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The Va Tech shooter's mental health status would have raised some garish red flags were it not for loopholes in the background check protocols which have since been closed (in Virginia; I don't know about nationwide).
Mental health professionals are already required to report patients who present a risk to themselves or others, so the wide net you're worried about already exists.
To the extent that counseling professionals are equipped to make mental health evaluations and gunmakers are not, what responsibility would you have the manufacturer assume and how would it be implemented? How would you eliminate a manufacturer's conflict of interest, evaluating customers who would otherwise contribute to its bottom line? Should car makers screen its customers for substance abuse or epilepsy? If not, why?
Lewi writes: "Interesting that kind of registry and that level of responsibility would be placed on the counseling professions but not the gun industry."
Assigning gun manufacturers/sellers the responsibility for mental health evaluation is about as sensible as making car companies/dealers liable for the carnage done by drunk drivers. Mental health screenings should only be conducted by counseling professionals; there should be zero involvement from industrial producers/vendors – whose principal objective, after all, is to sell more soap. If professionals assigned to the task are perceived as agents of the state, so be it. I don't see any way around it.
Any meaningful legislative initiatives would necessarily impose severe restrictions on a any number of constitutionally guaranteed liberties. Va Tech – the worst of the mass shootings, in terms of body count - was perpetrated by someone with severe, documented, and life long mental illness. If ever there was a candidate for involuntary commitment, it was him. So do we trash his 5th Amendment rights under the Liberty Clause in the interest of public safety? Or do we chalk up the 32 he murdered and 17 he maimed as the price of individual liberty? Or do we follow the President's advice and make sure that only criminals and agents of the state will keep and use guns; that ordinary Americans be stripped of their 2nd Amendment rights and submit to mandatory confiscation, like the Australians he lauded in his remarks last night?
Charles Krauthammer made some cogent observations in the wake of Newtown, and they remain relevant.
What's 'DUI per se'?
Thanks for the heads up!
I gave my dad a .38 for Christmas, to commemorate the acquisition of his concealed carry permit. No background check was performed, which makes me a lawbreaker. Dad too, I suppose.
I didn't mean to suggest that background checks in general were not required prior to the measures that Hickenlooper & Co. force fed to us - background checks have been required nationwide since 1993.
Background checks - even between private parties - are now mandated by one of the ridiculous laws that got those witless legislators tossed out a couple years ago. If memory serves, better than 90% of Colorado Sheriffs announced publicly they had no intention of enforcing either statute.
As increasingly left leaning as Colorado has become over the last decade, it is nonetheless encouraging that voters are still willing and able to put their collective foot down, as they did when they anointed a pair of state senators Colorado's first-ever recalled legislators - a direct response to shoving a pair of useless gun control measures down our throats. A third state senator resigned rather than face her constituency's wrath.
Obama DoJ Report: Since 1993, Murders Using Guns Down 39%, Violent Crime Down 70%
CDC Study commissioned by President Obama: Use of Firearms For Self-Defense is ‘Important Crime Deterrent’
I'm guessing they didn't run that one by Preezy before they released their findings.
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