Skip to comments.Stop Me Before I Buy a Gun Again, Begs Bipolar Man (Eleanor Clift, again!)
Posted on 06/06/2014 8:06:49 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
John Hokanson Jr. is bipolar. The 33-year-old has been involuntarily committed several times, in California and in Arizona, and he has been in court-ordered outpatient treatment. Yet no red flags were raised when he purchased a surplus Army rifle from a Big 5 Sporting Goods store in Phoenix.
In fact, the only reason we know this particular mentally ill man purchased firearm is because hes deciding to tell his story, frustrated by what he sees as a false dichotomy with mass shootings framed as either a mental-health issue only or a gun issue only.
Everyone agrees that guns should be kept out of the hands of the mentally ill, even the National Rifle Association. But taking the steps to make that happen is where agreement ends. The Isla Vista shooters fragile mental state was known by his parents and the professionals who had treated him since childhood, but police doing a wellness check on him at the request of his mother failed to even ask about the guns in his possession.
Hokanson thought he needed a gun because he was living in what he describes as a bad neighborhood. This was in 2005-2006, so he was in his mid-twenties. During a depressive episode when he wasnt caring for himself or cleaning his apartment, and was in the hospital awaiting evaluation, his sister took it upon herself to break into his apartment and remove the rifle. She took it to a gun turn-in program. Initially furious with his sister, Hokanson came to see the wisdom in what she did.
In retrospect, I love her for it, he told The Daily Beast. Ive never had homicidal thoughts, but the thing with the gunI would have killed myself with itno question. He noted that a little more than 50 percent of suicides among men are with firearms, while women are more likely to kill themselves by overdosing on prescription drugs.
Hokansons bipolar disorder appeared when he was in his late teens and early twenties. In California, he was taken in on a 5150, the code for involuntary commitment when someone is deemed a threat to themselves or others. He remembers being handed a sheet of paper that said he was prohibited from owning a firearm under state and federal law. At the Big 5 Sporting Goods store in Phoenix, he filled out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosivess Form 4473, checking no on question 11f, which asked whether he had ever been adjudicated mentally defective or committed to a mental institution.
I make no excuses for it, he says. I checked the box that said no and that was a lie. That one question should have disqualified him, but he signed the form, handed it to the clerk at the sporting-goods store, and he called up wherever he called up, and it came back proceed with sale. I walked out with the rifle in tow after about 20 minutes. Plus a box of ammunition.
Hokansons name should have been fed into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System when he was in California. If it had been and the system worked, he should have been flagged in Arizona.
I *still* dont know if Im in that f*cking database like Im supposed to be, he posted on Facebook. Ive been court ordered for treatment plenty of times. The way for him to find out would be to try and buy another gun, which he has not attempted to do.
Hes stable now, takes his meds, and is living in a somewhat better neighborhood. But if he should decide he wants a gun, Hokanson doesnt have to tempt the federal databasehe can just go around it.
No more than two miles from me is the state fairground, he said. Im sure youve heard of the gun-show loophole. Now even if Im in that database, I could just go to the state fairgrounds to buy a gun there, too. It doesnt make any sense.
He recalled an episode of the McLaughlin Group (where Im a panelist) after the shooting in Tucson that killed six people and gravely wounded Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. The debate centered on the need for background checks to identify people with criminal backgrounds or mental illness.
I was sitting on my bed and I heard Pat Buchanan say they already do that, and Im thinking there are enormous holes in that database, he said. The gun-show loophole allows sellers to bypass the background check that would identify people with criminal backgrounds or with serious mental illness.
Efforts to close the loophole have failed in Washington, but have gained momentum in the states. Colorado passed a background-check law, and in Washington state this November, voters will vote on competing measures. Initiative 594 would close the gun-show loophole; Initiative 591, backed by the NRA, would ban any statewide gun-safety restrictions unless passed on the federal level.
Im not going to take a position on gun control but people who are mentally ill and theyre out in society, doing treatment as an outpatient, and its been determined that Im a danger to myself or others, its still easy to get a gun, says Hokanson.
Lying on that ATF form was a felony, and if the statute of limitations hasnt expired, I shall gladly take my punishment if it helps prevent future tragedies, he said in a recent Facebook post.
Keeping quiet about what he knows would be the greater transgression.
I wonder if I lied on my income tax return and filed it anyway if Ms. Clift would conclude the income tax was the problem and should be eliminated.
I’m all for letting the mentally ill have guns, but at the same time liberalize the gun laws so that Constitutional carry (open and concealed) is legal in all 50 States and the District of Criminals. If a mentally ill individual acts out and mis-uses his/her gun anyone and everyone turns around and shoots that individual to death. Game over.
Just because you are mentally ill does not mean you forfeit or waive your right to God-given, Constitutionally-protected rights. And how do you judge who is and isn’t mentally ill? There are plenty of mental health professionals on the Left who have been feverishly trying to classify the mentally ill as normal and the normal as mentally ill. The mental health issue can not be used as a straw man for the disarming of Americans (mentally healthy or not).
A voice of sanity in a world of insanity ... thanks.
This may be unpopular but I agree. If you commit a crime with a gun you will be punished under the law period. If you want to commit suicide there are many ways to accomplish it. You can blow your head off or criticize the Clintons. either way will work.
317 million people in America, and a statistically insignificant number of mentally deficient people amoung them misuse firearms, yet a large number of a particular demographic found in most major blue cities commit a significant number or even most of gun crimes. I see no reference to them on the 4473.
Did I mention that she makes a comfortable living for being a vicious partisan Democrat liar?
Most people in this country have been conditioned to reason by anecdote.
Cloward-Piven is Darwin on steroids.
Eleanor Clift is Mortimer Snerd’s daughter.
Eleanor was a sister-in-law of Montgomery Clift, but it is not clear if they ever met; he may have died before she married Clift’s brother.
LOL! That's gonna leave a mark...
I asked myselves about this guy and we concluded he’s a phony.
Leftists are pretty good at making up stories out of nothing but their lying imaginations.
That was mean. Mortimer Snerd was a funny fellow, far better looking than Clift and far more intelligent. You owe him an apology.
What’s your point, Ellie, you liberal pinhead.
“purchased a surplus Army rifle from a Big 5 Sporting Goods store in Phoenix.”
Probably a Mosin Nagant. $80 or $90 in that time frame.