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Gun Control Lobbyists Attack Second Amendment Rights Of US Citizens

I can see a time coming when people will be checked for psychiatric treatment histories at the door.

In Illinois gun control lobbyists are trying to fill a gap in the state legal system that they say allows people who have known the inside of mental health facilities their second amendment rights to bear arms. The story, as reported in eNews Park Forest, bears the headline, Shocking Revelations From State Police On Dangerous Gaps In Mental Health Records.

The Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV) and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (Brady Campaign) brought together state legislators, gun violence victims and law enforcement at the Thompson Center today to send an urgent plea to state lawmakers to oppose HB 148, a dangerous bill that would potentially allow mentally ill individuals to carry guns in public places. Coinciding with the anniversaries of the Virginia Tech and Columbine massacres, the press event shared the results of a legislative hearing last week where the Illinois State Police (ISP) revealed shocking gaps in checking mental health records before issuing gun permits. This growing hole in the safety net was referred to as a “ticking time bomb” that could result in more lives, families and communities shattered by gun violence.

Politicians and political commentators are always calling other politicians and political commentators crazy, but I don’t think anybody is threatening the second amendment rights of crazy politicians and political commentators. There is also the little matter of protecting people from unstable “keepers of the peace” who might break in on some innocent body because of the little matter of the color of that bodies skin, guns blazing. The line between the unreasonable and the reasonable has not been decided for all time by such legislation, nonetheless…

At the state level, the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS), County Courts and ISP operate systems to collect and report mental health data before issuing FOID cards. According to the ISP report and testimony at the hearing, there are many dangerous gaps in the reporting of these records: Only 183 of 130,000 licensed clinicians have registered with DHS, and very few of the 102 county courts have reported individuals adjudicated mentally defective to the state system. Furthermore, it was revealed that the ISP should have reported an estimated 120,000 mental health records to the FBI National Instant Background Check System (NICS) to prevent dangerously mentally ill persons from obtaining guns over state lines, but has only reported 5,000. According to the ISP, even with limitless funds, it would take a minimum of two years to fix the system.

Just think, 115,000 potential loony birds carrying concealed weapons versus 5,000 disarmed sickos in the FBI database.

At issue…

The proposed law, as currently written, does not require law enforcement to conduct an extensive background check of state and federal mental health records and would require county sheriffs to issue a permit to carry loaded, concealed guns in most public places to any person meeting certain minimum qualifications, with limited discretion from law enforcement.

Hmmm. I wonder how we distinguish these former mental patients from everybody else. Do you think a number tattooed on the arm, nevermind the origin of the word “stigma”, might help? Perhaps something under the skin that glowed under a black light? What if a nutjob goes under cover, and we lose the paper trail. I know…Outside of the law is in violation of the law. All the same…

Watch out, people! 100% of the people in this country are potential victims of psychiatry. 100% of the people in this country are also potential victims of firearm violence. People who have never known the inside of a psychiatric facility are more likely to be the perpetuators of firearm violence than people who have been imprisoned in state hospitals. We are depriving innocent people of the means to defend themselves.

5 Responses

  1. I agree.

    In some states, a person is allowed to own a handgun after a certain length of time has passed since a psychiatric hospitalization. In other states, the diagnosis alone can be a black mark for life.

    Even if the “diagnosis” was done in 20 minutes in a “doctor’s” office.

    I doubt you’re going to find many people who agree with us on this particular issue. There is a tendency for people to view the second amendment differently than other Constitutional rights.

    Those will be the same folks who will voice their objections once they start coming after other rights, such as the right to vote.

    They’ll get loud once other Constitional rights are threatened.

    But as history shows, it may be too late.

    Due process is the answer.
    If a person is an iminent threat to self/others, the burden of proof lies upon the state to prove it. It’s pretty simple stuff, actually.

    Duane Sherry

    • Yes, the law is unevenly enforced, and varies from state to state. Some states have gotten almost all mental patients into the FBI’s database, and with other states hardly any mental patients are listed in the database.

      The present interpretation of the second amendment is sure to change over time. This is an issue that hasn’t been completely resolved by the courts. I think it unfair to deprive a certain group access to guns while permitting access by everybody else. I feel people who have had mental health treatment are being singled out, and made the scapegoat in this matter. I’m not against gun control. I just think gun control should be directed against automatic rifles and guns that were designed only to kill people. I think gun control must be directed against our gun culture. I just object to the sort of pre-crime laws used to detain people who have commited no crimes.

      People in the mental health system are denied due process of law as a rule if you mean by due process the right to a jury of their peers. In civil commitment proceedings, because we are talking civil rather than criminal matters, the person being commited actually has less rights than a person in the criminal justice system. A certain Supreme Court decision that I happen to disagree with actually gives an undue amount power to psychiatrists to affect court cases dealing with people alleged to be “mentally ill”. Obviously, we have a long way to go before people who have experienced the psychiatric system firsthand have their citizenship rights fully restored.

      People in the civil court system, as I indicated before, are held to a lower standard of justice than people in the criminal justice system. Proof is much less of a burden when ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ doesn’t apply. Legislatures in many states across the United States are trying to extend the legal definition of insanity to encompass future danger. This is a sad state of affairs, and many of the rights guaranteed by the US Constitution are in danger of falling into neglect. I feel it a shame that Mental Health Law has been allowed to come between a number of people and their citizenship rights.

  2. I fear what will happen to many military service members who have been given psychiatric diagnoses, along with “treatment” – aka, drugs, drugs, and more drugs.

    Do these same men and women who have served in war theater lose their rights to keep and bear arms once psychiatry has done it’s dirty work? … Namey, giving them psychiatric labels, and drugging them into oblivion?

    Many have served numerous tours of duty, and have undergone war-related trauma…
    Do they lose their Constitutional rights as well…. Those who risked their lives to protect the Constitution?

    What a disgrace!

    Duane Sherry

    • I would imagine our veterans have much to fear from this type of legislation.

      The problem with mental health records and this FBI database is that this information represents a concrete way the state can use a person’s psychiatric treatment history against that person. Should the person face a criminal court proceeding, these records can be dug into, and used to sully the character of the person going to trial. This “stigma” is much more real than the “stigma” involving attitudes that some advocates feel a need to counter.

      I don’t know how it works in all states, but I have had some exposure to the law in Virginia. In Virginia, at least in principal, anybody who has made their way onto the federal database can petition the court to have their right to bear arms restored.

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