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Mental Records Missing From Gun Database
AP on Yahoo ^ | 11/26/05 | Mark Sherman - ap

Posted on 11/26/2005 5:31:11 PM PST by NormsRevenge

WASHINGTON - In Alabama, a man with a history of mental illness killed two police officers with a rifle he bought on Christmas Eve. In suburban New York, a schizophrenic walked into a church during Mass and shot to death a priest and a parishioner. In Texas, a woman taking anti-psychotic medication used a shotgun to kill herself.

Not one of their names was in a database that licensed gun dealers must check before making sales — even though federal law prohibits the mentally ill from purchasing guns.

Most states have privacy laws barring such information from being shared with law enforcement. Legislation pending in Congress that has bipartisan support seeks to get more of the disqualifying records in the database.

In addition to mandating the sharing of mental health records, the legislation would require that states improve their computerized record-keeping for felony records and domestic violence restraining orders and convictions, which also are supposed to bar people from purchasing guns.

Similar measures, opposed by some advocates for the mentally ill and gun-rights groups, did not pass Congress in 2002 and 2004.

The FBI, which maintains the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, has not taken a position on the bill, but the bureau is blunt about what adding names to its database would do.

"The availability of this information will save lives," the FBI said in a recent report.

More than 53 million background checks for gun sales have been conducted since 1998, when the NICS replaced a five-day waiting period. More than 850,000 sales have been denied, the FBI reported; in most of those cases, the applicant had a criminal record.

Legislation sponsored by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (news, bio, voting record), D-N.Y., says millions of records are either missing or incomplete. "The computer is only as good as the information you put in it," McCarthy said.

In the Alabama case, police say Farron Barksdale ambushed the officers as they arrived at the home of his mother in Athens, Ala., on Jan. 2, 2004. Barksdale had been committed involuntarily to mental hospitals on at least two occasions, authorities said.

Facing the death penalty, he has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease and defect.

The shootings led Alabama lawmakers to share with the FBI the names of people who have been committed involuntarily to mental institutions. But just 20 other states provide NICS at least some names of people with serious mental illness, a disqualifier for gun purchases under federal law since 1968.

Shayla Stewart had been hospitalized five times in Texas, twice by court order. Yet Stewart was able to buy a shotgun at a Wal-Mart in 2003 because Texas considers mental health records confidential.

The same is true in New York, where Peter Troy was twice admitted to mental hospitals but bought a .22-caliber rifle that he used in the shootings inside a Long Island church in March 2002. Troy is serving consecutive life terms for the killings.

As a result of the church shootings, McCarthy and Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record), D-N.Y., introduced legislation that year to close the gaps in the background check system. The bill would have required the states to give the FBI their records and provided $250 million in grants to cover their costs.

The bill passed the House without opposition but stalled in the Senate. In 2004, the measure again had the support of lawmakers who support gun rights, but it did not pass Congress.

McCarthy, whose husband was among six people shot to death on a Long Island Rail Road train in 1993, has introduced it again this year, but it has not yet been taken up by a House Judiciary subcommittee.

Sen. Larry Craig (news, bio, voting record), R-Idaho, a National Rifle Association board member, was a sponsor of the bill in the last Congress and continues to support it, spokesman Dan Whiting said. The NRA supports the concept, but it has not taken a position on McCarthy's legislation, spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said.

Michael Faenza, president and chief executive of the National Mental Health Association, said forcing states to share information on the mentally ill would violate patient privacy and contribute to the stigma they face.

"It's just not fair. On the one hand, we want there to be very limited access to guns," Faenza said. "But here you're singling out people because of a medical condition and denying them rights held by everyone else."

Several states have determined that they can flag residents who should not be allowed to buy a gun without compromising the privacy of mental health patients, said Matt Bennett, a spokesman for Americans for Gun Safety, which supports the bill.

Larry Pratt, executive director of the Gun Owners of America, said adding records to the database is the wrong idea. "Our idea of improving NICS is to abolish it," Pratt said. "There is this continuing assumption that a gun buyer is guilty until proven innocent."

The states that provide some or all mental health records are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.

___

On the Net:

National Instant Criminal Background Check System: http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/nics/index.htm

Americans for Gun Safety: http://www.americansforgunsafety.com/

Gun Owners of America: http://www.gunowners.org

Information on the bill, H.R. 1415, can be found at http://thomas.loc.gov/


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Government; Politics/Elections; US: Alabama
KEYWORDS: backgroundchecks; bang; banglist; database; hr1415; mentalrecords; missing

1 posted on 11/26/2005 5:31:13 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

They can't focus on the madmen and criminals because they are too busy trying to prevent honest responsible citizens from getting guns.


2 posted on 11/26/2005 5:35:09 PM PST by Brilliant
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To: NormsRevenge

Who will define what "mentally-ill" is?

Will someday the act of voting for a Republican or being associated with the NRA, GOA, etc... be considered a form of mental illness?


3 posted on 11/26/2005 5:47:13 PM PST by MaDeuce (Do it to them, before they do it to you!)
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To: Brilliant
A definitive diagnosis of mental illness is not always easy to establish. Some illnesses are mild, some more apparent. Some mental illnesses are helped by drugs, allowing the patients to live an almost normal life. Who gets to make the call whether or not a person is sufficiently "mentally ill" to warrant taking his weapons?

They seem to be trying to do this in Massachusettes at present.

4 posted on 11/26/2005 5:47:21 PM PST by basil (Exercise your Second Amendment--buy another gun today!)
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To: NormsRevenge
Just how does this fit with the ADA Law? Most of those records are confidential. How would you like them to be public. You could have a list of nutters on the front page of every paper in the country. What would be the criteria? Its time that people get rational and stop sensationalizing isolated incidents. We let them drive and vote, don't we.
5 posted on 11/26/2005 5:49:08 PM PST by Steamburg (Pretenders everywhere)
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To: Steamburg

People with recognized mental illness have no business owning firearms. Besides, why does Howard Dean need a gun?


6 posted on 11/26/2005 5:55:46 PM PST by bybybill (GOD help us if the Rats win)
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To: NormsRevenge

To me prohibiting firearms purchases from those who have serious mental disabilities is common sense. The "patient" forfeits his privacy when he completes the background check which is required for public safety just as an airline pilot who has a serious drug or alcohol problem forfeits his privacy by being required to take the appropriate tests required to assure safety. Most important, those who oppose such testing only provide more ammunition for the anti-gun crowd.


7 posted on 11/26/2005 6:05:09 PM PST by T.L.Sink (stopew)
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To: NormsRevenge
The usual gun grabbing commies want to disarm everyone they can...any excuse any reason to disarm is a good one...

Naturally they will even disarm the rape victims forced into counseling even if their attackers are still at large threatening to come back for second helpings..

If they have seen a shrink and are on psych meds for depression or sleep...no self protection for her or her loved ones...

Naturally the same laws would also apply to recently returned combat vets who have seen multiple tours and heavy combat..

Held your best friend's brains in your hands as he asked you to tell his mom or wife that he loves them...

Don't get depressed or angry or screw up drunk some night and end up being sent to the headshrinker..they give you meds for nightmares or diagnose you with PTSD you also wont be allowed to defend your life or the lives of your loved ones..

But the important thing is to get as many guns out of the hands of as many folks as possible...

Hard to take over a land where so many are armed...from without or within..

imo
8 posted on 11/26/2005 6:07:22 PM PST by joesnuffy (A camel once bit my sister...necessitating her untimely death..-Mullet Omar)
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To: joesnuffy

I'm an LEO and I am also a former FFL holder that has some knowledge of both sides of the fence on this topic.

The thing about a persons mental condition is that in order to be refused "Permission To Purchase" which is what the federal form is for and not "Registration of a Firearm" is that you have to be Judicially Restricted from firearm purchase. In other words you have to be taken before a court of law and be charged by the Judge that you are not to purchase or own a firearm because of your clinicly determined mental condion. This does not mean that if you had a bad romantic breakup and spent the weekend in a clinic that you can no longer own a firearm.

Between domestic violence and felony convictions there are many that can no longer possess a weapon legally. Some are unjustly forbidden in my opinion due to divorce domestic charges levied against men unjustly by women to adjecate their divorce proceedings with these charges of violence against them. I see it all of the time in my job and I still have to charge the subject or both subjects and let the judge and jury determine who is telling the truth.

I guess I have seen domestic violence charges used as a weapon to many times instead of a defense against real violence in these situations.


9 posted on 11/26/2005 6:50:30 PM PST by PROSOUTH ( Deo Vindice "God Will Vindicate")
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To: NormsRevenge
Not one of their names was in a database that licensed gun dealers must check before making sales — even though federal law prohibits the mentally ill from purchasing guns.

Most states have privacy laws barring such information from being shared with law enforcement.

Well, only one solution to that problem: Make firearm ownership as widespread as possible, so that they no longer appear to be something out of the ordinary, and that therefore crazy people won't develop an irrational fixation on them.

It's as though you were to heavily restrict ownership of knives or matches. That would instantly turn them into objects of obsession for certain characters.

10 posted on 11/26/2005 7:51:02 PM PST by inquest (FTAA delenda est)
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To: MaDuce

Now that is an interesting thought.


11 posted on 11/26/2005 7:53:56 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: PROSOUTH
I'm an LEO and I am also a former FFL holder that has some knowledge of both sides of the fence on this topic.

Unfortunately, this is sort of tacit admission that cops are set against gun owners in the great gun ownership debate. Too bad, I wish they were on our side and not against us.

12 posted on 11/27/2005 7:58:28 AM PST by coloradan (Failing to protect the liberties of your enemies establishes precedents that will reach to yourself.)
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To: T.L.Sink
To me prohibiting firearms purchases from those who have serious mental disabilities is common sense.

"Common sense?" What is "serious?" What is a "mental disability?" Who gets to decide these questions? Chuck Schumer? Hillary Clinton? You use the words and the mechanisms of gun grabbers - nebulous, undefined and expansive terms (like "assault weapon" or "sniper rifle") that can mean anything and everything, and anyone who disagrees lacks "common sense."

The "patient" forfeits his privacy when he completes the background check which is required for public safety

There is zero evidence that any such gun control law actually enhances public safety, and you choose to abrogate a Constitutional right based on nothing other than the words of gun grabbers to do so. (If there is such evidence, please provide it.)

Most important, those who oppose such testing only provide more ammunition for the anti-gun crowd.

Are you sure you're not a gun grabber? "Please support and adopt the following gun control laws, or it will merely provide more support to the gun grabbers." When we sell out this round, which new laws will you advise us to sell out? Mandatory storage? Bans on which weapons? No CCW anywhere? They too have been promised will "enhance public safety" - also without any evidence of actually doing so.

13 posted on 11/27/2005 8:13:26 AM PST by coloradan (Failing to protect the liberties of your enemies establishes precedents that will reach to yourself.)
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To: coloradan

I'm an LEO and I am also a former FFL holder that has some knowledge of both sides of the fence on this topic.

"Unfortunately, this is sort of tacit admission that cops are set against gun owners in the great gun ownership debate. Too bad, I wish they were on our side and not against us."

What are you talking about? Are you so blindly biased that you interpret that I am against the common gun owner?

My point was that many male gun owners are unjustly accused of domestic violence charges to support the divorce cases of women. I also believe it is supported or even suggested by lawyers and is used as a tool against you. Duh!

The problem is that the law has to be upheld and that I have to arrest a subject with a warrant issued against them without choice. A judicial commissioner will issue a warrant when there was not even a call made or scene to determine who was the aggressor or who was not.Many warrants are coordinated through a womens abuse office and not our intervention. So Joe Public has to appear in court and face a judge with only her allegations to the commissioner and Representative from Haven of Hope or who ever to go on.

Just to make you feel better, I have answered calls where the female placed the call to 911 and she was the one determined the aggressor upon arrival. She was the one that went to jail,I remember one proclaiming that I could not take her into custody because she was the one who made the call. She was determined to be the aggressor and he was the victim of her violent behavior so she went to jail.

My only admission is that the system is biased, not the LEO. Your Vote for legislators is what makes the laws not us.

Now to address the other side. I am not biased against the female gender, but sometimes when the shoe fits it just fits. I'm not saying that all women do this or that all men are unjustly accused. But I am saying it happens many times.


14 posted on 11/27/2005 10:00:37 AM PST by PROSOUTH ( Deo Vindice "God Will Vindicate")
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To: coloradan

To first address your implied innuendo that I am a "gun grabber", I possess a firearm and can provide you with my NRA membership number. If you are serious and not rhetorical in your question what is a "mental disability" I need only remind you that in our society psychologists and psychiatrists and other mental health experts make these determinations routinely in the public interest about an individuals mental stability and capacity to perform certain functions or to serve in certain capacities -- including the U.S. military. On the personal level I know some people who have been diagnosed as mentally incompetent by professionals and -- thank God! - have been precluded from purchasing firearms. Even in the original post the FBI said that such tests "will save lives". Or is the FBI part of your conspiratorial group of imaginary "gun grabbers"? Even such pro-gun researchers as John Lott ("More Guns, Less Crime") says that the prevention of psychologically unstable people from acquiring firearms is just as important as preventing felons from acquiring them. And yes, if we have no psychological standards for firearm possession we will indeed become the poster boys and laughing-stocks of the Schumers and anti-gun lobby. I can see them citing the very same thing that was mentioned in the original post about the person with a history of mental illness who murdered two policemen. And I can hear their laughter at the stupidity of the pro-gun advocates who want to arm such.


15 posted on 11/27/2005 12:00:30 PM PST by T.L.Sink (stopew)
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To: bybybill
People with recognized mental illness have no business owning firearms.

Would you include folks suffering from depression? That's going to cover millions and millions of folks. Things like schizophrenia I could agree with. But I think that allowing this one is giving too much power to the government. I could see a day when the liberals are in charge and a pattern of behavior becomes a pathology. Like membership in progun organizations and having a CCW permit was linked to being in a militia by Janet Reno and Clinton. She once said that anybody who attended church more than once a week; who believed in the 2nd coming of Christ; and who owned a gun was a candidate for "government intervention." I know, I saw the CNN interview where she said that! I think anybody who has been adjudicated by a court of law as mentally incompetent should be subject to the application of current law and that no further laws are needed.

16 posted on 11/27/2005 3:11:13 PM PST by ExSoldier (Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.)
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To: NormsRevenge; Brilliant; MaDuce; basil; Steamburg; bybybill; joesnuffy; inquest; Calpernia; ...
Be careful what you wish for. You might just get it. The gungrabbers are uninhibited with taking this as far as they can take it. IIRC, in one of the states debating shall issue concealed carry privileges, a conviction for DUI was suggested as reasonable grounds for denying the privilege.

One American in five suffers from a mental disorder in any given year, but two-thirds do not seek treatment because of shame or cost of care. After a background report by Susan Dentzer, Surgeon General David Satcher talks about the the report he presented today at the White House.

17 posted on 11/27/2005 3:26:30 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: NormsRevenge

I have mixed feeling about the issue. A person wise enough to realize a mental problem exists and seeks treatment will lose 2nd Amendment rights. A not so wise person who ducks the issue and never seeks treatment will keep the rights.


18 posted on 11/27/2005 3:30:42 PM PST by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink.)
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To: NormsRevenge

lol, what about ADD/ADHD? Ban them from guns too? heh heh... :)


19 posted on 11/27/2005 3:37:51 PM PST by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/french_riots.htm)
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To: neverdem
The biggest problem is that it is very difficult to make a definitive diagnosis of many mental illnessess.

As far as I know, at this time it is impossible to detect beforehand when someone will go beserk and start shooting. I can't see how anyone can make a case for witholding firearms from the "mentally ill" except in the most extreme cases.

In my psych training in nursing school, we were taught that we are all a different shade of gray--meaning that each person's mental facilities are unique to that person, and that all of us have some sort of mental "quirk".

I guess the gun grabbers must think that they have it all figured out, and are ready to start labeling people according to some arbitrary norm they have developed.

I wonder if the day will come when psychiatrists will be charged with a crime if some patient of theirs commits a gun crime.

20 posted on 11/27/2005 3:50:08 PM PST by basil (Exercise your Second Amendment--buy another gun today!)
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To: T.L.Sink
I agree with what you are trying to accomplish, but not how you are trying to accomplish it. Keeping firearms out of the hands of the crazy is laudable. However, creating a database at the same time that essentially forms a list, by default, of the legally armed and sane for the states and the feds is not.

Sometimes your rights are as important as your life. Sometime they mean your very life. Be careful how you handle them.

21 posted on 11/27/2005 3:52:44 PM PST by elbucko
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To: NormsRevenge
Instead of trying to restrict what the mentally ill can purchase,
how about if we just keep 'em locked up where they can't hurt anybody?
22 posted on 11/27/2005 3:57:17 PM PST by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!)
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To: Willie Green
Instead of trying to restrict what the mentally ill can purchase,
how about if we just keep 'em locked up where they can't hurt anybody?

That is exactly what the US used to do before the Kennedy administration. The shrinks of the early '60's were convinced that such drugs as "Haldol" would free the mental patient from the mental hospital. The Psychological Assn. convinced JFK/LBJ to go along with "Half-way Houses" and home treatment. The feds and states were only too happy to comply because it meant that they could save money by closing down the mental hospitals. It didn't work and John Kennedy was one of this bogus ideas first victims.

23 posted on 11/27/2005 4:05:41 PM PST by elbucko
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To: T.L.Sink
It is members like you who made me resign my membership a couple of years ago.

The government has no business at all saying who should be able to buy a gun or not. If they are so dangerous they cannot be trusted with a gun, they should not be trusted with a car or a knife. They should be in an institution.

24 posted on 11/27/2005 4:09:34 PM PST by yarddog
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To: basil
I wonder if the day will come when psychiatrists will be charged with a crime if some patient of theirs commits a gun crime.

Shrinks should join the NRA. They understand third party liability legislation.

Actually, I'm not kidding. The APA and the NRA could get the crazies back in the hospitals where they belong. But only if they work together. Strange bedfellows, indeed, but possibly effective.

25 posted on 11/27/2005 4:13:43 PM PST by elbucko
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To: Willie Green
It's bad enough we have lawyers running every aspect of our lives, soon it will be "shrinks" regulating our every move too. As societal pressures soar, that ever expanding business of psychiatry gets more societal automatons to manipulate through its dubious industry. Of course to the "shrink" community, we're all crazy and in need of this medication or that one. After all, Pharmaceutical companies need the business.

Every year more and more psych majors are graduated and join society, and we all know they need jobs in their field of study. In the minds of the liberal commie left, the only thing worse for the social order, than an unemployed social worker, or lawyer, is an unemployed psychologist or psychiatrist.

I don't know, somehow I have my doubts about people who cure crazy people. Maybe, just maybe, they're the craziest loons in the nut house.

26 posted on 11/27/2005 4:23:48 PM PST by MensRightsActivist
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To: neverdem

Anyone who is crazy enough that we can't trust them with a gun is crazy enough that we can't trust them outside a high security sanitarium. There are plenty of things as dangerous as guns.


27 posted on 11/27/2005 4:30:59 PM PST by Brilliant
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To: elbucko; yarddog

elbucko I share your concern and I think the NRA has the solution - after background checks are completed all the data are to be destroyed. You're right that rights are very important but without life we have no rights to enjoy. yardog - If a person is designated mentally deranged by competent mental health professionals it can indeed be the case that he may be unable to safely and responsibly handle an auto or a knife. But practically speaking it's impossible to keep non-incarcerated people away from knives or cars. Also, every psychological evaluation is not a yes/no situation. Certain people may be perfectly capable of driving but not of being entrusted with a firearm. This is the reason that we have professional evaluations in the first place - to determine precisely what an individual's psychological capacities and parameters are. E.G. the garden variety nuerotic, depressed, or mildly disturbed may be perfectly able to drive safely and handle knives. But let's have the experts make a determination. In point of fact we can't function socially without such safeguards - they may not be perfect but the perfect shouldn't be the enemy of the good.


28 posted on 11/27/2005 4:43:39 PM PST by T.L.Sink (stopew)
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To: T.L.Sink

The exercise of basic human rights should not be left to the whims of government. Having to prove I am not a criminal or insane before I can purchase a gun is despicable. Absolutely despicable.


29 posted on 11/27/2005 5:06:44 PM PST by yarddog
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To: NormsRevenge

I think this article merits a 'Barf-Alert'. The AP has just profiled all law-abiding gun owners as being mentally impaired.


30 posted on 11/27/2005 5:11:16 PM PST by golas1964 ("He tasks me... He tasks me, and I shall have him!")
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To: T.L.Sink
but without life we have no rights to enjoy.

Without rights, life may not be worth living, to crudely paraphrase Winston Churchill. This issue is where the rubber meets the real hard road, not just in the nice to have category. This isn't cocktail party chat.

If a person is designated mentally deranged by competent mental health professionals..
But let's have the experts make a determination...

Yes, "competent professionals"...(/sarcasm)
and.. "expert..determinations"..(/sarcasm)
Why of course, lets trust the Anointed Ones with our freedoms and our lives.(/sarcasm)

I wouldn't trust your formula for gun control without requiring at least two psychological and one other opinion being required for a person to be denied their 2nd. Amendment rights. The bar of self defense should be no lower than the bar for treason!

I'd rather take my chances with the armed and crazy than shrinks with the power to deny citizens their rights upon only one "opinion". No matter how "expert" that opinion may be. You're bringing a can of grease to a slippery slope!

31 posted on 11/27/2005 5:47:04 PM PST by elbucko
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To: elbucko

Since you'd rather take your chances with "the armed and crazy" than a "shrink" you'll have plenty of company if the competency tests are eliminated. By the way, that kind of competency judgment is never based on a single opinion.


32 posted on 11/27/2005 6:57:24 PM PST by T.L.Sink (stopew)
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To: T.L.Sink
elbucko I share your concern and I think the NRA has the solution - after background checks are completed all the data are to be destroyed.

Assuming that actually happens. Government agencies have been caught holding on to information on gun purchasers that was supposed to be destroyed. There's only one way to ensure that that doesn't happen, and that is to not let them have it in the first place. (think of it as an "abstinence only" program)

If a person is designated mentally deranged by competent mental health professionals it can indeed be the case that he may be unable to safely and responsibly handle an auto or a knife. But practically speaking it's impossible to keep non-incarcerated people away from knives or cars.

You can keep kids away from cars, why not insane people? I think it'd actually be easier to keep them from cars than from guns, because guns are so much smaller and less conspicuous.

Certain people may be perfectly capable of driving but not of being entrusted with a firearm.

That's really splitting hairs, now. It really comes down to one thing: Is he capable of understanding the moral consequences of his actions? If no, then he shouldn't be on the streets. If yes, then it's his responsibility to know what he can and can't handle, and he's at all times responsible for whatever he does. Sure there's a small risk that someone might lose control and kill someone, just as there's a small risk of dying when you drive on the highway, or engaging in any number of activities that we do every day. But I don't think you have a full appreciation for the much larger risks to our freedom that are incurred when government has ANY power to snoop into who does and does not own weapons.

33 posted on 11/27/2005 8:03:16 PM PST by inquest (FTAA delenda est)
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To: inquest

You make some good points and I probably didn't make clear some of my comments. "Insanity" is a very complex matter and has great variations and manifestations. You are correct in saying that a person should be aware of the consequences of his actions - the legal definition of sanity. But in a trial court the prosecution and defense both call in psychologists, psychiatrists, etc. to present their data to a jury who must decide. A person can have a certain type of mental illness that can allows him to drive and function "normally" in many circumstances. But because of a serious psychodynamic dysfunctionality that same person can't be trusted with a firearm. It gets very complicated and we rely on specialists and experts to give us their views. I agree with you about our personal freedoms but nothing is absolute. We know from personal and historic experience that freedom without any restraints or inhibitions results in a loss of freedom -- because the anarchy and chaos that ensue result in an extreme reaction. I cherish the Second Amendment but the best way to lose these freedoms is to impose no discipline or restraints upon our behaviour. To allow certifiably deranged people to acquire firearms and turn our society into Dodge City will only result in a loss of freedom for those of us who can responsibly possess firearms. That's why I said earlier that we'd only be giving the anti-gun people the pretext they're looking for. If "anything goes" then eventually everything does.


34 posted on 11/27/2005 8:54:30 PM PST by T.L.Sink (stopew)
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To: T.L.Sink
We know from personal and historic experience that freedom without any restraints or inhibitions results in a loss of freedom

But we're not talking about having no restraints, now are we?

To allow certifiably deranged people to acquire firearms and turn our society into Dodge City will only result in a loss of freedom for those of us who can responsibly possess firearms.

Please think about what you're saying. It's only been for the last four decades or so that the federal government has taken an active role in restricting firearm ownership to the "right" people, and its restrictions have increased over time. Now prior to that time, was our society like "Dodge City"? Has it been getting more, or less, like that since that time?

And in any case, I don't think anyone's here advocating allowing certifiably deranged people from possessing firearms. What I, and I think most of us are saying, is that sane people shouldn't have to prove that they're sane in order to exercise their basic rights, and that certifiably deranged people should be taken off the streets. Those who can function normally for most tasks, have the ability and responsibility to decide what types of things they can't handle. Or if government is to decide that they shouldn't have firearms, then at the very least, the burden should be on government to show that they're not to be trusted with them, not on sane people to show that they can.

35 posted on 11/27/2005 9:18:26 PM PST by inquest (FTAA delenda est)
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To: inquest

Perhaps we're quibbling over semantics but you said people shouldn't have to "prove they're sane" in order to exercise "basic rights". I think that certain rights are also privileges that are not absolutely conferred on anybody who wants them with no questions asked. I think you prove my point when you say that it's been in the last four decades that restrictions have been on firearms. This is because it's been realized that no restrictions caused more problems than having some. To go back to the tedious example example of the auto - I have a right to drive a
vehicle but it's also a privilege and I have to "prove" I have at least a minimum of competence by being required to take a written and driving test and proving I'm a certain age. Life is filled with situations in which we have to "prove" our worthiness to exercise certain privileges. If we think about it that's what we spend alot of our lives doing. Here in FL we have concealed-carry privilege. This isn't given to anybody who walks in the door. And as pro-gun people we're glad that's the case. One has to establish he's got no felony record, is mentally competent, and has a modicum of knowlege about firearm handling and safety, as well as what the law is pertaining to this permit. Our worst nightmare would be to see this privilege lost by allowing any boob to pack a pistol regardless of his background, behave irresponsibly, and thereby deprive us all of the privilege. The high standards required assure us all of more security and safety and by screening out the incompetent protect gun rights for the larger society. Nothing is perfect but these standards benefit us all.


36 posted on 11/27/2005 10:37:16 PM PST by T.L.Sink (stopew)
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To: T.L.Sink
"I think you prove my point when you say that it's been in the last four decades that restrictions have been on firearms. This is because it's been realized that no restrictions caused more problems than having some."

No, it's because its been four decades since the mental institutions were closed by the Kennedy Administration at the encouragement of the American Psychological Association. If your looking for causality, that's the time and place to start. Forty years ago we let the loonies out! One of them shot Kennedy.

"To go back to the tedious example example of the auto - I have a right to drive a vehicle but it's also a privilege....."

You don't have a right to drive a vehicle, its not mentioned as a "right' in the Constitution and neither is the automobiles contemporary in time, the horse. Furthermore, your equivocation and confusion of a right with a privilege shows just how much you do not know the difference between the two concepts. There are differences between a right and a privilege and they are very important.

"The high standards required assure us all of more security and safety.."

Ah yes, the security and safety bargain, or as Ben Franklin defined it: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety".

Are you willing to place equally high standards on the professional experts that are making the determination of the suitability of an individual to poses a firearm?

"Since you'd rather take your chances with "the armed and crazy" than a "shrink" you'll have plenty of company if the competency tests are eliminated. By the way, that kind of competency judgment is never based on a single opinion."

These competency test will NEVER include the input of a professional who owns a firearm and is in favor of the 2nd. Amendment from a political perspective. The hearings that you describe are mere formalities to give the appearance of "due process" to otherwise predetermined outcomes. Without an advocate of the 2nd. Amendment present and with authority, these are just kangaroo courts for the Violence Policy Center. Let's just put the Klu Klux Klan in charge of civil rights, shall we?

Look, I have no argument with your good intentions to keep guns out of the hands of the crazies so their actions do not result in the total abolition of guns in the USA as in Britain. But I must point out that the road you recommend is fraught with the good intentions that lead to perdition. In your scenario guns could be banned by simply declaring any one who wants to own a firearm insane and leave the 2nd. Amendment impotently intact.

37 posted on 11/28/2005 8:55:18 AM PST by elbucko
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To: T.L.Sink
I think you prove my point when you say that it's been in the last four decades that restrictions have been on firearms. This is because it's been realized that no restrictions caused more problems than having some.

Have we been having more problems before or after the restrictions went into effect? What problems were we having at that time, anyway? The 1968 GCA was an emotional response to the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy (even the Brady Bunch doesn't dispute this). Hardly the "Dodge City" that you were talking about earlier.

38 posted on 11/28/2005 9:24:08 AM PST by inquest (FTAA delenda est)
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To: PROSOUTH
I'm an LEO and I am also a former FFL holder that has some knowledge of both sides of the fence on this topic.

Perhaps I simply misunderstood your post, but what I understood from it was that cops were on the "other side of the fence" from FFLs. Colloquially, that means "opposed to," as in Democrats being on the other side of the fence as Republicans. Now, FFLs want to comply with the law, but they want to sell guns to people, and therefore it is in their interest for guns to be legally purchasable by people. If cops are "on the other side of the fence" - what must that mean about the police position on the question?

It appears that this isn't what you meant - if true, I'm glad of that.

39 posted on 11/28/2005 1:20:22 PM PST by coloradan (Failing to protect the liberties of your enemies establishes precedents that will reach to yourself.)
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To: T.L.Sink
Most important, those who oppose such testing only provide more ammunition for the anti-gun crowd.

So do folks who think "Shall not be infringed" says. "Shall be infringed whenever common sense says it's OK". Common Sense is the favorite catch phrase of the gun grabbers.

40 posted on 11/29/2005 4:40:35 PM PST by El Gato
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To: PROSOUTH
The thing about a persons mental condition is that in order to be refused "Permission To Purchase" which is what the federal form is for and not "Registration of a Firearm" is that you have to be Judicially Restricted from firearm purchase.

No you don't. As you indicate earlier, you just have to fit into some catch all category. Domestic Abuser. The Courts have upheld that law, which does not require anything other than a routine restraining order, boilerplate in Texas divorce cases for example. The same would be true of mental health holds if Lizard Face and the Brady Bunch get their way on this one. The basic framework would be in the law, but the rules would be written by the BATFE. Care to predict which side would get the benefit of the doubt. Any hint of "mental problems" and you'd be barred.

I'm pretty sure most of those who voted for the original "Domestic Violence" (Lautenberg amendment) gun possession ban did not intend that military and police be included while on duty, but that's the way the law was enforced.

41 posted on 11/29/2005 4:49:23 PM PST by El Gato
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To: inquest
Now prior to that time, was our society like "Dodge City"? Has it been getting more, or less, like that since that time?

It's been getting less like the *Real* Dodge City, and more like the Dodge City of the dime novels and the moving pictures.

42 posted on 11/29/2005 4:56:23 PM PST by El Gato
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To: T.L.Sink

"Let's have the experts make a determination..."

Hi TL,

No, let's not. The experts have royally screwed things up so far, consider me an anti pseudo-intellectual. Appeal to authority regarding basic rights is not a good idea. The point about driving, voting, and firearms ownership is irrefutable, precisely why you'll rarely hear it even brought up in a public venue.

The rise of a multi-billion dollar "I'm depressed so give me drugs" industry bring


43 posted on 11/29/2005 5:18:43 PM PST by Freedom4US
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To: El Gato

"The thing about a persons mental condition is that in order to be refused "Permission To Purchase" which is what the federal form is for and not "Registration of a Firearm" is that you have to be Judicially Restricted from firearm purchase." Prosouth

"No you don't. As you indicate earlier, you just have to fit into some catch all category. Domestic Abuser. The Courts have upheld that law, which does not require anything other than a routine restraining order, boilerplate in Texas divorce cases for example. The same would be true of mental health holds if Lizard Face and the Brady Bunch get their way on this one. The basic framework would be in the law, but the rules would be written by the BATFE. Care to predict which side would get the benefit of the doubt. Any hint of "mental problems" and you'd be barred."El Gato

Domestic Abuser is not deemed a mental condition on this form but a separate cause added at a later date, yes you are correct, there are other reasons for denial, but the mental aspect has to be placed on your record by the court stating that you are prohibited from ownership and not just because you had a simple stress related cause for treatment at some time or another.

It's like me asking you if you have ever driven while intoxicated verses have you ever been convicted of driving while intoxicated? The difference is that while both are the same subject the latter is a recorded conviction that provides restrictions or revocation to your drivers license. Same comparison to the mental question on the ATF Form, have you ever had treatment was not the question, but have you ever been restricted ownership by a court of law.

My point was that many people who attempt to purchase a weapon interpret the question as that any mental treatment is reason for denial and fill the paper out with incorrect information resulting in the denial of permission to purchase. This is one of the times when being truthful and the question being unclear creates the incorrect answer. PROSOUTH


44 posted on 11/29/2005 5:31:38 PM PST by PROSOUTH ( Deo Vindice "God Will Vindicate")
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To: El Gato

Common Sense was also the favorite "catch phrase" of Tom Paine when he enumerated the principles of freedom before the American Revolution. It's got some remarks that are a propos to my post. When you inply that people with whom you disagree are "gun grabbers" you show a little deficit in the "common sense" area yourself.


45 posted on 11/29/2005 5:49:18 PM PST by T.L.Sink (stopew)
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