NRA gutted 2007 mental health registry law

I was worried when millionaire DC lobbyist Wayne LaPierre decided he’d wade into public policy regarding mental health. He’s a weapon salesperson. That’s his job. He sells guns. Mental health policy is not what he’s paid to do. So, I was deeply uncomfortable with the idea of a self-interested millionaire industry lobbyist lecturing us on public health, just as I’m deeply uncomfortable with the bellowing gun nuts who heckled a grieving father yesterday advising the rest of us on the safety of our kids in public schools.

They can’t even keep their weapons out of the hands of their own kids. They’re really going to lecture me what steps I should take to keep my kid safe from guns in a public school? We could have reduced school shooting incidents by at least one this past year without any new law at all if gun owners would simply take personal responsibility and properly secure their home arsenals. Why are their stockpiled weapons now my problem? I don’t need a hectoring, spit-flecked lecture from a celebrity gun nut on keeping my kid safe from guns in my local public school. My gun is never going to be used in a school shooting or an accidental, negligent, reckless or deliberate gun shot injury or death because I don’t own one. I don’t have any trouble keeping track of my weapons, so, for example, my gun will never find its way mysteriously into my child’s backpack thereby putting your kid at risk at school.

In any event, I shouldn’t have worried about weapon industry lobbyists compiling lists on the rest of us, because the NRA blatantly lied about the mental illness registry issue:

In his Friday morning news conference, National Rifle Association chief executive Wayne LaPierre floated the idea of a national registry of the mentally ill as one way to stem gun violence.
“How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?” he asked.

The NRA lied to all of us. In fact, weapons salespeople actively and successfully fought attempts to create a national list of those who were too unstable or mentally ill to handle weapons. In fact, the NRA lobbied hard in 2007 to gut a law that was intended to do what LaPierre told us he wants to do.

After a Virginia Tech student killed 32 students and faculty in April 2007, the Bush administration proposed legislation that would require all states to share the names of residents involuntarily committed to mental health facilities. The information would be provided to a Federal Bureau of Investigation database.
The idea, in part, was to help gun dealers get important information about whether potential customers were mentally ill.
In order to get the support of the NRA, Congress agreed to two concessions that had long been on the agenda of gun rights advocates — concessions that later proved to hamstring the database.
The NRA wanted the government to change the way it deemed someone “mentally defective,” excluding people, for example, who were no longer under any psychiatric supervision or monitoring. The group also pushed for a way for the mentally ill to regain gun rights if they could prove in court that they’d been rehabilitated.
Here’s how it worked. It would cost money for states to share their data: A state agency would have to monitor the courts, collect the names of people who had been institutionalized, and then send that information to the FBI on a regular basis.
So, to help pay for data-sharing Congress created $375 million in annual federal grants and incentives. But to be eligible for the federal money, the states would have to set-up a gun restoration program approved by the Justice Department. No gun rights restoration program, no money to help pay for sharing data.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who once joked he’d like to bring a gun with him to the Senate floor, blocked the legislation, citing concerns about privacy and spending.
He negotiated language that, among other things, would allow a person’s application for gun restoration rights to be granted automatically if an agency didn’t respond within 365 days of the application and allowed people to have their attorney’s fees reimbursed if they were forced to go to court to restore their rights.
The final bill was sent to President Bush for his signature in January 2008.
The NRA praised Coburn and released a statement calling the law a victory for gun owners: “After months of careful negotiation, pro-gun legislation was passed through Congress today.” (The NRA didn’t respond to calls for comment.)
Since the bill’s passage, two analyses have shown that the NICS database has significant gaps, partly because of the way the NRA managed to tweak the legislation. The NRA-backed language creates problems for these states.

As a New York Times investigation found, many states haven’t qualified for federal funding to share their data because they haven’t established gun rights restoration programs.
In 2012, only 12 states received federal grants, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
While mental health data has remained sparse, some states have made it easier for the mentally ill to restore their gun rights. As the Times noted, in Virginia some people have regained rights to guns by simply writing a letter to the state. Other Virginians got their rights back just weeks or months after being hospitalized for psychiatric care. It’s difficult to know just how many people in Virginia have had their gun rights restored because no agency is responsible for keeping track.

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95 replies
  1. 1
    feebog says:

    All the NRA cares about is that gun and ammo manufacturers are able to sell product. That the product is dangerous and widely available to anyone, regardless of mental capacity, age or criminal history is of no consequence. The Beast must be fed.

  2. 2
    Cacti says:

    Given the total lack of a coherent definition for “mentally ill” in the public discourse, I’m more than a little wary of a national registry for such persons.

  3. 3
    Cassidy says:

    Shocker

  4. 4
    gogol's wife says:

    I would like to be able to comment intelligently on what looks like an excellent post, but I’m in the middle of the work day and cannot get past that first item you link, in which the testimony of a father of a child massacred in Newtown is interrupted by cretins shouting “Second Amendment”! Let’s get rid of the damned amendment. Please. Just get rid of it. (I wouldn’t have said this a month and a half ago — it’s my response to the way the gun nuts have behaved.)

  5. 5
    dedc79 says:

    There was also NRA supported legislation that passed in Florida but has been challenged in court that would have prevented many doctors from asking patients if they owned guns. There was some kind of limited exemption for psychiatrists in emergency situations, but what doctor would want to risk being sued (or prosecuted) even if they thought the situation qualified for the exemption?

  6. 6
    Yutsano says:

    I got nothin’. Except Australia is looking better and better…

  7. 7
    Jay in Oregon says:

    If gun nuts think that non-gun owners aren’t qualified to discuss gun control, why is Wayne LaPierre qualified to speak on mental health issues?

  8. 8
    Kay says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    In the US, the constitution is interpreted and applied by courts, not gun nuts. They’re wrong about the law. Nothing in current US case law interpreting the constitution forbids (some) gun regulation.

    They’re either misinformed or lying. Pick one.

  9. 9
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Pen!s substitutes must be protected at all costs. If a few children have to die so some pathetic cracker who can’t get it up can feel better about himself, that’s the price of freedom, I guess. Just think of what these shriveled dick motherfuckers could have been if somebody loved them.

  10. 10
    Kay says:

    @dedc79:

    I think my favorite part of this is when the brave defenders of the Second Amendment infringe on the First Amendment. The state regulating what doctors can and can’t say? That doesn’t bother them?

  11. 11
    SatanicPanic says:

    These people have no shame and no regard for the truth. I am still open to discussion of what degree of gun control we need, but the only way to get any rational discussion done is to ignore these dishonest creeps.

  12. 12
    JPL says:

    @dedc79: The President’s executive order overturned FL law, I think. Doctors can talk about gun safety now without the threat of a lawsuit.

  13. 13
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kay: Both. Sometimes one, sometimes the other, and sometimes both at once.

  14. 14
    Dirl says:

    I live in a country with a much more violent culture and much more crime than the US has ever had and I’ve never had the slightest desire to own a firearm. I’ve had to do training courses with them for certification purposes but they are treated as dangerous tools not fetishes.

  15. 15
    El Cid says:

    He won’t mind talking about the real problem being the ‘mentally ill’ until such time as that discussion led to the possibility of any of whatever group he chooses to define as such being denied the freedom, nay, the liberating urgency, to purchase firearms, newer firearms, more and more expensive ammunition, and so forth.

    Now that would be crazy.

    Perhaps he would support a national registry of the mentally ill so that our nation’s regulators could finally help protect the public by being able to lock up any potential risky individual who might lose control and urge support for laws or regulations or enforcement or changed attitudes toward any firearm or ammunition type.

    Maybe a background check and a 24 year waiting period before any person is issued a permit to advocate any law or regulation or attitude or vague notion or indirect metaphor which could negatively affect gun or ammo sales.

    For freedom.

  16. 16
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @Kay:

    The right to own, carry, and brandish any firearm trumps all other rights and freedoms, full stop. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion are all secondary considerations.

    If someone shoots up a crowd a political rally, then the proper course of action is to no longer have political rallies. If someone shoots up a bunch of kids in a school, then the proper course of action is to home-school. If someone shoots up a congregation at a church, well, they were worshiping the wrong God, or the right God but in the wrong way.

    Also, the words “well regulated militia” have absolutely no inherent meaning that should affect how the 2nd amendment is interpreted; they’re just an illumination, some filigree, to make the language sound fancier than it is, and make no mistake, the language plainly says that under no circumstances may the government limit the number or types of weapons you may own. Why, Jefferson clearly intended that all people – be they convicted felons, paranoid schizophrenics, or insecure crackers with secessionist tendencies – be armed to the teeth, preferably with oversized magazines, for that fateful day when the government overreaches itself. And the best way to make the government overreach itself is by being irresponsible with firearms, thus tricking the government into trying to protect the unarmed and unworthy, which will be the signal to water the Tree of Liberty.

  17. 17
    Ben Franklin says:

    I am suspicious of those who would craft the test for mental stability.

    Again; Cart-before-horse. More funds for public schools to augment special ed programs ;makes more sense. Closing the barn door after the horse has departed, seems rather inefficient, although it makes people feel better. And that’s the point, right?

  18. 18
    Cacti says:

    @Kay:

    I think my favorite part of this is when the brave defenders of the Second Amendment infringe on the First Amendment. The state regulating what doctors can and can’t say? That doesn’t bother them?

    Despite the Fourth Amendment guarantees of safety from unreasonable searches and seizures of our persons and effects, Justices Scalia and Thomas believe there is no individual right to privacy.

    However, they found that the framers intended an individual right to own a handgun, an item that was considered an inaccurate secondary weapon until the following century.

  19. 19

    Damn, I never would have dreamt that Wayne La Pierre could be a lying, two-faced bag of shit.

  20. 20
    BGinCHI says:

    The second there is an accurate mental health registry, LaPierre’s name should go on it.

    Sick fuck.

    I wish I believed in hell.

  21. 21
    Mike G says:

    The NRA oppose a database of the “mentally ill” because so many of their members would end up listed on it.

  22. 22
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Why are their stockpiled weapons now my problem

    I think you hit it right there. When your weapons become my problem, then I’m going to do something about your weapons. It wouldn’t be a problem if responsible gun owners made sure that these weapons weren’t being used the way they are, but since they can’t, society as a whole has to deal with them.

  23. 23
    WereBear says:

    We’ve given the pertinent groups DECADES to fix their issues, and they have not.

    So now the grownups must step in.

  24. 24
    Violet says:

    Wow. Fantastic post, Kay. I hope this reporting gets lots of attention.

  25. 25
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Yeah let’s super-stigmatize mental health issues without funding mental health services, woo woo anything to score a fucking cheap point!

  26. 26
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I OPPOSE A MENTAL HEALTH REGISTRY BECAUSE IT WILL BE USED TO ABUSE PEOPLE I SPENT YEARS OF MY LIFE TRYING TO HELP AND PROTECT.

    Good enough?

  27. 27
    Cacti says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    I think you hit it right there. When your weapons become my problem, then I’m going to do something about your weapons. It wouldn’t be a problem if responsible gun owners made sure that these weapons weren’t being used the way they are, but since they can’t, society as a whole has to deal with them.

    Or to borrow a pithy phrase of theirs…

    When gun nuts write the legislation, then nuts will have guns.

  28. 28
    Ben Franklin says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    Heh. UNfunded mandate.

  29. 29
    Yutsano says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    the language plainly says that under no circumstances may the government limit the number or types of weapons you may own

    Okay then. I want my tactical nukes please. SECOND AMENDMENT BITCHEZ!!

  30. 30
    Ben Franklin says:

    I’m assuming there are no nuts in DHS.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/.....lt-weapons

  31. 31
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Yutsano: Heck, I just want to be able to carry my Katana around without being arrested. That’s right, the Second Amendment currently only applies to guns. I’m pretty sure you’d get in trouble for just having bear arms.

  32. 32
    Sophist says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    cannot get past that first item you link, in which the testimony of a father of a child massacred in Newtown is interrupted by cretins shouting “Second Amendment”! Let’s get rid of the damned amendment. Please. Just get rid of it.

    We don’t need to get rid of it. The supreme court has already ruled that it is constitutional to limit what weapons people can have and who can have them, and while the 2nd amendment says stuff about “keeping and bearing” arms, it says nothing about the right to manufacture or sell them. The problem right now is not the legal or constitutional constraints, it’s the social ones. If we had enough support that we could change the constitution, we would already have effective gun control laws.

  33. 33
    Hunter Gathers says:

    OT – Surprise, surprise, surprise. The Cuban Cryer is already bitching about Obama’s immigration proposal, less that 24 hours after dropping his own bill. My 2 year old cries less than that petulant little shit.

  34. 34
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Sophist: we may not need to get rid of it, but something about having the “right” to keep and bear arms in the Bill of Rights bothers me. I’ve never thought of it as a right, or even a privilege deserving of that stature. It would be like including a right to drive cars in the Constitution.

  35. 35
    TenguPhule says:

    Wanting to own an AR-15 should be considered a sure sign of mental instability.

  36. 36
    Mike in DC says:

    Isn’t a mental health registry the wrong way to go? We want to encourage people to get help, and I think a registry would act as a disincentive.

    Of course, the other side of this is that I’ve read that Republicans have been eviscerating mental health outreach and research for the past several years (but I didn’t remember seeing that the article cited a source, so take that with a grain of salt unless someone has a source). So perhaps the larger point (that the NRA says one thing and does another) is valid.

  37. 37
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    Plus the NRA wants to make sure terrorists can continue obtaining weapons as easily as possible.

  38. 38
    Sophist says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    something about having the “right” to keep and bear arms in the Bill of Rights bothers me. I’ve never thought of it as a right, or even a privilege deserving of that stature. It would be like including a right to drive cars in the Constitution.

    The Bill of Rights also protects you from having soldiers quartered in your house. Most people nowadays wouldn’t consider that “as a right, or even a privilege deserving of that stature”. If our country were sane, the 2nd Amendment would be just as much of an irrelevant anachronism as the 3rd is. The Amendment itself is not the problem, and by the time we have the power to change it we won’t need to anymore. Any effort spent trying to change it would be wasted.

  39. 39
    feebog says:

    I highly recommend reading Thom Hartman’s article in Truthout.org regarding Slave Patrols and the reason the Second Amendment reads as it does. Of particular interest is Madison’s first draft of the Second Amendment, which is towards the end of the article: http://truth-out.org/news/item.....id=6216966

  40. 40
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Sophist: I’m all for ditching the third though. And modifying the 10th so the dummies will be forced to stop citing it. I understand the argument that if we were in a position to repeal it it would be effectively dead, but what about later generations? With it in the Constitution all you need to effectively kill gun regulation is a compliant SCOTUS.

  41. 41
    Kay says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    The right to own, carry, and brandish any firearm trumps all other rights and freedoms, full stop. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion are all secondary considerations.

    Exactly.

    I don’t have any problem with disagreeing with a court’s interpretation of federal law, or agitating to appoint more judges who share my interpretation, but I am sick to death of people quoting the Second Amendment and pretending that 200 years of case law doesn’t exist. Gun nuts were thrilled with Heller, which is one court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment. So the only case law that matters is the case law that goes their way? Must be nice to operate in that fantasy world, but the rest of us have to live in the real one.

  42. 42
    Chet says:

    I’m deeply uncomfortable with the bellowing gun nuts who heckled a grieving father yesterday advising the rest of us on the safety of our kids in public schools.

    Frankly I think you should be as deeply uncomfortable being “advised” on public safety by someone solely qualified on the basis of having lost a child. Or is ok to be dishonestly manipulative when it’s in the service of the angels?

  43. 43
    Kay says:

    @Mike in DC:

    Isn’t a mental health registry the wrong way to go? We want to encourage people to get help, and I think a registry would act as a disincentive.

    I don’t think it will ever happen. Our county sheriff’s office hate dealing with involuntary commitment/mental health issues as it is, and they’re right in a way. They’re not really designed as a First Call For Help outfit to handle public health. They’re not going to spend their limited funds and time on compiling lists so the NRA and gun nuts can cover their ass after the next mass shooting.

  44. 44
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Chet: Well, in a Democracy, he has just as much right to be heard as everyone else. The gun people were specifically denying him the right to participate. That they think they have the right to silence him sounds pretty dangerous to me.

  45. 45
    Chyron HR says:

    @Chet:

    Oh boy, it’s time for another one of Chet’s unintentional demonstrations of why he shouldn’t have the power to summarily execute anyone he sees on the street.

  46. 46
    jrg says:

    @Yutsano:

    Okay then. I want my tactical nukes please. SECOND AMENDMENT BITCHEZ!!

    Depends. Where do you live, Mississippi or the middle east? I ask because I’d like to know if Obama is Neville Chamberlain or Hitler this afternoon.

  47. 47
    Cacti says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Well, in a Democracy, he has just as much right to be heard as everyone else. The gun people were specifically denying him the right to participate.

    The right to tote a gun is more important the right to be heard, that’s why guns came fir…

    Wait, nevermind.

  48. 48
    Poopyman says:

    @Kay:

    So the only case law that matters is the case law that goes their way? Must be nice to operate in that fantasy world, but the rest of us have to live in the real one.

    But half the Supreme Court lives in that same fantasy world.

    We have a problem.

  49. 49
    Kay says:

    @Chet:

    Hey Chet? Which responsible gun owner are you lobbying to put into my kid’s school?

    How about the parents who lost track of their weapon and sent it to school with their 7 year old? Think they’re good to go? They haven’t caused an actual death yet with that weapon, so they’re still well within the “responsible” metric. We only find out they’re irresponsible post-tragedy.

    Celebrity gun nut Mamet DEMANDS that my kid gets a gun nut guard in their classroom who had 2 hours of training, because Mamet’s too cheap to fund a professional. That good enough for my kid? Gun nuts tell me it is. What are your demands on the safety of my kid?

  50. 50
    Ben Franklin says:

    @jrg:

    He lives in Washington State. Too much rain; can’t keep his powder dry.

  51. 51
    Jay S says:

    @JPL:

    The President’s executive order overturned FL law, I think. Doctors can talk about gun safety now without the threat of a lawsuit.

    I doubt that very much. If I remember correctly, it was to deal with a vague statement in a federal law that was meant to keep ownership info out of medical records. I think Florida is on its own to restore sanity.

  52. 52
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Here you get to the heart of what angers me about the gun fetishists: They are laboring under the delusion that THEY are the only ones whose rights and freedom are in any jeopardy. That we might have a legitimate interest in the gun question doesn’t enter into their heads, and yet we non-gun owners are expected to genuflect to a vaguely worded amendment that can be interpreted in a number of ways. Well, fuck that noise.

  53. 53
    trollhattan says:

    Sigh.

    Father of Newtown victim heckled at hearing

    http://www.ctpost.com/local/ar.....php#page-1

    I give up.

  54. 54
    Citizen_X says:

    @Chet:

    I think you should be as deeply uncomfortable being “advised” on public safety by someone solely qualified on the basis of having lost a child.

    OK then, let’s hear from the CDC and use detailed statistics on gun violence. Oh, that’s right: you guys wouldn’t allow that, either.

    Or is ok to be dishonestly manipulative when it’s in the service of the angels?

    Dishonest how? Back that up or fuck off.

  55. 55
    trollhattan says:

    @Citizen_X:

    It should have read, “well-armed angels.”

  56. 56
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    They are laboring under the delusion that THEY are the only ones whose rights and freedom are in any jeopardy

    I think you’re giving them too much credit. They’ve happily stood and applauded the last twenty years while everyone else’s behavior is regulated except theirs.

    “National registry of mental illness”? Sure! Not that they can DEFINE “mental illness”, but hey, their ass is covered. They TRIED. They’re FOR that. Bullying regimes after Columbine, even though Columbine had nothing to do with bullying and one of the shooters WAS a bully? Sure! Put those in! No pushback from the gun nuts. Untrained armed people patrolling schools? Yup. Let’s put that in, immediately.

    Anything, anything, as long as it doesn’t reach them and regulates us.

  57. 57
    scav says:

    yes, clearly to chet, a Real ‘Mercan™ real Lovin’™ parent would have equipped Tommy Toddler with a Tommy Toddler Gun™ and not trusted to mere minions of the imperialist state for protection (unionized!teachers and police). Bootstraps people, bootstraps. By not doing so, that parent clearly demonstrated he is not fit to be allowed to participate in any of their Sacred Freedumz and his declared love for any snowflake is clearly false and manipulative. Besides, theory trumps mere reality every time.

  58. 58
    trollhattan says:

    BTW, am certain the NRA and their codependents will pat us on the head and tell us this is “no big deal.” After all, somebody already shot the thing. (Seattle Times)

    Seattle police are tracking down the history of a nonfunctional missile launcher that showed up at a Saturday weapons buyback event in Seattle.

    Detective Mark Jamieson said a man standing outside the buyback event bought the military weapon for $100 from another person at the event. The item, a single-use device that had already been used, is a launch-tube assembly for a Stinger portable surface-to-air missile. He said detectives will notify Army Criminal Investigation on Monday.

    Jamieson said the launcher is a controlled military item and is not available to civilians through any surplus or disposal program offered by the government. He said the launch tube was most likely obtained unlawfully from the military, and would likely be returned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chet:

    Frankly I think you should be as deeply uncomfortable being “advised” on public safety by someone solely qualified on the basis of having lost a child.

    What are Wayne LaPierre’s qualifications to advise anyone on public safety? A guy who lost a child in a shooting is at least as qualified as a guy whose job it is to sell more guns.

    Or is ok to be dishonestly manipulative when it’s in the service of the angels?

    Okay, there’s no way you could have typed that with a straight face in defense of the NRA, the most emotionally manipulative organization in American politics today.

  60. 60
    Mike in DC says:

    @Kay: That’s a good point, the logistical and privacy issues (helloooo HIPAA) would cause major problems, especially since budgets are tight because of the slow growth period we’re in.

    The reason this issue strikes a chord with me is that of the 30K+ gun deaths in the US, over 1/2 of them (around 18K+ the last time I checked) are suicides.

    So when we’re looking at gun deaths, we’re really looking at a major mental health problem first, and a violence problem second. And that’s not even addressing the people who are mentally ill and commit murder or the drug trade (that drives a lot of the non-mental illness-related homicide) which, IMHO, is another symptom of mental illness (I think a lot of people who take drugs are self-medicating).

    So I look at all of this and see a society in desperate need to start a ton of treatment.

    Sadly, the state of the art of mental health right now is primitive, so it’s a problem with a poor solution.

  61. 61
    Kay says:

    @Mike in DC:

    We sometimes hire a psychologist as an expert here for issues w/juveniles. I really like and trust him, partly because he’s honest about the limits of his profession. Anyway, he gave us all a continuing ed course after the last school shooting, and he said mental health experts are no better than parents at predicting violent breaks. I later saw the same thing repeated in the NYTimes, when they spoke to psychologists.

    But that absolutely doesn’t matter as far as your point on how we don’t do a good job on any access to treatment at all. I agree with you there.

  62. 62
    Jay S says:

    @Mike in DC:

    privacy issues (helloooo HIPAA) would cause major problems,

    There are major carve outs in privacy in HIPAA for providing police information. Kind of like a reverse 4th amendment. I doubt congress would put up much of a fight about that, given whats already allowed.

    As to Kay and your arguments about willingness to spend money or time, that’s absolutely correct.

    ETA I am not sure I buy the mental health issue as a priory over crime and other gun issues like negligent discharge. The mental health issues are dramatic, but I believe there are more casualties from other issues.

  63. 63
    honus says:

    @Kay: Not what doctors say, what doctors may ask which may help them protect the health of their patients. Since gun nuts always like to compare the lethality of cars to guns, would they support a doctor asking if a patient had car if it was unsafe for the patient to drive? Or more pertinently, obtain a commercial driver’s license or operate heavy equipment. Of course these examples are not valid because FOUNDING FATHERS SECOND AMENDMENT SECOND AMENDMENT TYRANNY BLOOD OF PATRIOTS.

  64. 64
    Mike in DC says:

    @Jay S: It could be a chicken-egg thing too. What factor does mental illness play in crime? How often do people who commit crimes suffer from mental illness?

    Would you call drug abuse a mental health problem? What about people who commit crimes to feed their drug habit?

    So, I see the two as intertwined.

  65. 65
    Kay says:

    @honus:

    Not what doctors say, what doctors may ask which may help them protect the health of their patients.

    It really sticks out in the modern world because I know physicians are encouraged to ask after domestic violence if they suspect that’s an issue, and they are mandated reporters as far as child/elder abuse. Those are public health issues, and they’re part of the health care system, so they’re a natural first line of defense. Makes sense to me!

    But they MAY NOT adress gun safety. Odd how that one is out there all alone, isn’t it? Behold the awesome power of lobbyists.

  66. 66
    Kay says:

    @honus:

    Cigarettes are legal and they’re a risk factor in lung cancer. Imagine if the tobacco industry had been successful in shutting doctors down on discussing smoking? It’s lunacy.

  67. 67
    honus says:

    @Kay: Also, the only industry I am aware of where the manufacturers are statutorily shielded from liability.

    This “Second Amenmdent” bullshit has got to stop, too. Sunday night a 22 year old man went into the local Kroger with his AR15 on his back to demonstrate “his Second Amendment rights.”

    There is no Second Amendment right to carry a rifle in public and certainly not on private property, any more than the Second Amendment prevents a doctor from asking a patient if he owns a gun, but it’s a lie getting repeated enough that soon it will be true.

  68. 68
    Jay S says:

    @Mike in DC:
    No, I don’t think drug abuse as defined by the US is strictly a mental health issue. We have criminalized the use of some drugs in a way that maximizes the use of guns. There some mental health issues, but a lot of our problem is in our definition of abuse.

    Focusing on mental health in looking at guns can be a distraction from addressing the whole problem. I’m sure that’s why the NRA is tossing that out there. You get stuck in complex and somewhat intractable issues, so nothing gets done.

    Mental health in the US needs to be addressed on it’s own, not just in the context of guns. There is some intersect with guns, but I don’t think it does much to help either issue to look only at the intersection.

  69. 69
    trollhattan says:

    “Show us on the doll where the doctor touched you.”

    NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — A 75-year-old retired barber was jailed Tuesday for investigation of killing a urologist in his exam room, but police have not yet released a motive.
    Stanwood Fred Elkus of Lake Elsinore was arrested following the Monday afternoon attack and held on $1 million bail, according to the county jail website.
    Elkus is suspected of killing Dr. Ronald Franklin Gilbert, 52, of Huntington Beach at the medical office in Orange County.
    Police said they found Elkus and Gilbert in a second-floor room after several 911 callers reported six or seven shots fired. A gun was found at the scene.
    The doctor had been shot several times in the upper body and was declared dead at the scene in Newport Beach.
    Elkus had surgery for a prostate problem but he never specifically said Gilbert was his doctor, said his neighbor James Lord.
    “He never complained to me about the doctor,” Lord said.

    Clearly, we need to arm doctors.

    http://www.sacbee.com/2013/01/.....rylink=cpy

  70. 70
    Maude says:

    @trollhattan:
    There was a Stinger missing for years from Afghanistan. I bet this is it.

  71. 71
    General Stuck says:

    @trollhattan:

    Fucking libtards, Pretty soon only criminals will have Stinger Missile launchers.

  72. 72
    General Stuck says:

    @trollhattan:

    Killing a urologist ain’t much of a crime, if you ask me. Dentists neither.

  73. 73
    PurpleGirl says:

    @AA+ Bonds:
    @AA+ Bonds:

    I know what you are saying and I agree. But I want to ask you, isn’t it the NRA who is doing the most right now to stigmatize the “mentally ill”? They don’t want their members and other gun owners to be restricted in any way, so it seems to me that they are the real problem.

  74. 74
    Jay S says:

    @Maude: Actually we don’t know where the stinger part is or what it stung.

  75. 75
    kay says:

    @trollhattan:

    The NRA should branch out into metal detectors. I see an emerging market in armed America. Malls, doctor’s offices, theaters. Why should only judges get protection?

  76. 76
    Chet says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    What are Wayne LaPierre’s qualifications to advise anyone on public safety?

    None whatsoever. I wouldn’t take his advice, either.

    But is that really the only two choices? I have to listen to Wayne “Gaping Asshole” LaPierre, or I have to do whatever the parents of dead children tell me to do?

    I prefer to say “Wayne, you’re an idiot; I wouldn’t take your advice to pour piss from a boot even if you were just reading me the instructions on the heel”, and “Neil Heslin, I appreciate and grieve for your loss, but we’re hardly unaware of the immense and pressing need to protect children from violence.”

  77. 77
    Chet says:

    @Kay:

    Hey Chet? Which responsible gun owner are you lobbying to put into my kid’s school?

    None at all. I don’t think we need gun owners in schools.

  78. 78
    Chet says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Okay, there’s no way you could have typed that with a straight face in defense of the NRA, the most emotionally manipulative organization in American politics today.

    You’re exactly right, there’s no way that I typed that in defense of the NRA.

  79. 79
    kay says:

    @Chet:

    I didn’t hear the father tell anyone to do anything. He talked about his son and said he ‘hopes something good comes from this”

    Can you point me to his specific policy demands?

    Thanks in advance.

  80. 80
    Chet says:

    @kay:

    Can you point me to his specific policy demands?

    From the article:

    Neil Heslin clutched a photograph of his son Jesse as he gave emotional testimony before officials considering tighter gun laws in Hartford, Connecticut on Monday, his voice breaking at times as he pleaded with lawmakers to ban assault weapons such as the one used to murder his child.

    He’s free to plead for whatever he likes, but it’s a fallacy to assume he has any particular expertise on the issue. He’s an expert in knowing what it’s like to lose a child, which is awful, but nobody needs to have it happen to them to know that it’s awful and to be avoided. Holding him up as anything more than just a private citizen speaking his mind is the same kind of dishonesty and manipulation that you’d criticize if it were “their side” doing it.

  81. 81
    muddy says:

    @Chet: I really don’t think anyone *really* “knows” what it’s like to lose a child until it has happened to them. Imagination really does it no justice, does not even begin to approach grokking.

  82. 82
    Chet says:

    @muddy: So the only people who can weigh child safety concerns vs. other concerns are parents who have lost children? You can’t possibly believe that.

    I’m certainly prepared to state that the contours of losing a child are fully explored only by those who have had that calamity happen to them. I’m just not sure in what way those contours are relevant to national firearms policy. It sure seems a lot like he’s being paraded out to emotionally manipulate support for “our side”, which I guess is fine with everyone.

  83. 83
    kay says:

    @Chet:

    You said he father was “dishonest”. The facts are that those kids were brutalized by a hail of bullets, which if course goes to the weapon the gun owner failed to secure. He saw his son after the event. He’s an eye witness to what that weapon did when used as intended.
    That’s valuable testimony.

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chet:

    None whatsoever. I wouldn’t take his advice, either.

    And yet that’s who’s writing the legislation you’re defending: Wayne LaPierre. When you defend the current laws, you are defending Wayne LaPierre, who is the head of the organization who wrote them.

    So you have already allowed Wayne LaPierre to define the terms of the debate and you are now insisting that victims of gun violence are not allowed to make their case and try to define the debate the way that Wayne LaPierre has. Why is that? Why have you decided that the only voice that is allowed to be heard is that of the gun manufacturers, and gun victims should have no say?

  85. 85
    muddy says:

    @Chet:

    nobody needs to have it happen to them to know that it’s awful

    This sounds like you think you can, anyone can, appreciate it as much as he does. I’m amazed frankly that he was able to appear in public and speak of it at all, even with a broken voice.

    Yes, he’s emotional, he should be. Anyone should be emotional over the pointless loss of life. But you don’t seem to think so. It will take a lot of people feeling emotional about it to make any changes to the status quo. Things do not stay in the news if there is no emotion to it. It’s as if you have never watched tv, read a newspaper or discussed politics. Things that get people worked up stay in the news. Excessive calmness does not.

    This is the real world, where people get upset and use that energy to make change. There is nothing wrong with being emotional, unless you are Data and your emo-chip is not helpful in the battle, so you turn it off. Most people are people and can not turn it off like that. The ones who can are frequently sociopaths.

    People sitting back, stroking their beards and calling for unemotional discussion on this topic are cowards, liars or trolls.

  86. 86
    kay says:

    @Chet:

    Sorry Chet. I’m not buying it anymore. I know gun enthusiasts don’t want to hear from victims. I don’t care.
    LaPierre’s a liar, which is why I wrote the post.
    He’s also dumb as a fucking rock. Today he’s fighting background checks, which contradicts last week’s bullshit on hiw we needed a mental health registry.
    He hasn’t had to defend this bullshit for tge last 20 years, and it SHOWS.

  87. 87
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Chet:

    which I guess is fine with everyone.

    The issue of the safety of children is an emotional cauldron, and has just as many downsides as rational objectivity. People tend to over-simplify the issues when emotion has the upper hand, because of a similar fog attending to cold, hard logic somewhat removed from emotion.

    I am not saying you don’t feel for the children, just not enough to punch through the crust.

    And no, it’s not fine with me, but like you, I am an outlier here.

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chet:

    It sure seems a lot like he’s being paraded out to emotionally manipulate support for “our side”, which I guess is fine with everyone.

    So what’s your logical, rational, non-manipulative defense of assault rifles being owned by the general public? Be specific.

  89. 89
    muddy says:

    @Mnemosyne: Crickets.

  90. 90
    Chet says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So what’s your logical, rational, non-manipulative defense of assault rifles being owned by the general public?

    Well, based on the statistical evidence they’re the safest guns you can own. What’s your logical defense of .22 caliber handguns being owned by the general public, which kill 8,000 people a year, like Roderigo Diaz? And thousands of other people of color, including hundreds of children?

  91. 91
    Chet says:

    Crickets, indeed.

  92. 92
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Chet:

    And your statistical evidence is … where? Sorry, assertions don’t count.

  93. 93
    El Cid says:

    The only sort of people we need to hear from when we’re talking about regulating guns are of coure the people who own and use them the most frequently and passionately, and if that happens to be a group which in general opposes any sort of restriction from what they prefer, well, then, tough, because they should be the ones who get to choose whom we hear from about the subject.

  94. 94
    Chet says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And your statistical evidence is …

    Available from a cursory search of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, of course. But if it’s indeed a surprise for you to learn that so-called “assault rifles” are astronomically less likely to actually be involved in an assault than a handgun, then you’ve revealed a catastrophic ignorance about the issue under discussion.

  95. 95
    Nancy Irving says:

    I must admit to ambivalence about this mental-health database thingy.

    Specifically, it may have the perverse effect of discouraging troubled people, especially those who are most likely to become “shooters,” from seeking psychiatric help.

    Yes, the database would only include involuntary commitments, but many, perhaps most involuntary commitments result from things people say during sessions they (or their families) have voluntarily sought.

    All you need to do is admit that you have had suicidal thoughts. In many states this qualifies you as being “a danger to self or others” and mandates involuntary commitment.

    Psychiatric treatment already carries a stigma; let gun-nuts know that talking to a mental-health professional may disqualify them from owning a gun, and you make it impossible to get help to those most likely to shoot up elementary schools etc.

    So put me down as unconvinced.

    Prohibiting large-capacity magazines seems a better idea to me.

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