Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I'm beginning to understand this gun control thing

I believe I've been going about this the wrong way.

It is obviously important that the mentally ill (or even just the mentally queasy) be kept away from guns.  It's not just for the violence that they might do to other people, but also what injury they might do to themselves.

So that's why Delaware legislators passed "universal" background checks and tried to pass a bill to keep firearms away from people with signs of mental illness.

Now, let's suppose there was a definable sub-population of Americans--say about 1,000,000 people--who had the following characteristics:

1.  They attempted or committed suicide at more than twice the national average.

2.  About 23-25% of them were known to have serious drinking problems.

3.  They have a history of higher than average domestic abuse rates.

4.  They tend to be involved in shooting fatalities at a rate as much as ten times higher than even highly urban populations.

5.  As a group they are highly resistant to seeking any treatment for mental health issues.

6.  100% of them own handguns; a high percentage own multiple weapons with high-capacity magazines.

I would bet that, given these facts, many Delaware legislators would favor crafting a new law to make it more difficult for these folks to purchase or own a firearm.

Except that I'd be wrong.

You see, our lawmakers carved a specific exemption in the "universal" background checks to give these individuals access to firearms with no such checks, and did not even consider them as a group in the mental health legislation.

They're police officers and retired police officers.

And you can read about their mental health issues (for a start) here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Maybe "pistol" Pete Schwarzkopf should think about dealing with access to guns considering the mental health, suicide, alcohol, and domestic violence problems in the law enforcement community before he starts going after other folks.

4 comments:

Will said...

Well played, Steve. Well played.

delacrat said...

A persuasive argument that "A well-regulated militia" does not exist,

KilroysDelaware said...

Steve,
The legislation in Delaware requiring healthcare providers to report any person who shows concern for harming others and themselves is far reaching. If this were law those healthcare providers fearing legal repercussions for something a patient said they didn't report will force them to report everything!

"The Biden-backed legislation would require mental health providers to call police if they suspect a patient presents a danger to himself or others. Police would be required to investigate and make a report to the State Department of Justice if they believe the person shouldn't have access to a gun."

So does this mean the police will investigate beyond the healthcare provider and interview family, friends and employer?

If a person is being treated for depression and verbalizes they are tied of living the healthcare provided loses a patient by reporting them and that person goes on fearing professional help and therefore no getting treatment for depression.

"Delaware prohibits the purchase, ownership, possession or control of a firearm or ammunition by any person Ever committed for a mental disorder to any hospital, mental institution or sanitarium, unless the person possesses a certificate from a medical doctor or psychiatrist licensed in Delaware stating that the person is no longer suffering from a mental disorder which interferes or handicaps the person from handling deadly weapons".

I can rant forever as you know. However, We become as society of guilty until proven innocent and with such laws mentally ill until proven not! In time every person taking an anti-depressant will be subject to concern. How about questioning the mental-health of those busted for DUI! Does their behavior raise concern for gun ownership?

A heath-care worker bound by a loose law will be forces to report everyone! And the big brother approach will keep many from seeking help and in turn could produce more incidents most likely suicides.

The will come a time when the government will snoop via medical record system based on prescription drugs prescribed. Most doctors are order meds for their patients via electronic mean through their patients electronic file / software. Who to say someday the government can key in Prozac and zip-code and produce a file!

Many of our troops returning home from the battle field suffer emotional issues related seek help or encourage to. Will we have a society where are war veterans are a risk to society on the domestic home-front?

It all comes down to this, do you trust a government with such power and authority over individuals whom many are stressed out because of war and disparity due to the economy and personal events in their lives?

Certainly professional healthcare providers will report those who verbalize harm to others. And if to themselves perhaps intense treatment!

FYI on a side note, Delaware DMV is part of the federal ID program and when they are taking your photo for your license you're ask to keep a natural face! You can be your photo is going into a national data base re: face recognition. I can see this with mugshots but for the general public is it just in case you get lost? ;)

tom said...

delacrat, the only persuasive argument i see here is you demonstrating that you don't have the slightest clue what those four words you quoted mean.