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“It seems that every time we have some sort of mass shooting in our country it is eventually reported that the suspect had mental issues. If law enforcement had access to those records obviously we believe some of those tragedies could be stopped. We are strong supporters of Second Amendment rights but guns and mental illness are a dangerous and unpredictable combination.” – Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale in Alabama blocking more mentally ill residents from buying guns under 2013 law [at al.com]

56 Responses to Quote of the Day: Sweet Home Alabama Edition

    • How bizarre would it be to hear someone say, “We are strong supporters of the 19th Amendment, but…”? Or, “We are strong supporters of the 13th, 14th, & 15th Amendments, but…”?

      • Actually, cops and prosecutors (calm down, I used to be a prosecutor myself) probably DO use that one.

    • I believe strongly in the right to vote, buuuutttt, there should really be a test at polls to weed out low-information voters who are ruining the country by putting self-serving and poorly qualified politicians in office.

      >.>

      • Well technically there is no blanket “right” to vote in a Federal Election. Some states have it enshrined in their state Constitution for state held elections, however.

    • Okay I am getting a bit peeved with this bovine fecal matter. What the heck is the matter with you people? First and foremost I like my guns, and I want to keep my guns. That is the bottom line. I want to keep my guns. And if it means that some nut cake that talks to his dog can’t have a gun then GREAT! He can’t have a gun. If it comes down to me and him I choose me. I am beggining to wonder just who you people are working for. Gun rights or the anti gun groups. You sure aren’t doing the gun owners any favors. So let me put some things into focus for all the “Everyone diserves to have a gun” group. First: The Second Amendment is not bullet proof, and if you are under the impression that it can’t be shot down then you are totally delusional. At some point peple are going to get tired of nut cases shooting up our schools, malls and shopping centers, and the politicians will happely strike the Second Amendment. Then like it or not they will take your guns from you Either quietly, or from your cold dead hands it won’t matter to them and when they show your dead body on the 9 o’clock news it won’t be as some patirot defending the Constitution but as violent criminal. It won’t be the liberals that cause us to lose our gun rights but the gun owners themselves. And really? I don’t know which is worse the anti gun lobby or the gun owners themselves. If we don’t change our way of thinking and start being forward in our thinking we are going to lose our guns. And we the gun owners are going to be the main reason for that loss. I know there are going to be those “Tisk, tisk” posters who will tell me how wrong I am, and how badly I am mistaken. Well frankly I don’t want to hear it. I know a cliff when I see it and no amount of bluster is going to convence me it is just a small step.

      • First of all, understand this; in times past past, EVERYONE (referring mostly to white males …. at the time) had the right TKBA; that is except if one were in an insane asylum or in prison. Now, however, because of leftist legislation, true felons are returned to the street, and thanks to Reagan, the looneys are turned back onto the street, hopefully with their meds.

        So, the system does work if judges and politicians adhere to it.

  1. we believe
    In fairy tales.

    some
    Awesomely vague measure of success or failure. If everything remains the same they’ll still call it a win.

    could be

    The sum of fairy tales + vague measure of success.

    So the police want more information and more power and promise nothing for the trouble.
    We just went through this garbage in NH with a prescription database. The cops came out and pretty much said the database would do absolutely nothing to curb drug abuse but they need it anyway.

    If you let me look up your skirt every Thursday I promise to try to do all I can to possibly reduce the number of chance lion encounters you may or may not experience.

    • Thank you, sir, for a morning chuckle.
      This is what the other side lacks. A sense of humor about the issues. Why so serious?

  2. Keeping people that have been involuntarily committed for being a danger to themselves or others from purchasing guns is a bad idea?

    • In a perfect world? Not necessarily. In a world filled with vindictive family members, hostile neighbors, crooked cops, endless bureaucratic loops and hoops, activist social workers, and politicians who hate you just because you are you? Yes, it is a very bad idea.

    • Letting people who are a threat to themselves or others walk the streets freely is a bad idea. If they are such a threat as to warrant stripping them of their constitutionally protected rights.

      Besides the more power you grant our overlords the more opportunity for abuse.

  3. The problem with this is the antis use this to ban guns from as many people posible. And how do we define mental illness adhd?seasonal depression these are the people that the antis would take guns from not just those with paranoid schizophrenia. This guy might really think he is pro gun but he is too foolish to see the sadist trap

    • “…And how do we define mental illness”

      THIS!

      Who is in charge of the definition of ‘mental illness?’

      Because right now the list includes things like Claustrophobia and Anorexia. Being afraid of closed spaces or having an eating disorder are not, generally, sufficient reasons to limit anyone’s rights.

      • Did you read the article? We’re talking about people denied “because a probate judge has involuntarily committed them to a mental institution and deemed them a potential danger.”

        Not claustrophobics..

        Not anorexics.

        Not paranoids.

        • Yes, I did read the article, thank you for asking.

          And the question still stands. Who gets to define what is “mental illness?”

          Because if you accept that your rights can be restricted because of a mental illness you better have a very clear definition of what that actually is. And more importantly you better have a really strong mechanism for accepting or denying changes to the definition.

          You and I know we are talking about a certain level or type of mental illness, but to accept the term ‘mental illness’ is a recipe for disaster because there are way more things under that umbrella than you would ever think.

          For example…. How many anti-gunners accuse the people of the gun of having some sort of fetish about guns? Look up “Fetishistic Disorder.” It would only take a couple of anti’s with the proper credentials to start diagnosing and there goes our second amendment rights, gone with nothing more than a prescription pad and pen.

        • But I think you’re missing the point. We aren’t talking about prohibiting everyone who has been determined to have any form of mental illness from purchasing a firearm. These are people who have behavioral problems that are significant enough to get them involuntarily institutionalized as being dangerous. That’s not an easy bar to get over.

        • “…We aren’t talking about prohibiting everyone who has been determined to have any form of mental illness from purchasing a firearm. ”

          *WE* aren’t. We accept the idea that those who have been Adjudicated as Mentally Incompetent/Incapable are having their rights restricted.

          It is the *Adjudicated* part of that statement that I am aiming at with my comments…. Due Process of Law and all it entails. If you are put on whatever list, is there a mechanism to get off the list. The State should have to prove your Guilt, the Medical Profession should have to prove your Illness. And there better be a mechanism to correct wrong information.

          From the linked article…. “Jefferson County Probate Judge Sherri Friday…said she would rather have someone ask to have their gun rights restored rather than risk something like Sandy Hook happen. “The outcome could be so bad that I think we need to err on the side of prevention,” she said.”

          That is a problem. They want to put the default setting to guilty. It is better you prove your innocence, your sanity as it were, rather than the State or Medical Professions prove your guilty.

          This is what I am trying to say…. just calling it Mental Illness and saying it is better to limit you, just in case, is a problem. A serious problem that we need to be paying attention to. Close attention!

    • Yes, this. Since I have winter-onset SAD, does this mean my guns should be confiscated around Thanksgiving and not returned to me until March? (Or does it just mean I should up my Vitamin D dose?)

      • Good luck to anyone going after *your* guns, Wendy…

        They’ll have better luck taking a pork chop from a pit bull.

  4. I’m seeing a disturbing trend where pro gun people and the NRA want the state to determine how and when unincarcerated people who have not yet done anything criminal can buy guns. Are we getting stupid because it’s obviously undesirable for crazy people to be among us.

  5. Well, that is the best “I support the second Amendment, but …” sentence, ever. It’s absolutely true.

    How to address it, however? That’s a tough little nut.

    And of course mass shooters are mentally I’ll; mass shooting is not a rational act. In the real world, there’s no valid, compelling reason to do it. Non compos menti is a given.

    Well… a NAMBLA convention, maybe. But nothing else. Probably.

    • Actually it’s not that tough to fix. Mental illness is completely unpredictable by nature so any attempts at fixing it or regulating it is an exercise in futility. You “fix it” by having every able bodied man and woman tool up and then eliminate all gun free zones. Problem solved – mostly.

      • I agree, but that’s not what I meant. Armed staff would’ve curbed the mess in Newtown, but not prevented it.

        What I meant is that an understanding of the mind comparable to our understanding of a Chevy ain’t going to come easily, and until we have that maniacs will have to shoot a few people before they are stopped.

        Doing the best possible job is the tough nut.

    • Ha! A mass shooting at a NAMBLA convention. Could we set up some bullet proof glass and sell tickets to that? Maybe sell some popcorn and beer?

  6. And what would an “investigator” who might *at best* have a bachelor’s degree in a completely unrelated field, or at worst a month in a “police academy” do with highly pejorative mental health records?

    Would they smear innocent people with the brush of “mentally ill” to get otherwise unobtainable warrants? Would they quote terms that neither they nor a magistrate understands as a basis for searches and seizures? Would they sacrifice even a penny from their asset seizure programs to provide anti-psychotic drugs to those they arrest who need them? The record on denial of proper medical care to inmates is pretty awful here for us being a “first world” country and all..

  7. Look. NOBODY with half a brain wants guns in the hands of dangerous people, myself included. That said, we need to use a little common sense here.

    The issue of mental health in the world today is, to grossly understate it, difficult. There are no clear-cut boundaries, mostly because our understanding of how the human brain functions is so limited.

    Yes, I DO want to stop the dangerously ill from getting access to weapons. Unfortunately I don’t see any way of doing that that won’t also either trample on the rights of others and/or have the potential for abuse by a government that seeks to disarm its subjects at some point in the future. Given that information, all I can do is err on the side that protects the rights of American citizens. Yes, this means that some people who probably shouldn’t have access to a firearm are going to have access to firearms. The good news is, so will everyone ELSE–so maybe if they decide to cause trouble, they’ll be stopped before they get started.

    Right now, that’s probably the best we can do.

    • I agree with your assessment. Prior to the 1960’s or so it was much easier to commit a person to confinement in a mental hospital. There were abuses, to be sure. So, our society (read Progressives) decided that the proper correction to the abuse cases must be to allow most mentally ill people to be at large in society with little to no supervision. It was – and continues to be – a social choice without clear-cut boundaries. So long as it remains society’s decision (deliberate or implicit) to allow mentally ill people to remain at large, society accepts the risk of their violent acts. It is impossible to deprive the mentally-ill access to guns, knives or subway rights-of-way without also depriving the sane those same facilities. Shall we have a background check as a prerequisite to access a subway station? (Imagine a NICS-check machine at each subway turnstile!) To use a kitchen knife? The single implement to which freemen have a Constitutionally-secured right is the one most intensely regulated.

  8. Everyone who jumps on this mental health vs the 2nd Amendment should be repeatedly reminded that one of the main ways the USSR had to silence people who criticized the government was to declare them mentally unstable and put them in a “sanitarium” until they were “cured.”

    It is too dangerous for this guy to have an AK, what would happen if he started telling folks…..

  9. The answer to people with “mental issues” who decide to commit mass murder is simple: a fair number of us “sane” people walking around in public must have the means to stop such a mass murderer instantly.

    It is a fool’s errand attempting to predict and prevent every possible way and every possible person who will commit mass murder. All we can do is respond to the unthinkable. And since We the People are everywhere, it only makes sense that We the People should be the first line of defense against mass murderers. That said, We the People must have the option to be armed and use deadly force, if necessary, to stop a mass murderer.

    Last night I saw video of a car crash that immediately erupted in flames. A truck driver who saw the crash had a fire extinguisher and immediately put his fire extinguisher to use: he most definitely prevented severe injury to the crashed vehicle occupants. That man, one of We the People, was the real first responder. In the same manner, people at the intended site of a mass murder event are the real first responders and they need the option to have and use a firearm to minimize injuries and loss of life just as the truck driver had the option to possess and use a fire extinguisher to minimize injuries and loss of life. Anything less demonstrates disdain for human life.

    • Well U-S, after our bout yesterday, I am surprised that I totally agree with you on this one. It’s like the thing about handing out guns to all the passengers on an airliner, to prevent hijacks. Of course I wouldn’t go quite that far, but, It’s obvious that a lot of lives could have been saved, in our schools and the community, had the surrounding populace been armed!
      By the way I replied to your bodybuilder scenario.

  10. I agree with him entirely. I once had a guy get his M-16 taken away in Iraq and get served with a “do not arm” order to prevent him from having a gun because the guy was a mental case. One day he decided to be funny and take someone else’s gun. That wasn’t funny at all.

    So I agree. You can be for gun rights and still filter out the nut jobs that don’t need a gun just as much as you believe in freedom of speech but have laws about slander and libel. You can be for freedom of speech and click “skip ad” on YouTube.

  11. But but but…they have us sign the 4473(?) so everything be good. Heck I wish I had all the answers. Mostly what I see is folks not getting mental health treatment because of the “scarlet letter” that they might get. And people wonder why Robin Williams didn’t telegraph his desire to die…

  12. “It seems that every time we have some sort of LAWMAKING in our country it is BLATANTLY OBVIOUS that the LAWMAKER had mental issues. If WE, THE PEOPLE had access to those records obviously we believe some of those TRAVESTIES could be stopped.”

    Fixed it.

  13. we need to come to a consensus on how to balance mental issues with 2nd amendment rights. we can either lead/be a part of the conversation, or we can be dragged along behind it.

  14. you know your cleo is a bs dbag when he comes on stage wearing a suit and not a gun. the sheriff of my county wears a uniform some days and western style dress clothes most and he always carries a gun. he also publicly announced is position on gun control, “but” wasnt in the speech.

  15. Never mind clear cut boundaries and the other straw men tactics typical of the guns for everyone crowd. How about we just start with the plain as day, off the charts crazies? Cho, Holmes and Loughner each had no business walking the streets, let alone possessing guns. You guns for everyone people refuse even to acknowledge that, let alone do anything about it. That’s why we keep having these spree shootings and that’s why our gun rights are constantly in peril. Unless and until we’re willing to deal with the out and out crazies, we’ll continue to lose the PR battle.

    We can all sit here smugly self confident that we’re in the right, we have the right and the facts are all on our side, but the ice is melting under our feet. The demographics are conspiring against us. More and more people are growing up in urban environments, attending public schools, and being indoctrinated with antigun hysteria. Fewer and fewer people are growing up with any experience with guns. Then there’s the changing ethnicity of the country, toward people with long histories and cultures geared toward anti-individuality, submission to authority and acceptance of de facto caste systems.

    Wake up, people. Start addressing problems like the stark raving mad loonies out there, or you’re just going to hand the antis more ammo to use against you and your rights.

    • Troll, yes, but I’ll play along….

      “.. Cho, Holmes and Loughner each had no business walking the streets, let alone possessing guns.”

      That much was very clear.

      *After* the fact.

      Some sort of cliche about hindsight being perfect……

      What would you propose to limit the ‘off the charts crazies’ that doesn’t also limit the ‘normal’ people?

    • So are “stark” and “raving” medical qualifiers…?

      Don’t think it’d be as easy as you think. Old man across the mountain likes to sing Johnny Cash songs to trees , sometimes dances in his yard. I know he owns a shotgun, though, and has never hurt anyone. Really doubt he ever will

      What’s the line between “stark, raving mad” and “eccentric”?

      Am I “crazy” because I sometimes get depressed?
      Am I “crazy” *simply* because I own 18 AR pattern rifles and that’s “clearly too many”?
      Am I “crazy” if I dye my hair purple? Wear a skunk hat while shopping at Krogers?

      This is the problem. “Obvious” isn’t just quantitative. It’s also qualitative. And a soon as things get qualitative, drawing lines gets real messy; and it becomes more of a map than a line.

  16. 2nd amendment does not say “Shall not be infringed, but.” Therefore if I hear a “but” everywhere in connection to right to bear arms, no support from me.

  17. I support the Thirteenth Amendment, but sometimes a guy needs a helping hand and can’t afford to pay for it.

  18. “guns and mental illness are a dangerous and unpredictable combination”

    How about pills, knives, fists, hammers, cars, power tools or propane and mental illness? These are also dangerous and unpredictable combinations. Our right to be armed is protected by our constitution. We live in a free country with over 300 million people and over 300 million privately owned firearms. Is this a dangerous and unpredictable combination? Legislation creating new felonies will do nothing to mitigate the risk of violent acts by those who are mentally ill, criminals, irresponsible or just plain stupid. We have accepted and dealt with these risks for over two hundred years. What is the justification for denying rights to thousands or millions of citizens today?

  19. He probably ought to run and review the results of a mandatory Psych Eval on his own department first. That would solve a LOT of problems before they became problems, IMHO.

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