Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mental Illness and Guns

How best to deal with the crazy who has not yet acted crazy enough to be locked up in a mental institution?

The VT killer was under some psychiatric care and was considered suicidal, yet health care professionals felt there was insufficient reasons to admit him to an institution for care.

The current ATF rules requires self identification of the potentially mentally ill on the questionnaire that is required with the purchase of a gun.

Some of the state databases may actually have mental confinement data. Many do not or they are just not up to date.

Why not require health care professionals to report any individual to the state police who comes into their facilities and exhibits evidence of a willingness to harm themselves or others without any rational justification.

Banks are required to report cash transactions to the government that exceed $10,000. Why can't doctors be required to report sick people who may kill themselves or others. Failure to report would be a criminal offense.

If these folks are concerned about they're potential liability for criminal sanctions they would opt to report. Worse came to worse the gun purchaser would be denied the chance to purchase. They should be provided with an appeal process by an independent body (not ATF) as part of this solution. I see this as very reasonable gun control. No doubt others will disagree.

This is just one of many types of remedies that need to be discussed.

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