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.
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.