A Grand Bargain on Guns? Here's How.

William Lewis12/14/2013 9:33:46 am PST

Of these, only the first has even a snowball’s chance of passing. Even then its doubtful because most of the right wing don’t want a functional ATF, they want it destroyed because of their fantasy of what the 2nd amendment means. I could see the GOP House passing the rules and then refusing to fund it.

The complicated mess being proposed in 2 would be a bureaucratic nightmare to regulate and given the House’s refusal to fund ATF already, it’s asking for more trouble. In addition, as it stands, several states, particularity in the South, are very fond of taking away the voting & gun rights of people by increasing the penalties for for certain misdemeanors (Pot related especially) to a year and a day triggering the federal definition of “more than a year”. They aren’t going to willing give up the ability to keep those “others” from having rights.

Lastly, the background checks are a bit of a red herring. The biggest thing that could be checked for is mental health related problems but before you can do that you have to get real mental health therapy available. To do any good you have to get people into treatment. And the reality is that the most dangerous times for patients and those around them are early in the treatment process, access to firearms should be restricted. But that’s an instant “No Go”. Because as soon as you do people on the pro-gun side begin by assuming that everything will become a mental illness and used to “take ur gunz away!!11ty!” and they oppose it with a knee jerk that makes Bloomberg’s “for the kids” look small.

Combine this with the fact that far too many people who are seriously mentally ill REFUSE treatment. Once a person turns 21 it is near impossible to get them treatment if they don’t think they are ill or are afraid of the outcome of treatment. For a lot of people suffering mental illnesses they actually enjoy where they are at a lot of the time. For all of the lows, there’s often times much more highs which are like a drug to them. I know people that have said numerous times, during those times when they are lucid enough to talk about and acknowledge something’s wrong, that they will in no way, shape, or form take any pills. They’re afraid that the pills or other therapy would dull the edge that they get from the mania.

Look at the mug shots of Laughner. He looks happy and content. And Holmes certainly must have been enjoying his Joker fantasy. Same with the Columbine shooters. It was a real life video game for them. All mentally wrong to some degree and I highly doubt any of them would have accepted treatment if it had been offered.

Perhaps we need to take Texas and turn it into Heinlein’s Coventry. If you don’t want to live with the restrictions or health care of civilized society go there and have your libertarian fantasy world with a big wall around it and no way out… then the rest of us can live in a reasonable and safe place and they can have all the excitement that they wish.

That last paragraph is only half sarc, alas.