The death of gun grabber Dr. Vivek Murphy’s nomination for Surgeon General and the lack of “gun epidemic” posts on the interwebz indicates that the antis have been stymied on the guns-control-as-health-care-issue front. At least for now. We may have to revisit that assessment after federal research money for “gun violence” (unleashed by President Obama’s Executive Order) produces a fresh crop of semi-scientific anti-gun studies. Meanwhile, there’s this from Gary Whittenberger at tallahassee.com . . .
Although eliminating mental illness and gun ownership are laudable objectives, they are not likely to be accomplished over the next hundred years. In the meantime we should work together to prevent people with an active and serious mental illness from acquiring, owning and using guns.
You heard right: gun rights advocates should work with people committed to eliminating gun ownership to ensure that people with serious mental illness don’t buy, own or use guns. What could possibly go wrong? Well, let’s have a look . . .
I recommend that we do five things:
1) In a strict licensing program, elevate standards for the acquisition, ownership and use of firearms. Some persons just shouldn’t have guns!
2) Before granting a license for gun ownership, require applicants to pass a three-part psychological screening consisting of a background check, questionnaire and interview with a psychologist. Screen out persons with hallucinations, delusions, paranoia and other significant signs of serious mental illness.
3) Require all psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and other mental health counselors to report to local law enforcement when they are engaged with a client who is mentally ill and who should not be trusted with a firearm. If these referrals fail a new psychological screening, then suspend, revoke or withhold their licenses to acquire, own and use a gun.
4) Require mental health workers to receive continuing education each year in the dangerous combination of mental illness and firearms. 5) Allocate more funding to research in this area.
Question: what constitutes “paranoia”? If someone believes that the NSA is monitoring their phone calls and should be stopped from doing so, that the government is liberty’s active and deadly foe, is that paranoia or patriotism? What if they amass a large collection of perfectly legal firearms while espousing that view?
Who creates the psychological evaluation questionnaire? Who decides whether someone should be “trusted” with a firearm? The people who want to eliminate gun ownership? Even Mr Whittenberger sees the potential for abuse. No really.
If this comprehensive program were to be implemented, some persons who could be trusted with a firearm will be denied a license (known as a false positive error). And some persons who should not be trusted with a firearm will be given a license anyway (known as a false negative error). Perfection is impossible to achieve. But we should do much more to reduce the probability that seriously mentally ill people will use a firearm to injure and kill other persons.
Sure, the program I describe would be costly, but not as costly as doing nothing! The program could be largely financed through fees and taxes incurred during the gun acquisition process.
Like all liberals, Whittenberger believes the ends justify the means. Some people may be denied their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bears arms, but society’s safety is more important than individual liberty. Even though it isn’t. Well, for gun owners.
If there is a road to hell, Whittenberger is blasting down it. You’ll forgive me for letting him continue on that journey without me and millions of Americans who know that the key difference between a crazy person with a gun and a dedicated statist with a gun is the number of guns at his or her disposal.