27 Dec

Who Is Too Unbalanced to Be Armed?

Jacob Sullum @ Reason:

The day of Adam Lanza’s murderous assault on Sandy Hook Elementary School, Mike Rogers said stricter gun control would not be an appropriate response. “The more realistic discussion,” said the Republican congressman from Michigan, “is how do we target people with mental illness who use firearms?”

Last week another Republican congressman, Howard Coble of North Carolina, agreed that “it’s more of a mental health problem than a gun problem right now.” And last Friday, when the National Rifle Association broke its silence on the Sandy Hook massacre, the group’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, called for “an active national database of the mentally ill.”

Psychiatrically informed policies aimed at controlling people rather than weapons are popular in the wake of mass shootings, especially among those who rightly worry that gun restrictions will unfairly burden law-abiding Americans while failing to prevent future attacks. Yet treating gun violence as “a mental health problem” presents similar dangers.

An “active national database of the mentally ill” clearly would not have stopped Lanza, who used guns legally purchased by his mother. Even if he had bought the guns himself, it appears he would have passed a background check because he did not meet the criteria for rejection.

Federal law prohibits gun ownership by anyone who “has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution.” Neither seems to have been the case with Lanza.

Acquaintances reported that Lanza might have had Asperger syndrome. That label, which soon won’t even count as a mental disorder anymore, is not much more informative than saying he was a shy, socially inept loner (which people who knew him also said).

Read more

       

About Curt

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

7 Responses to Who Is Too Unbalanced to Be Armed?

  1. Nan G says: 1

    Fully 50% of all people in the USA have some sort of mental disorder during their lifetimes.
    Much of it is temporary, like my late father-in-law’s sudden amnesia after his wife’s death.
    Much of it clears up all by itself.
    Much of it is able to be kept at bay with modern medications.
    In a few cases people hate the side-effects of their meds so much they put up with the mental illness instead.
    In even fewer cases people with mental illness become violent.

    The knee-jerk reactions have included disallowing ANYONE who EVER had any mental disorder from ever owning a gun.
    But there have been worse reactions.
    In one Scandinavian country a DNA study purported to find a ”Warrior Gene.”
    Someone has allowed their group a DNA sample from the Newtown shooter.
    What if they find this gene?
    We cannot clean a gene out after birth.
    All we can do is ABORT babies found with it in the womb!
    Will we go THAT far?
    Will we demonize perfectly fine human beings into camps simply because of a gene?

    The directions for over-reactions are plentiful and have one thing in common: they would not stop violence.

    ReplyReply
  2. retire05 says: 2

    If being treated for “temporary” mental problems is a disqualifier when it comes to gun ownership and gun use, we will lose half our law enforcement officers. I know a number of PDs, large and small, that have a resident psychiatrist that is available to those police officers at any time. Stress, such as police officers and firefighters operate under every day they’re on the job, manifests itself in a multitude of ways.

    ReplyReply
  3. Petercat says: 3

    @Nan G: #1
    I would argue that we need more of the “Warrior Gene”, not less.
    Judging by the situation in today’s civilized nations, we’ve already done too good a job of weeding that particular gene out of our populations.

    ReplyReply
  4. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says: 4

    The answer to the posed question is: Any democrat who voted for Obama. If you are that stupid or insane you should, by their own measure, not own any form of self defense device.

    ReplyReply
  5. Nan G
    I THINK STRONGLY THAT A WARRIOR GENE IS NOT A KILLER GENE, AND A BIG DIFFERENCE THERE, TO BE MADE,
    A WARRIOR GENE IS NORMAL TO MY MIND, IT COULD BE CALLED A SELF DEFENSE GENE
    BETTER, and not all humans has it surely not at the same intensity,
    it’s probably a highly needed gene which I think act as a trigger to one to decide when to react to attack,
    and defend itself or it’s own family or it’ belongings, from criminals, with yes shooting the attacker
    if you have a gun which is okay, if your life is in danger,
    that trigger must be different surely for all,
    what come to my mind again is GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, WAITING TILL LAST EXTREME TIME TO
    DECIDE TO SHOOT HIS ATTACKER, WHERE HIS LIFE WAS IN SURELY ON THE LAST SECONDS, BECAUSE HE FELT COLLAPSING THEN.
    WHERE SOME OTHER MOVE INTO DEFENSE MODE EARLY BEING ASSURE OF THE DANGER,
    MY OPINION
    BYE

    ReplyReply
  6. US ARMY SEEK DEATH PENALTY TO THE SOLDIER WHO KILLED THE VILLAGE FAMILY,
    SOME TIME AGO,
    THAT MAN WAS SUFFERING FROM PTSD FOR MULTIPLE RECALLS,
    IT WAS DONE IN WAR STAGE, WE KNOW THE FAMILY HELP ON WEAPON CARRYING OR HIDDING EXPLOSIVES TO BE BURRIED.
    HE WAS ALONE IN FRONT OF MORE THAN ONE, HE WOULD NOT HAVE COM OUT ALIVE,
    THEY BETTER NOT GIVE HIM DEATH,IF SO THEY SHOULD SHOOT THEMSELVES FOR HAVING PUSH A MILITARY TO THAT LIMIT, THEY ARE MORE GUILTY THAN THE YOUNG MILITARY ,
    THEY ARE THE TRAINERS OF THAT MILITARY, THEY MADE HIM A SOLDIER TO KILL ENEMIES,
    LET’S PUT THEM INVOLVED IN HIS CAREER, ALL IN THE COURT PROCESS AND ACCUSE THEM OF MURDER AS WELL.
    NO DEATH PENALTY FOR THAT SOLDIER,
    BUT PUT HASSAN IN THE NOOSE OF THE ROPE

    ReplyReply
  7. I WOULD SAY DAVID GREGORY IS TOO UNBALANCE TO CARY A WEAPON,
    JUST BY THE WAY HE TRIONPHANTLY SHOW A PACK OF BULLET STATING EVEN THE AMOUNT OF THEM,
    HE SHOWED SUCH STUPIDNESS THAT BEING ONE IN CHARGE WOULD NEVER ALLOW HIM WITH A WEAPON OF ANY KIND,
    YOU NEVER RECOVER FROM STUPIDNESS DISEASE

    ReplyReply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>