Firearms and Mental Health

horselipshorselips Senior MemberPosts: 3,624 Senior Member
President Trump stated that his response to the Parkland, FL school massacre will focus on mental health issues, specifically, denying firearms to the mentally ill. I applaud that goal, but how exactly is such a thing to be done? The devil, as always, is in the details, and this is really a very complex issue.

Only a court can deprive a citizen of his rights, and even then only under certain conditions, such as a felony conviction, or an adjudication of mental illness. So, if courts are the ways and means, then courts we must have.
Looking at the map, there are big states, small states, populous states, and some relatively sparsely settled. Altogether, nationwide, we would need about 700 mental health courts. One or two in states like Rhode Island and Wyoming, maybe 20 or 30 in states like California, Texas and Florida. The rest fall in between. My own state, Arizona, could probably get by with 5 or 6.
Each court would be staffed with a judge and the usual staff, 2 prosecutors, and 4 public defenders. The judge and attorneys would spend a year learning about mental illness, and then be tested to be sure they are qualified to handle the issue. Hiring 700 judges is not a big hurdle, and in a nation of over a million attorneys, finding 4200 to work on these cases should not be too big a deal. If 700 courts are too many, fine, we can try 600, if 700 is not enough, we can try 800 or more. Whatever it takes.

Here’s how it would work: when someone’s attitude, or behavior becomes sufficiently suspect, a form is requested from the mental health court, a detailed report is made (by a teacher, doctor, shrink, family member, employer, whomever), then submitted to the court prosecutors who carefully evaluate it. If they find cause, they may order the suspect to appear. Upon ‘indictment’ the suspect may be assigned one of the public defenders, or he may retain his own counsel. The judge will set a trial date, both sides will present their case, they could even call expert witnesses if necessary, and the judge will find the ‘accused’ to be either mentally ill or mentally sound. If adjudicated to be mentally ill, the judge may order the removal of all firearms in the person’s home, report him to the NICS, and issue a restraining order to keep him from attending a gun show or making any private purchases of firearms or ammunition. This would be a public record, like any other court record, so that a seller may ‘e-verify’ whether his customer is a nutburger. In severe cases, the judge may commit the person to an institution.

This is not a perfect solution. There isn’t one. Mistakes will be made, sane people living with crazies may temporarily lose their gun rights - oh heck - lots of things could (and will) go wrong. What? You don’t expect casualties? Kidding me? A network of mental health appellate courts could handle the unexpected, or even the restoration of gun rights if the sick citizen is cured. But at least we’d have a legal framework, operated by trained and competent jurists and attorneys, to lawfully handle the delicate issue of depriving a citizen of a civil right, and protecting him from the agenda driven health care provider seeking to deprive everyone he can of the right to keep and bear arms.

Replies

  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    I see a similar system being routed through existing courts with even greater calamity and tax payer expence. We should be so lucky see a plan like yours complete with your predicted failings.

    Edit
    It wont be the health care provider prescribing arbitrary disarmament so much as the health care insurer dictating said to the provider.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,089 Senior Member
    One word: Courts.

    Yea, that'll work out well...
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • Old RonOld Ron Senior Member Posts: 3,647 Senior Member
    And who will choose the ones to determine who is crazy ? If judged crazy then they will not find a way to get a gun or something else to pull off there crazy plan ? How about the stupid people out there ? They are not crazy so then they could help out the crazy ones with there plans. Simple answer would be to put down the mad dogs & leave the rest of us alone.
    ( sorry about the rant )
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,551 Senior Member
    Any so-called solution that any government comes up with will be a 'one size fits all' plan that will malfunction at least 50% of the time. Sure, some problems do get solved by creating a template that screens out individuals according to escalating thresholds of behavior, and assigning preventive or corrective treatment to each level. But, the success rate is never going to be high enough, because even if the government should luck out and come up with a perfect solution, they will populate the employee base with imperfect people, based on political considerations, unvetted credentials, incompetence within the HR system, racial quotas, etc., etc.

    Do the easiest things, first. Use some of those federal funds that schools get to arm and train those teachers who are willing and competent to carry a firearm. Control access, like Jayhawker has described, with man traps at the entrances and strategically located cameras that are monitored by several people who can lock the doors immediately, if necessary, and warn the classroom teachers to take defensive measures. Have local police make unscheduled visits regularly throughout each day, so that they are seen walking the halls by anyone contemplating a mass shooting.

    There are hundreds of small things that can be done. I attended high school during the first days of school integration, and there was a lot of turmoil, with fights, shootings, etc. The sheriff's dept. sent a black lieutenant and his sidekick, both with very serious reputations as bad-asses, to walk through the halls at odd times, and it stopped most of the problems. At first it was several times a day, then eventually tapered off to once or twice a week. Many of the kids interacted with them, and surprisingly, they identified many of the trouble-makers and had 'private talks' with them, often changing their behavior for the better.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,663 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    There will be a time in our countriy’s future in which gun ownership will be considered a mental health issue

    yep. The desire to get a gun will be considered a sign of mental illness. They will invent a catch-22, and effectively ban possession. "You still have the right to keep and bear arms. All you have to do is submit to a mental screening. It's for the kids, dontjaknow..." You submit for the screening, and then you come back with a disorder because you want guns.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,089 Senior Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    "You still have the right to keep and bear arms. All you have to do is submit to a mental screening.

    Its already that way in parts of California in reference to a CCW permit.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • shootbrownelkshootbrownelk Senior Member Posts: 2,017 Senior Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    yep. The desire to get a gun will be considered a sign of mental illness. They will invent a catch-22, and effectively ban possession. "You still have the right to keep and bear arms. All you have to do is submit to a mental screening. It's for the kids, dontjaknow..." You submit for the screening, and then you come back with a disorder because you want guns.

    Obama tried to ban Veterans who suck at math...balancing a checkbook/finances....from having guns. Trump fixed it.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 25,762 Senior Member
    Regarding 'expert witnesses' on anything, including mental health, you can shop around and buy one that will argue YOUR side in one trial, and in the next trial they will argue the exact opposite for the person who 'bought their testimony'. It's a freakin' racket and the judges, lawyers, and especially the psychiatrists/psychologists ALL KNOW IT. And the cops are complicit in it, too. You're just as well going to a palm reader or have a local witch read chicken entrails as have an expert witness testify against you in court.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.


  • Troy800Troy800 New Member Posts: 23 New Member
    Preventing sales to mentally ill sound like common sense. But in reality we will be asking the government to create a whole other layer of bureaucracy to manage it. Asking a system that is already bloated, inefficient and unable to properly manage and enforce the current laws. And now we are going to add more to it and expect the outcome to be better. I am all for keeping guns out of criminals and mentally ill (deemed dangerous) hands i just dont have faith in our goverments ability to handle it responsably or even be successfull at doing it. Think they are better off working on the basics first.
  • terminator012terminator012 Senior Member Posts: 3,860 Senior Member
    I for one don't want any bureaucrat saying what makes one crazy. Like others have said some news channels have all ready stated that wanting to own weapons is crazy. Before long that will be there chant. I want no part of it.
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    I figure there's no real comprehensive diagnoses and/or treatment for mental illness in this country. Most likely due to dictatorial control of big insurance companies. Without comprehensive care, farcical litigation runs rampant.

    Sp
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
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