How Can the Mentally Ill Be Prevented From Buying Guns? – Question of the Day

Earlier this week a Cazenovia, New York gun shop owner didn’t like what he was hearing from man who wanted to buy an AR-15. Xiaoteng Zhan, a Syracuse University student had told a friend that the “dark side” was pushing him to buy a gun and that “I might use the gun to cause trouble,” Zhan said, adding, “I have been preparing.”

The shop owner, John Laubscher, refused to sell Zhan the gun and called the local sheriff with his suspicions. Besides the cryptic comments to friends, further investigation revealed that he had also acquired a supply of ammunition and a bulletproof vest. Zhang has since been sent back to China.

That’s a win for the good guys. And these kind of situations — firearms dealers who smell something fishy and turn away a potential customer — happen all the time. They’re just not typically reported.

But gun store owners aren’t shrinks. All they can do is rely on their Spidey senses to tell them when something doesn’t look or sound right.

After every prominent shooting, the calls go up from both pro- and anti-gunners that more must be done to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. But what does that look like in practice?

What constitutes mental illness? Depression? PTSD in a returning vet? Grief at the death of a spouse? Hearing voices?

Who makes the call as to whether this individual is safe, but this one should be prohibited? If an individual is deemed too dangerous, but gets successful treatment, what’s the process for getting his or her gun rights back?

You see the problem(s) here. No one disputes the fact that guns in the hands of the mentally ill is a bad idea. But how do we prevent that without infringing on the rights of tens of thousands of other Americans? Any bright ideas?

 

comments

  1. avatar strych9 says:

    Considering that every person on the planet displays some symptoms of something and we’ll display more from time to time, it’s a very difficult nut to crack.

    1. avatar anonymoose says:

      And that’s exactly what the grabbers are aiming for. They want to make “mental health checks” mandatory, and as soon as you walk in the door, the shrink will say you’re crazy because you want to have a weapon for any reason, and therefore you should be barred for life from owning weapons.

      1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

        You got it, Yossarian.

        1. avatar Rick the Bear says:

          That’s where I went when I read the headline.

        2. avatar Flinch says:

          Anyone else run into an unstable guns shop employee? I have.

          Seems unless the potential buyer/seller is publicly unhinged, the chance of it turning out good is slim.

          Almost hardly worth putting it on the radar. Gotta be careful what kind of over-the-counter magic is preformed in the gun store. Playing this gatekeeper card will only end in gun shop liability for items sold. Run away, I tell you. Run!

        3. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “Anyone else run into an unstable guns shop employee? I have.”

          Well, I haven’t. Yet.

          Quite a few assholes, though. The cure for that is easy.

          I walk the fuck out, with my money. And spread the word…

        4. avatar ComfortablyNumb says:

          “Got another 4473 for you to look over, Doc Daneeka.”

        5. avatar Chadwick says:

          Great book and even greater lesson!

        6. avatar LarryinTX says:

          I have run into a range owner who was very far off balance, if you get my drift. Real bite, too, damn nice private range, pay $5 and shoot all day, rifles, pistols out to 400 yards. Mostly never had an RSO, though, somewhat worrisome except I grew up shooting without safety supervision.

      2. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Long ago, I was a volunteer for a community service. As it happened, so were three psychiatrists. One day, at lunch, I asked if the shrinks were ever “off”. Meaning, did they ever stop evaluating every contact as a potential patient. The three psychs looked at me, with one declaring, “No”. So, I asked if they thought everyone had a mental disorder of some sort, an issue (or four) that needed treatment. The answer was a chorus of “Yes”.

        Then one of the psychs said it is quite simple to make a diagnosis: if one is always punctual, there is likely a disorder of obsessive/compulsive disorder at work; if one is always early, paranoia is the driving factor; if one is perpetually late, it is proof of an anti-social personality that revels in defying convention (rebelliousness).

        But maybe what gun owners have is a moment to declare and support a zero-tolerance stance. Regardless of the underlying “mental” problem, if one takes any sort of medication, or submits to “therapy” to deal with it, automatic “No Buy” list. No exceptions. No review. No restoration (if the person shouldn’t be trusted in the first place, how can society know they are really “cured”?).

        Then we wait for someone on the “No Buy” list due to a “mental disorder” to illegally obtain a military level weapon, and kill a bunch of people. Then POTG launch a non-stop, all outlets, 24/7 media assault on the gun grabbers, blaming them for not having a solution for illegal possession of a weapon of war, that is only made to kill people, with a thingy that goes up in the back, and uses high capacity clipazines that shoot one hundred rounds per second.

        1. avatar anonymoose says:

          Adam Lanza was already that guy.

        2. avatar neiowa says:

          Pshrinks and chiropractors – Evreryone needs them as a “treatment” provider (urgently), treatment is never completed, if it was completed then no ore gov’t/insurance income. Actually same as any gov’t program. Funny how that works out.

        3. avatar Darkman says:

          Seems to me by their own admission/diagnosis they are mentally unstable as everyone has something wrong with them. Thus how can an unstable doctor be trusted to make a diagnosis of the stability of another person. This whole discussion/argument is what is commonly known as a Catch 22 scenario. If everyone has a mentally unstable characteristic. Then no one can be trusted to do anything without fear of mental defect.

        4. avatar Sam I Am says:

          If you are afraid to fly combat missions, you are not crazy, and you must fly.

        5. avatar pwrserge says:

          Yeah… I’d rather not take away the weapons of a stalking victim suffering from an anxiety disorder… but then again, I’m not big on letting women be raped and murdered.

        6. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Let’s all remember that the fact that you’re paranoid does not mean they aren’t out to get you.

        7. avatar AH says:

          Wow, so much horse shit… I think the shrinks are the crazy ones.

          For example:
          “…if one is always early, paranoia is the driving factor…”
          No. It has with respect, responsibility, and the the ability to choose.

          Not to mention, they consider the only three possibilities to be mental disorders. By their definition it is impossible to be mentally stable. That has got to be the most absurd thing I’ve ever read.

        8. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “By their definition it is impossible to be mentally stable. That has got to be the most absurd thing I’ve ever read.”

          I appreciated their honesty in admitting that psychiatry is not science, that it can be abused, and the public should be aware of those two facts.

      3. avatar CS says:

        Background Checks and Mental Health Checks for any and all book purchases. Because knowledge is the most powerful weapon of them all.

      4. avatar MilitantCentrist says:

        At best. If I had a nickel for every time I saw a comment classifying the mere interest in guns as a mental illness, I’d have a sock full of nickels to replace the handgun they don’t want me to have.

    2. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      How about we start with the low hanging fruit then?

      Virtually every spree shooter who has a mental illness, wasn’t just a little anxious om flights and wasn’t just more than a little creeped out by dolls. They’re off the charts wacko amd everyone knew it, but did nothing.

      I’m not looking for a panacea that scales up to a full national review of every last person. I’ll settle for folks dropping a dime on the weirdest of the weird and we’ll go from there.

      Or not. Contine balancing your guns and some psychos’ freedom on one side, while the government and the people of America balance lives on the other side. You’ll lose, hard.

      Zimmerman here’s jackwagon attitude–“Any bright ideas?”–typifies the sanctimonious head up the rear end mentality of most POTG. You people are going to smartmouth your way into disarmament.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “You people are going to smartmouth your way into disarmament.”

        So, help me out here.

        You are the type person who thinks the second amendment should have “reasonable” exceptions carved into it (maybe you believe the amendment confers a right from government, to the people). To be logically consistent, you must also believe that “reasonable” exceptions can be carved into the thirteenth amendment, as well. I would really be interested in your ideas on which “reasonable” exceptions those would be. The “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted” is a specified exception in the amendment itself.

        Following the line that the second amendment is subject to a never-ending expansion of exceptions, you must also endorse the principle that the thirteenth is also subject to a never-ending expansion of exceptions. (there is a logical disconnect within the thirteenth amendment itself)

  2. avatar MamaLiberty says:

    Condemning anyone as “mentally ill” is the perfect slippery slope for government to disarm many millions of people. Read this book if you want to get a better idea just what “mental illness” really is, and how few are any threat at all.

    The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct
    by Thomas S. Szasz

    The most influential critique of psychiatry ever written, Thomas Szasz’s classic book revolutionized thinking about the nature of the psychiatric profession and the moral implications of its practices. By diagnosing unwanted behavior as mental illness, psychiatrists, Szasz argues, absolve individuals of responsibility for their actions and instead blame their alleged illness. He also critiques Freudian psychology as a pseudoscience and warns against the dangerous overreach of psychiatry into all aspects of modern life.

    1. avatar Bloving says:

      At some point, we as a culture need to come to terms with what mental illness is – and what it isn’t.
      For example: being depressed or anxious about the severe stresses in ones life can be considered an emotional illness… but like the flu or a cold it is a temporary illness that can be “gotten over” and treated. Is that person “crazy”? No. Nor are they necessarily a danger to themselves and should not be denied their civil rights.
      What about a returning veteran dealing with the traumas of combat? We’ve seen plenty of examples where a few went way off the deep end and hurt themselves or others… but most don’t. Do we make their treatment or institutionalization mandatory? How damaged should we let someone be until we do make their treatment mandatory? How do we deal with anyone who does not want treatment and won’t cooperate?
      No easy answers. But one if the first steps will be to stop using the term “crazy”… No one wants to be labeled with that and it simply makes those who probably need help avoid seeking it.
      🤠

    2. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Just make sure you’re not buying into one of the Scientology front groups in their crusade against mental health.

    3. avatar Martin B says:

      It only took me a few months into a Psych 101 course to realise that what we were “learning” was to be impressed by a bunch of perceptual tricks that showed we shouldn’t trust what we see or hear, and that there was little or no actual scientific rigour being shown within the psychiatric community. In other words, they didn’t really know what they were doing, but they knew enough to part patients from their money and convince government officials that they were “professionals”. In even more other words, they were a bunch of frauds. That opinion has not changed, though thankfully I have had very little exposure to psycological methods or practices since. The huge increase in the number of documented psychiatric “illnesses” without any effort in the slightest to identify the origin or correct treatment of these alleged illnesses, is proof of the collusion between the psychiatric and the insurance indutries.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        I know we are way off the path here, but….mental health.

        Have a relative with long history of depression. Treated fairly successfully with anti-depressants. Has to change from time to time because the meds “quit working”. Which I found to be a curious concept. Everything I have heard or read over the decades indicates that depression is a genetic problem, rather than an environment problem. Which is also curious.

        So, I stumbled across an internet news item a few months back; German study on depression. The conclusion was that if depression was genetic, why don’t the meds “work” permanently. Based on today’s gene science, the study claimed, anti-depressants should be able to target depression better. Notwithstanding genes are often in a unique combination per individual, there is a notable amount of commonality. It should be possible to identify specific genes (or groups) that present in depressed patients (the symptoms for depression are almost universal). The upshot of the study was that genetics are irrelevant, and environment (nurture) is at the root.

        I thought the study was interesting, so I got my relative to do genetic testing designed to predict which drugs would be most effective, especially over the long haul. The testing was done (~$500) and the results listed thirty anti-depressants and “boosters” that “should be effective”. The recommended course was to keep trying to find something that worked better than before, but at least now, the doctors could eliminate several drugs from trial. Yes, after the genetic testing, the search for a long-term effective anti-depressant remained “trial and error”, but with a somewhat smaller group of drugs to try.

        Did the experience with genetic testing “prove” the German study was correct (depression is not genetic)? Not making that claim here, but the episode was attention-getting.

        Maybe talk therapy would be more successful if the shrinks proclaimed, “Get over yourself. Take responsibility for your life, and do the things to alter your thinking that have proven effective in so many others.” But I guess, in the end, even though it may be that depression is not genetic but behavioral, refusing to change one’s thinking is a mental disorder.

  3. avatar Michael in AK says:

    Define when mental illness begins and ends in a human….

    that said, the 4473 form asks the question so one could argue mandated reporting by institutions that treat mental illness on an in-patient basis would be a place to start.

  4. avatar Helms Deep says:

    Any such discussion must recognize The Mental Health ” Industry ” itself has problems of Fraud and mis-diagnosis.

    ‘Everywhere you turn, you see “OCD, ASD, MDD, ADD, ADHD, BPD, GAD, PD, SAD, PTSD, NPD,” etc. The problem is not limited to this acronym soup, but the pseudo diagnoses they represent. ”

    ” The one I like the best is the renaming of ‘manic-depressive’ to ‘bipolar.’ Instead of a name which accurately describes the states of suffering, it was turned into something mechanical — a battery with two poles. We’ve gone from something human to something Frankensteinian.
    But fear not; we have psychoactive drugs that will correct the imbalance in your genetically damaged brain. We have antidepressants for your depression; Benzodiazepines for your anxiety, amphetamines for your ADHD, anti-psychotics for schizophrenia, antidepressants for your OCD, etc.

    ” You’re crazy ! ” ….. ” No , I’m not. ” …… ” Ah yes , denial , that Proves you’re crazy ”

    ” Who Will Watch The Watchers ? ”

    https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/04/psychiatric-diagnosis-is-a-fraud-the-destructive-and-damaging-fiction-of-biological-diseases/

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    Add a new question to the 4473: “Are you now or have you ever been a registered Democrat.”

    Problem solved.

    1. avatar Michael in AK says:

      ^^^^^^
      there You go….

      So if they become libertarians or republicans they are “cured”?

      Lol

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        Perhaps but typically “libertarian” is 95% pothead.

        1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

          And 95% right wingers are superstitious conformists. They think their omnipotent but undetectable deity wants everyone to be like them.

        2. avatar Red in CO says:

          The greatest scam in history was when one caveman went to another and convinced him that “hey, this invisible being in the sky says if you don’t give me that pelt and haunch of meat than when you die you’ll be transferred to a place of agony where you’ll live forever”

        3. avatar rt66paul says:

          Not so, most Libertarians support small government and want to be left alone, hence the “Don’t tread on me!” flags.

          Just because we believe that pot and other drugs should be legal so adults can search for happiness, does not mean we all are potheads. We just believe that the government has no business in our living rooms, homes or on our property.

      2. avatar JeremyR says:

        NO, that is the reason for “Have you ever” in the question.

    2. avatar Pat H says:

      So you would deny gun rights to over half of all Americans??

      Way to protect the 2A.

      1. avatar Mack Bolan says:

        Democrats aren’t American. Hell, at least a third of their voting base is dead or illegal.

        1. avatar anonymoose says:

          Pretty sure my dead mom is gonna be voting for them this November. They’re still sending junk to my dad’s house, her phone, and her email.

      2. avatar JeremyR says:

        Only about 1/3. besides, most “real” democrats would faint if exposed to a firearm.

    3. avatar Nanashi says:

      My dad is a registered dem. He never voted for one in the general election and just enjoys voting against people twice and them wasting money on mailing him. The print quality of the stuff he gets is actually really high compared to what the Republican party sends me.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        {Leftist political shilling, er, ‘advertising’}

        “The print quality of the stuff he gets is actually really high compared to what the Republican party sends me.”

        That makes perfect sense, actually. Leftists are all about image and optics. Case in point – Sending Hollywood actors to testify in Congress. They are fucking actors, not climate scientists.

        While those on the right value what matters most, facts.

        Facts can be communicated with text.

        (Granted, facts with imaging can be compelling.)

        And BTW, I’v got a dad who’s a registered Democrat. And he *never* fails to vote. Democrat…

  6. avatar anonymoose says:

    I am your father, Luke. Give in to the Dark Side of the Force, you knob!

  7. avatar former water walker says:

    +1000001 Ralph…voting to become slaves ain’t right in the head.

  8. avatar Keith says:

    That’s what Obama did to deny anyone receiving Social Security Benefits a right to buy a gun if they received assistance from an appointed guardian to help with financial decisions. Even worse our Veterans were being classified as Mentally ill and denied their right to have a gun after coming back from overseas combat tours and seeking assistance for PTSD and not being declared a danger to themselves or others.

    If we get a Democratic President Like the Senators from New Jersey and California we can kiss the right to keep and bear arms goodbye and there will be gun confiscation and the law enforcement community WILL enforce unconstitutional orders. We saw in North Carolina that Democratic sheriff’s candidate that relished the idea of actually killing anyone who would refuse to surrender possession of any weapon the Government (State of Federal) deemed illegal. His comment was to the effect that from their cold dead hands so be it! I was appalled when I saw that video.

    We are going to have to decide which side we are on and engage in conduct that involves ore than just words. We did not declare war but have no choice but to defend against the war that has been declared against us!! I know my sheriff is an anti-gunner which forced me to set up a gun trust. He is just like the Broward County Sheriff.

    Just remember that the excuses will always be the same: “I was just following orders” or “I am just doing my job”. No where will there be any mention of the constitutional oat each officer and or Deputy took when they took up the badge. The Feds will go all in without any questions asked when it comes to confiscation and Posse Comitatus? Forget about it. Just watch the Waco attacks which involved the use of Army, not National Guard, armor is attacking that house. That entire mess was started by the ATF and then the FBI went all in. Then look at Ruby Ridge where the FBI had no problems killing the wife by sniper.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Don’t forget that ATF kicked off Ruby Ridge as well, killed a child and his dog after hiking 5 miles into the wilderness to attack the place. ATF fucks up, then FBI comes in to kill all the witnesses. That describes both Waco and Ruby Ridge.

  9. avatar Nanashi says:

    Let’s start by adding draft dodgers who got out nam by claiming a “nervous disorder” to the list of prohibited persons.

    1. avatar Pm says:

      No more ted nudgent then lol.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I could go for that.

  10. avatar lookandsee says:

    What is stopping you from being wrongfully declared as suffering from mental illness by a psych with an agenda.

    I had a friend who was wrongfully diagnosed against constant paperwork and evidence he never displayed any symptoms of underlying psychosis and later killed himself because said false diagnosis ruined his life.

    1. avatar John in AK says:

      I”m not attempting any humor, nor do I intend any slight, but if your friend was willing to kill himself because some other person ‘ruined his life,’ then there was, indeed, something wrong with him, mentally.
      Sane, rational people do NOT kill themselves under the delusion that their life is ‘ruined;’ Sane, rational people understand that no matter how bad life gets, the worst option is taking a long-term, permanent solution to a short-term, transient problem.
      “This too, shall pass.”

    2. avatar Pg2 says:

      Nothing. Literally nothing. There are no lab tests to confirm or deny mental illness, so any mental health diagnosis is 100% opinion. What could go wrong?

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Appoint the right Surgeon General, and he could declare all gun owners to be mentally defective, boy, was that easy or what?

  11. avatar TheOtherDavid says:

    I won’t pretend to have a lot of answers here. Many say that the existing standard (ever adjudicated / involuntarily confined) is far too limited, others say quite rightly that markedly expanding the “mentally ill” criteria is a very large and steep slippery slope.

    Look at the Parkland case. A kid who has frightened and concerned enough people about his mental status and potential for violence, that he is banned from being on campus with a backpack is someone who probably should be involuntarily subject to evaluation. But because law enforcement and behavioral health authorities have been too scared to apply even the limited rules currently in place, we’re now staring at a whole list of expanded infringements that through legislation or the initiative process will have the appearance of being “fair, reasonable, publicly supported” and our favorite, of course…”common-sense steps.”

  12. avatar samuraichatter says:

    Who says you need to go to a gun store to get a gun?

    There are plenty of end-a-rounds, of various legality, that do not employ a gun shop. That is why the whole “mandatory background checks” meme seems like theater and increasingly so. Many on this site know plenty of ways to “get a gun” that does not involve the traditional method. The number of ways, and their viability, are growing day by day.

    Technology is a b*tch that will not be stopped. “Access” to the common man is increasing and so is the power to weaponize. Dangerous gadgets , materials, and ways to get them is beyond measure in a (somewhat) free society. If it looks like a game of whack-a-mole its because it is. Just because soccer moms can’t think of ways to weaponize does not mean other can’t.

    1. avatar MamaLiberty says:

      “Just because soccer moms can’t think of ways to weaponize does not mean other can’t.”

      What makes you think that? They weaponize their children, if nothing else.

    2. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “Who says you need to go to a gun store to get a gun? ”

      Yeah, but…

      If we make it harder and harder to legally buy a gun, those crazies will just give up trying. They are unlikely to know real criminals who can get a “clean” gun for them. I mean, you really gotta try to find some street criminal who will trust you enough to do a gun deal.

      And that’s how we “do something”. If we believe taxing something reduces the activity, then the “tax” of onerous process for buying a gun will result in less gun buying among the mentally unstable. And even criminals will run out of supply if legal gun owners stop buying guns. Because retailers and manufacturers will stop providing them at a loss.

      Give peace a chance.

      1. avatar MamaLiberty says:

        That sounds like a plan to create a lot more helpless victims. Self defense is a natural right of all living things, not just a few of whom you approve.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          More helpless victims are good for the country.

          They provide justification for expanded intrusion of elites into the lives of everyone else.

          They absorb enormous amounts of federal funds (without victims, we would have huge budget surpluses, requiring lowering taxes)

          Victims are necessary to demonstrate how just and compassionate the nation is (more victims = more compassion = more social justice = more bragging rights).

          Helpless victims are quite useful.

      2. avatar Hunter427 says:

        What about my rights in your communist society. I don’t trust our government because their job is not to protect me but to govern over me. Do it for the children. Nice slogan

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          What about my rights in your communist society. I

          “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”
          – – CMDR Spock, Science Officer, Federation Starship USS Enterprise

          Oh, and you’re missing the entire gag.

    3. avatar TexasGunGal says:

      Got a nice vintage Colt Detective 38 Special when a guy walked into my favorite gun shop, offering it to the owner. He wasn’t interested but did point me out as a fan of revolvers. Guy wanted $200.00 cash. While I left to get the cash, asked shop owner to run serial number to make sure it wasn’t stolen.
      When I returned got a smile from shop owner so had already passed NICS check on the handgun I’d brought on GunBroker.com, and had already paid for so walked out with two handguns. With 2 only 1 with Federal permission. The Colt is a safe queen, just like vintage revolvers. It’s like an art collection.
      So there are a lot of weapons that are under the radar.

  13. avatar Joe R. says:

    “How Can the Mentally Ill Be Prevented From Buying Guns? – Question of the Day”

    How Can the Mentally Ill Be Prevented From Grabbing Guns, and doing communist POS (D) Fing tyranny? – Question of the Day

    History has shown, thatit’s only by killing them.

    1. avatar DaveDetroit says:

      +1000000

  14. avatar 300BlackoutFan says:

    Imho, the constitution is clear – your rights cannot be deprived except through due process. This means that unless and until someone is convicted of a crime or they are found by a JUDGE to be a danger to themselves (to which a psychologist might be used as an expert witness), then their rights – all of them – must be protected. Does that leave gaps – yes. And it can still be abused.

  15. avatar 61north says:

    There is no 100% solution. We must accept that we live in an imperfect world and just do the best that we can to keep guns away from the wrong people. But realize that mistakes will be made.

    The alternative is a foolish pursuit of utopia and the utopians have killed hundreds of millions of people trying to enforce their ideas.

  16. avatar DerryM says:

    Declaring anyone “mentally ill” because they want to defend themselves against Government Tyranny or Criminal Predators, go Deer Hunting, or just enjoy shooting firearms at inanimate targets, opens the door to expand that label to anyone exercising their other natural, civil and Constitutionally protected rights. That’s not a “slippery slope”, it’s a dangerous precipice. Write a letter to the editor condemning the Government, speak-out in public questioning a City Ordinance or utility price hike, publish a book supporting your choice of religious belief, declare yourself a self-reliant, free individual…any of those things and more, and get declared “mentally ill” because you don’t conform to the “hive mind”.

    As the population grows in a society that prizes personal liberty and individual rights, it has to turn-out that some few people cannot handle their lives and will do terrible things. There is no way to preserve personal liberty and individual freedoms for the majority (and if you notice, the vast majority handles those responsibilities extremely well) without accepting the risk that some few (and those are very, very few) will breakdown and act-out violently (which is facilitated by living in a society that prizes personal liberty and individual freedom).

    The only way to “protect” everyone from the exercise of freedom is to deny everyone the exercise of freedom. This is the unspoken heart of the socialist, liberal, progressive totalitarian view of Human Existence. Fail to understand this and you contribute to the demise of the American Constitutional Republic.

  17. avatar Mike in OK says:

    “How can the mentally ill be prevented from buying guns?” I guess a good start would be to cut off anyone who is a registered Democrat. That wouldn’t stop them, but it would sure slow a bunch of them down. At this point all Democrats are either dangerous psychopaths, or ignorant fools.

  18. avatar Karl says:

    The system is already in place.

    Step 1. Adjudicate them mentally defective.
    Step 2. They can’t have guns.

    The statists problem is they want to make the bar so low your cat can call in on you.

  19. avatar John Thayer says:

    2A civil rights are no different from the rest of our civil rights. They should either be institutionalized or retain all of their rights.

    1. avatar TheSophist says:

      This. +1000

  20. avatar For the Four says:

    If your mental illness prevents you from understanding and/or abiding by the Four Rules, then no gun for you.

    Can’ t tell the difference between your neighbor and the alien sending signals to your brain? That’s a red flag.

  21. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    Truly mentally ill should also not be voting, driving or having children…..just so we are all in agreement on that as well…right?
    If someone is adjudicated mentally ill, their name, DOB and SSN should be submitted to the NICS system to prevent them from obtaining guns through a dealer.
    As for private sales…no way to really regulate that. Just like with illegal drug sales. Virtually impossible.
    If a person really wants something…they WILL find a way…legal or illegal.
    Now…to get all the states to get on board with submitting the information…accurately and timely…

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Sheesh, do you realize how low the bar is for someone to be said to have a “mental illness”? Probably could include the majority of America. Current standard of “danger to self or others” at least makes sense.

  22. avatar JW says:

    The relevant question is not ‘Are you mentally ill?’ but ‘Are you a threat to others?’ No rights should be infringed, even temporarily, without a hearing in front of a judge where you are allowed to make your case and confront your accusers. No rights should be infringed permanently (or for more than a few weeks) without a jury trial. This should be just as true for those accused of mental illness as for those accused of crime.

  23. avatar Pg2 says:

    What is the definition of mental illness? Can it be confirmed by lab tests? If not, how do we trust people’s opinions on who is mentally ill?

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      A lot of them CAN be confirmed by lab tests or a battery of personality tests. (Very hard to fake unless you’re both very smart AND know what you’re being tested for.) For example, paranoid schizophrenics are easily diagnosable (and largely treatable with the right medication). Not a perfect solution, but better than letting thousands of possibly productive members of society live on the streets trapped inside their own heads.

      1. avatar Pg2 says:

        Ok, educate me on this. What mental illnesses can be definitely confirmed or ruled out with lab tests. To my knowledge all mental illness diagnosis is subjective.

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          Paranoid schizophrenia diagnoses can be readily confirmed with a PET scan.

        2. avatar Pg2 says:

          Bullshit. You’re either liar or a drooling idiot.

        3. avatar pwrserge says:

          So now you’re a neurologist? Fuck off.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20237027
          https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-brain-scans-diagnose-mental-illness/

          It may not be sufficient to PREDICT schizophrenia, but it is more than accurate enough to CONFIRM a diagnosis.

        4. avatar Pg2 says:

          Alright you drooling idiot, where exactly in the link you posted does is conclusively show PET scans can confirm or deny mental illness?

        5. avatar pwrserge says:

          Read the paper retard, I even included a dumbed down version for you in a nice luddite friendly article.

          Basically, they took a bunch of scans of people with various mental disorders and a bunch of healthy people. They mixed them up and they could tell which one was which with 100% accuracy. They couldn’t tell which disorders the people had, but they could certainly distinguish them from healthy people.

        6. avatar pg2 says:

          I read the paper. Did you? Your 2nd link supports my statement, not yours, it’s hilarious that you even cited it. Your first link in no way states ANYWHERE that PET scans are used or even able to confirm or deny any mental illness, including schizophrenia. Make some more shit up trollsurge, it’s somewhat entertaining to watch you make false statements then fall flat on your face when you can’t back them and resort to making shit up.

        7. avatar pwrserge says:

          Yes PG2… because clearly a 100% success rate of distinguishing brains with symptoms from brains without is in no way diagnostically significant…

          Where did you get your MD, Clown college?

        8. avatar pg2 says:

          @trollsurge- “CONCLUSION:
          Future investigations integrating clinical, imaging, genetic, and cognitive aspects are warranted to gain a better understanding of the pathophysiology of this disorder.”

          No where in the paper does it state that PET scans can confirm or deny schizophrenia or any other mental illness. You’re making up your own conclusion to the paper that even the author of the paper didn’t make. You didn’t even read the paper, you’re full of shit, as usual.

        9. avatar pg2 says:

          @trollsurge
          Or maybe you missed this from your own link:

          “REALITY CHECK

          Brain scans CAN identify:

          Brain cancer
          Damage to brain tissue or vessels, as well as skull fracture
          Bleeding or blood clots in stroke
          Some indications of Alzheimer’s disease”

          don’t see schizophrenia or ANY mental illness on that list trollsurge. Guess you missed that part, or you didn’t bother reading your own links…..

      2. avatar Og2 says:

        Specifically. Not subjectively.

  24. avatar pwrserge says:

    There is not such thing as perfect mental health just as there is no such thing as perfect physical health. There’s a reason why doctors don’t do full body CT scans even if it wasn’t cost prohibitive. Everybody has something wrong somewhere in their heads or in their bodies.

    I would simply bring back the institutionalization system that worked great for decades. If someone is an imminent threat to others (not themselves, others) then they should be institutionalized after an emergency court hearing where they have a chance to defend themselves and the burden of proof of “beyond a reasonable doubt” applies. (No ex parte bullshit, that’s blatantly unconstitutional.) If a patient is then stabilized, they should be released and get all their rights back. (All records of said proceedings and diagnoses should be sealed.)

    Despite being a rather staunch fiscal conservative, I would even support state funding for these facilities as it would be a hell of a lot cheaper than the damage these people do to society and then the cost of incarcerating them after they kill a bunch of people.

    1. avatar Og2 says:

      You are a troll. Literally. You fool some people here, sad for them.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        You are an anti-vaxer retard. Literally. Fuck off.

        1. avatar Pg2 says:

          No thanks, I’ll stick to facts.

  25. avatar David Thompson says:

    There’s no way to prevent it, unfortunately.

    But there is a way to be ready for it. Train and carry. By the millions.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Don’t be ridiculous. Millions of even the lightest of firearms would weigh tons, just carry a few.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        There ya’ go.

  26. avatar Mike says:

    Practically impossible. Just having a bad day/week/month (for infinite reasons) can make someone “mentally ill” for who knows how long.

  27. avatar Barry Rosenschein says:

    So, the guy was buying ammo for a rifle he didn’t have? It’s like wiping before you poop. Also surprised that gun store is selling AR’s. I thought New York SAFE act made them look strange.

    1. avatar napresto says:

      Probably a law enforcement only version. Many gun stores around here keep those in stock to tease the unwashed masses. NY keeps us especially SAFE (get it?) by dividing us into haves and have nots.

  28. avatar Mick says:

    It’s simple and the same reason why background checks are pointless: If someone is deemed too dangerous to own a gun, then they’re too dangerous to be out in public and should be locked up. Anyone deemed safe enough to be in public is safe enough to be allowed to own a gun.

  29. avatar Leah says:

    Well, New Jersey has mental health background checks built in the to process of obtaining a firearms ID card which you need to buy any gun in state. I’ve had to pass it twice. They basically ask you on a form whether you have ever been hospitalized for mental health reasons or received theraphy and so forth. I’m not sure how that works out practically, who looks at it and makes the call and on what basis. But at least there was no in person evaluation based on potential for pre-crime or something.

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