A school is a ‘helpless-victim zone,’” says Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff. “Preventing any adult at a school from having access to a firearm eliminates any chance the killer can be stopped in time to prevent a rampage,” Jim Kouri, the public-information officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, told me earlier this year at the time of the Aurora, Colo., Batman-movie shooting. Indeed, there have been many instances — from the high-school shooting by Luke Woodham in Mississippi, to the New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs, Colo. — where a killer has been stopped after someone got a gun from a parked car or elsewhere and confronted the shooter.

Please read the entire National Review article by John Fund. The article cites many of the facts that the media seems to have ignored.

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