The weeping wailers are at it again, this time in Oregon, passing laws intended to show their “compassion” and “concern” for those suffering from acute depression. Did they increase the number of mental health beds available in the state[1]? Nope. Perhaps they increased funding to suicide and depression hotlines or approved more spending for outreach efforts and advertising? As if.

According to this article at kgw.com instead of attempting something that might be useful, the Oregon Senate has chosen to demonize guns by passing a bill ensuring that:

Oregonians worried about a loved one committing suicide or hurting someone with a gun should have legal recourse to get firearms out of that person’s hands.

On the surface that sounds almost reasonable. Almost. But, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details, and this bill (sponsored by longtime anti-gun Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick (above) and grieving father Sen. Brian Boquist) has some downright diabolical details.

Let’s start off with their definition of “loved one” shall we?

“Family or household member” means a spouse, intimate partner, mother, father, child or sibling of the respondent, or any person living within the same household as the respondent.

That sounds sort of reasonable, right? I mean if your pacifist Buddhist sister who lives over 1,000 miles is afraid that you might hurt yourself or someone else, she should get a veto on your natural, fundamental, and inalienable, human, individual, civil and Constitutional right to own and carry the weapon of your choice, right?

Or how about that (former) “intimate partner” who’s still ticked off at you for that thing you did in Vegas with her sister and and her best friend. Surely she should have the ability to trump your civil rights. Right?

Better still, how about that estranged husband who keeps dropping by to kick in your door and beat the tar out of you. I’m sure he would have reason to be concerned that you might “hurt someone” (like him) if you are allowed to keep your gun.

But wait, it gets better, because it isn’t just ‘family or household members’ who can request this “extreme risk protection order” (and we’ll get back to that “extreme risk” part in a bit). According to Section 2.(1)A of the bill:

A law enforcement officer or a family or household member of a person may file a petition requesting that the court issue an extreme risk protection order … [emphasis added]

Surely that’s okay, right? Because in this country you can’t be stripped of your rights without the chance to defend yourself, can you? Ha!

Once a petition is filed, the court is required to issue or deny it that same day or the next “judicial business day.” As for getting to tell your side of the story, Section 2.(3) states:

The petition for an extreme risk protection order must be supported by a written affidavit signed by the petitioner under oath, or an oral statement taken under oath by the petitioner or any other witness the petitioner may produce.

Hmmm, I don’t see anything in there about how the respondent must be represented, but they can’t just take your rights away for a trivial reason. Can they?

Section 2.(4)(a-h) lists all the bad things you need to do for the court to consider yourself at risk. As you might expect, the list includes suicide attempts and threats, domestic violence, drug abuse, assaults and so forth. Then all the way down, near the very bottom is the kicker:

(g) Evidence of an acquisition or attempted acquisition within the previous 180 days by the respondent of a deadly weapon

You got that? If, within the previous six months you have attempted to exercise your natural, fundamental, and inalienable, human, individual, civil and Constitutional right to lawfully purchase, a lawful product, that constitutes cause to remove said natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional right.

Finally there is no discretion on the part of the court:

(6)(a) The court shall issue an extreme risk protection order if the court finds … that the respondent presents a risk in the near future, including an imminent risk, of suicide or of causing physical injury to another person … [emphasis added]

So if the respondent is at such “extreme risk,” the court will get them help. Right? Provide referrals to mental health services, possibly arrange for treatment, you know…in general offer support to this person who is so clearly in need of help?

Nope. This person — the one everyone is so concerned about — has to give up their guns, but the bill has no provisions for providing any sort of mental health care to this “extreme risk” person.

That’s OK though, because everyone knows that most suicides are caused by guns, right? I mean the article even says:

Suicides-by-firearms vastly outnumbered homicides committed with guns in Oregon in 2015 … That year almost 77 percent of gun deaths in Oregon were suicides, and 19.5 percent were homicides …

Well there you have it. Although, I wonder just how many non-firearm related suicides were there in Oregon in 2015. It must not be very many, otherwise the legislators wouldn’t be so concerned about guns, would they?

Let’s go to the CDC’s WISQARS Fatal Injury Reports page, agree to their Data Use Restrictions so we can look at state-level data and check the suicide rates in Oregon in 2015. We find that there were (as the article states later) 373 firearm-related suicides. Unfortunately nothing in the article gives you any clue as to total number of suicides for the state.

Fortunately the WISQARS website makes that information readily available. In 2015, in the state of Oregon, there were 389 non-firearm-related suicides, so 51.05% of suicides did not involve the use guns. This is hardly an anomaly; from 2006 – 2015 53.3% of suicides in Oregon involved guns, meaning that 46.7% of suicides did not.

So instead of doing something which could help all Oregonians at risk for suicide — something like passing legislation to somehow improve access to mental health care services — the Oregon Senate has chosen to stigmatize guns. That will make it even less likely that someone who owns firearms will risk losing them by reaching out for help to those state-defined “loved ones” who might be in the best position to provide it.

 

[1] Please note that as a good libertarian I believe that taxes are theft, and the nanny-state has no business providing “free” healthcare or mental health care; these examples are *not* suggestions.

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53 Responses to Oregon Senate Passes Worse-Than-Useless Suicide “Prevention” Bill

  1. Yup. While Trump and the NRA proudly proclaim victories at the national level Bloomie and his cult followers (Read: most of the damn Oregon legislature, and ALL or Portland) are laughing their asses off at the state levels….. Better do some serious house cleaning on ’18 or we are forever screwed!

    • If you live in a state where the majority of voters are left wing radical liberal progressives you’re screwed buddy. I’m sorry

      • The NRA could spend it’s entire budget in Oregon and it would not make a lick of difference. Likewise, Trump could spend 24/7/31/12 there and not make a hoot of difference either.
        Don’t blame them.

    • Stocking the Federal Courts with judges who actually respect the Constitution is a critical first step. Seems to be in progress, courtesy of the President.

  2. They’ve already got this ridiculous thing in Florida already. You can be my neighbor and have a complaint with your other neighbor over something stupid like them violating the condominium complexes rules and you turn them into the complex as breaking the rules and the next thing you know you’re getting served with a restraining order and the police are taking all of your firearms. This happened to a friend of mine who is a nurse and is married to a nurse and his neighbor was violating the condominium complex rules and he reported her at the monthly meeting and this is what he got. A year-long restraining order with confiscation of his guns and his right to purchase a firearm for one year. And a $2,500 lawyer that got it thrown out with the first restraining order that was filed and then the individual met up with these victims groups that surround the courthouse on a daily basis and basically lied and said that my friend the nurse was taking pictures of her young son when in fact he was taking pictures of her her dogs out in the courtyard barking and making noise where they aren’t even supposed to be. So the first judge threw it out and told her she should probably look for another place to live after the victims group thing she filed another restraining order and the judge passed it so he lost his rights over nothing but at least he got to go to court.

    • There is a lot to your story missing. That’s not how restraining orders are issued in Florida. A family member was threatening a neighbor over stuff the neighbor was doing. Cops called out several times. A restraining order was finally issued, but the initial order is only temporary. This one was a week or two. Then both parties have to appear in front of a judge with witnesses and everything. In this case it was dropped and thrown out. So you’re missing a lot of your story and your friend probably deserved it.

  3. The fight to maintain or 2A rights will never end! Each victory is hard won but no win will ever guaranty the end of the anti assault on our 2A rights. The antis are like the Energizer bunny; they keep coming and coming and coming and coming . . . .

    • “The fight to maintain or 2A rights will never end!”

      You got that right.

      I wonder how people would react to the “rationale” behind this Oregon bill if we changed the matter from firearms to gambling:

      Oregonians worried about a loved one gambling should have legal recourse to get all of that person’s money and assets out of that person’s hands.

      All I have to say is, “I am worried that my brother is going to gamble away his paycheck.” and then the courts seize his bank accounts and title to his cars and home. That would not be a violation of his rights, would it.

  4. Clearly unconstitutional, but the useless 9th circuit wouldn’t acknowledge unconstitutional if it was sitting naked in their lap in the middle of a church service. They have NO shame.

  5. So I have some actual, professional experience with liability arising out of failing to take proper steps when dealing with someone with suicidal ideation. If someone is suicidal, they need their guns taken away, sure. But that’s not all. You take away all sharp objects, and all object that can be turned into sharp objects, like glass windows and mirrors. You take away shoelaces, belts, and anything that can be turned into cordage. You take away all drugs, administering anything they need one at a time, confirming that they are not hoarding. You put someone with them who doesn’t leave their side, for any reason- they get no alone-time at all. The list goes on and on.

    Bottom line, if they are suicidal, you do all the things. You don’t just take away their guns and call it good.

    • What year did scribing can only be accomplished in a inpatient locked down unit. the cost to an ordinary citizen to have to safety prove their entire home give me a break now and I know you got good intentions but that is not cost effective. Because once you safety your house which would require you changing out every piece of glass in the windows with a polymer synthetic type of glass and then removing all hazardous materials out of the house I mean including aspirin you take a bottle of aspirin it will be your last headache no joke. I’m just saying this can only be done in a professional medical setting in patient in a locked down unit under suicide watch and then given the right medication so that they can get through it with counseling and everything that else that goes with it this law is not going to even make a dent in the suicide rate. Because if you really want to kill yourself you can use a lawnmower an empty 5-gallon bucket a bathtub a vehicle or just jump off a damn Bridger building there’s nothing that is going to stop you if your mind sent it on hurting yourself. This is a free country and if you want to kill yourself it is against the law but you are most likely probably going to do it whether you get your guns taken away or not.

      • That was supposed to say what you are describing I tried to correct it by editing but I guess it didn’t take.

        • I fear that your language arts teacher may be inclined toward suicide after reading that convoluted paragraph!

      • You’re right- doing it properly requires a purpose-built place. So why on earth is someone in Oregon just taking away guns?

        • Answers:
          – It’s far easier than tackling the deeper problem.
          – It makes them look and feel compassionate.
          – Other people will bear all the consequences.
          – Conspicuous compassion is a powerful virtue signal and status indicator.
          – Guns Are Bad (TM) ‘mkay?
          – People that have guns are bad, ‘mkay?
          – It concentrates power in the hands of approved identity groups.
          – It elevates their moral and social position relative to the proles.
          – The hoi polloi must be guided by their betters.
          – It arrogates more power to their god, the state.

          I’m pretty sure you already knew that, but just in case someone else wanders by…

  6. On October 27, 1997, Oregon enacted the Death with Dignity Act which allows terminally-ill Oregonians to end their lives through the voluntary self-administration of lethal medications, expressly prescribed by a physician for that purpose.

    As Chris Plante, my favorite radio personality, says often: liberals take irony pills every morning.

  7. Isn’t Oregon an assisted-suicide state? If so, that makes this law even more astoundingly useless.

    • Only the Portland and Eugene metro areas are strongly left leaning progressives and they’re of all ages. The rest of the vastly larger geographic area of the state is pretty conservative. Unfortunately, most of the population lives in these two areas. If you look at presidential election maps you’ll see the majority of the counties vote republican for state-wide and national offices. There are just not enough of us to outvote them.

      • Las Vegas (blue)…and the rest of the state (red). Yep, the virus has taken over here as well.

  8. I was once a libertarian. Not any longer. It’s a pointless position to have. Even if a good well intentioned one. We live in a democratic oligarchy. Policy is geared toward the benefit of influential individuals and multinational corporations. That has been studied and proven as factual. The majority of our national policy isn’t for the benefit of average American citizens.

    Our economy is setup to benefit those individuals. This isn’t going to change. It’s unfortunate, but the truth. It will take more than voters to change that. That is why I’m no longer a libertarian. We need a capitalist system not a quasi system we currently have. The best thing we can hope for is a way to break up the wealth accumulated by the top 1/4%. Not people with ten million, but people with 100 million making over ten million a year. They have benefited from the system we can’t change.

    I would love for someone to come up with a plan to restore our system, but I haven’t seen one. Voting isn’t going to change it. As anyone elected serves those individuals eventually. That’s how it is. Maybe I lost my optimism.

    Our founding fathers would be disgusted in the accumulation of wealth in the hands of such a small percentage of our population. Some even knew this would happen if wise men didn’t do something about it. Well no wise men did. The best we can do now is to make the people who benefite from this system to contribute back to the system through very high taxes. Again the top 1/4% not top 1% but a 1/4%. The billionaires.

    If taxes are stealing than I guess you don’t believe in roads, public education, police, fire departments, national defense, government of any size and so one. To me those all provide for a common good for all people. We as a nation gain a lot by having an educated population. We gain from having laws being enforced as best as possible.

    Wouldn’t we as a nation benefit from a healthy population both mentally and physically? I think that’s beneficial too all. Why is college and healthcare not treated the same as K-12 and police? By not having college included K-12 with the huge changes in education required for jobs in my opinion is detrimental to our country’s ability to compete on the world stage. It’s a national concern. It would also help level the playing field between rich and poor which has grown out of control.

    I am a firm believer in individual rights as a founding principal of our nation. I’m not talking about giving up rights for a common good. I’m only talking about a way to balance out a economic system that is geared toward a small percentage of the population at the cost to the majority of our citizens. I know I sound like a fricken commie.

  9. So basically, this law will encourage false accusations by “phantom, and serial harassers” looking to get even with another person within the frame work of a badly written law that deprives another US citizen of their lawful rights to due process of law. Should be challenged in the supreme court it shouldn’t be allowed to stand…For it lacks any merit…And those that engineered it, they should be thrown out of office….And had accountable to their constituency.

      • …”under oath”…and people NEVER perjure themselves…

        “…depends of what your definition of is is…” – William J. Clinton

  10. This is a horrible bill. I GUARANTEE that many people that are on the edge, or need help, WILL NOT seek it now or even divulge they are struggling, knowing one of their constitutionally protected rights will be stripped without any due process. They will continue on down the rabbit hole – alone. They will be afraid to see a shrink for help, fearing repercussions. How dumb are the people that voted for this thinking it will help anyone? Imagine if this same logic was applied to free speech, or any of the other Amendments? This terrible bill will pass the Progressive controlled Oregon house, and will be a mess. This not only takes away the 2A right of folks, but others as well, like illegal seizures of private property. Horrendous!!

    • Which in turn will lead to gun bans cause when no one owns, then no one cares. Basic human nature of never caring about anything that doesn’t affect YOUR life.

    • ” When they can’t ban guns anymore, they start banning people.”

      100 percent correct.

      The goal is to expand the universe of ‘prohibited persons’ to as many as possible.

      I stand by my prediction that they would *love* to make any outburst, like even a screaming match at work, to be grounds for declaring you a prohibited person not responsible enough to possess firearms…

  11. Almost the exact same language is filed in Massachusetts. Part of the Democrat plan to run the world.

  12. Alas, it isn’t surprising that my home state’s legislature cooked up something like this. In certain parts of western Oregon–that is, along the I-5 corridor–many inhabitants are constantly weeping and wailing about the special needs and rights of “transgender” people, the “homeless” (tramps, winos, deadbeats, drug addicts), and Black Lives Matter protesters. They also clamor loudly for sanctuary cities to protect illegal immigrants. Meanwhile, the State’s physical infrastructure is in terrible shape and now there is a huge budget shortfall. In the bigger cities like Portland (where I reside) bodies regularly wash up in the banks of the Willamette River and swarms of filthy beggars run at large and harass citizens. Oh, yeah, and black teen gang bangers regularly shoot up the town but the local news media won’t mention their race because that’s politically incorrect.

  13. Hey, I OFFERED to bring her along on that Vegas trip, but she said something about it being her week to deliver meals to shut-ins, or something like that…

    Her sister’s hotter anyway.

  14. What
    There are no tall buildings in Oregon?
    Or train tracks?
    Or ropes?
    Or razor blades?
    No knives, pills, highways, car exhaust pipes, gas stoves, cliffs, or plastic bags?

  15. From the same place with the “Death With Dignity Act (physician assisted suicide) ?

    That’s rich.

  16. Just about every important point was touched upon in the article, so I feel no need to be wordy here. But, boy… this stuff really, really irks me.

    While I don’t agree with everything that the (entirely-non-monolithic-wildly-diverse) “shooting community” believes or echoes, and I have strong feelings regarding the daily struggle between gun safety and true freedom most of us embrace… even considering the grave responsibilities that all entails, it is really stuff like this that keeps me firmly grounded as a “one issue” voter or Second Amendment “absolutist.” In your heart, you want to believe that these people have the best of intentions. And in your mind, you wanna smack them.

    Living with a whole family of people who’d agree with this obnoxious & sinister bill, and who would salivate at the “common sense” notion of making it a nationwide trend (or why not even a Federal Law?! Common Sense!), I want to believe these people truly want to help society be better. But in the end, it boils down to nothing more than: “I don’t really know you at all, but I know what I believe is right and what you believe is wrong, and so I actually know your kind better than you know yourself, and I therefore assume that my judgment and dominion over you is better and safer for everyone in society, so I hereby appropriate the absolute right to curtail your autonomy and control your destiny. Because Common Sense.” Some of the above commenters’ more succinct quips, I wholeheartedly agree with.

    This pile of nonsense just cannot stand. Anywhere, at all, ever. Regardless the good, humanitarian intentions of people who “just want to help and make the world a safer place,” this sort of bill has to be vigorously resisted at all opportunities.

    So much for not being wordy. But, there’s more to say, surely, because it seems as if such bills are being ferried and weasled along at the expense of any reasonably effective solutions to a whole host of problems concerning crimes & incidents involving firearms. Firmly and politely resist this trend for the right reasons, no matter how “calloused” and “cruel” you might be perceived to be.

    Be safe. But be free first.

  17. Typical lefty progressive IMAGE and SYMBOLISM. Look at me, I did something, I care, look at me. When some poor sole jumps off a bridge or drives a car into a building, etc, then what?

  18. I said it before, and I’m saying it again: Gun control at the federal level is dead, so the hoplophobes are going to the state and local levels.
    We need to shift our efforts as well.

  19. Anyone who still lives in one of these anti constitutional rights states get what they deserve. This is a big country. You can find a job almost anywhere you look. Yes it is a hard thing to have to leave a life you have always loved, but the choice is yours. Be comfortable or be free. I have always chose to be free even when it meant picking up and moving from a bad situation. Remember the choice is always there.

  20. “That year almost 77 percent of gun deaths in Oregon were suicides, and 19.5 percent were homicides …”

    How telling, perhaps a wholesale investigation for the epidemiological causes of depression is in order as serious depression which seems to drive its citizens to suicide would seem to be rampant in Oregon.

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