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View Diary: Homicidal mentally ill felon obtains gun permit, arsenal, in Minnesota (324 comments)

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  •  I have to prove my ability to see... (15+ / 0-)

    ...with vision tests before being issued a drivers' license. People who buy a shitton of guns should have to prove they're not insane.

    •  There's a germ of a good idea in this. But the (5+ / 0-)

      devil will be in the details. Maybe someone has some ideas about such a policy would be implemented? Maybe if you fail your crazy test, your guns go to the police station where they are locked up until you can demonstrate competence again?

      But I can see where someplace like Alabama someone might be more likely to fail their crazy test the darker their skin color. Anyway, it's a good start- maybe someone can design a way to make it fairer etc.

      "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

      by pengiep on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 11:45:45 AM PST

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      •  Or how you do a crazy test in the first place. (0+ / 0-)

        With vision it's easy, you can either read the letters or you can't but how do you do that with a crazy test unless you are willing to require a week long (6 hours a day for 5 days) fMRI study/test to check the functioning of different areas of the brain responsible for craziness?

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:01:39 PM PST

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        •  Past history, recency of history, realtime (0+ / 0-)

          observation. Would you loan a few thousand dollars to a guy who gambled away a few thousand last month? How about last year? Or how about 10 years ago, but who has no recent history of gambling addiction? We make these decisions all the time in the area of economics and health care. It is what civilisation is run on. Keep your credit good, and you will get more if you need it. Be an asshat with others money and you will find yourself impoverished. Pretty simple.

          Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

          by OregonOak on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 05:55:53 AM PST

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    •  A good idea in theory but it is much harder (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril

      to prove someone is or isn't crazy (especially if they are very good at hiding it) as with a vision test either you can see the letters or you can't.  As an example, would a simple hour long exam by a psychiatrist/psychologist be enough or would it require a week long (6 hours a day for 5 days) fMRI study to check the functionality of all the different areas of the brain?

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:00:27 PM PST

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    •  How do you prove a negative? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fuzzyguy, liz, schnecke21, m00finsan

      Mental health checks are a good idea, but there are some caveats.  

      1)  Somebody who had a mental illness but is undergoing treatment would have that on his/her record for potential employers to see;  that could make it hard to find a job.

      2)  People with mental illness can be experts at faking mental health, and with a bit of study they can learn the correct answers to say.  

      3)  People who do not want to lose their access to guns might postpone seeking the mental health treatment -- sort of like how pilots would try to avoid a depression diagnosis since that would cost them their job.  

      Here is a program of regulation that may meet these requirements.  

      1)  People found not guilty of violent felonies for reason of insanity are banned for life from gun ownership.  

      2)  Juveniles and adults found guilty of violent felonies are banned for life from gun ownership, even if their record is later cleared or they are pardoned.  

      3)  People who are involuntarily committed to a mental health institution get a ban that depends on diagnosis.  Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders earn a lifetime ban.  Bipolar and major depressive disorders earn a lifetime ban, to be stayed after seven years if the patient gives proof of continuous treatment over those seven years and reimposed for life in the event of a second commitment.

      4)  People who are voluntarily committed to a mental hospital and kept for more than 72 hours get a lifetime ban for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders;  bipolar and major depressive disorders earn a lifetime ban, to be stayed after one year under conditions like those in Paragraph 3.

      5)  As a condition of probation for misdemeanors, a convict's guns are seized and possession of guns violates probation.  The value of the guns taken should be deducted from any fines that are owed.  

      6)  Households in which a family member is under the ban may own weapons, but not store them on their property without a lock that requires a code or password for entry.  They may also store such weapons at a secure facility of their choice.  

      7)  Information relating to firearm permits that does not involve a guilty verdict is to be kept confidential -- leaking said information would be a crime.  

      We do not have a reliable way to diagnose people without their consent, unless they act out in ways that are clearly harmful to life, limb or property.  People with mental illness who do not wish a diagnosis can learn, with a little study, just how to answer questions in a way that will avert diagnosis.  The only cure here is to remove the stigma of mental illness and offer its treatment.  (Note that the interventions above require committal.  A person feeling mentally unwell and not wishing to lose his/her guns would be strongly encouraged to get outpatient help by the prospect of a ban should the condition worsen.)

      We should also, as a society, wonder why we spend hundreds of billions of dollars defending foreign nations while not sparing a mere $10 billion to hire and train 100,000 police officers with another $10 billion for studies and interventions that reduce crime.  Some American rationally fear that they would be attacked in their homes or on the street, so they own guns to protect against that eventuality -- why not demand of society the first duty of a civilization to its members, which is protection of life, limb and property from the predations of others.    

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:44:16 PM PST

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      •  Check out Australia. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MrJersey, JayBat, sethtriggs

        They've been through this. Their system works fine.

        "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army Attorney to Sen. McCarthy, 1954. "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012.

        by bontemps2012 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:41:06 PM PST

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      •  ... (5+ / 0-)

        ...you would put people on the list for voluntarily seeking inpatient treatment for depression?

        I'm sorry, but hell no.

        I did absolutely nothing wrong when I did the responsible thing and got inpatient treatment when I had adverse reactions to benzodiazepines. It was the right thing to do. Both times. (Yes, twice. Didn't make the connection the first time.)

        And it's not something that could have been prevented by outpatient treatment - it was outpatient treatment that got me in the situation in the first place. And it's not a problem that I should be required to get ongoing treatment for - it was the treatment that screwed me up.

        The first time, I went to a counselor because I was having trouble coping with some things, got diagnoses including major depression and social anxiety, took the meds prescribed, wound up worse than when I started, went to the hospital, got out, stopped treatment and went on with my life.

        The second time, I went to the ER for something unrelated, was given benzos, became suicidal, checked myself in, got the drug out of my system, got out and went on with my life.

        I did absolutely nothing wrong. I committed no crime. Actually, that's an understatement. I not only did nothing wrong, I actively did the right thing (and spent a whole lot of money to do it). There is absolutely no reason I should be treated like a criminal. Doing so will have negative consequences, not least of which is that it will discourage people like me from doing the right thing.

        It's not about the guns. I don't own a gun. I used to. Gave it away. I don't want to own any more guns. It's not about that. It's about being included on some sort of "take away your rights" database.

        I actually think it's ridiculous that owning guns is a 'right' in this country in the first place. But we are where we are. It's a 'right'. And if you want to put me in a no-guns database because I received voluntary inpatient treatment for depression, you're saying that you think it's OK to deprive me of at least one of my Constitutionally-guaranteed rights because I was responsible and got the appropriate kind of health care.

        "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

        by kyril on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 05:13:14 PM PST

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