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Gun crazy (courtesy

“A new law meant to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill has so far stopped 55 attempted handgun sales and caused 65 concealed weapon permits to be revoked, the chief of [South Carolina’s] State Law Enforcement Division said Friday.” The aforementioned officer Keel also told the AP that the new procedure caused SLED to deny 12 applications for concealed weapon permits. This after Keel’s minions entered more than 22,300 names of residents residents “who have been declared mentally ill or involuntarily committed to a mental institution” into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. A few questions . . .

How many of those were false positives or mistaken entries? How many of those prohibited persons are seeking an appeal? What’s the appeal process? The AP didn’t ask, and Keel’s copacetic. “I think it is a huge success,” Keel said of the law. “It’s doing exactly what the Legislature intended it to do.” Which is: revoking the rights of Americans to exercise their natural, civil and constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms without due process.

Guess who’s paying for it? “A $900,000 grant from the federal government, announced last September, is paying for the new unit’s computers and a staff of seven – six for data entry and one for computer technology.” If Uncle Sam is paying for a gun control measure – any gun control measure – I am deeply suspicious of it. To say the least.

At the risk of evoking Godwin’s Law, need I remind you that the first people the Nazis targeted in their campaign of eugenics were not the Jews but the mentally ill? While nobody wants really crazy people carrying firearms, nobody wants truly crazy people on the streets, either. At the very least people who are prohibited because of mental health issue should get a fair hearing as to their current mental condition before their rights are removed. Permanently.

Thin end of the wedge, camel’s nose under the tent, slippery slope, well-intentioned road to Hell – call it what you will. You’d have to be crazy to not to see this “mental health” campaign as a way that antis can continue their campaign for civilian disarmament, without effecting the crime rate in the slightest.

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  1. Every Criminal has his own brand of Crazy.

    Every Sane person has his own brand of Crazy.

    When mental illness is defined by not seeing one party or one ideals view as correct, would that be acceptable?

  2. You can’t be serious. The tone of this article implies that mentally ill people should be allowed to possess firearms. Maybe the South Carolina statute needs tweaking. It appears however, that this editorial disagrees with the fundamental purpose of the law. I see so many rants here and wonder what in the world. However an editorial such as this hands our opposition a “silver bullett” (pun intended).

    • James, I honestly don’t see how you get that from this article.

      The point of the commentary is “Due Process.”

      The danger lies in how easy it is to deny rights (and life and liberty, when it comes right down to it…cf any recent story on “no knock” and its attendant dangers) by the stroke of a pen (or setting of electrons).

      So, I ask you, sir. Are you comfortable with how easy it is for human rights, liberty and indeed life itself can be legislated away?

      • As an attorney with some experience in this area I understand your concern of due process. Commitment proceedings are substantially different today than in the 1930s and 1940s. There is an adversarial hearing where the need for commitment AND necessarily the determinstion that the person is mentally ill must be established.

        As I read the article it questions the “process” without identifying any actual step. This “questioning” then draws into issue the underlying principle of whether a mentally defective person should possess a firearm. Alcoholism and drug addiction are two mental illnesses that should disqualify someone.

        However on my reading of the article since the author questions the process the entire legislative scheme is condemned. In my opinion it would be better to constructively analyze the Aouth Carolina statutes involved and suggest revisions in order to ensure the “due process” with which you are concerned.

        • At the very least people who are prohibited because of mental health issue should get a fair hearing as to their current mental condition before their rights are removed.

          Do you disagree with this suggestion, James?

          • Fundamental due Process requires an adversarial proceeding where the party whose sanity is in issue must he represented by counsel

        • You’re making all sorts of inferences and assumptions without any basis. Read the post again, carefully this time.

        • Ah, very cool.

          The entire legislative scheme IS being condemned – or at least questioned.

          The social underpinnings of laws as a social institution are to reflect the values of society. Sociological theory provides a model of how humans interact in groups, and this model tells us that the legal institution serves the beliefs of right and wrong, NOT to dictate what those beliefs should be.

          This is all upside down now, and it could be argued from a sociological standpoint that that is one reasonably big source of the social problems we have. The legislative process is being used to try to forcibly tell people what they should believe is right and wrong (drug laws, smoking laws, gun laws) rather than being a mere reflection of existing beliefs.

          So, the legislative process is being abused, and this was one of the things the framers of the Constitution really tried to guard against. The checks and balances that exist in the government institution itself are one level of protection, but the spirit of the 10th amendment in essence captures the notion of “consent of the governed,” itself an extension of the notion of the government being represented of pre-existing values.

          I hope it makes sense why this is relevant to this discussion. The mental health and owning firearms laws are overly broad in the sense that ANYTHING can be “legislated” to be a mental health illness.

          As I mentioned in a comment below, exercising school choice can, and has been, called “mentally ill” by some segments of government and collectivists.

          It’s a very dangerous thing, and putting all the eggs of faith in society into the basket of “legislation” is risky at best, suicidal at the extreme end.

          Geez. We only have interwar Germany to see how this sort of thing can play out if it’s not checked VERY early in its growth.

          But all this is a far, far cry from saying “violently mentally ill should be allowed to carry guns at will anywhere and any time.” The issues and concerns do transcend this particular news item.

          • You are absolutely correct with respect to the “moral” underpinnings of laws. Their basis was and should be deeply held societal beliefs in which a substantial majority agree, i. e. Thou shalt not kill. As the basis for a law wanders farther and farther away from deeply held societal beliefs the rationale is les and less understood. Consequently, more people are likely to violate or ignore the law. Of course there is an entire dynamic between parents and children, children and children etc. that informs this as well.

          • “But all this is a far, far cry from saying “violently mentally ill should be allowed to carry guns at will anywhere and any time.” The issues and concerns do transcend this particular news item.”

            Since people aren’t angels (yet), it’s reasonable to have mechanisms in place to ensure that there are consequences for activities that do harm (rape, murder, theft), but yes, “violently mentally ill” should “be allowed to” carry guns at will anywhere and any time.. If this “violently mentally ill” person commits an overt act of violence, then prosecute him for his actions, just like any other criminal. The penalty for theft should be restitution, and the penalty for attempted rape or murder should be summary execution by the intended victim. (see Constitution, Amendment II)

            The idea that anyone can override another’s Free Will based on what the authority believes is inside the other person’s head is a terribly insidious way of inching us closer to totalitarianism.

            I’m particularly concerned about that ‘mental illness’ thing, because I’m obviously a crazy person, possibly the craziest of the lot. But I know I’m a nut case, and I don’t run around interfering in people’s business.

            I like the new Libertarian motto: “Libertarians, slowly taking over the country with our secret plot to leave you alone.”

        • Some people have mental illness, through no fault of their own, just as some have physical illness. That does not make them violent, and I think putting a blanket denial for a gun permit for mental illness is unconstitutional. But then again, you being an attorney, you must think that if you are not perfect, then you are undeserving. Only those with money and are perfect in their own minds should be allowed rights to protect themselves. Just saying Mr. Attorney man, you should not be an attorney IMHO.

      • These names have been submitted by courts under whose authority these individuals have been involuntarily committed. How does that lack due process?

        I often hear, after every psycho spree killing, that instead of passing new laws, the government needs to enforce the laws on the books. And many of these psycho spree killers are raving lunatics with numerous run-in and long histories of psychotic behavior. Well, here’s your chance to applaud the enforcement of the law on thd books. You’re welcome.

        • I agree, and this is the point that James was saying–due process occurs in the commitment to a mental institution–there is an actual adjudicatory process where the patient is represented by counsel, and a judge hears evidence and argument. There is likely some sort of appellate process. This is what due process is all about. And as to anyone denied a permit who claims that there was an error, again there are methods of administrative appeals–due process requires that there be. The author says he does not know what due process is accorded, and seems to infer that there is none, and that this would be wrong. Agreed, not having due process would be wrong–but the lawyers among us assume that there is due process, and are further aware that a civil rights action can be filed to “correct” a lack of due process. In short, the law does provide for due process, one way or another.

          And to all of you who are afraid that “mental illness” could be read too broadly, well, the fact is that a person cannot be involuntarily committed to a mental health facility in this country absent a finding that the person IS a danger to himself or others. That wipes out run of the mill depression, anxiety, neuroses, most mild addictions and a host of other conditions that are pretty common. Paranoid schizophrenia, autism with associated violence (not all autistics are violent, but some are seriously violent), suicidal ideation and/or suicide attempt, those are things that will get you locked away. Let’s add into that separately not guilty by reason of insanity–we have a case here where the defendant is off to the state mental hospital after he murdered two men with a splitting maul. The defendant is a paranoid psychotic who was off his meds. A related category are certain violent sex offenders who cannot be cured of their deviance; the law here permits them to be locked up in a mental health locked facility until their underlying condition is cured, even after their prison sentence has been served. these are people we do NOT want to have possession of firearms.

    • Agreed. After Loughner’s rampage there was talk that banning guns and accessories was silly and that mental health issues should be the focus. We can’t have it both ways.

      • Are you guys missing this line:

        “While nobody wants really crazy people carrying firearms, nobody wants truly crazy people on the streets, either. At the very least people who are prohibited because of mental health issue should get a fair hearing

        {emphasis added}

        • The blog entry said, “Keel’s minions”. That suggests, shall we say, a certain attitude. Now, if that attidude is based on the specifics of SC statute, I will gladly eat my words, but it wasn’t clear if it was or if the questions were asked in a general sense.

        • I read “Keel’s minions” as those office workers (ie, not mental health professionals) who entered the data into the computers.

          What the article asked was how do we know such data entry was done correctly? How do we know the parameters of what defines “mental health?” Could very minor mental health problems be being used to deny rights? At the very least, it’s unclear.

          Just my take…

    • I think the issue here (in general) is that mental illness is so poorly defined, and it’s the kind of thing where the goal posts can move. My bigger concern is that gun owners that really need treatment (think veterans with PTSD) won’t get help because they are afraid of losing their rights.

      All in all, I agree with the above poster that the issue is really one of due process. A temporary restriction until such due process can be completed? Sure, as long as that process is completed quickly and there is a clear method for regaining your rights. But it seems to me most of these laws have no provision for regaining the ability to own firearms once those rights have been taken away.

    • “mentally ill people should be allowed to possess firearms.”

      EVERYONE should “be allowed to” possess firearms. It’s our natural human, civil, constitutionally-protected unalienable right.

      If “the mentally ill” commit a crime, prosecute them like any other crmiinal. Duh.

      Who makes the determination who’s “mentally ill?” You? Der FuehrerThe Psuchopath-in-Chief?

      Welcome to the Slippery Slope!

      I don’t think Godwih applies here – that’s for USENET, not blogs. 😉

      • Godwin CAN be applied to blogs, but it doesn’t apply here because it only applies to INACCURATE comparisons to Nazis….

        • No, it’s not just about accuracy it’s about whether it has relevance. For example, the fact that the Nazis liked the color grey has little or no relation to their jew killing policies. Other countries have worn grey uniforms without going all ‘holocaust.’

          Similarly there are lots of countries with stringent gun control that are not gassing ethnic\religious groups. This is a great example of Godwin’s law and how pro-gun people look like fools and get dismissed by all but other gun people.

      • I’m with you. The chances of being shot, even by a common criminal, are very low if you aren’t a criminal yourself. The odds of being gunned down by a random nut? I don’t have the numbers handy, but I’m thinking somewhere between winning the lottery and having winged monkeys burst out of my ass.

        I’d put the odds of laws like this being abused to disarm people who pose no danger to anyone at right about 100%.

        In the tradeoff (often illusory, anyway) between freedom and safety, we are already far past the point of diminishing returns.

        • Most mentally ill people are not violent, and most violent people are not mentally ill. I think reason showed some numbers on that after sandy hook when some gun owners were trying to throw video games, movies and the mentally ill under the bus to save themselves.

      • Severely mentally ill people should NOT be permitted to own firearms, because their illness makes them incapable of making reasonable, rational decisions.

        No intelligent person would suggest that a 5-year-old should be allowed to have a gun without close adult supervision, would they? So why do we not allow young children to vote, drink, drive, own firearms, etc.? We limit the rights of children, because they are not yet capable of making reasonable decisions. We do this to protect them and society from their bad decisions.

        Then why do you think we should give a gun to a psychopath who has demonstrated a tendency to violence or self-harm? To an adult who has a disease that prevents him from making rational decisions?

        If a person has been committed to a mental institution by a court proceeding, then due process has been used to demonstrate that he is a danger to society or to himself. A court has determined that he was not capable of making reasonable decisions. His rights were taken away after due process.

        We in the gun-rights community are constantly attacking the gun-control complex for their common (non)sense and (un)reasonable restrictions on our gun rights. Well I am strongly pro-gun, but I think that this is a “common sense”, “reasonable restriction”.

        • “Severely mentally ill people should NOT be permitted to own firearms, because their illness makes them incapable of making reasonable, rational decisions.”

          Anyone who can’t be trusted with a firearm shouldn’t be allowed to run loose in society without a custodian in attendance.

    • Even alleged “Crazy people” have a right to defend their life. If they are judged to be dangerous to themselves and others due to an alleged mental illness; after due process; once they have been adjudicated as said dangerous person; then incarcerate them for our safety and theirs.

      Otherwise; you are either making them defenseless and easy prey for a human predator; violating their basic human right to defend their life; or; you are endangering all the rest of us because said crazy; dangerous potentially homicidal maniac can then buy a black market gun and then commit mass murder; or use gasoline and a match to burn down a house with a family inside; use a car to run over pedestrians; ect.

      This is called using “logic”; to take your premise to its’ “logical” extension.

      • What legal or moral principle would justify incarcerating/institutionalizing a “crazy” person, whom let’s assume we all agree shouldn’t have acceess to firearms, but would at the same time allow, say, children (real children, not 17 year old gangsters) to live free lives, despite also presumably universal agreement that they shouldn’t have unfettered access to firearms? Why not institutionalize all minors until they reach the age of majority?

        Is there no middle ground that would allow someone with some mental issues to live in freedom, but without access to firearms?

        • Sure, but those lines will be arbitrary, and we will never agree on where they should be placed. Better to not get laws involved in these instances.

        • What universal agreement to not allow access of minors to firearms? I was eleven years old and had a .22lr rifle in my closet I could take out any time I wanted . I also was driving a big wheel tractor in the public roads hauling our apples from our orchards to the cider factory. If I had needed to defend my family at that time; I would have been fully capable and with a weapon to do so.

          This idea that at some arbitrary age a child suddenly become a responsible adult is an affectation of a culture that makes a young adult stay a child way past any natural or healthy age.

          It is still a delusion that these “children” can’t get access to these weapons; just like the delusion the drug laws keep our children away from drugs, cigarettes or alcohol.

        • Whether the reasoning for any given course of action is arbitrary or simply faulty, these issues don’t just go away. No decision is still a decision. The only real choice to make is how we deal with these people, not whether we do. If we don’t come up with a viable solution ourselves and now, then it’s just a matter of waiting for the next horrific attack and the anti-gunners opportunistically imposing one on all of us.

          • “how we deal with these people,”

            By prosecuting them for crimes they commit. Duh. Why is such a simple concept so hard for you antigun nuts to grasp?

        • The solution is simple ;JH; Until a person actually commits a violent crime; they are innocent until proven guilty; and until they show themselves to be a violent predator on our society; they get all the rights of any free human being.

          There; problem solved; that is the price of being free; all uncertainty can not be taken from life, that’s just the way life is, if you want to live in a free and just society. This is also why I carry a weapon; for those human beings that choose to not live be civilized behavior.

        • Thomas? Don’t be daft. If 11 doesn’t work for you, then 10. Still no? Ok, 9. Let’s just rock it out and say AR-15’s for all 2 year olds, ok? Ohhh, now you agree there does come such an age where it’s irresponsible to provide a gun to a child. Great. Now can we have a serious discussion about this?

          We let kids live outside of institutions, but we legally limit their access to firearms. Why them, but not those with some mental issues? Talk about arbitrary, you’re arbitrarily creating a false dilemma whereby the only choices are guns for crazies, or anyone with any mental issue gets locked up. I’m asking why you don’t apply that to kids. Or is that just too inconvenient to take your own stance to its logical conclusion?

        • JH; Sigh, it’s called training ones children by one parents. My dad had a rifle in the closet that I could pull out at any time from the time I was 5 years old, I also knew where the ammo was for this weapon; but, horrors, my dad had taught me a by that age as to safe gun handling techniques. We also kept the keys to our cars in the ignition, I was big for my age, I could easily sit behind the wheel and reach all the pedals at 7 years old; I could have driven off in any of them and gone down the road; becoming a mass murdering maniac with the car.

          But I didn’t, why? because I was taught by my parents what was proper behavior and being responsible. Why do you think I was shooting a gun on my own at eleven, why I was driving that tractor on my own at eleven? Because I was already practicing shooting and driving responsibly years before then.

          This is what I’m saying JH, we at this point of using government to try to solve these problems because to many parents/parent have given up that responsibility of teaching their children and placed in the hands of the Nanny State.

        • Seriously? I see a lot of you pretend to be pro-2nd, but in reality you are just more statists. More than willing to force other people you don’t know and have done nothing wrong to bend to your will. And if they don’t, you are more than willing to send yet other men with guns to force them to or die. I think the lot of you who agree with this nonsense need to remember David Codrea’s famous saying:

          “If you can’t be trusted with a firearm, then you can’t be trusted without a custodian.”

          Grow up, grow a set, remember what it means to be an American.

        • Oh go sigh your own self, Thomas. You’re fixating on my children/firearms example. You will not find ten reasonable adults, on this site, let alone in this country, who agree with providing five year olds unfettered access to guns and ammo. I’d bet that’s a crime in all fifty states, no matter how expertly the parents have taught their kid.

          The point here is that there does indeed exist a middle ground allowing people with mental issues, howsoever defined and to whatever threshold degree, to live freely in society, but not to have legal access to firearms. Children are just another example of the principle.

          In fact, there are numerous examples of people whom we deem capable of living among us, without having legal access to various things, not just firearms. People are released upon such conditions that they not have contact with their ex, or with felons, or with children. Similar restrictions are sometimes placed with regard to access to computers or cars or alcohol, or even the entire world, as with curfews. The idea isn’t new, cruel or unusual.

          The argument that “oh, they’ll get access anyway, so why release and restrict them at all?” carries minimal weight. Release and restrict provides a tripwire that, should they trigger it, is tantamount to the proof of untrustworthiness you’re demanding. Only this way, we don’t necessarily have to stack up dead bodies first to make the point, and I don’t have DiFi trying to jack my Glock.

          I’m not saying it’s perfect. I won’t claim anything in this world is perfect. What I am claiming is that it’s a helluva lot more rational and practical than the “lock ’em all up, or send ’em on their way with a gun” approach to those with mental issues which you espouse.

        • It’s because of people like you J-H that we have thousands of gun laws, Gun free zones, the war on drugs, NDAA,; There are already laws against murder, rape, robbery and assault; driving under the influence; and you are punished when you actually break any of these laws; that is all the laws we should have. Innocent until proven guilty.

          But people actually break these laws any way; BUT,BUT it’s against the LAW!
          So what do people like you think is the solution; make more laws that try to restrict or hinder a persons ability to commit these crimes in the first place. But; they continue to break the most basic law; don’t commit violent acts against your fellow humans; so more laws, and more laws; usually restricting the favorite weapons of choice; in this case, guns.

          More laws until all law abiding people are outlawed in the keeping and bearing of arms so the only ones able to bear a weapon are criminals and government enforcers.

          Chicago ring any bells as to the end result of the solutions people like you want?

          The solution J-H, is not more restrictions against simple tools; because any tool can be used to injure or kill; a pencil can easily injure or kill a human being, and yet children carry those lethal weapons regularly in school without committing assault or murder.

          So; yes J-H; the solution is to allow all people that haven’t committed a crime to keep and bear arms; until they prove themselves unworthy of our trust and to train our children to be responsible and to allow all humans the right to keep and bear arms to defend themselves from unprovoked attack, even our children; like I was able to at eleven years old.

    • The government oversteps in a lot of areas but let’s get real here. There has to be some way to keep a truly crazy guy from walking into a store and walking out with a new gun. Out of 23,500 there were 65. It doesn’t sound like they are going around and denying permits on flimsy evidence. The person denied can appeal if the state is wrong and as others mentioned here, the burden on the state to commit is high. Everyone wants a perfect system and one will never exist. We should watch the government like a hawk but let’s pick our fights carefully.

      • Don, the entire point is that the government thinks they have the authority to do it at all, and to decide the criteria for who goes on the prohibited list. If you think any government will not abuse this power then YOU are the one who is crazy.

        Secondly, even the so-called professionals in mental health, the psychologists and psychiatrists, will readily admit that they have no reliable way to determine that someone who appears to be totally sane today will be clinically and dangerously insane tomorrow. It can’t be done. Buy a gun today, go on a rampage tomorrow – can’t be prevented so why giver the government the power to even try.

    • I had to page down a bit to get to Rich’s affirmative response to your question, but I will state it even more clearly. The Second Amendment reads, in its entirety:

      “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arm, shall not be infringed.”

      There is not “but” or “except” or “unless.” There is a period at the end.

      In that this is a prohibition against the government infringing on our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms it is ludicrous in the extreme to presume that this same government has any authority to compile, maintain, administer, or enforce ANY list of persons who in the opinion of the government, according to the government’s standards, may no longer exercise this fundamental right. SUCH AUTHORITY IS PROHIBITED BY THE SECOND AMENDMENT.

      Tyrannies rely on and even promote the fear of certain people so that people like you will agree that they can oppress those people in the name of public safety. But once you have agreed the government has this authority, at what point can you prevent YOUR name or your church or your peccadillos from being included on their prohibited list? If you grant them the authority to create a list they now have the authority to decide who belongs on the list, what actions should be taken against them, etc.

      Ask the people of Connecticut how it works when they agree that the government can undermine your 2A rights. They arbitrarily determine what arms you MAY own, what they may look like, how many round the magazines can hold, demand that you register such weapons, and make you a felon if you decline. Arrested and convicted for this new crime you are now barred from ever exercising your Second Amendment rights again almost anywhere in America. And that is for people who were not criminals or insane prior to the passage of the law.

      As uncomfortable as crazy people with guns may make you personally, it does not give you the right to infringe on my right to keep and bear arms, or to give your consent to the government to do so in violation of the Second Amendment.

      • Rich, ThomasR, Ben, you, and others have expressed my own opinions so well and I’m running late for a meeting so I’m commenting with my own endorsement of the position being argued. Thank you, guys!

    • Well, maybe I’m a nut, but I don’t think “mental illness” is a magical incantation that should deprive an individual of owning firearms or a carry permit by its mere utterance. Only being a “danger to oneself or others” should result in such measures.

      There is not enough information about the process being used in SC to know if this is the case. Is this aimed at only denying permits to schizophrenics or people with other delusions who may develop the belief that their store clerk is a host for an alien parasite and needs to be killed to save the world, or is it being or will it be applied to individuals who are depressed after a rough divorce, seek treatment and do not show signs of being suicidal or wanting any sort of revenge?

      Government finding reasons to deny people firearms ownership will always be cause for extra scrutiny and the phrase “mental illness” is simply too broad to be the sole factor in making a determination like this.

      Even if you completely disagree with me on the above, this article also mentions the potential for such a policy to be pushed over time to include broader and broader definitions of “mental illness.”

      • It was certain that in the 18th century in the US there were no restrictions on the ownership or carry of firearms by anyone that was not incarcerated or in our versions of Bedlam. Fast forward to the 21st century in a country of more than 300 million people. Mentally I’ll people cannot legally purchase a firearm nor be issued a CHL. Those are the facts and they will not change. Anyone who demands that these laws be changed is on the wrong side of history. And more importantly serves the purpose of those who would deny me my rights. Think about it.

    • Some people have mental illness, just as some have physical illness. That does not make them violent, and I think putting a blanket denial for mental illness is unconstitutional. But then again, you being an attorney, you must think that if you are not perfect, then you are undeserving. Just saying Mr. Attorney man.

  3. When all this stuff started happening my friend brought up mental illness and mental health. I simply asked one question and it stopped his anti-gun rant. “Who deems these people mentally ill?” That got me to think later what qualifies people to be mentally ill and who’s being paid to make the distinction?

  4. If you can’t trust someone with a gun how can you trust them to walk the streets? Why doesn’t the government give a $900,000 grant to a mental health program?

    • Part of me has always suspected that they don’t shore up the mental health programs because that would be an admission of the failure of their policies. A lot of states shut down their mental hospitals for various reasons, not the least of which was to save the cost of operating them. To switch gears and suddenly fund them again would be akin to “Whoops, guess that one didn’t work out…”

      • I’ve always thought that Nevada’s approach was pretty reasonable. Just give patients a one-way bus ticket to San Fransisco, where everyone except criminals are disarmed and most people are insane.

    • I must disagree. Many of the homeless wandering our streets are certifiably mentally ill–but to save money (mental health institutions are as expensive, if not more expensive, to run as prisons) many governors (including Governor Reagan) emptied the mental hospitals and closed them. In northern California where I live, there is not a long term mental health hospital within 150 miles, and the only temporary facility in the nine northern counties has 20 beds.

  5. It is a short step from “You can’t own a gun, you were involuntarily committed 30 years ago” to “You can’t own a gun, you’re neighbor says you yelled at your dog” to “You can’t own a gun.”

    • Yes, well put. The gungrabbers want to habituate us to the idea that we don’t have inherent rights, and they will proceed step by step until they can enact a full ban.

      • You are correct. The steps I stated above have no precedent, they go much further, much faster than gun grabbers actually operate. But the end result is the same: propagation of the idea that owning a firearm is not socially acceptable. They’re just more subtle about it than I was.

        What we need to do is change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that’s not cool, that it’s not acceptable, it’s not hip to carry a gun anymore, in the way in which we’ve changed our attitudes about cigarettes. You know, when I was growing up, people smoked all the time. Both my parents did. But over time, we changed the way that people thought about smoking, so now we have people who cower outside of buildings and kind of smoke in private and don’t want to admit it……really brainwash people to think about guns in a vastly different way. – Future United States Attorney General Eric Holder

      • If there is no evidence to support his opinion then why did the Founding Fathers include in the Bill of Rights a blanket prohibition against the government infringing on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Did they toss that in just for the hell of it, or do you think they really thought it was important to keep this right sacrosanct and completely free from the intrigues of political factions?

      • Various antis have already expressed the opinion that gun ownership itself constitutes a mental illness that should disqualify one from gun ownership. Considering the fear of firearms people in some areas have been indoctrinated into, it is not a stretch at all to think that things could reach that point in a generation or a few.

  6. Who deems these people to be mentally ill? Why, the Thought Police of course!

    George Orwell just got the date wrong.

    • Who are the thought police? its not the police–they can only put you in for evaluation and treatment, but not an involuntary commitment. The thought police are doctors, lawyers and judges. What you are saying is that no one can judge, irrespective of the evidence. That is anarchy.

      • Vey well put Mark N. I notice that the term statist or statism is used pejoratively throughout this blog. Anarchism is effectively the opposite of statism.

        • There is a middle ground between anarchy and statism.

          Statism is full power, control and authority to the state. Representative government with acknowledged checks in power that are voluntarily adhered to by said government is a good example (and perhaps not the only one) of government without being truly statist.

          You know, kinda like the little experiment that started about 220 years ago…

        • “Anarchy” is used pejoratively by everybody who’s afflicted with addiction to government. Actually, what it means is Freedom. It’s what you call it when “you and everyone else in Our Creation [are] completely free and empowered to do whatever you want, go wherever you wish and be with whomever you choose.”

          According to this latest channeling, the very existence of “government” as some kind of authority with power to override anyone’s Free Will is essentially a crime against Nature.

          But that’s not to say that there can’t be a map room and a registrar of deeds, some kind of blueprint for organizing projects larger than one person, but it’s criminally insane to give the chairman of the highway committee the authority to throw your neighbor’s kid into an iron cage for smoking dried flowers.

          Of course, I’m a Radical Libertarian Loon, so why bother to try for actual Liberty?

          • Anarchy has a well defined meaning. Just because you don’t like that definition is irrelevant. Ironically to disregard the accepted definition of a word is literary anarchy. We live in a society of laws. Those laws are passed by elected representatives. We are not free to pick and choose which we will follow. If everyone did that … well you see my point.

              • Not just no king more importantly no enforced public government. Lawlessness is the key word. Generally accompanied by the collapse of most social institutions such as hospitals schools roads fire police etc. truly Everyman for himself without regard to any other human being.

        • @Rich:

          I don’t think that Anarchy, by the pure, dictionary definition of “lack of recognition of authority”, would ever actually work. I think human nature would fight it. It may last for a while, but eventually someone, somewhere will end up in an authority position. Even if it’s authority that’s given and agreed upon by a mandate from the masses, it’s still authority.

          On the flipside, the government that our Constitution was supposed to form was intended to be an absolute safeguard for liberty. There is a tone in some of the other supporting documents from the period that a good portion of the founders considered governing to be a burden. It was their desire to establish a system by which a small group would handle that burden while the majority of citizens were busy actually being free.

          We just never really got that….

          • “I don’t think that Anarchy, by the pure, dictionary definition of “lack of recognition of authority”, would ever actually work.”

            Well, as Scientific People, doesn’t it behoove us to actually do the experiment and find out? It’s been demonstrated over and over ad nauseam that authoritarianism always leads to mass exterminations – let’s try something different!

            Are you one of the ones who can’t function without some authoritarian dictating your actions? Frankly, I thought outgrowing the need for a master was the essence of “growing up.”

            And, of course, as a metaphysicist, it’s obvious to me that God’s Will is Free Will. Heck, even in the Bible – according to the Prince of Peace, in John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

            So, what do you choose? Freedom or slavery?

            The ironic thing is, under Anarchy, you’re free to choose slavery, it’s just that you have to pick your own master. (which is basically what everybody’s doing now anyway.)

            The shortest most effective path to Individual Liberty is for each person who wants it to Be Free. Do you even know what “freedom” means?

        • Statism IS a pejorative, as is Anarchy. Both are political extremes that should be fought against if for no other reason than that they ARE extremes.

          Rich: “’Anarchy’ is used pejoratively by everybody who’s afflicted with addiction to government. Actually, what it means is Freedom.”

          I believe this word does not mean what you think it means, Rich.

          an·ar·chy [an-er-kee] (
          1. a state of society without government or law.
          2. political and social disorder due to the absence of governmental control: Synonyms: lawlessness, disruption, turmoil.
          3. anarchism ( def 1 ) .
          4. lack of obedience to an authority;
          5. confusion and disorder: Synonyms: chaos, disruption, turbulence; license; disorganization, disintegration.

          I can find nothing good or wholesome or hopeful in any of those definitions. Further, it can be seen all throughout human history that even people living in a de facto state of anarchy will quickly form social groups and within those groups develop or adhere to some form of government regulation whether it is monarchy or dictatorship or a warlord or any of the many failed organizations in use up until the creation of our Constitutional Republic.

          “Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of Warre, where every man is Enemy to every man; the same is consequent to the time, wherein men live without other security, than what their own strength, and their own invention shall furnish them withall. In such condition, there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving, and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.” – Thomas Hobbes, “Leviathan, or the matter, forme, and power of a commonwealth, ecclesiasticall and civill,” 1651

          • “Statism IS a pejorative, as is Anarchy. Both are political extremes that should be fought against if for no other reason than that they ARE extremes.”

            Here we have a snapshot into the mentality of a useful idiot.

            “Freedom is extreme, therefore it should be fought against.”

            Please go to England or North Korea or any gun controlled utopia and OBSCENITY WITHHELD yourself.

        • Anarchy is often associated with leftist/marxist anarchists who believe that after a socialist period, when the population has been sufficiently ‘enlightened’ (but in reality culled and indoctrinated) government can be abolished and society can move into full communism and live happily ever after. Such anarchists often seem to be involved in inciting riots as well.

          On the other hand, the stateless society libertarian flavor of anarchists I tend to think of as slightly naive, but much closer to the mark than most. I tend to think of limited government as a sort of vaccine or inoculation.

          Of course I could be wrong and i could be the slightly naive one.

        • From

          Statism: concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government often extending to government ownership of industry

        • And it was Roger Miller who wr…hang on, wikipedia time. Well I’ll be damned it was Kris Kristoferson, never mind and carry on.

  7. It is easy for governments to first target those who are under represented or have no lobby group. Hopefully someone sues for their due process.

  8. Yeah he’s serious. The leftwing gun grabbers already think we’re dangerous & insane. Think GUN NUT. Of course I don’t want the truly insane to have guns. One has to be truly naive to not see RF point. Gun confiscation going on in California for the flimsiest reasons as we speak.

    • That’s a very, very good point. “Mentally ill” can, with the stroke of pen, be defined as “why, anyone who even wants to own a gun MUST be crazy.”

      The homeschool movement back in the ’80’s stands as a good model for how this kind of thing is done. The first step was to demonize those that even wanted to do it. It took a lot of very hard work, risky work (think losing your children kind of risk, and/or jail time) by some very dedicated people to fight that battle.

      As ‘normalized’ as homeschooling is nowadays, compared to then at least, it’s still under constant attack. There is a presumption of guilt among certain groups of state officials, that all homeschoolers are religious nutjobs and ARE harming their children in various physical and psychological ways.

      We have too many “presumed guilty” laws and ideologies working in our nation already. Declaring people “mentally ill until proven otherwise” is a very dangerous step on the slippery slope.

      • Please, by implying that at one time parents who chose home schooling were mentally ill not only detracts from your position. It is also a flawed premis for the remainder. Whatever peopl did or do think of home schooling it is NOT a mental illness and never has been.

        • I’m pretty sure HE wasn’t implying that home schoolers were insane, but that government official’s held that opinion at the time and some still do…

        • In the Soviet Union; those that thought that communisn was and is a proven destructive; savage and blood soaked belief system; was judged to be insane and put in prison. there has been and continues to be a movement in this country that has tried to make wanting to carry a gun for self-protection proves that that person is mentally ill.

          So don’t even suggest that depriving a person the right to KABA before they have proven themselves to be dangerous to themselves or others is or ever will be right, just or defensible.

        • James, the other comments above this one hit the point.

          I homeschool, and I face nearly every day the kinds of attitudes people have against homeschoolers. It is very real.

          There are formal government institutions that believe parents should not have this right. If you doubt that, I could provide you with many, many real examples where even today, it is challenged. One of the many “hooks” they try to use to de-legitimize homeschooling is to generalize it as a kook, fringe attitude.

          My point is that that tools used to “fight” homeschooling are the exact same tools used to fight private ownership of firearms. One of those tools is to attack the mental health of anyone who dares think “different” from those making the attack. It’s a form of “If you don’t agree with me, you are crazy” fallacy.

      • Absolutely. Mental health is not a hard number, nor a hard science. It is a continuum. One professional opinion my vary from another. Want a concrete example? My daughter has multiple different diagnoses from multiple different therapists. They range from MFTs to psychiatrists. Different diagnoses.

        Just allow that to sink in. Now add an incentive – such as the incentive out current administration has to ban guns – and that opinions blows with the winds of politics. Want a CCW? You must be paranoid. Want a 30 round mag? You must have fantasies of violence. No guns for you – it’s for your own safety.

        Saying “I’m not crazy” is just about as believable as saying “I’m not drunk.” While being drunk is temporary (well, usually), a “mental defect” can be a permanent disqualification. SC law is less relevant here than the federal 4473 form.

        I don’t want the future of my rights to be dependent on a psychologist or psychiatrist. Look at the profession – many therapists suffer from depression themselves and are taking drug cocktails.

        My father is a clinical psychologist, and I love him dearly. I can’t say that I always agree with him, and I know that he has had challenges in his past. So have I. We still go deer hunting every season. There hasn’t been any issues, but I bet some therapists would be happy to deny gun ownership to either one of us.

        • It would be a shame to look for mental health in the psychiatric profession(your father excluded). Jung had some opinions on kundalini yoga that were, charitably, best described as nuts.

    • But then, this is not the law. Nor do I see anyone suggesting that it should be the law. The law does not care what particular mental illness you suffer from; its sole concern is whether you are a danger to yourself or others due to mental defect or disease. You can define mental illness however you like, but the law and the judges don’t care, because the particular illness is irrelevant to the legal process, only the threat of physical harm.

      • You are completely missing the point.

        Since you are so concerned with the exact wording of the law as it is now, ask yourself this. What if the law is changed? What if “driving blue cars” is rendered illegal by legislative fiat, just like x round magazines have been?

        Think it’s impossible? Sorry. That does not have history in its side. That this has happened should be, I would think, very eye opening. And frightening.

        • What you say makes no sense. The only thing than anyone can intelligently discuss is what the law is right now, not what it might be. It’s no different than saying that well maybe the Second Amendment will be rescinded, what will we do then???!!! I, for one, will worry about that when it happens, and in the meantime I will concern myself with what is. And what the law is at this point in time will not and does not accommodate some tinfoil hat paranoia that someone will be locked up because of what the DMSR defines as a “mental illness.” That is the only point worth discussing.

  9. Re:”caused 65 concealed weapon permits to be revoked”. What is going to be the disposition of the weapons represented by said permits or the physical permits themselves?

  10. Why spend the 900 thou on putting people away that hurt others when you can blow it on political theater. I’m sure that impresses the sheep chief.

  11. I have actually seen the movie referenced above, “Gun Crazy”. It was a brain cell killing event for me, really bad acting, writing, and direction all in one package.

    • Yeah but, a half naked lady in a corn field? Sorry, it doesn’t need to be any more intellectually stimulating for me.

    • You shouldn’t need to. But in reality if that is all it took we’d be spending all our time on this site reading gun reviews and looking at Israeli supermodels….

  12. Keeping the guns out of the hands of the mentally ill= wrong plane, belly landing, in the field past the right airport.
    There is need for some of this, but it’s being handled in the wrong way, allegedly by the wrong people, and with little or no oversight to insure their rights are being considered.
    I think any time a program like this goes into effect, there should already be a process to appeal the results in place. Because somebody will always screw up, even in good programs, let alone this abuse-bait one.

    • I agree with you point, but I’d like it to go a step beyond “appeal.” Appeal implies that you were already judged. There needs to be an onerous burden of proof requirement on the officials, not on the accused, BEFORE judgment is passed in the first place.

      • The 2A says, “… the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” NOT “… the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed unless you’re deemed crazy.”

        • Your “opinion” is just that. However, the facts are no state is going to issue a CHL to someone who is mentally ill. That is not going to change.

          • My “permit” to carry whatever weapon I want is enshrined under glass in Washington DC. It’s called the Bill of Rights. The ones infringing it today are common criminals who have been handed the reins of power by idiot voters.

              • “You are wrong”

                How so? Is the original Constitution and Bill of Rights Not in a display case in Washington DC?
                Are you saying that the Second Amendment, AKA the Bill of Rights, DOESN’T say the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed?

                Where, exactly, is my inaccuracy? Please enlighten all of us, rather than just flailing.

              • Keep an openind an stay tuned to life. If you could take some con law at an accredited law school that would be of tremendous help for you. Maybe two years four full semesters. You will begin to understand the living breathing constitution. It is not some static dead piece of paper. All rules have exceptions for example no knock warrants; the prohibition against shouting fire in s crowded theater, I can’t just go out a buy. BAR or Ma-deuce or a 106 recoiless rifle just because I think I should ge able to. it is the nature of our society and the dynamic of the law. Since there were no cell phones in 1792 does the 4th amendment apply to digital code broadcast through the air. If the constitution was just static it would not. However because the basis for the .4th amended is just as applicable to a digital telephone call as it is to
                A letter in a desk drawer. A warrant is
                Need to search the air and intercept the code or open the desk and remove the letter

        • You prove the point that the statists desire to deprive as many of us “little people” the right to KABA by any means necessary continues apace. You also prove that the state has no consideration or concern for a persons natural right of self-defense.

          In the end; this this will not keep us “safe”; it will only increase the states power and control over us all.

        • It……was? Do you not get how this works? It’s not like the SLED chief was just pulling names out of a hat and added them to a ban list. These were people that already were adjudicated (there’s your due process) mentally unstable enough to be committed against their will.

        • & there were no mistakes Ronin? The chief went through records & decided who should get licenses pulled, denied etc. Thats the problem for me, a court should be required to remove someones right to defend themselves.You did read about the drug felon that had his guns forceably confiscated?, only he wasn’t a felon, oops.

    • What makes you think there isn’t? Because the author said he doesn’t know if there is or is not? Poor premise for an argument.

  13. But, but, Gov Nikki Haley is so pro gun! Wake up people, these RINOs are no different than the libtards, they give a crumb with the right hand and grab the pizza with the left. Nikki Haley sure has pulled the wool over alot of eyes, but she isnt fooling anybody who digs into her record. Her and Lindsey Graham are establishment style Repubs, not real Conservatives.

  14. E Great analogy referring to home schooling. My brother did it(& still is). Deathly afraid people in the neighborhood would see his kids NOT in school. Too many public school teachers in their neighborhood. And YET they support the teachers with taxes.

    • Tell your bro I’m right there with him. It sucks in a way to feel like you have to keep a lawyer on retainer just in case some over zealous conformist moron thinks it’s child abuse that my children are not “in school.”

      We face that ALL the time. Take an hour break mid-day to run to the grocery store (which can, actually, involve doing schoolwork, but hey, let’s set practical instruction aside for the moment) and be questioned multiple times about “Why are these kids not in school” by well meaning busy body’s that cannot think outside the box they’ve been told to stay in their whole lives.

      Yep, fun.

      But, it’s a choice. And a liberating one. I’d rather face this particular set of dangers than the alternative.

  15. It was not that long ago that DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) deemed homosexual behaviour as mental illness. Long time ago symtoms menopause was diagnosed as indicative of a mental illness. Unless a brain scan or blood test can detect diagnosis of mental illness
    sufficent enough to take a persons weapons away, I really can’t support any legislation that deprives
    anyone of 2nd. ammendment rights.

    You want crazy? Just put people, especially young men on Rx .antidepressant meds
    do internet search using The Violent Side Effects of Antidepressants that Many Ignore.

    Am I agaist mental health treatment, heck no but I am against long term solution for what is for most a short term problem

    • What you say has noting to do with the actual legal standards imposed in the adjudicatory process. The only time that homosexuality will get you locked up in a mental ward as a danger to yourself or others is if you happen to be another Jeffrey Dahlmer. And Dahlmer didn’t end up in a mental ward because he understood that what he was doing was wrong–and therefore he was not crazy. (It’s called the M’Naughten Rule.)

    • I apologize if this sounds snippy, but so what if the DSM said something or other in the past? Doctors used to do all kinds of medical quackery in the past – should you not follow a doctor’s advice today just because 50 years ago they had some wrong ideas?

      What are the criteria being used NOW, and is there any evidence that sane, competent people are being improperly diagnosed as mentally ill and denied their rights NOW?

  16. Again I state this case: when a law enforcement officer is involved in a shooting they are required to attend some mental health counseling. Under the proposed mental health gun control laws, ANYONE who is under the care, voluntarily but most especially INVOLUNTARILY, of a mental health professional would not be allowed to carry a firearm. Apply this law equally, to all law enforcement, all government employees and representative and to civilians then! Let’s see how long this mental health control effort lasts.

    • Nope nope nope, not true. That is not what the statute says. Being ordered to attend counseling (as a condition of continued employment) is not the same as being involuntarily committed to a mental health facility. The former has no due process rights other than those included in a (union) contract (MOU), while the latter involves the full panoply of procedural and substantive due process rights guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

  17. My brother in law is a psychologist that does a lot of evaluations for courts. He says most mentally ill people are not violent and it is impossible to tell which ones are unless they flat out tell you. Why paint them all as dangerous?

    • I t depends on what kind of evaluations he is doing. If he is doing an evaluation for the purposes of determining if a defendant (not patient) is fit for trial, that is one thing; but if he is doing evaluations in order to determine whether an individual is a danger to himself or others, that is a different thing altogether–and in this latter case, if the patient (not defendant) is not dangerous, he should be recommending that he/she be immediately released.

      • And it’s an exact science, right Mark? I mean, they have NEVER been wrong in their assessments, right?

        Every single violent actor who has had a psych eval sometime prior to committing a crime had the psych eval 100% predictive, right?

        There are precisely ZERO false positives in the case history of psychological assessments?

        Sorry, but no.

        Psychology as a predictive science has a VERY poor track record.

        • We won’t even talk about the special play therapy that proved a young daughter was molested by her father. The shrink would get up in court & swear this abuse occured, of course it was all the girls imagination, but hey, whats 10 20 years in prison(for the kids you know).

        • Your reply does not address my comment and sets up a false dichotomy that psych science must be infallible or it must not be used. There is absolutely nothing in human interactions that is capable of absolute truth–in fact, there is no absolute truth. No method of conflict resolution is infallible and some are more arbitrary than others. That does not mean that we lack the power to judge because our justice is not perfect. Issues and conflicts must be resolved, in one way or another, and there is no Omnipotent Being to sit in judgment over the mundane disagreements and bloodletting that characterize the human condition. When you find such a being who can decide for us, let me know; meanwhile I will do the best I can with the tools available to me. Right now that is the American Judicial System, a system that allows both sides to present evidence and argument, that accords due process of law. No it is no perfect; but there is currently nothing better.

        • there are false positives in criminal court cases. should we throw out the justice system?

          a paranoid schizo should not have guns, period, because his ability to reason is disconnected from reality – he is incapable of regularly making rational decisions. the fact that we cannot predict his exact future behavior doesn’t mean that he should have guns.

    • most drunks are not “dangerous”, in the sense that they intend to harm others. Should intoxicated people be carrying?

    • “Why paint them all as dangerous?”

      Because that suits the gun-grabbers’ agenda. You don’t take all the people’s rights away in one fell swoop, because there would be an uproar. Instead you chip away at them, a little at a time, always being very “reasonable,” until there simply aren’t any left.

  18. I transport severely mentally challenged people all day for a living. Some people need to be kept away from guns. Knives. Chemicals. Matches.

    If there is a series of checks and balances in place then removing a persons right to own a gun or other weapon, after due process and with appeals steps in place, is okay with me.

    And yes, I know that society can’t be made 100% safe. But to allow any of my clients unfettered access to firearms would very rapidly lead to the removal of the 2a from the BOR. So fast itwould make your head spin. The majority of states and voters would demand the end to 2a.

    • SC Jeff seems to think you should arm them all, and if there is a problem, well then other armed citizens will take care of that “little problem.” After all, who are we to judge who is “severely mentally challenged” and who is not–we can’t trust the shrinks because their predictions are not reliable. Very Darwinian.

      • I well remember “kill ’em all let God sort ’em out.” Kind of a sledge hammer approach. But highly effective provided thet your are not one of ” ’em”.

    • I agree. I don’t understand all of the hoopla from some folks about how “anyone can be declared mentally ill”.

      Seems to me that run-of-the-mill mental illness (stuff like anxiety, etc.) wouldn’t make it to the courts because shrinks aren’t going to report every one of their patients to authorities, and authorities aren’t going to hold hearings on everyone with some minor problems. I’m no expert, but the idea that the government will somehow declare everyone mentally ill so they can impose a “back door ban” seems impossible.

      From what everyone says, it is actually really, really difficult to get someone involuntarily committed.

      • Throw in the “domestic violence” aspect & it becomes a can of worms. The criteria for severe mental illness is are you a danger to yourself or others. If you yell at your wife & are found guilty of DV you have basically been adjudicated mentally ill(severe enough that you can’t have firearms). Were your rights taken away by due process? Not in my book.//// Can I see this being abused? You betcha.

  19. This article implies that people are being denied rights without due process, but does not present any facts to support that.

    Some of the commentators assert that people might be unfairly adjudicated as mentally ill without presenting any facts about whether those people received due process. Others commentators, who appear to be attorneys, refute that and state that the process for involuntary commitment has strong due process.

    It would be nice for the author to do a little research before implying that a problem exists and getting people all worked up. A deeper analysis of the actual statutes would be useful.

  20. C’mon Robert! The problem is ALWAYS crazy people. SC is trying to keep guns out of the hands of crazies. Give them a break. You are gonna lose those of us with common sense.

  21. Being mentally ill is not against the law. If you have not been charged, tried, or convicted of a crime, not declared to be a threat to yourself or others, or force-ably committed to a mental institution, there is no reason you can not own a gun. Due process it the key word and you can’t be punished for something you have not done. Without due process any reason could be used to keep people from owning guns and would be a gun grabber’s paradise.

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