Saturday, April 13, 2013

Gun Control

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"The one clear thread that unites all the mass murders currently being exploited by the Democrats is that they were committed by visibly crazy people who were unaccountably not institutionalized." ~ Ann Coulter

I think many times, certain legislation introduced by Liberals is too often dismissed by Conservatives simply because it was proposed by a Liberal. Just like a broken clock that is right twice a day, sometimes Liberals have good ideas. Such is the case with asking for background checks before a gun purchase.

 Background checks wouldn't prevent gun violence, of course, but they couldn't hurt.

I also don't think anything in anyone's background should prevent a gun purchase except for a history of mental illness.

Guns, as we have often been reminded, don't kill people, but crazy people use guns to kill people. Ann Coulter, in her latest column, points out that the Sandy Hook shooting is only the latest in a series of mass murders that have been carried out by crazy people. 

All of these latest mass murders have been committed by crazy people. 

If crazy people can be prevented from buying guns, there is a chance that some mass murders can be prevented. Not a big chance, I emphasize, but a chance.

Now. Imagine that there is a background check to check for mental illness required to purchase a gun. Even if the prospective gun owner doesn't have a history of mental illness, that would require a waiting period.

A waiting period is a minor inconvenience, but it could prevent other types of shootings

 Now imagine a disgruntled employee who gets angry enough at his boss  to want to kill him.  He goes to a gun shop, purchases a gun, and shoots up his place of business.

Many of these types of crimes are committed by someone who is not necessarily crazy, but is angry enough to suspend reason. That kind of angry subsides in time. A waiting period would prevent some crimes committed in the heat of passion. 

No doubt mass murders will still happen. Crazy people can get guns in other ways, and in fact, usually do. Adam Lanza stole his mother's gun. Guns can be purchased on street corners illegally. And, guns can be stolen. 

So, mass shootings will still happen even with background checks

At the worst, requiring a background check specifically for a history of mental illness is an inconvenience

But, it can't hurt.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I have no problem with background checks, and my state does them. BUT, when you talk about "mental illness," that runs a gamut, and often is assigned for no reason other than some psychobabbler's ideology.

There are cases where a person, due to many things going wrong in their lives, become depressed and seek a pyschobabbler. They are then declared mentally ill. While the person will then get life in order and live happily for the next 30 years, if he goes for a gun they have that "mental illness" on his record and he's screwed.

Mark said...

Good point, Glenn, but wouldn't some sort of assessment test be in order in those situations? An assessment test might clear an earlier conclusion.

The Piper's Wife said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glenn E. Chatfield said...

You'd think they'd do that, but I was reading a recent case about something similar preventing a guy from getting a gun over a decade from when he was diagnosed. Americans look to pyschobabblers as priests

Marshall Art said...

Glenn's point is more than valid. From what I've heard, being proscribed a "psychotropic" drug is grounds for withholding licensing. But there are OTC medications that fall under that heading based on listed ingredients.

The problem I'm seeing is that there is a rush to legislate without doing due diligence regarding how that legislation should be crafted so as to only impact the gun purchasing ability of those who shouldn't have them.

Also, the rhetoric screams about gun shows. I saw a piece that shows that gun shows are heavily regulated as pertains to background checks. So it is extremely difficult to know which politician is being honest or engaging in meaningless hyperbole meant to provoke emotional responses. We know this is a common tactic of the left, but it seems some on the right are either falling for it or engaging in it themselves.

The main problem with background checks revolves around what is done with the information of those who pass the check. How can we be sure our efforts to acquire weapons won't be stored for future use to be used against us? It is none of the gov't's business how many weapons I own or what kind. They assume I'm a threat merely because I own weapons. Very unAmerican as I am now guilty before my innocence can be proved.

These questions must be resolved first and potential legislation reviewed to insure they've been properly addressed before background checks are made mandatory. Thus, I'm not opposed in theory, just worried about how it would manifest.

Also, while I agree stopping the crazies is a good thing, I include under that umbrella, the criminal. Some believe that once one has "paid his debt to society", all rights should be re-instated. But if one has demonstrated violent behavior, allowing them weapons is a bad idea. They can narrow down to particular crimes resulting in loss of 2nd Amendment rights for life, but this must be included.

Good to see you post again.