Charleston shooting

Why Disarming the 'Mentally Ill' Is Not a Sensible Response to Mass Shootings

The dragnet would ensnare many harmless people without having a significant impact on gun violence.

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Georgetown University

After the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association's executive vice president, sought to counter calls for gun control by recommending people control instead. Specifically (or not so specifically), LaPierre recommended  "an active national database of the mentally ill" to identify and thwart the next mass shooter. Last week, as I note in my column today, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) suggested something similar in response to the massacre at Charleston's Emanuel AME Church: a surveillance system to "track people" who are "not quite there" so "they can be deterred or stopped." President Obama was even more ambitious, imagining a system that "prevents a 21-year-old who is angry about something, or confused about something, or is racist, or is, you know, deranged from going into a gun store" and buying a weapon.

In short, if you are "mentally ill," "not quite there," "angry," "confused," "racist," or "deranged," the Second Amendment does not apply to you. It seems fair to ask, then, whether the Second Amendment applies to anyone. Something like half of all Americans qualify for a psychiatric diagnosis at some point in their lives, and I suspect the "angry" or "confused" portion approaches 100 percent.

In a recent Journal of the American Medical Association essay, Georgetown law professor Lawrence Gostin argues that such proposals for preventing troubled individuals from obtaining guns are misbegotten, requiring a dragnet that will ensnare many harmless people without having a significant impact on gun violence:

Historically, society has stereotyped persons with mental illness as dangerous, believing that restraining their liberty or rights would solve social problems. But the evidence does not support this position….

Although most mass killers are mentally ill, only a small minority of persons with mental illness is violent. Overall, only about 4% to 5% of overall violent crime can be attributed to persons with mental illness. At the same time, it is exceedingly difficult to predict violence based on a psychiatric diagnosis: psychiatrists' predictions of violence are no better than chance….

It is true that mental illness can be a risk factor for violence, but often only with comorbidities, such as alcohol or drug abuse. The latter are far more powerful predictors of violence than the diagnosis of mental illness. Still more powerful is a history of violence, particularly threatening or using a lethal weapon such as a firearm.

These data suggest that the legislative response to the Isla Vista murders ["gun violence restraining orders" based on the fears of cops, relatives, or roommates] deals with the problem of gun violence only at the margins. At the same time, the response reinforces deep and historical stereotypes of persons with mental illness as irrational and dangerous.

Gostin does think there should be a more systematic effort to enter information about people who have been involuntarily committed (who are already barred from owning guns) into the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System. He says that makes sense because "civil commitment standards incorporate danger to self or others," although applying those standards involves the highly fallible judgments of the same mental health professionals Gostin already has said are unreliable. One might also object, on libertarian grounds, to Gostin's assumption that suicide prevention should receive the same priority as murder prevention.

Gostin himself prefers "broader gun control measures" that aim to reduce the general availability of firearms. "What has long been understood in public health is that changing behavior is notoriously difficult," he writes. "What is far more effective is to change the environment. In this case, limiting access to firearms would prevent many gun injuries and deaths—not just in mass shootings but also, more importantly, on the streets in every major city in the United States."

The trick, as always, is limiting access to guns in such a way that it will incommode criminals without treading upon law-abiding citizens' Second Amendment rights. That is also notoriously difficult.   

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  1. Something like half of all Americans qualify for a psychiatric diagnosis at some point in their lives, and I suspect the “angry” or “confused” portion approaches 100 percent.

    That’s the idea.

    1. Indeed, it will be a classic Catch-22, since according to progs anyone who wants to own a gun is automatically crazy.

      1. It’s already a Catch-22, in some ways, insofar as precisely this sort of thing was one of the reasons I was so hesitant to seek counseling.

    2. Political abuse of psychiatry

      http://tinyurl.com/keprrg7

      1. Lock up the psychiatrists first.

    3. Yeah, I’ve already thought “Let’s systematically strip those with psychological issues of their rights” would only serve to further marginalize people who need help.

      Nevermind that they’d probably adopt such an expansive definition of “mentally ill” that pretty much anyone could qualify.

  2. The trick, as always, is limiting access to guns in such a way that it will incommode criminals without treading upon law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights. That is also notoriously difficult.

    No. The trick is getting people to accept limitation after limitation until no one except cops and military are legally allowed to have a gun. The goal is to disarm everyone. Don’t ever think otherwise.

    1. I suspect they’ll leave a small loophole for the bodyguards of the elite.

      1. Former cops.

        1. Only former in the sense that they don’t “answer” to a public employer. They still belong to the brotherhood of blue and often have a badge even if it says retired.

  3. Forget it, Jake. It’s Dosomethinganythingtown.

    1. Dosomethinganythingtown…shit…I’m still only in Dosomethinganythingtown.

  4. So everyone from tea partiers and militia to Occupy Wall Streeters and Al Sharpton and Donald Trump would be disarmed. And 100% of reason commentators too. What next? Only Asplundh will be allowed to have woodchippers?

  5. Obama was even more ambitious, imagining a system that “prevents a 21-year-old who is … confused about something … from going into a gun store” and buying a weapon.

    “Confused about something.” What’s *that* proggie-speak for? “Thinking she wants a firearm”?

    1. “Confused about something” I think is proggie-speak for “Completing Public Education”, especially after Common Core has been implemented…

      (…and the conspiracy becomes clear…)

  6. “In a recent Journal of the American Medical Association essay,”

    If even the AMA is saying a gun control scheme won’t work…

    1. I think psychiatrists are terrified that they’ll become the gatekeepers to guns, not because they don’t like power, but because if they did the next incident would expose them to criticism. “Why aren’t they doing their jobs?”

      So we see a lot of push back from the AMA and like.

      1. Psychiatrists are already the gatekeepers to guns in New York.*

        I believe this article was discussed on this website last year.

        *Trigger warning: New York Times

        1. If and when there’s a gun incident in NY we’re likely to hear about the incompetence of the docs who did/didn’t include someone on the list.

      2. It would also demonstrate how little psychiatrists actually understand about how the human brain functions.

  7. “an active national database of the mentally ill”

    All elected officials would be a good place to star.

    1. *Sociopathy is excluded from all conditions that precludes gun ownership.

  8. The vast majority of murderers are not mentally ill and the vast majority of the mentally ill are not dangerous. Moreover, it is impossible to tell which of the mentally ill are dangerous before they harm someone. So all attempts “disarming the mentally ill” are just stepping onto a slippery slope where anyone who has ever felt depressed or talked to a therapist is immediately branded a criminal and deprived of their right to bear arms. That is it. They will do nothing to stop determined people from killing and will serve only to arbitrarily deprive people of their rights. That fact is so obvious it makes one think that some people consider that to be a good thing.

    1. There’s also the built-in bug (read “feature”) that the government would necessarily and openly keep a database of “crazy people” that would inevitably be “hacked” (read “leaked”) if someone steps afoul of the state’s priorities.

      1. Of course. And the definition of “crazy” would start out really reasonable sounding and then slowly, or maybe even not so slowly, be expanded to include anyone who holds a view the government or the Progressives don’t like. This is straight out of the Soviet Union. The post Stalin Soviets decided to be a little more subtle about dealing with dissidents. Instead of doing something vulgar like shooting them or sending them to a slave labor camp, they would declare them insane and lock them up in a mental institution. These people drool a little bit at the thought of being able to do that.

        1. And the definition of “crazy” would start out really reasonable sounding and then slowly, or maybe even not so slowly, be expanded to include anyone who holds a view the government or the Progressives don’t like.

          That’s already how this stuff works. If they don’t have to identify any underlying pathology for mental illness, and they don’t, the definitions can only ever be political. Do you think the definition of depression is scientific, or political, when it hinges on how many days you are allowed to spend grieving for a dead spouse?

          1. Nope. It is all a cargo cult.

    2. First they disarmed felons, and I said nothing because I wasn’t a felon.

      Then they disarmed drug users, and I said nothing because I don’t use drugs.

      Then they disarmed people accused of domestic violence, and I said nothing because I have never been accused of hitting my wife.

      Then they disarmed the mentally ill…

      1. And that was the day I learned of my mental illness.

    3. The term “mentally ill” is a fluid term. To a certain extent it is a social construct and can be and is used already as a means of social control.

      As was pointed out a few days ago, homosexuality used to be considered a mental disorder and was treated as such my medical professionals.

      When “mental illness” is a means by which gun rights are denied then everyone will be mentally ill.

      1. When “mental illness” is a means by which gun rights are denied then everyone will be mentally ill.

        Yep.

      2. Dead on correct Lady Dalrymple.

    4. ^ This, John.

      I suffer from manic depression. However, I have as of yet sought professional help for my condition due in large part out fear of having my second amendment rights taken from me. I know that comes across as paranoid and misanthropic but I believe there is some validity to my trepidations. I’ve never committed a violent crime or caused myself physically harm but I could very well be deemed unfit to own my firearms under such a broad definition of terms.

      Any advice on the subject from the commentariat would be greatly appreciated. I’m genuinely conflicted here.

      1. Bipolar is an increasing common diagnosis and the most common treatment is widely available meds. Because of the pure number of people with the diagnosis, it’s unlikely to cause you any loss of rights – 2nd amendment or otherwise, regardless of Lindsey Grahams idiotic speculation.

        If you feel it’s affecting your life in a negative way, I’d seek out an open minded doctor and discuss it with him, just talk about it. You don’t necessarily need the diagnosis or the meds.

        1. There’s also that the drug therapies are rarely worth the side-effects for bipolar folks. For what it’s worth, lithium will almost always work quite well, yet is disparaged because it doesn’t make them as much money. The side-effects are obvious and easily dealt with (at worst, one discontinues lithium and takes potassium for a bit), whilst the side-effects to more favoured drugs, such as lamotrigine and valproate, come on more subtly and are not so easily reversible. Thing is, most bipolar jerks would probably find less value in medicated state of diminished affect than they would be in the hyperaffected state where they’re likely to wake up one day and decide it’s a really fucking good time to kill themselves, quick, before they change their minds. They are probably also on the average more productive citizens.

          1. Speaking of which, they also like to hand out antipsychotics and antidepressants like there’s no tomorrow, other drugs of questionable value which have severe side-effects that aren’t readily reversible. The obvious solution, of course, is to reduce psychiatrists to the role of sages and permit people to pay them or not for advice and to legalise drugs so a person can use whatever suits him and he can pay for.

      2. You are right to worry about that. You should also worry about what you might tell them that might make them think you are a danger to yourself or other and must be committed. If you own and enjoy firearms, you would probably have to maintain a web of lies to discuss your problems with a psychiatrist or therapist without letting them know about stuff like that. These people are deputized as agents of the state and you cannot trust them. The state makes it possible to seek help only if you are stupid or value that help above all other aspects of your life.

        1. These people are deputized as agents of the state and you cannot trust them.

          Yep. And most of them are committed leftists as well who will gladly use their power to take away your liberty.

          1. My experience is that this isn’t universally true. It’s important to be a well informed consumer. Knowing who signs the checks your doctor cashes in the first step in understanding their loyalties.

            I psychiatrist in a private practice who accepts private insurance or payment up front is your best bet. Don’t use anyone associated with an in-patient hospital.

      3. In the end, I decided that the consequences of getting help were less bad than the consequences of not getting help. But I went through exactly the thought process you’re going through. And there wasn’t such a law on the books, and there was far less talk of it in those days. I also considered that I was being paranoid, given that, but… I work in information security, so I’m basically paid to be paranoid, and to contemplate future possible threats.

        Now it really doesn’t sound paranoid to me. After all, is it still paranoia if they really are out to get you?

        If a law like they are talking about passing was on the books when I was contemplating treatment for depression, I would likely have decided not to seek treatment. Which seems like a really terrible “unintended” consequence. After all, which is better, a firearm owner who has treated mental issues, or a firearm owner who has untreated mental issues?

        (continued)

        1. In the end, obviously, you have to decide for yourself. I’ve known people who had manic-depression, and strong cases of it. And they mostly tended to fuck their lives up badly, because they would vastly over-reach their capacity when in the manic phase, and then lose the ability to keep juggling all the eggs when the depressive stage hit. A buddy of mine’s ex-wife managed to rack up insane amounts of debt by having really great business plans (well, they were great to the manic brain) and getting really extended and then crashing.

          So, if you’re not doing that, you probably have more leeway in seeking treatment. If you are, then, well, you might want to consider it.

          1. Thanks for the advice guys.

    5. http://www.davidcolarusso.com/deaths/#.VYrC1vlVhBc

      A decent diagram somewhat to your point. Don’t espouse that it’s perfect, but far better than most.

    6. No, this is simple. All people who want guns are either state officials (thus, A-ok!) or conservatives, all conservatives are racist, all racists are both mentally ill and dangerous, therefore no one should be allowed to purchase guns.

  9. I am both angry and confused that such a blathering nincompoop has contrived to become President of the United States.
    I blame Bush.

  10. Graham (R-S.C.) suggested … a surveillance system to “track people” who are “not quite there”

    I suppose, since it’s difficult to determine who’s “not quite there”, we’d better just track *everybody*.

    1. “Way ahead of you Chief.”

      /NSA

  11. Step 1. Send all people that can shoot guns and are a bit nuts off to a pointless war
    Step 2. When they come back diagnose all of then with psychological issues like PTSD as a requirement to get any medical care or any other benefits.

    Step 3. make it illegal for anyone with mental issues to have a gun.

    Step 4…now it is easier to attack the domestic herd of tax slaves

    1. Step 2 basically already happened when DHS declared returning vets as being likely terrorists.

    2. The problem with the way you present it is that you are saying via #1 that people who are crazy and want to kill other people are being prevented from owning guns.

      That doesn’t sound so bad.

      Try changing #1 to naive/ignorant teenagers who come back adults.

  12. The only place people cannot positively modify, mature, or develop is on a government database.

    Once a panicked or troubled mind slips up however minor and ends up as data in the dark storage tanks of government observation life for these individuals is inexplicably altered until their passing.

    There is no redemption or recovery behind the duplicitous curtains of governmental concern and this represents a false interpretation of reality which consists of millions of people every single fucking day failing at this or that and doing the damned best they can to learn from failure.

    Perversely, you can make a fucking mistake, develop an improved alternative based on the knowledge derived from said mistake and STILL fucking be viewed as a reprobate or troubled individual through the lens of the goddamned good ol’ lovin’ America and its fucked up systems of social engineering.

    1. So… Have you gotten a visit yet from men in suits driving a big, black SUV yet?

      1. Nah.

        1. So they made you sign a form saying you can’t tell anyone or you’ll be charged with a crime…

  13. What about woodchipper control? Nobody needs more than 7 horsepower.

  14. One might also object, on libertarian grounds, to Gostin’s assumption that suicide prevention should receive the same priority as murder prevention.

    Or any priority. Stop violating the rights of people who don’t want to live.

    1. schopenhauer calls it “an extravagant pretension” to ask someone who doesnt want to be alive to keep living

  15. “You’d have to be crazy to not love Big Brother.”

  16. Your right to own a gun comes at the price of the lives of schoolchildren and churchgoers. I fail to see what’s libertarian about making others pay for your stuff.

    1. If schools weren’t gun-free-zones, or if some of those churchgoers had been packing heat, fewer innocent people would have been killed. Retard.

      1. You actually believe this don’t you?

        1. You actually believe this don’t you?

          So if somebody started shooting up a school, you wouldn’t call for men with guns to come stop them?

          1. Well, I believe that arming teachers and/or schoolchildren will pretty much certainly result in more dead people in schools, actual school shootings being relatively rare (relative to the number of schools there are, but not relative to schools in other countries). It’s a pretty paranoid response for people who are complaining about paranoid responses.

            1. Whereas disarming 300 million people because of a handful of scumbags is totally not paranoid at all.

              1. And the 30,000 run-of-the-mill gun deaths per year. Not that I’m advocating taking everyone’s guns, Mr. fallacy police.

            2. No one said anything about arming teachers and children. Simply removing the restriction against otherwise law-abiding citizens being armed at a school would be sufficient. Shooters choose schools because they can be certain that everyone who follows the rules will be unable to shoot back. Take away that certainty and they will choose a different target. By making schools gun-free-zones, you increase their likelihood of being chosen as places to go kill people.

              The blood of those dead children is on your hands.

              1. Since fucking reality does not bear out the lunatic claim that arming more people with guns makes people safer from being shot, then I think the blood is on your hands, you sick fuck. Prop up some more dead kids so the NRA can push a little more product, why don’t you.

                1. Since fucking reality does not bear out the lunatic claim that arming more people with guns makes people safer from being shot, then I think the blood is on your hands, you sick fuck.

                  People with guns aren’t the problem. Murderers with guns are the problem. Not all people with guns are murderers, and the ones who are not murderers are only a threat to those who are.

                  Why do you want to protect the safety of murderers?

                  1. Why do you want to protect the safety of murderers?

                    Tony wants to protect the safety of murderers because they help him advance his gun-grabbing agenda. To Tony and his Marxian progtard friends, Adam Lanza is as much a victim of Sandy Hook as the kids are.

                    1. You give Tony too much credit. I don’t believe he’s capable of thinking at all, let alone thinking that far ahead. He feels that because guns can be used to shoot people, that more guns automatically means more people getting shot. Likewise fewer guns automatically means fewer people getting shot, and no guns means no one getting shot. That’s it. Nothing more.

                  2. Making people safe from being shot isn’t a valid goal. Facilitating the power to defend oneself from an attack is. As such, it doesn’t matter whether people are safer from injury somehow involving firearms, but it does matter whether a person’s ability to defend himself is less interfered with.

                2. Disarming law abiding people clearly makes them safer from armed criminals. Magical thinking.

                  1. Re: Jordan,

                    Disarming law abiding people clearly makes them safer from armed criminals.

                    Look at his woolly argument from the other side: If most citizens could bring guns to schools or churches, there would be MORE shootings. It’s another iteration of the “People are simply too stupid to…” argument by the Marxians.

                    Oh, Tony hates being called a Marxian, which I find hilarious because he IS a Marxian.

              2. The local proposal here I thought was pretty good since I am adamant against cops in schools. The guns would be locked in a safe and a couple of willing employees on the premise educated and certified at the local police academy to handle an active shooter scenario. Gun isn’t on the hip but readily accessible to a couple of trained individuals.

                Win-win in my book since the cops always show up when a bunch of people have been killed.

                1. How about on the hip with the safety on? Much more effective in an active shooter scenario. Turn off safety, identify bad guy, shoot bad guy hope you’re not shot on the way to gun safe (that had to be kept a safe distance from the access of any child, open safe in a situation where someone is firing rounds in the vicinity, get gun, load gun (you know there’s no way the people who would demand a safe would actually allow the guns in it to be loaded), turn off safety, locate bad guy who may have fled by now, shoot bad guy if he hasn’t fled or killed himself yet.

                  1. I think the prospect that someone might be armed will discourage most if not all the mass-shootings at target rich, unarmed locations.

                    Also, the vast majority of murders committed with handguns are drug prohibition related. End the prohibition on drugs and the number of homicides will plummet, but that isn’t what Tony is interested in. Tony and his progtard friends will stand on that pile of dead bodies until they get to disarm everyone.

                  2. If you can’t handle the weapon properly after carrying on your person and loaded, you’re not going to handle it any better if it were kept in a locked container and unloaded.

            3. Re: Tony,

              Well, I believe that arming teachers and/or schoolchildren will pretty much certainly result in more dead people in schools,

              Just like gun shows are veritable blood baths year after year?

              Where do you even come up with these unsubstantiated assert…. oh, right. You’re a little Marxian from the planet Marx. of course.

        2. I know it to be true because it’s happened on several occasions.

        3. Considering that schoolteachers in Israel are armed — http://www.noquarterusa.net/bl…..in-israel/ (see pic in article) — and that you just don’t hear about Israeli school-shootings, I’m willing to think that the idea has merit.

    2. False choice.

      1. Tony can pack several fallacies into one sentence. It’s quite impressive.

        1. argumentum ad passiones

          What’s Latin for ‘false dichotomy’?

    3. Re: Tony,

      Your right to own a gun comes at the price of the lives of schoolchildren and churchgoers.

      Your right to own scissors comes at the price of the lives of countless husbands.
      Your right to own a car comes at the price of the lives of bicycle riders.
      Your right to…

      Your right to be an idiot comes at the price of making a fool or yourself with your very Marxian (i.e. faulty) logic.

    4. Your right to own a car/swimming pool/kitchen knife/laundry detergent comes at the price of the lives of TEH CHILDRENZ. Why do you hate them?

      1. It does, and I acknowledge it. Will you?

        1. Yep. Next fallacy?

        2. Re: Tony,

          It does, and I acknowledge it. Will you?

          No, because it is faulty logic. The actions of others are NOT a price. Only individuals face costs and those costs are based on their personal preferences, the choices they face.

          You showcase your ignorance by making statements like that. Marxians have the penchant of talking about the “price” of liberty because they have zero knowledge of basic economics, or they’re mendacious fucks. But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and conclude you’re being dumb and not dishonest. Do you love me now?

          1. I will only respond to posts you make that don’t contain the word “Marxians.” Sorry but it’s fucking annoying and makes me think you’re mentally ill.

            1. Re: Tony,

              I will only respond to posts you make that don’t contain the word “Marxians.”

              You’ve got yourself a deal, Marxian.

              Sorry but it’s fucking annoying and makes me think you’re mentally ill.

              Do you know who else thought people who weren’t Marxians had to be mentally ill?

              Yes. Marxians.

            2. One little, two little, three little Marxians.

              Four little, five little, six little Marxians.

              Seven little, eight little, nine little Marxians.

              It’s… a Democrat convention.

    5. Why is it deemed intelligent within the anti-gun ranks to conflate mass killers with run-of-the-mill citizens who happen to own a gun? People don’t become serial killers because they possess a firearm just as people don’t become contractors because they own power tools.

      1. Either guns are especially efficient means of killing people or they aren’t, and if they aren’t then they aren’t worth the obsession with respect to self-defense. Just use a blunt object!

        If they are, then it might be sensible to treat them as especially efficient killing machines. We regulate ground beef with more concern for human life.

        1. Re: Tony,

          Either guns are especially efficient means of killing people or they aren’t,

          They aren’t. The most efficient way to kill lots of people is through the use of poison.

          You need training and ability to shoot a gun effectively. Of course, shooting fish in a barrel like the state of South Carolina prepared for Roof is a different matter altogether.

          If they are, then it might be sensible to treat them as especially efficient killing machines.

          They’re not. Most shootings in the US end up with wounded more often than killed. What your comments tell me is that you have NO clue what a gun does or what it can do.

          1. The most efficient way to kill lots of people is through the use of poison.

            Sorry, just thought I’d repeat that and stare at it for a while longer.

            So we’re calling a “room” in which people “sit” a barrel full of easily targeted fish. If only everyone had a gun on him at all times, then it would be so much safer!

            Shit, why not kids? Guns are safety machines. Kids should have them. Is the NRA on that angle yet?

            I can’t be here anymore. You people are fucking insane.

            1. Re: Tony,

              Sorry, just thought I’d repeat that and stare at it for a while longer.

              Stare all you like. The reason why you’re dumbfounded is because you conveniently (or dishonestly) forget history: the gassing of Jews. The reason the Nazi government switched from shootings to gas chambers to get rid of Jews, dissidents and ethnic peoples was because shootings were very INefficient.

              So we’re calling a “room” in which people “sit” a barrel full of easily targeted fish.

              When South Carolina law prohibits them from bringing a LEGALLY-LICENSED gun inside a church, yes.

              I can’t be here anymore. You people are fucking insane.

              Marxians always think everybody else is insane. I just posted that above and you proved me right once again.

              1. Why would such a law be valid?

                SC Constitution, ARTICLE I, SECTION 20. Right to keep and bear arms; armies; military power subordinate to civil authority; how soldiers quartered.

                A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. As, in times of peace, armies are dangerous to liberty, they shall not be maintained without the consent of the General Assembly. The military power of the State shall always be held in subordination to the civil authority and be governed by it. No soldier shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner nor in time of war but in the manner prescribed by law.

            2. Either guns are especially efficient means of killing people or they aren’t, and if they aren’t then they aren’t worth the obsession with respect to self-defense.

              Explosives killed more people in WW2 than guns so in terms of efficiency poison and explosives are more efficient.

              The advantage that a gun gives you over a blunt or sharp object is it removes unequal abilities as a factor in the outcome. If a guy the size of Mike Tyson is intent on causing me harm, and I only have a blunt object, then a) I have to close with him in order to use my blunt object, and b) his advantage in strength will quickly overpower me.

              If I have a gun in my hand, both of those factors in the outcome are removed and I am far more likely to prevail in the defense of my person and property.

              It isn’t hard to understand – unless you believe in magical.

              I can’t be here anymore. You people are fucking insane.

              Promises, promises.

            3. “I can’t be here anymore. ”

              Promises, promises….

              1. Guess I should’ve read your post first…. +1 is so much more efficient.

        2. “We regulate ground beef with more concern for human life.”

          Try to purchase even a basic .22 hunting rifle in Ohio and you will be waiting for 15 minutes while the FBI runs a background check to clear you. Beef isn’t checked with more concern than that.

          1. Re: Agile Cyborg,

            The little Marxian has no clue what happens when you purchase a gun. For instance, as a non-resident alien, I cannot purchase a gun anywhere in the US because the 1968 Gun Control law, but I can certainly buy meat.

            1. You cannot legally purchase a gun, which means you can’t purchase one from a licensed vendor. But you can purchase one from a private individual.

              1. Indeed but that point serves to debunk the little Marxian’s perfunctory assertion that guns are LESS regulated than meat.

        3. It doesn’t matter whether firearms are useful for anything or not. Beating, imprisoning, or killing somebody because of owning a prohibitted thing is wrong. No affirmative defense is required.

    6. Your right to own a gun comes at the price of the lives of schoolchildren and churchgoers.

      What price does the right of schoolchildren and churchgoers to own a gun come at?

      1. Their own lives, obviously.
        Their deaths are necessary to forward the State’s glorious goals.
        (Oh how I wish this humor didn’t have so much of the sting of truth.)

    7. OH MY GOD! You have to be the dumbest motherfucker I have had the misfortune of reading on this site.

      1. That’s an insult to dumb people.

    8. The entire concept of “individual” in the phrase “individual rights” is utterly foreign to you, isn’t it?

  17. Although most mass killers are mentally ill, only a small minority of persons with mental illness is violent.

    Maybe we can get away from these facile explanations and face the fact that some people massively shoot others because they want to, not because they’re ill.

    The people who we should point out are mentally ill are the Marxians who believe mass shootings are routine in the US ?talk about delusions. The very fact that they’re so shocking is precisely because they’re EXTREMELY RARE. If you want to see a place where mass shootings happen to the point where people stop feeling outraged by them, see those places that receive DEA money, like Mexico, Colombia, or Afghanistan.

    1. My brother-in-law was telling me last week about the very polite gentlemen that drive through Reynosa, smiling and waving, with the windows of their SUV open so that it’s not hard to see the military-grade weapons they’re about to go use.

    2. “Maybe we can get away from these facile explanations and face the fact that some people massively shoot others because they want to, not because they’re ill.”

      Or go further and admit that everyone’s actions arise from his own choices. The devil made me do it should be a laughable defense.

  18. Your right to own a gun comes at the price of the lives of schoolchildren and churchgoers.

    You’ll be a real boy some day, Pinocchio.

  19. Since fucking reality does not bear out the lunatic claim that arming more people with guns makes people safer from being shot, then I think the blood is on your hands

    The blood we were going to be awash in, after the passage of “shall issue” permit laws, reaffirmation of castle doctrine, and “stand your ground”? That blood?
    You’re hysterical. Go lie down, with a cold compress on your forehead.

  20. Gostin himself prefers “broader gun control measures” that aim to reduce the general availability of firearms.

    I am sure he would prefer that, and I am sure he can fall back to the effectiveness of drug control measures as a way to benchmark his idea, right?

    Marxian idiot.

    1. But, but, but more people would use drugs if they were legal! Everyone would use drugs if they were legal! Even the children! Since not everyone is using drugs, drug control is working!

  21. No government officials would consider it to be a mental health issue to post in this chatroom.

  22. The trick, as always, is limiting access to guns in such a way that it will incommode criminals without treading upon law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights. That is also notoriously difficult.

    It’s actually quite impossible considering that people act. Marxians continuously think that it is possible to reshape a society like you can reshape a clay statue, except that the clay particles don’t have each a mind of their own. If a criminal wants to get a hold of a gun, he will.

    But let’s not fool ourselves: Marxians are NOT interested in disarming criminals, or the mentally ill, or bad people, or even the mentally incompetent. They want to disarm EVERYONE, because it is quite difficult to impose your favorite social engineering projects on an armed population. That’s it. As easy as that.

  23. but more people would use drugs if they were legal!

    EVERYTHING NOT PROHIBITED IS MANDATORY

  24. “imiting access to guns in such a way that it will incommode criminals without treading upon law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights.”

    I would suggest convicting criminals – you know, in court – and putting them in a secure facility where they are monitored and not allowed access to guns. Let’s call this secure facility a prison.

    1. That’s just crazy talk, man.

  25. We need a national dialogue on magical thinking. Because there is nothing more dangerous to us right now than this idea all problems can be solved just by adding a few more rules. If we just had a few more rules, a few more people hired by the government to facilitate these rules no child gets hurt, no child gets left behind, nothing bad will ever happen to anyone.

    1. We need a national dialogue on magical thinking. Because there is nothing more dangerous to us right now than this idea all problems can be solved just by adding a few more rules.

      Indeed!
      In fact, I would go so far as to say that many of our problems are caused by too many laws/rules/regulations.

  26. Here’s another radical idea: Anything which disqualifies someone from having a gun should disqualify them from voting.

    Like a gun, a vote can be used defensively – to protect your rights – or offensively – to aggress against the rights of others.

    Someone who cannot be trusted with a gun because he might use it to aggress on others can’t be trusted with the power to send men with guns and badges to do the same thing. The latter is even easier and safer than the former, hence more common.

    On the other hand, there are people who can be trusted with guns but not with votes – eg, aliens.

    The right to self-defense is a natural-law right; the right to vote is a political right, on a lower level than the former.

    1. I would be content to limit voting to people with a positive tax burden. If you don’t pay into the system then you should have no say in how the money is spent.

    2. you can vote by showing your gun registration

      1. Well, it wouldn’t be a poll-tax…

    3. “Here’s another radical idea: Anything which disqualifies someone from having a gun should disqualify them from voting.”

      Yeah. Only people who self-identify as white male slave-owners should be permitted to carry a weapon.

  27. Last year, I went to the psych hospital for suicidality. Thanks to Cali law, I can’t own a gun for 4 more years. That is… kinda bullshit. I was a danger to myself- Also, I can still own knives etc.

    Put me as firmly in the camp of not trusting the gov or my fellow Americans with the 2nd ammendment rights of the mentally ill.

  28. It gets tossed out by politicians because they know is sounds good and that the average person is ignorant of the laws already on the books. First, anyone with a mental illness who has been adjudicated by the court as a threat to themselves or others is barred from possessing a gun. Second, all those who would be affected who have not been adjudicated by the court are protected by HIPPA. The truth is all these proposals are nothing more than theater by politicians so they c an pretend to do something when they know the issue is not guns but the lack of enforcement of current laws.

  29. The opening observation is, of course, factually correct. That being said, since when do ,mere facts concern those wonderful, loving, concerned, caring anti gun-anti self defense types, you know the ones, who just know better than you, what is best for all and sundry.

  30. If we truly took out after the “Mentally Ill”, we’d end up locking away, and disarming most Leftist’s –
    because what they believe is an absolute “mental disorder”.

  31. I was just in a loud, free for all barroom debate with a very liberal friend and 3 brits, all of whom are convinced that gun simply want to murder people. I put up the good fight but not sure that any minds were changed. But I’ll be damned if anybody thinks crazy people should be packing heat. Call me old fashioned but as a gun rights advocate, I still believe in the old saying “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” and call me crazy but very often, the people doing the killing are crazy people.

    I’m not dismissive of the need to limit government labeling of people etc. but when you start defending the right to carry a gun by somebody who clearly has mental and anger issues, you start losing me.

  32. Or arm the law-abidimg and ban gun-free zones so shooters will be shot by someone carrying instead of waiting for police to show up after everyone is already dead.

  33. Mental health is the avenue to gun confiscations..
    It worked for the communists and nazis

    American Psychiatric Asso: Half of Americans are mentally ill

    300 million prescriptions for psychiatric drugs written in 2009 alone..

    Be careful for what you ask…….

    1. i dont wanna get too down on psychiatry cuz its helped me some, but you cant really do science about something you cant quantify

  34. I feeling incommoded already.

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