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No, Trump Did Not Make It Easier for Mentally Ill People to Buy Guns

Shooting revives deliberately misleading talking points about a bad regulation both the NRA and the ACLU opposed.

In the wake of yesterday's deadly school shooting in Florida, President Donald Trump tweeted that there were signs that alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz was "mentally disturbed." Trump encouraged people to report bad behavior to authorities.

In response, a Twitter and media parade of people spouted misleading claims about an Obama-era regulation that Trump and Congress rolled back:

None of this is a remotely accurate description of what happened. A year ago, Congress and Trump eliminated a proposed rule that would have included in the federal government gun background database people who received disability payments from Social Security and received assistance to manage their benefits due to mental impairments.

This is a regulation that potentially deprived between 75,000 to 80,000 people of a right based not on what they had done but on the basis of being classified by the government in a certain way. The fact that these people may have these impairments did not inherently mean that they were dangerous to themselves or others and needed to be kept away from guns.

As I noted when the regulation was repealed last March, this rule violated not just the Second Amendment but the Fourth, because it deprived the affected people of a right without due process. The government does have the power to restrict and even deny gun ownership to people, but it has to show that these people have engaged in behavior that makes weapons dangerous in their hands.

That's why the regulation was opposed not just by National Rifle Association (NRA) but by several mental health and disability groups and by the American Civil Liberties Union. Pundits largely ignored the latter groups' opposition to the rule, preferring to play up the power of the NRA and their influence on Republicans to turn the issue into a partisan fight.

It was hackery then, and it is still hackery today. It's shameful to ignore the serious constitutional problems of this poorly conceived rule just to sow panic and implicate one's political opponents.

Photo Credit: tMIKE THEILER/UPI/Newscom

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  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Glad to see how quickly the media turns on the mentally ill and makes them monsters who can't be trusted with rights or freedoms.

    Fuck you.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    This is the classic boogie man. Society pretends that it's aware of and sympathetic to the plight of having a mental illness. But anytime anything happens it's suddenly turned against them. There's a reason so many people are afraid of seeking help or even admitting you might have a problem. It's because it immediately labels you as a monster or an invalid.

    Fuck you.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    "" It's because it immediately labels you as a monster or an invalid.""

    Mental health providers have been fighting to have that stigma removed for decades.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'm well aware. And shit like this sets it back.

  • Raoul Duke||

    If you want to frighten yourself, think of airline pilots. Some of them suffer from alcoholism. Some from depression. Most make it work on a day to day basis, but they obviously aren't operating at 100%. If they seek help, they're done. Gotta report it on your medical, both the mental health help and any medication. The FAA may approve your medical on a case by case basis, which could take ages. Until then, or maybe permanently, you're boned.

    Same goes for cops, military, other high-stress and high-responsibility professions. Talk about a deterrent for seeking help, right?

  • wotan||

    I have bipolar II disorder. The stigmas associated with mental illness caused me to resist treatments when the associated depression began to overwhelm me. I am now quite public about it, both as therapy for myself and as an attempt to help end the stigma.

    Mental illness kills, just as sure as a physical ailment, such as cancer, does. But, we just supposed to "man up" and "get over it." Thankfully, we do seem to be starting to make changes to that mindset, but society has a long way to go.

    Using our diagnosis as a means of denying our civil liberties will only serve to sweep mental illness back under the rug.

  • silver.||

    I'm glad you're impassioned about this problem. It's definitely breaking down, but the social stigma against emotional issues is still present. If we could decode some of the reasons men kill themselves 5x as much as women, I bet we'd find some overlap with spree shooters. The pressure to keep one's mouth shut is enormous, even when you know it's stupid. As much good as the #MeToo movement did, it didn't put much of a dent in the issue of silence on the part of a male sexual abuse victims. The SJW movement is just digging deeper the divides between groups. Everyone wants answers that fit into a tweet or, if they're really rigorous, and abstract.

    I don't know. This is just pointless bitching. Society is going to do its thing however the hell it pleases, and trying to "fix" it is foolish.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    I don't know. This is just pointless bitching

    This is why men are silent. Who the heck is going to listen to us and give a crap?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "If we could decode some of the reasons men kill themselves 5x as much as women,"

    Seriously, half of that is men offing themselves shortly after divorces. You get a one sided divorce settlement, face a future where you've gone from financially secure to utter poverty, you are cut off from your children, and the despair kills you.

  • Jen-AFriend||

    Decode? While I do sympathize very much with any man in that divorce situation, that would be classified as an impulsive suicide. Suicide rates have always been higher for men than women, BUT, and this is important, suicide *attempts* are much higher for females than for males--almost double, and women suffer from depression more than men do. This is also consistent over the decades of research and throughout the lives of the men and women. You could argue that women face a future where financial security seems just out of reach, and if they have children, even more so. Bring on the despair. So you can stop asking, "Who gives a crap about us men?" now, because it's actually women that society is ignoring, especially given that they speak out about these problems and men tend not to. Women are just not as successful at killing themselves, but they're walking around in suicidal states, which is not fun and not productive. They tend not to use as violent a means to do it as men do, and they're not as impulsive. They'll take pills, or attempt to asphyxiate themselves, etc., whereas a man might, by contrast, jump off a 60-story building, or shoot himself. I don't recommend doing either of these things. Choose life, find wonder in it. There's a great documentary made about a young man who somehow survived jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, and he essentially said he started to regret his decision on his way down.

  • operagost||

    Imagine if women offed themselves 5x as often as men. I'm sure the entire country would be clamoring to find out why, and probably blaming white straight men for it.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    But I heard that if you like guns, it's a sign of mental illness.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Gun nuttery is a sign of substandard character, but I wouldn't call it a sign of mental illness.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Looks like Jennifer Rubin's transition to the left is finally complete.

  • Rigelsen||

    To be fair, was coherence ever her strong suit? Of course, it's hard to be coherent when you put principals over principles. But she's hardly alone in that.

  • KevinP||

    And to the hard drooling left too.

  • Netizen_James||

    That's only because of the bs nonsense about how the 2nd amendment confers an individual right to own weapons, which is a-historical garbage made up by 'activist judges' in the Heller and McDonald cases.

    Every time there's a mass murder shooting, the response to those calling for better gun regulations is 'it's not the guns it's the crazy people'.

    So if there's blame to be had for stigmatizing the mentally ill, it's the morons who think that mentally ill people have a right to own weapons who hold that blame. These are the folks that want us to wait until AFTER the mentally ill person has killed a few dozen people until we prevent them from owning firearms.

  • operagost||

    It doesn't matter if it confers an individual right. Congress doesn't have the right to restrict it.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    And not even just the 'mentally ill'. This includes people who simply have neurological damage that effects things like mobility, vision, hearing, etc.. which is ridiculous.

    There really is no limit to how low a progressive will sink if there's even the slightest chance of political gain.

  • janon||

    There's really no limit to how low right wing lunatics will go to rationalize *loosening* gun control in the wake of yer another third world killing fields level gun massacre in "the greatest civilized nation"

    Selfish. Ignorant. Regressive. Subhuman

  • Naaman Brown||

    The Obama rule overturned by Trump added any Social Security Disability recipient who had a fiduciary handling their financial affairs to the NICS database of Prohibited Persons denied the right to buy or own guns.

    Under the 1968 Gun Control Act you became a Prohibited Person if you had been adjudicated mentally defective (which included a determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that you are a danger to yourself or to others or were incompetent to manage your own affairs) OR had been committed to a mental institution. It required individual adjudication under due process.

    Obama decreed by executive order that any disabled veteran or social security disability recipient who had a fiduciary handling their financial affairs should be assumed incompetent, mentally defective and a danger to self or others, without individual adjudication under due process rules.

    That shows how far left wing lunatics will go to imposing gun control, a cult of voodoo criminology, attacking guns as symbols, that simply will not impact bad behavior by bad people.

  • Jerry Gallo||

    You forgot the part where the person was fully disabled due to mental illness or otherwise being mentally unfit. It was literally just sharing information of people who fit the criteria for the gun control act. That is why the person being reported is receiving their benefits, because of being mentally unfit.

  • KevinP||

    Tolerant, non-violent and inclusive progressive alert! To gun owners and those who defend the Bill of Rights: this is what gun ban advocates think about you. Because you defend your civil rights, that makes you an accessory to the murder of dead children. What do you think they will do to you if they gain power over you?

  • thoughtsmith||

    If you are visually impaired, you shouldn't be allowed to drive a car.

    If you are mentally impaired, it's at least reasonable to consider that you shouldn't be allowed a standard level of access to tools which are created solely to kill people.

  • Hyle||

    Doing so without due process is an affront to the tenets upon which our nation is founded. If the government wishes to deny the freedoms of any individual, they must prove they are unfit (for whatever reason) in a hearing allowing the person to have legal counsel to defend themselves if they so wish. To my knowledge, there's been no evidence presented that the people that would have been affected by the Obama rule were a threat to themselves or others, that they became a threat to themselves or others, or that they went on to commit any violence let alone gun violence.

  • Presskh||

    The press also, right on cue, spins the story as a negative for Trump and how he has endangered the country by cancelling an unconstitutional regulation put in place by the rabble-rouser-in-chief. Screw them.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR TWITTER NUANCE SHACKFORD

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    The whole point of Twitter is no time for nuance.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    As far as I'm concerned, let's allow the left to keep hammering on mentally ill people.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Careful, it was just yesterday that Libertarians were classified as autistic. How long before The Right Sort of People (tm) decide that autistic people shouldn't have gun rights, especially when we're talking about people who have a tendency to get fixated on things like natural rights?

  • croaker||

    Time to stencil "GOODNIGHT" on my Louisville Slugger.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    The moment they come after autistic spectrum people us Aspys will take over. don't think we can do it? Watch "The Accountant". Commando Aspys are laying in wait for the signal........

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""None of this is a remotely accurate description of what happened. A year ago, Congress and Trump eliminated a proposed rule that would have included in the federal government gun background database people who received disability payments from Social Security and received assistance to manage their benefits due to mental impairments."'

    They are not interested in accurate descriptions.

    What is being referred to here is the Rep Payee program. You need a psych Dx to get enrolled. It's common for people in shelters, transitional housing, or permanent housing programs to be enrolled.

    It has nothing to do with being violent or dangerous. It just shows that the people who are complaining about removing the rule are not interested in keeping guns out of the hands of violent or dangerous people only. They are just looking for a category to put people into to deny them a right. Something already discussed on a previous H&R thread today.

  • silver.||

    When scary thing happens we have to do something. Humans are not good at patience or rational thinking in crises. We get all this nervous energy and misdirect it at whatever boogeyman is around. It's no different than witch trials. The fears of well-meaning citizens are exploited to push the agenda of a manipulative few.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I do not believe you need so much as a psych diagnosis; certainly persons with guardians or conservators would more or less automatically have a representative payee, but a person can elect to designate someone to be their payee with no formal diagnosis pertaining to a mental disability.

    But it makes a great catch all and would stand for having "done something, anything."

  • skeptikal||

    I'm nor sure that that is hat they are referring to. SS rarely provides cases mangers. They only do so when people are really unable to manage their SSI. Developmentally delayed, severely autistic, downs syndrome or organic brain disease.
    It seems OK to me to use that designation to either prevent gun ownership or to trigger a personal review.

  • esteve7||

    Jordan Peterson: Mentally Ill people should have due process before their rights are taken away

    Prog Idiot: So you're saying you want to make it easier for mentally ill people to kill kids?

    ---

    This is how the left thinks. Zero critical thinking or understanding of an issue, either that or they are intentionally manipulating and misleading people. All you need to do is take one look at Trevor Noah's show or any of those other ones to see they do this shit every day

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    +1 Channel four.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    We do not wonder if they would do away with the 4th and 5th Amendments.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    I can think of only one rebuttal, when talking to progressives about this issue. Point out that any psychiatrist out there will diagnose a crackhead with an addiction to drugs and bill insurance for the visit by writing down a diagnosis code from the DSM. Then ask the progressive if he is racist enough to deny crackheads the right to bear arms.

  • Jerryskids||

    Look, the Republicans weren't trying to make it easier for the mentally ill old folks to get their hands on guns just for the fun of it, they were doing it in the hopes that these old farts would kill themselves. Saves them the trouble of pushing them off a cliff in their wheelchairs. You know how those Republicans are.

  • ThomasD||

    That's how Florida ended up with so many old people.

    Not enough cliffs.

  • R. K. Phillips||

    Where's the damned "Like" button?

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    If you want to like something, you're going to have to go somewhere other than the reason comment section.

  • Rat on a train||

    With a maximum elevation of 345ft, you don't jump as much as take a casual walk to the beach.

  • Longtobefree||

    Absolutely. The highest thing around is Space Mountain, and us old farts on Social Security can't afford the tickets, even with the Florida resident discount. So we keep on sucking up the federal tax dollars like we had been forced to shove the money in for forty five years.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I only wish it were true. I'm waiting for some truly ruthless republicans to start putting all the democrats in prison. So much low hanging fruit out there from so many democrat crimes.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    It is as if the anti-gun cult hates freedom.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Well, lately it's as if they hate mentally ill people.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    They started hating mentally ill people under the Carter Administration. Diagnosing low-performing students became a way for Public Schools to avoid accountability for standardized test scores. The test scores from a student with a diagnosed learning disability did not count in the average for the schools test scores prior to No Child Left Behind.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Ritalin was a gateway drug for a few of the young men at my local Wellness Center. Once they started socializing there, they got to meet plenty of recreational drug dealers.

  • Sevo||

    Why, just two years ago we had the most transparent and HONEST admin evah in the WH, and no one ever got shot!

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Well, there was that workplace incident at Fort Hodd where that memeber of the religion of peace got a little out of control during an office dispute.

  • KevinP||

    He really was transparent and honest.

    Obama: Mass shootings are 'something we should politicize'


    Quote:
    President Obama on Thursday made an impassioned case that gun violence is "something we should politicize" following a mass shooting at a community college in Oregon.

    Obama chided opponents of gun control legislation, including those who argue the country needs more guns to prevent mass shootings. And he urged proponents of stricter gun laws to vote for political candidates who share their views.

    "Each time this happens, I'm going to bring this up," Obama said. "Each time this happens, I am going to say we can actually do something about it."

    In a veiled jab at the NRA, Obama asked American gun owners to consider "whether your views are properly being represented by the organization that suggests it is speaking for you."
  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    Proggie friend parroted his party dogma with the zeal of a true zealot immediately following the shooting.

    AR-15 NALJFOAHBOIAAHFIOPNIPFN!!!!

    Take the AR-15 away and what? Kid kills with a shotgun or a pistol. WTF does this do to protect anyone. They address the symptom rather than dare talk about better ways to protect children.

    Fuck Proggies, at least have the principles to just say you want all guns banned, but don't come at me with stupid bull shit that wouldn't save anyone -- it's just politics, which is gross and obscene during tragedy.

  • ||

    Take the AR-15 away and what? Kid kills with a shotgun or a pistol.

    Vertical downward move ignores lateral moves. Take away the AR-15 and the owner would likely just switch to AK, FAL, SCAR, any number of H&K's various HK or G-Platform rifles, etc., etc....

  • Rat on a train||

    A phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range?

  • Longtobefree||

    Just what you see - - - - -

  • p3orion||

    Just what you see, pal.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Or just make a few home made bombs, Molotov's cocktails, etc..

  • Rebel Scum||

    Virtually all of the people that preach gun-control/confiscation/ban don't actually know anything about firearms or firearms policy/law.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Just like how Holocaust deniers do not actually know anything about WWII or Nazi Germany.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Mentally ill people were the first people killed by the Nazis.

  • MikeyParks||

    Just after the Nazis disarmed the Jews.

  • Longtobefree||

    Please go spend a few minutes on Wikipedia.
    The German gun control began under the Kaiser. Old Adolf just took advantage of it and expanded things a bit. Sort of like the left in the US - - - -
    The Nazis did not disarm the Jews, they just killed them.

  • Naaman Brown||

    Jews were forbidden to have guns under the Nazi extensions to the Weimar Republic gun laws.Possessing a gun was a criminal offense if you were a Jew. The gun laws were relaxed for "good Germans" especially Party members in good standing..

    While Albert Einstein was on a trip to the United States, the Nazis searched his home for weapons and found kitchen knives; they confiscated his family property and made it into a Hitler Youth Camp. Einstein returned to Belgium and renounced his German citizenship, returned to the US, and sent FDR a letter about e=mc2.

  • KevinP||

    How the Nazis Used Gun Control: The Weimar Republic's well-intentioned gun registry became a tool for evil


    Quote:
    In 1931, Weimar authorities discovered plans for a Nazi takeover in which Jews would be denied food and persons refusing to surrender their guns within 24 hours would be executed. They were written by Werner Best, a future Gestapo official. In reaction to such threats, the government authorized the registration of all firearms and the confiscation thereof, if required for "public safety." The interior minister warned that the records must not fall into the hands of any extremist group.

    In 1933, the ultimate extremist group, led by Adolf Hitler, seized power and used the records to identify, disarm, and attack political opponents and Jews. Constitutional rights were suspended, and mass searches for and seizures of guns and dissident publications ensued.
  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Pundits largely ignored the latter groups' opposition to the rule, preferring to play up the power of the NRA and their influence on Republicans to turn the issue into a partisan fight.

    It's appropriate to emphasize the NRA's power. I always knew they were scary, but recently I learned from Palin's Buttplug that the NRA is "the most powerful lobby in the country." He even provided a link to listosaur.com to back up this claim.

    I will always support Reason for its uncompromising open borders stance, but I really wish you would get on the right side of history by supporting common sense gun safety legislation. It looks bad when even conservatives like Jennifer Rubin are more sensible on this issue than many libertarians.

  • ThomasD||

    Go get 'em tiger.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I bet a bunch of people would even follow their leader and call Listosaur "fake news". These are crazy times to be a libertarian.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    We have seen how common sense gun safety legislation was practiced in Chicago, Illinois.

    Chicago required handguns to be registered. No problem, right? What is wrong with requiring registration of handguns? All you do is fill our a form and mail it to the appropriate address?.

    Except that they refused to provide new registration forms. They refused to process new registrations. Of course, for some reason, rich, white people with political connections to the Daley junta somehow managed to be able to register their handguns. Not that they actually needed those forms- one of them had actually been pulled over for suspicion for drunk driving, spat at the arresting officer, was found with a unregistered pistol with the serial numbers filed off (a federal offense), and was later allowed to walk- with the gun.

    Can you imagine if voting was treated like this, if officials refused to accept registrations of new voters (especially if huge numbers of the "wrong" kind of people recently moved into the precinct). Would any civil rights organization (let alone voting rights organizations) tolerate a government's refusal to accept new voter registrations (let alone refusing to provide the forms in the first place)

    It is the height of chutzpah to require registration of anything as a condition of ownership, and then to go on and refuse to accept new registrations. that any politician would defend this is inexplicable by anything except hostility to private gun owners.

  • sarcasmic||

    It is the height of chutzpah to require registration of anything as a condition of ownership, and then to go on and refuse to accept new registrations.

    Wasn't the Marijuana Tax Act overturned because of something similar?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    They pulled the same thing with machine guns. Even got declared unconstitutional by a local court, they had to be very careful about not generating test cases for a long while.

  • KevinP||

    New York City is advising rifle and shotgun owners that if their registered firearms
    meet the new definition of an "assault weapon", they must surrender them immediately. And the New York Daily News celebrates:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/opi.....-1.1540358

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013.....ns-rifles/


    The demand came in the form of some 500 letters mailed out to owners of registered long guns that are in violation of a 2010 city ordinance. The first option for the letter's recipient is to, "Immediately surrender your Rifle and/or Shotgun to your local police precinct...
  • Liberty Lover||

    How will you get common sense gun legislation when both sides are lying? The Democrats want and are working towards an outright total ban a piece at a time, yet they say they are not. The Republicans say they will accept common sense gun legislation yet they will accept nothing. (i.e. bump stocks.) Hard to come to common ground when both sides are lying to each other and not talking to each other, but just at each other.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Any gun control is unconstitutional. So one side IS lying about gun grabbing being legal.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    That is the level of legal insight I have come to expect from third-shift desktop support techs who attended backwater religious schools; support backward, authoritarian right-wingery; and inhabit our can't-keep-up rural and southern stretches.

    Carry on, clingers. So far as your lousy educations, bigoted souls, and superstition-laced gullibility can carry you and your god-guns-and-gays agenda.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    So you're some kind of performance art sock puppet, right?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    If you want to talk about education, I'm more than happy to compare CVs.

  • Violent Sociopath||

    The level of unwarranted self-regard here is as staggering as it is hilarious. Anytime you want to compare CVs, champ.

  • KevinP||

    Kirkland, are you objecting to the statement "So one side IS lying about gun grabbing being legal"?

    No one wants to ban guns. Ever! It's a crazy and paranoid idea!

    Hawaii, Which Registers Guns and Medical Marijuana Users, Starts Disarming Patients


    Quote:
    Hawaii is one of 29 states that allow medical use of marijuana, but it is the only state that requires registration of all firearms. ...you can probably surmise what this means for patients who use cannabis as a medicine, which Hawaii allows them to do only if they register with the state. This month many of them received a letter from Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard, instructing them to turn in their guns.

    "Your medical marijuana use disqualifies you from ownership of firearms and ammunition," Ballard says in the November 13 letter, which Leafly obtained this week after Russ Belville noted it in his Marijuana Agenda podcast. "If you currently own or have any firearms, you have 30 days upon receipt of this letter to voluntarily surrender your firearms, permit, and ammunition to the Honolulu Police Department (HPD)...
  • the original jack||

    Regarding "common sense" gun control laws: My dictionary defines "common sense" as "sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge."

    For any law to be "common sense" oriented, there must be a clear and well-defined end result, an expectation that it will/can be enforced, and some validation that the scheme has the desired effect. No proposal from Liberty Lover, the Brady Campaign, Violence Policy Center, or Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns meets the definition of "common sense."

    The expressed expectations and desired results all depend on the assumptions that criminals will obey the new laws even though they are criminals who freely disobey other inconvenient laws.

    One may judge the honesty of an approach to solving the problem of gun violence by the degree to which the fact of human volition is ignored or evaded. They do not consider evil or negligence to be the problem, but instead concentrate on inessential and irrelevant attributes of the weapons themselves, such as their appearance or the fact that they are considered "assault rifles." Human volition, which means the responsibility of an individual for his own actions, is the one issue that they dare not discuss.

    This is because the corollary of individual responsibility is individual rights, the very concept that they have set out to deny.

    Common sense requires incarcerating social deviants, not unviable and unprovable wishes expressed as laws.

  • Sevo||

    ^
    NICE job.

  • markm23||

    The proposed "bump stock" legislation was not common sense. It could be construed - and would be by ill-intentioned prosecutors - to ban even smoothing the trigger action. (That's very commonly done, and it doesn't make the weapon a machine gun.)

    A ban limited just to bump stocks would only inspire another creative work-around to simulate full-auto firing. Some are already known, including tying a shoe string to the trigger, and just holding the rifle loosely enough that it rebounds off the shoulder into the trigger finger. All of these methods give unreliable and erratic firing with poor accuracy, but so does a bump stock - and even a military rifle built for full-auto is much less accurate when that mode is selected. Military forces train their troops to use an assault rifle in single-shot mode when they want to hit something, and 3-shot or full-auto mode when they just want to keep the enemy's heads down.

  • Brendan||

    Anytime someone suggests another person "get on the right side of history", there chances are near 100% that person is completely full of crap.

  • Zeb||

    Or they are performing a parody. Which is what is happening here.

  • R. K. Phillips||

    "Common sense". This was sarcasm, right? Not a single mass shooting or murder was undertaken legally. NOT ONE. So we already have laws. Apparently criminals don't obey them. Fix that.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    I doubt very much that you and I could agree on what constitutes "common sense" gun safety legislation.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    My common sense says the best way to reduce gun violence is to confiscate and destroy progressive voters.

  • MikeyParks||

    A pretty lie is so much more palatable to the libs than the ugly truth.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Just like the equally brainless cons.

    Left - Right = Zero.

  • Rhywun||

    It was hackery then, and it is still hackery today.

    Snopes is all over this, right?

  • croaker||

    Snopes? Bwahahahahahaha!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Isn't Snopes paid directly from the DNC?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    If so, Snopes should worry. Have you seen the current state of the DNC's finances? I would make sure to get payment up front, and in cash.

  • MikeP2||

    As Trump wisely said, "we don't have a gun problem, we have a mental health problem". This is the root cause of these types of incidents and almost all of them can be directly linked back to some failure in mental health management.

    It's not an easy thing to fix and perhaps we can't. But at a minimum, more focus on the use and misuse of medications and some open research about what each mass-murdering idiot was taking would be a great start. There's a lot of conspiracy theories out there about SSRIs and psychotic breaks. John Ringo penned an intriguing article about his personal experiences with this. Where are the intrepid investigative reports digging into autopsy reports and medical records to determine what the losers were prescribed? Oh, yeh, focusing all their energy on Russian collusion.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    The evidence says that mass shootings are planned months in advance by their perpetrators. The suggestion that "psychotic breaks" drive mass shootings is absurd.

  • MikeP2||

    Not sure why you think planning months in advance disputes the concerns of pharma induced psychosis. There is clear literature documentation on this and warning about the use of many meds.

    Go read Ringo's account of what happened to his wife and maybe youll learn something. Google john ringo vegas.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Any infringement on Americans keeping and bearing arms is unconstitutional anyways.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Any infringement on Americans keeping and bearing arms is unconstitutional anyways.

    Bullshit. Two reasons.
    1) NO right is absolute, because all unalienable rights are absolute and ... they can conflict with each other.Elementary.
    2) Justice Scalia calls bullshit also, in his Heller ruling.

    Justice Scalia's ruling in Heller, SCOTUS website. A dreaded progressive??? (lol)

    We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. 'Miller' said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those 'in common use at the time.' 307 U.S., at 179, 59 S.Ct. 816. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of 'dangerous and unusual weapons.'"

    .... as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment's ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty..... But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.

    Anything else?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Yeah, you're a dumbfuck who can't read past page 1 of the Scalia ruling.

  • KevinP||

    Ah, the fake libertarian Hihn.

    From the Heller ruling:

    In sum, we hold that the District's ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment , as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense. Assuming that Heller is not disqualified from the exercise of Second Amendment rights, the District must permit him to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.

    *  *  *

    We are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country, and we take seriously the concerns raised by the many amici who believe that prohibition of handgun ownership is a solution. The Constitution leaves the District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns, see supra, at 54–55, and n. 26. But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home. Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    It's shameful to ignore the serious constitutional problems of this poorly conceived rule just to sow panic and implicate one's political opponents.

    Sowing panic and implicating one's political opponents is the name of the game. Especially when there's a pile of 17 fresh corpses to stand on.

  • ||

    "But muh ill-thought out good intentions"

  • Michael Cook||

    It is concerning that the FBI knew about this shooter well in advance of his killing spree as did the Broward County sheriff. What good is "If you see something, say something" if the authorities have no law to enforce against unstable people who are building up an arsenal even as they mutter ominous threats?

    On the subject of whether it is a bad thing that suicide by gun jacks up the gun violence rate, I knew an esteemed surgeon once who was dying of cancer. His chosen method of suicide was a gun. A family member explained to me that Doc didn't think that pills or even an injection was a sure enough method of certain, painless death. He had seen too many botched results by those methods. His second choice would have been running the Cadillac in the garage with the door closed, but he was afraid that the person who discovered him might be overcome as well.

  • Naaman Brown||

    Japanese have a high suicide rate with fewer guns than we do (rate per 100,000 people per year). The non-gun suicide methods often result in collateral damage. But because fewer Japanese suicides die by gun is really not better. Popular Japanese homemade poisons for example often knock out family members, EMTs, and ER personnel.

    In suicides as well as in murder, you have an actor with motive, opportunity, and means. Means can be substituted.

  • Rockabilly||

    A few years back, the CNN hack Chris Cuomo, who has a law degree, tweeted

    "Hate speech is excluded from protection" under the First Amendment.
    — Chris Cuomo on Wednesday, May 6th, 2015 in a Tweet

    http://www.politifact.com/pund.....over-hate/

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Must be why Colin Kaepernick is in jail.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    The Cuomos are stupid fucks you know.

  • Sevo||

    In SF e-comments, every time there is a gripe about the bums living on the sidewalks, some lefty whines about Reagan 'emptying the sanatoriums'
    EVERY time, regardless of the number of times it is pointed out that Reagan complied with a court decision (the law suit brought by the ACLU) which said the state is not allowed to keep people in a sanatorium against their will.
    EVERY.
    TIME.
    This horse shit (promptly inflated to 'Trump bought guns for every whacko he could find!!!!!!') will now enter lefty talking-point canon as revealed truth, and you can argue against it as you can argue with fundies about anything with the same result.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Which court order was that?

  • Naaman Brown||

    Many. The policy of releasing patients from the state hospitals to the local community was started by recommendations from Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health 1955 to the U.S. Congress, and advocates for the mentally ill filed lawsuits typifying the mental hospitals as "snake pits". Congress and the courts were offered promises that drugs would work against mental illness like vaccines did against physical illness and local clinics would work better than state hospitals.

    As far as blaming Reagan for putting mental patients on the streets: "...the number of patients in state mental hospitals reached a peak of 37,500 in 1959 when Edmund G. Brown was Governor, fell to 22,000 when Ronald Reagan attained that office in 1967, and continued to decline under his administration and that of his successor, Edmund G. Brown Jr. The senior Mr. Brown now expresses regret about the way the policy started and ultimately evolved. ..."
    -- Richard D. Lyons, "How Release of Mental Patients Began", New York Times, 30 Oct 1984.
    http://www.nytimes.com/1984/10.....wanted=all

    California state mental hospital patient decline started under Gov Edmund Brown, continued under Reagan, and continued under Brown Jr. in accordance with recommendations of medical experts and court orders. You can blame Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson for accepting the policy too.

  • DebraJMSmith||

    Thank you. This was VERY informative!

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    There is no nut quite like a gun nut.

    Other than a religious kook, of course.

    Carry on, clingers.

  • ||

    The moronic "social democrats" and progressives are particularly galling.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Along with the Christian Taliban.

  • tgrondo||

    "religious kook"

    It seems odd that someone, whose log-in name is "Rev. Arthur Kirkland", would cast aspersions upon people of faith...

    Are you really a reverend ?

  • Naaman Brown||

    No, he's not. And he's not an Al Pacino character either.

  • Rigelsen||

    Reason.com comments really need an ignore feature. Can anyone recall a single substantive AK post ever, or anything that wasn't a trollish brain fart? Well, at least he isn't as bad as he who shall not be named.

  • ranrod||

    Mental health as a weapon against the people is communist in origin..

    Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.

    Deceptive Transformation: The Truth of Soviet Influence in America and Gun Control...The idea of using mental health as a weapon against the people is communist in origin, and the social sciences, or the studying of human behavior has its roots in early twentieth century Russia when Ivan Pavlov developed his "classical conditioning" theories. In fact, Pavlov was disturbed that Vladimir Lenin would use these conditioning methods against the people in order to get them to accept communism. Since that time the social sciences have been used as a means of maintaining control over populations and getting them to accept their own down fall. This is happening today in the United States as our universities and public schools have long ago adopted educational techniques based on the social sciences and classical conditioning methods.

  • ranrod||

    Subjects like White Privilege and Multiculturalism are used to demoralize our population, create a guilt consciousness and silence us into accepting a new agenda based on the idea that we have been unfair, and our lifestyles are oppressive, and offensive to others. This agenda dates back to the early twentieth century; however, it saw some of its most major advances in the mid 1900's after the U.N. was created in 1945. While many people today view the Democrat Party as being made mostly of communists or socialists; the sad truth is that the Republican Party is just as responsible for what we are seeing in education and culture in the United States today.

  • ||

    "It's shameful to ignore the serious constitutional problems of this poorly conceived rule just to sow panic and implicate one's political opponents." If the major media didn't have this, what on earth would they have left to do?
    Half truths, lie by omissions, Cathy Newman battle..er, debate tactics.

  • Dyson||

    I see a lot of 'left' bashing here. The gun debate is cultural, not necessarily political. Socially, I'm as far left as a person can get, but because I was raised in a place where guns were commonplace and I was given my first gun at age 10, I have no issues with gun ownership. Just because the region of the country with the highest gun ownership happens to be the reddest part of the country, it has become a rallying cry for the right.

    As for the article itself, I appreciate the information. I saw those memes and posts and, even though I despise Trump, they sounded far fetched. Wouldn't the proposed bill have violated HIPAA regulations too?

  • thoughtsmith||

    This article is not well reasoned.

    Key text:

    >A year ago, Congress and Trump eliminated a proposed rule that would have included in the federal government gun background database people who received disability payments from Social Security and received assistance to manage their benefits due to mental impairments.

    ^^^^
    That *literally shows* Trump eliminated a way to background check gun buyers for mental illness.

    That *literally means* Trump made it easier for people with mental illness to buy guns.

    I understand it can be uncomfortable to recognize that this actually happened. But it actually happened. If we're going to live up to this site's title and "Reason", we need to do better.

    Do better people.

  • operagost||

    All "mental impairments" aren't mental illness. You can have a brain injury that prevents you from doing math and be on that list. It was a lazy rule implemented by a lazy President who wanted to make it look like he was doing something.

    Do better, thoughtsmith.

  • Naaman Brown||

    Can you list the crimes committed with guns by persons receiving disability benefits who have a fiduciary handling their financial affairs? Are these 75,000 people a clear and present danger to the public?

    Without them being adjudicated by due process as an individual dangerous to self or others, Obama wanted the whole class added to the Prohibited Person list of adjudicated or convicted with due process mentally defective, felons, fugitives from justice, domestic violence offenders, and others in the NICS background checklist. Without any due process method of challenging their status on the Prohibited Person list and no method of getting their rights restored if their status changes.

    A convicted bank robber could appeal for restoration of rights. But not a social security recipient with a fiduciary,

  • Heraclitus||

    Wait, people on disability have extra money to buy guns?! Someone should tell Paul Ryan. Well, I suppose if you can't run background checks they can test 'em for drugs!

  • Heraclitus||

    Wait, people on disability have extra money to buy guns?! Someone should tell Paul Ryan. Well, I suppose if you can't run background checks they can test 'em for drugs!

  • The gouch||

    According to Risk & Reward on FBN,, There have been several copycat things reported to the fbi since the shooting.

  • Michael Hihn||

    The government does have the power to restrict and even deny gun ownership to people, but it has to show that these people have engaged in behavior that makes weapons dangerous in their hands.

    Bullshit.
    NO right is absolute, not even life, on the simple definition of unalienable, because such rights can conflict with each other. So, "modern" libertarianism no longer defends equal unalienable and/or God-given rights. Bow down to the alt-right.

    Or .. Jefferson and the Founders were illiterate, along with five centuries of natural rights. Yeah, that must be it!

  • janon||

    Was this article meant to be ironic?

    Sorry to break it to the ideological extremist commenters who enjoy a great "choir preach"

    But the article proves that yeah, it just got easier for the mentally impaired to get guns.

    I know you all think it's only ok when conservatives split hairs, selectively parse words and get disingenuously pedantic like drawing a distinction between "the government declaring you're mentally impaired" and "being mentally impaired"

    But the *reality* is there are now *absolutely more people unfit to own a gun* who *will get one*

    It's YOU people who constantly blame mental illness, so that's not on progressives

    Progressives just want "crazy commie" things like more regulation (as much as a CAR say)

    It's you people that feel even if 1000000 psychopaths were allowed to legally buy a gun, it's worth it as long as not ONE person who was just "borderline" wasnt denied

    You're just self centered fetishists trying to defend a morally bankrupt position with lawyer level equivocation while ironically calling out "the other side" for the same

    We need two countries. One 1830s style Wild West hell for you people, one modern western democracy for everyone else

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Progressives just want "crazy commie" things like more regulation (as much as a CAR say)

    Oh, so if we regulate firearms just like cars, does that mean the license renewal consists of a simple vision test, is shall issue upon passing the initial operator test, and I can buy firearms across state lines without a background check, JUST LIKE CARS?

    Fuck off, proglydyte.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    We need two countries. One 1830s style Wild West hell for you people, one modern western democracy for everyone else

    So you're historically ignorant as well.

  • KevinP||

    If you want to apply automobile regulations to firearms, most gun owners would take that trade in a heartbeat. It would result in a massive repeal of most US gun control laws.

    See:

    Taking It to the Streets: Why treating guns like cars might not be such a bad idea.

    This article is an excellent and comprehensive treatment of the subject.

    Hint: If guns were treated like cars, every person would be able to keep unregistered machine guns at home.

  • Hokulea||

    "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."

    Funny how a couple of Comma can help cause tens of thousands of Americans to die due to gun homicide every year, year after year.

    Gun Nuts love the last part of the amendment, but forget the first part, you know, something about "A well regulated Militia".

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Gun Nuts love the last part of the amendment, but forget the first part, you know, something about "A well regulated Militia".

    There are plenty of federal and state regulations on the books. You're just mad that they aren't the ones you want.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Funny how a couple of Comma can help cause tens of thousands of Americans to die due to gun homicide every year, year after year.

    More than 2.5 times the number of people die from alcohol-related causes as from gun homicides, but I don't see you crying to repeal the 21st Amendment. Guess you're not as big a supporter of public safety as you claim to be.

  • Seanumich||

    Glad you ask this question. IF you sell alcohol to somebody who is already drunk and that person kills somebody, you as the license holder are responsible of they kill somebody. I hope you are comfortable with that for gun dealers
    Oh and the AGE you can buy alcohol is 21. The repal of prohibition makes no ,mention of age, so that means there CAN be age bias against selling to certain age people. Also, alcohol is strictly regulated. In some places you cant buy alcohol on Sundays. You can not buy it after 2 am in some places. You are NOT allowed to carry OPEN intoxicants (but the NRA wants open carry). Schools are also alcohol free zones, but I keep hearinghow if schools werent gun free zones they would be safer

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    IF you sell alcohol to somebody who is already drunk and that person kills somebody, you as the license holder are responsible of they kill somebody.

    Hey dumbass, if someone who isn't drunk buys alcohol and then goes out and kills someone, that person is just as dead. It's telling that you have to qualify your statement to such a degree.

    Oh and the AGE you can buy alcohol is 21.

    Irrelevant. Buying alcohol is easier than buying a gun--look how many people with multiple DUIs can just walk into any liquor store and continue to buy alcohol.

    Come on, chump, where's the left's shrieking demands and rallies for universal background checks for all alcohol purchases and forbidding people with domestic violence and DUI convictions, as well as diagnosed alcoholics, from buying alcohol?

    Also, alcohol is strictly regulated. In some places you cant buy alcohol on Sundays.

    Lol, no it's not. The only requirement you need to buy alcohol is to be 21. It doesn't matter if you've been convicted of multiple DUIs, or domestic violence. You can still buy as much alcohol as you want. You don't even need a background check.

  • Alana D||

    Sorry, but if you're willing to be classified as being mentally impaired or disabled, to the point where you can't manage PAPERWORK without assistance, you are indeed too impaired to handle a gun! You can't have it both ways.

  • bernard11||

    Actually, the claim in the headline is wrong, and nothing in the article supports it.

    The fact is, some of the people affected by the repealed regulation are mentally ill, and Trump did make it easier for them to get guns. The article says so. Oh, and if you can't handle your checking account maybe, just maybe, you shouldn't be handling an AR-15 either.

    Now, Scott Shackford and others think that's unjust and unconstitutional. Well, that's his opinion. But that's all it is, and even if he is right that doesn't change the facts.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    The fact is, some of the people affected by the repealed regulation are mentally ill, and Trump did make it easier for them to get guns.

    Considering the definitions of "mentally ill" are completely arbitrary, you probably should think twice about going down this road.

    Oh, and if you can't handle your checking account maybe, just maybe, you shouldn't be handling an AR-15 either

    By this logic, every transgender should be forbidden from owning firearms, since they can't handle the reality of their biology.

  • Naaman Brown||

    The subset of people that are "mentally disturbed" like the kid who talked about becoming a school shooter
    are not the equivalent
    to the subset of the persons adjudicated as "mentally ill",
    nor to the subset of people who are getting social security and having their finances handled by a fiduciary without being adjudicated as mentally defective.
    The "mentally disturbed" who may take action should be targeted.

    Current law requires that you be placed on the Prohibited Person list maintained by the NICS for background checks for legal gun purchase if you have ever been adjudicated mentally defective (which includes being determined by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that you are a danger to yourself or to others or are incompetent to manage your own affairs) or if you have been committed to a mental institution.

    Trump did not stop putting adjudicated mentally ill on the Prohibited Person list. He remove the unadjudicated people labelled mentally ill by Obama as a class.

    Obama put on the list all persons receiving a social security disability if they had a fiduciary handling their finances, even if they had not been adjudicated mentally defective or incompetent, taking the fact they had a fiduciary as proof enough of defect or incompetence, without adjudication under due process as required by law. The ACLU objected to that action by Obama.

  • fgdfgdfg||

    It's the same thing. Whether the law was in place or not he WILLFULLY did away with it at the NRAs bidding. Either now or in the future he has made it easier for the mentally ill to obtain guns.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    "the NRAs bidding"

  • Seanumich||

    " received assistance to manage their benefits due to mental impairments."

    WAIT, SO THEY RECEIVE federal financial aid, DUE TO mental inpairment, BUT then want ot be competent to own a gun? If you cant manage your finances, you are not competent to handle a gun., If you cant see that, you quite frankly are stupid

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    If you cant manage your finances, you are not competent to _________________.

    By your stupid logic, every person that can't manage their finances should be locked up in a padded cell since they aren't competent to do anything else for themselves.

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  • ||

    Did you mean the fourteenth amendment?

  • TxJack 112||

    This is just the latest of the lies pushed by the gun control crowd. When you have to lie to gather support it only shows the weakness of your position.

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