ACLU Finally Finds a Gun Control Bill It Can Oppose

The forces of gun control never rest in the Golden State. There are always more taxes, more regulations, more restrictions that can and must be enacted in order to further limit Californians’ right to keep and bear arms. Along those lines, the Sacramento Bee has published a list of five pending gun control bills to keep an eye on before the legislature adjourns at the end of the month.

▪ SB 1100, by Portantino, raises the age to purchase all legal firearms from 18 to 21. Californians are already barred from purchasing handguns until age 21.

▪ SB 1177, also from Portantino, places new restrictions on gun purchases and bans anyone — with the exception of law enforcement and licensed gun dealers — from applying to buy more than one firearm in 30 days. Existing law prohibits anyone from applying to purchase more than one handgun in 30 days.

▪ AB 1968 by Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell, establishes a lifetime ban on gun ownership for anyone who is involuntarily admitted to a facility for a mental health disorder, and considered a danger to themselves or others, more than once in a year.

▪ AB 2888, introduced by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, allows co-workers, employers, high schools and colleges to request a gun violence restraining order against employees or students who attended in the last six months. Currently only family members and law enforcement can pursue a gun violence restraining order against someone. If granted, the individual’s guns would be temporarily seized and they would be banned from purchasing new firearms.

▪ AB 3129 by Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio, D-Baldwin Park, creates a lifetime ban on gun ownership for anyone convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. The bill applies only to convictions on or after Jan. 1, 2019, and is not retroactive to prior misdemeanor offenses.

Our friends at the American Civil Liberties Union have always had a difficult time acknowledging the existence, let alone the legitimacy of the Bill of Rights’ second entry. In fact, for all intents and purposes, the ACLU officially abandoned the right to keep and bear arms as a constitutionally protected freedom to be defended back in March with this policy statement.

So imagine our surprise when we read that . . .

The ACLU is not against the bill that raises the age limit to purchase firearms, but does find problems with imposing restrictions based on mental health.

“This bill stigmatizes people with a history of mental health issues, and perpetuates the harmful and false stereotype that such people are inherently violent and dangerous,” the organization wrote in an opposition letter to the author’s office.

True enough. As the ACLU correctly points out, lumping all individuals with a diagnosed mental illness into a single classification of potentially dangerous people is not only lazy, but it also isn’t borne out by the evidence.

As Duke University’s Professor Jeffrey Swanson pointed out, people with diagnosed mental illnesses are, statistically speaking, no more dangerous than the rest of the population.

Research on the relationship between gun violence and mental illness shows that the vast majority of mentally ill individuals are not violent or suicidal. Our group at Duke recently published a study of approximately 82,000 people diagnosed with serious mental illnesses in Florida between 2002 and 2011. We found that those with serious mental health disorders with records in the public behavioral health system were no more likely than the general adult population in Florida to use a gun to harm others (about 213 vs. 217 gun crimes per 100,000 people per year), and they were only slightly more likely to die in a gun-related suicide (about 13 vs. 9 gun suicides per 100,000 people per year). Thus, people with mental illnesses are no more dangerous to others when they have equal access to guns.

Having the ACLU come out against even this one infringement on the 2A should be seen as the small victory that it is. The fact that they’re only opposing a proposed gun control measure because it happens to adversely impact an often stigmatized, misunderstood minority of the population is probably just a happy coincidence.

 

comments

  1. avatar jwm says:

    Too bad that violating human and civil rights is not a criminal offense.

  2. avatar wake says:

    The ACLU has also just written a condemnation of Gov. Cuomo’s illegal power move against guns and the NRA in new york, using thre power of the state to coerce banks and insurance companies into dropping business with gun related entities

    so that’s nice, though they went out of their way to mention in the statement that they support most gun control

    1. avatar Michael says:

      They maybe have seen the light, and know and now fear, God-fearing Gun owners and our History who won and no do not want to repeat history( Civil War)!

  3. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Anytime the leftists fight leftists, I am happy.

    1. avatar SurfGW says:

      Hope leftists go broke fighting leftists!

    2. avatar Mikial says:

      Amen to that, Brother! Evil feeds upon itself.

  4. avatar Rocketman says:

    As I was reading the description of the bill and saw it, I said to myself “Yea, AB 1968 is the one that the ACLU will have a problem with.”

    1. avatar whoopie says:

      And the reason the Left would oppose barring the mentally impaired from owning a gun is simple: They like it when some crazy uses a gun to wreak havoc because it gives them the excuse to impose even more gun control. When the ACLU supports the right of sane, law-abiding people to own guns I’ll sit up and pay attention.

      1. avatar Michael says:

        If you remember and can still find on YOUTUBE the Sunday FOX News Morning talk show with Chris Wallace and Wayne La Pierre interview after Sandy Hook, Was Wayne’s response back to the emotionally charged anti Gun anti-NRA Host how to fix the problem is in the HIPPA laws. and then Ex VP Pierre revealed to Wallace,who persuaded CT lawmakers not to pass law to include all mental Records of all American Citizens in CT that there Record of Mental evaluations that this person is clear to possess own and buy-sell, all legal firearms, or he may be dangerous to himself and or society be included in the NICS system and who in hell stopped the Bill, Oh Non other then Hypocrite ]Chuck You America Schummer convinced them to Chuck the Bill. Leaves ones mind thinking, the left wing socialist Democrats Like Schummwer have a mental disorder?

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Leaves ones mind thinking, the left wing socialist Democrats Like Schummwer have a mental disorder?”

          Yes, liberalism is a mental disorder. And it can get us all killed.

  5. avatar Rocketman says:

    It also might be interesting if all gun owners in New York State would vote for Cynthia Nixon in the democrat primaries. If she would win the nomination then send her a e-mail telling her the reason that she won was because Cuomo crossed the line with gun owners and tell her to keep that in mind when she’s considering new gun legislation.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      And she would ball that letter up and throw it away prior to signing new restrictions on.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        The crazy witch could not possibly be worse the Cuomo.

  6. avatar Tony says:

    Lumping everyone together into an “average” to make a comparison such as “the mentally ill are no more dangerous than the average person” is illogical.

    The “average person” shouldn’t include felons or the mentally ill. Compare the three groups separately if you want to see if mental illness is a risk factor for violence.

    Then turn the conversation to how much of a statistical risk of possible future bad behavior makes it ok to remove someone’s rights.

    What if for instance we found that exceedingly tall people were as much of a danger as nonviolent felons or misdemeanor domestic abusers?

    Would we strip people of their rights based on their height because statistics tell us they are X% more likely than average to do something bad?

  7. avatar Jeremy B. says:

    AB 1968 and AB 3129 are already federal law, or am I missing something?

    Look like you’re “doing something” without actually doing anything.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      It’s called doubling down to protect against the possibility that the federal law is repealed. Same reason that California has its own version of the GFSZA.

  8. avatar Gun Owning American says:

    The ACLU just doesn’t want all the dem politicians to be disarmed.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      You are depending on very sophisticated audience to grasp your meaning.

      Nicely done.

  9. avatar Bil says:

    ACLU also supported Trump when he rolled back the mental health restriction on gun purchases in Feb ’17.

  10. avatar DaveL says:

    There’s a difference between somebody who’s mentally ill and somebody who’s been judged mentally incompetent, or a danger to themselves and others. You can have a mental illness if you have an irrational fearof spiders, feel compelled to flip every light switch three times, or have a tic that makes you wink compulsively. A “danger to themselves or others” is just what it says. If people judged a danger are no more likely to commit violence than the average person, it means the people making that determination are quacks.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      psychology, and even psychiatry are inexact sciences…and frequently involve nothing more than a subjective determination of someones mental status…they’re not the end all/be all experts as they are frequently…and mistakenly…ascribed…

      1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

        The one that comes to mind is electro shock therapy,all the rage at one time in accepted medical history.

        1. avatar DaveW says:

          Electro shock works with depressive illnesses like bi-polar. Early uses involved high levels for longer periods. It’s use today is doing just as well at low levels for brief periods.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Someone like Hillary could find a “doctor” to declare that all of America, or maybe all people who wish to own guns, are certifiable, and gun control would finally be real. So easy! Let’s not let it be that stupid.

        1. avatar Howard A McClellan says:

          You couldn’t build a nuclear power plant that could produce enough electricity for shock treatment that could make crazy liberals like Killary Clinton or Maxine Waters or the one Trump calls Pocahontas sane.

        2. avatar DaveW says:

          As Feinstein has done when she stated that no veteran should ever be allowed to own a gun because they all are mentally ill with PTSD. She clearly displayed her lack of knowledge about the illness and about veterans. Not all veterans were ever in combat. Civilian victims of assault, major vehicle accidents, witnesses to crimes, etc., can all be subject to PTSD.

          I have informed Feinstein of this on many occasions only to receive a response in which she says we must agree to disagree and that she is proud of the number of criminals she has prevented from obtaining military assault weapons.

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    So the commies at the ACLU are defending the rights of the mentally ill. That’s not ACLU altruism, it’s merely self-preservation.

  12. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    ACLU were big on closing asylums and putting crazy people back on the streets…
    families should be responsible for them…but we know how that works many times…
    so many people survive now that would have died early deaths even just a few generations ago…

  13. avatar GS650G says:

    CA is a lost cause. We need to contain it like Chernobyl.

  14. avatar Cruzo1981 says:

    Academically Challenged Leftist United is a waste of human potential…

  15. avatar dwb says:

    ACLU has been against restricting rights of mentally ill people for decades, going back to when they forced institutionalized “mentally ill” people to be freed.

    If they are dangeous enough to have their gun rights restricted they belong in an institution or jail. The consequence of the ACLUs position on mentally ill people results in dangerous individuals roaming free with guns while the rest of us cannot defend ourselves.

    I am fine with a high bar before locking people up, but at the same time, citizens need the right to defend ourselves against the inevitable dangerous individuals who cannot be locked up because the burden is not met, yet.

    1. avatar Howard A McClellan says:

      If there crazy like liberals Maxine Watters and Trumps Pocahontas or Killary Clinton and there found insane by a judge lock up but only after due prosses of law. Crazy people like the for named people have rights too.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I see what you’re going for, but what makes you think a judge knows squat about whether someone is criminally insane, or not? Especially if the subject is medicated while in the courtroom? The correct answer remains to allow a crazy person’s potential victims to be armed, so that they can protect themselves. Then, if they choose to remain unarmed, we can say, “too bad, so sad, oh well!” if they are harmed.

  16. avatar Hannibal says:

    They’d be okay if only crazy people could legally own guns. They figure it’s the best way to get to the 2nd Amendment getting repealed entirely.

  17. avatar FlamencoD says:

    These are all horrible infringements, but AB 2888…just…wow. Awful.

  18. avatar skiff says:

    I thought that the ACLU couldn’t count to ten.

  19. avatar Will says:

    Proving once again that even a broken clock is right twice a day, the American Criminals’ Litigation Unit falls on the correct side of an issue. At least once.

  20. avatar Alan says:

    Where hides the ACLU of California or the ACLU in general regarding protecting the Second Amendment Rights of the LAW ABIDING CITIZENRY, what is sometimes known as The Silent Majority that somehow manages to live within the law, strange and seemingly without reward as that effort might appear or actually be.

  21. avatar Woodrow Short says:

    It still amazes me that the libtards never consider the mental health issue of a person. Who is their to make sure that that person takes their meds? What we need is more mental health hospitals to keep them in. But many years ago the left wing lawyers said that is was cruel keep them there. Now you have an epidemic of homeless people on the streets. Maybe we should make the lawyers take them in to there homes to look after them.

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