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1 Skip Intro  May 27, 2014 10:10:33am

I know your heart’s in the right place on this, but I also know the second any such bill was proposed the attacks from the NRA and their ilk against anyone supporting such a bill would be fast and vicious. Should it be signed into law, the NRA and their ilk would tie it up for years in the courts, while calling for the removal from office every single person who supported it.

2 Rightwingconspirator  May 27, 2014 10:12:39am

re: #1 Skip Intro

Thank you and yeah, that’s why at the same time I have been calling out the NRA as part of the problem. Take heart though California has a pretty good record at holding off the NRA. On dozens of occasions.

3 sauceruney  May 27, 2014 1:23:26pm

Or focus on using RICO laws to take out the NRA

4 William Barnett-Lewis  May 27, 2014 1:32:22pm

A family member will lie and hide firearms for the accused. The police will steal them (see drug war confiscation practices).

The only possible way I’m seeing for this to work is if a neutral third party - specifically licensed, insured/bonded, FFL - was used to hold the firearms during the adjudication process. If the defendant is found to be sane/innocent, then the fire arms are returned. If the defendant is found to not be sane or guilty, then the firearms are sold for true fair market value and the proceeds returned to the owner. Only a small fee - less than 5% of the gross selling price - allowed.

This might work instead.

5 Rightwingconspirator  May 27, 2014 1:37:23pm

re: #4 William Barnett-Lewis

Too bad the FFL transfer thing gets in the way. Otherwise ones attorney could take custody officially, perhaps stored at a FFL holders safe.

6 victor27  May 27, 2014 1:52:11pm

I don’t know how this proposal would have helped in this case.

The shooter was interviewed by the police:

Rodgers was most recently visited and interviewed by the police in April after a family member became alarmed about YouTube posts by Rodger that mentioned violence and suicide. While Rodger’s parents and social worker were concerned, police found the student to be polite during their interview.

If the cops didn’t pick up on any potential threats, would it be likely that a judge could? Everyone has to operate under the presumption of innocence, otherwise, we’re treading on some potentially dangerous ground.

Given what we know so far, this is like a worst case scenario in disaster planning: every box on the checklist was checked, but none of the checks worked to prevent murder.

Just like Sandy Hook (and other mass casualty events), the current system does not address failure.

7 J A P  May 27, 2014 10:25:33pm

Have you read the shooter’s autobiography, mislabeled a “manifesto?” It’s actually rather sad. He obviously badly needed help starting from the age of about twelve or so, but failed to get it. His mother and step-mother come across as hapless and not knowing how to help him. His father is simply absent until he’s gone so far downhill his efforts are too little too late. People are throwing out suggestions about policies, but I wonder how much anyone actually knows about the mental health system. I don’t know much myself, but it looks to me like people grasping at straws.

I tried accessing help for depression for about two years, continually feeling that therapists weren’t taking me seriously until I wound up in the hospital after telling a police officer that I wanted to kill myself and would he drive me to the hospital. There they took it seriously and finally someone prescribed antidepressants for me. It was a shame because I could have been helped without an expensive hospital stay if someone had believed me a couple years earlier. It also has to do with what insurance will pay for or not, although I had expressed a willingness to pay out of pocket if necessary. Accessing follow-up care since leaving the hospital has been harder than it should be.

In the hospital, I was in the minority for being a voluntary commitment. In much of what I’ve read online in the past few days people seem to have a mistaken notion that it’s really hard to commit someone. I was in a low-security, short term place where most of the people had very mild problems. Yet people had been involuntarily committed for seemingly small things. One family had gotten their adult son committed because he was mumbling strangely at a family party and they were worried. My roommate had broken her patio furniture and her neighbors called the police who brought her to the hospital and she was committed very much against her will. There was even someone there who had threatened suicide on Facebook. Worried friends called the police. When they arrived, he tried to explain that he wasn’t going to kill himself, that he had just written that he felt like killing himself and it was an expression of frustration, not a literal statement. Talking to him shortly after he arrived I was inclined to believe his version of events since he seemed comparatively calm and highly lucid. However they were keeping him for observation just to be sure. Of course no one wants to be in that situation, but it was probably prudent. Twenty-four or forty-eight hours in the hospital isn’t as bad as people think. This isn’t that uncommon, but it’s stigmatizing and people don’t want to talk about it. It’s not so impossible to commit people as everyone seems to think.

In the state in which I live, I can’t own a gun (not that I want one) due to those forty-eight hours I spent in the hospital in my attempt to get treatment. That’s probably for the best, but I’d rather not live in a world awash in guns. I’m glad I have always lived places where guns are uncommon. I’ve had too many bad experiences with ex-boyfriends and wannabe boyfriends. I’m glad I can assume that they probably don’t have guns. If I live in an area where many people did, I wonder if I’d date at all. I’ve had a lot of men threaten me. The idea of possessive, jealous men with guns who might know that I can’t have one due to a history of depression is a scary situation to me.

Anyway, I’ve gotten a bit off track from the proposal to which you’ve linked. It seems to me that the Santa Barbara police were very remiss in how they handled the situation. The only mitigating factor that I can see is that perhaps since it’s a college town they maybe get a lot of calls from alarmed parents who haven’t heard from their kids for a few days and therefore don’t take calls like that seriously. I don’t know the laws in California, but I would be surprised if they couldn’t have at least taken him to a hospital where he could be evaluated by mental health professionals. Being potentially dangerous to oneself or others is reason for involuntary commitment. I don’t think there’s any proposal that will work if law enforcement officers don’t take a situation seriously.

I haven’t yet finished reading his autobiography, but it seems to me that there were plenty of missed opportunities to help him. He was clearly suffering and did tell people. Everyone wants to know how to keep mentally ill people from killing other people but no one wants to talk about how to help them just for the sake of helping them. There are plenty of people suffering. If he had been helped years earlier when he was just a kid suffering, having food thrown at him in the cafeteria for being “weird” and similar episodes, it might have never gotten to the point where he wanted revenge. But that would take mental health care for people who aren’t yet at the point of being deprived of their liberty and that requires money and is therefore not an option politically.

8 FemNaziBitch  May 28, 2014 5:26:18am

Until Mental health is considered “health” I doubt we will get a handle on this.

The Stigma and Taboos are too great.

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