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1 watching you tiny alien kittens are  Sat, Jan 5, 2013 11:01:05pm

Damn few of the loonys that wander our streets mumbling, talking, and sometimes yelling to themselves have ever actually been adjudicated as mentally ill in court. Another reason why the whole "mental health" diversionary tactic the NRA and its supporters are pushing is basically worthless.

Had the city not returned Kristi’s gun, she would have possessed a viable civil rights action against the city for violating her Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights,’ attorney Michele Iafrate wrote.

Yep, absolutely correct, and one of the pro-gun organizations would most likely have provided her with a lawyer if she had asked them for help. After all she hadn't done anything criminal or been adjudicated by a judge as mentally defective, had she?

For those interested the Federal definition on this in regards to gun ownership is...

27 CFR 478.11
Adjudicated as a mental defective.
(a) A determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease:
(1) Is a danger to himself or to others; or
(2) Lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs.
(b) The term shall include—
(1) A finding of insanity by a court in a criminal case; and
(2) Those persons found incompetent to stand trial or found not guilty by reason of lack of mental responsibility pursuant to articles 50a and 72b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. 850a, 876b.

Again the number of people this actually applies to (who are in the NICS file) is abysmally low, in 1999 it was only 90,000. By 2007 with increased state reporting it had gone up to 400,000. However, the U.S. General Accounting Office estimated that there should have been at least 2.7 million such records in the database then.

In other words NICS was only getting reports on approximately 1 in 7 of the people who belonged in the Mentally Defective file. I could not find any more current numbers in a quick search but I doubt that the situation has gotten much better since then. We don't need more platitudes from the NRA about mental health treatment and reporting, they said the same things after Cho shot-up Virginia Tech. remember?

The problem is that the NRA says one thing in public and then works behind the scenes to undermine those stated goals. Confusing and contradictory state privacy laws that they supported now prevent some states from reporting many of the people that they should to NICS. When legislatures have attempted to change their regulations to be able to fully comply with the Federal reporting regulations the NRA has fought against it.

No group in this country has done more to champion the rights of people with questionable mental health to own firearms than the NRA has. Every word coming out their mouths now is nothing but the purest of hypocrisy. Their own long-term record indicates that they will actively fight any attempts by government to actually follow through on their own current "suggestions."

2 researchok  Sun, Jan 6, 2013 12:14:11am

Excellent catch. TY

Now, if only a sensible mechanism can be devised that deals with the real problem and not just the political agendas.

3 Decatur Deb  Sun, Jan 6, 2013 7:20:20am

From Wonkette:

Teacher with A Gun...

[Link: wonkette.com...]

4 Romantic Heretic  Sun, Jan 6, 2013 7:41:10am

The biggest problem is society's attitude to mental illness, which far too many people think of as 'mental weakness'. Much of our society worships strength, even though we have no definition for it, and the sotto voce connected belief is that the weak get what they deserve. If they just 'grew a spine' or 'got back on the horse' everything would be fine.

Until this attitude changes, nothing else will change.

5 Red Falcons of America  Mon, Jan 7, 2013 4:13:03am

We should arm the homeless and Eat the Rich.

6 Dark_Falcon  Mon, Jan 7, 2013 5:25:38am

re: #2 researchok

Excellent catch. TY

Now, if only a sensible mechanism can be devised that deals with the real problem and not just the political agendas.

The problem there is that notification and treatment of mental illness touches on a huge number of federal regulations and laws that are already on the books. Owing to that thicket of laws and regulations, even if work on needed changes began the Monday after the Newtown shootings, it will still be February or March before any proposals can be unveiled. This because, as I've said before, poorly thought out or rushed changes to matters this complex would likely hurt rather than help matters. So by their nature, any changes to mental health regulations will happen slowly and be altered to fit the interests of the various groups that lobby the Congress.


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