CBS 60 Mins: Track mentally ill via federal dbase?
This is a discussion on CBS 60 Mins: Track mentally ill via federal dbase? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; On tonight's (Sunday's) CBS 60 Minutes news show, the question was posed as to whether legislation should be passed to force states to enter records ...
View Poll Results: NICS database requirement that states track the mentally ill?
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April 30th, 2007 12:22 AM
CBS 60 Mins: Track mentally ill via federal dbase?
On tonight's (Sunday's) CBS 60 Minutes news show, the question was posed as to whether legislation should be passed to force states to enter records of those judged mentally ill into the federal NICS database, to avoid clear situations of people acquiring firearms when they should not. The proposal is being supported by Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY).
Poll: Good idea or bad, to require states to enter records for the mentally ill into the federal NICS database? Why or why not? Discuss.
April 30th, 2007 12:28 AM
If someone wants to buy a car, they can walk onto a dealership lot and do so with a minimum of fuss - but are required to provide ID, subscribe to insurance, and register the car before leaving. Someone that had their driver's license revoked would not be able to do such, but could buy someone's used car off of their front lawn without any questions. Regulations that would prohibit ownership or acquisition of anything merely criminalize the act, they do nothing to prevent it.
April 30th, 2007 12:35 AM
I voted bad idea, because it's not going to stop someone from harming another person. I also see this system being abused. I see people who at one time in their life may have been on an anti-depressant and that being held against them.
Our dang courts can't even get it right when they truly do find someone mentally ill and an immediate threat.. they don't put them in treatment. This system of checks won't do any good to keep people safe because it won't be ran properly.
I'm all for not letting legally insane people have guns in their possession. But tell me, who is going to be the one to judge who is or isn't insane? Is someone who is feeling a little bit down because their life isn't going that great.. maybe they hate their job, maybe they are having little success with relationships.. maybe they're having money problems.. so they see a counselor. Just because all that is going on with them, doesn't mean they are a threat to themself or others. I don't want someone like that being kept from having a firearm. They deserve the right to have a gun for protection just like me and you.
so unless someone can prove that this system won't target people like that, that it won't be abused.. I don't like it.
April 30th, 2007 12:39 AM
Voted No. It's just going to end up another failed government program that wastes American taxpayer dollars. They can't even enforce the rules they have on the books now, I don't see why anything new is going to ever make a difference.
Maybe instead of worrying about what people could do with a tool, they should be spending money on actually catching people that do do something with their tools.
I suppose though that hoping for innocent until proven guilty in America is a lost battle anymore.
...He suggested that "every American citizen" should own a rifle and train with it on firing ranges "at every courthouse." -Chesty Puller
April 30th, 2007 12:43 AM
I think it's really a tough call. As much as I want mental history to be shown when someone is attempting to purchase a firearm or whatever else they choose to buy we walk a fine line. If it is tracked and given out then you will be required to list any mental history issues when applying for a job and whatever would require it.
Don't get me wrong here, I LOVE VA gun laws and DESPISE MD's but when you have a 3 minute phone call with State Police for a background check I believe it should come up. If someone was marked for mental issues, just like the VT shooter then legally that should show up when the gun check is run. Sure it would not have stopped the shooting, there are many ways to buy guns. But I think it would help doing this check. They do not need to list it for anything else, but if you are buying a firearm I think it should red flag you.
Obviously, the state would need to decide on what you are diagnosed with and how bad you are flagged. They could create a cheap system that either states NO or Yes, and the yes is left up to the gun store staff to decide if they will sell it or not.
April 30th, 2007 12:48 AM
I did not answer the poll , for myself i do not accept the brady check as needed or worthwhile .
Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .
Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.
April 30th, 2007 12:50 AM
If we're going to have the Brady check, I think the mental history of someone is at least as valid as a crime the commited years ago. I know of reformed criminals but I do not have personal knowledge of anyone that was commited to a mental facility that is now problem free.
"The only people I like besides my wife and children are Marines."
- Lt. Col. Oliver North
April 30th, 2007 01:03 AM
I think a strong case can be made that a good percentage of the population of any large group of citizens is insane, or at least defective in some way. The mere fact there are criminal laws, courts, jails and prisons in such high states of use more or less prove this out, if you take the broad view.
But, governments can't tie their own shoes without waste, abuse and corruption. The mere fact someone has registered as a concealed carrier of firearms puts one on a list that's a sitting duck for corrupted misuse of that fact. There's a reason that HIPPA laws exist, due to the abuse and misuse of people's medical information.
I'm technically against any tracking by government in any way, shape or form, due to the temptation for abuse by supposedly-legitimate and law-abiding public office holders. Time and again, we're shown that many people in control of such tempting data aren't worthy of trust with such a high responsibility.
Look what happened throughout the 1980's when folks with AIDS got flagged in systems. They got denied medical coverage, treatment and representation, to their demise. Can't happen again? Wrong. It can, and it will. With this? Perhaps, perhaps not.
Look what happens every month when newspapers around the country publish the new concealed-carry licensees, or do what the Roanoke-Times did by publishing the list online.
To say nothing of the ultimately fatal risk of such flagging and tracking being a precursor for taking all arms from the people, period.
For all those reasons, I think: bad idea. It would be bungled, fouled, abused and leveraged in ways that are fundamentally incompatible with a land of free citizens.
As stated by some, the checks simply stop a person temporarily from acquiring a tool in that manner; they don't stop a person from acquiring a tool nor committing a crime with it. Can't and won't be able to, no matter how "good" a system is designed.
Alternative? Do the crime, you do the time. Punish the heck out of folks caught actually doing crimes using weapons. Perhaps even double the sentence. Sentence them and hold to that full sentence, with zero parole options ... as the People intended. Create a three-strikes type system whereby three violent felonies takes you off the streets, if you're a criminal and caught. And strike down all laws inhibiting upstanding citizens from carrying (concealed or otherwise) firearms anywhere and everywhere they choose, except perhaps inside court houses, jails and the floor of congress. Would there be a bloodbath? Yes, for a time, while the criminals learned the new rules. Many would simply get weeded out. Many would retire. Many would up the ante. It would prove a deterrent to some. And, in those crucial first ten seconds of any violent encounter, nobody would be denied as a matter of policy the ability to defend themselves from an attack. Let the world learn a little civility in the face of a capable, armed, upstanding citizenry.
Now, where are my rose-colored glasses ...
April 30th, 2007 01:06 AM
UNFORTUNATELY , if this idea become LAW - the ELECTED Judges
Originally Posted by Echo_Four
who have people " Evaluated" (possibly barring them from EVER
owning a fiream again ) Will have the SAME Medical knowledge that
YOU possess - IE. ZERO
-SIG , it's What's for Dinner-
know your rights!
"If I walk in the woods, I feel much more comfortable carrying a gun. What if you meet a bear in the woods that's going to attack you? You shoot it."
April 30th, 2007 01:09 AM
I voted No because there are too many ways to define mental illness and it is all very subjective.
Another big problem would be that of our Veterans from Vietnam, Desert Storm, Or Iraq and Afghanistan who might have problems with PTSD issues. While military or VA docs might diagnosis the problem and it might improve over time, the soldier's name entered in a national data base might keep him from receiving a concealed carry permit for the rest of his or her life.
Very slippery slope here.
In Texas, the mental health part on the application form asks if the applicant for a CHL has ever been committed, either voluntarily or involuntarily to a mental treatment facility. Even Veterans with some PTSD issues are not prohibited from a CHL, as long as they have not served time as an inpatient at a mental health facility. Other states might not see it the same way and even the diagnosis of PTSD listed in some sort of national database could really screw up a Veteran's life.
Like I said above, very slippery slope here.
April 30th, 2007 01:27 AM
Assuming that "mental illness" is met by the statutory definitions, that the individual has been adjudicated "mentally ill" because they meet the statutory definition of "dangerous to self or others, due to a mental disorder" (language varies from state to state), and that the individuals in question were afforded due process (they are afforded representation to see that their rights are not infringed upon if the statutory requirements are not met) before being adjudicated "mentally ill", I don't see it as a problem.
There does tend to be a repetitive history with many. I.e, many who have had serious enough conditions to warrant an involuntary commitment, often struggle to find stability even with treatment. I have known some though who did make tremendous progress with long term stabililty. As such, there needs to be an appeals procedure with reasonable criteria for such to regain infringed rights after some time.
I do not have personal knowledge of anyone that was commited to a mental facility that is now problem free.
April 30th, 2007 01:37 AM
While I am in favor of denying firearms to legally insane persons, I see great potential for abuse in these systems. I'm already a kook as far as some folks are concerned, because I like guns. Thanks, but no thanks when it comes to more regulation.
April 30th, 2007 03:05 AM
I'm surprised at how close the vote seems to be, (48% for, 52% against) at this point. While the "NO's" have a good lead, I'd have thought it would be much greater considering the generally hard line the members here usually take to any kind of gun control.
My personal take... it's too tough a call for me at this point. I see the temptation for abuse of additional laws covering certain "mental instabilities" by the system, but I also feel there are some people that just shouldn't be trusted with a gun because of their mental state, period. There needs to be a better way to weed them out because trusting everyone to be honest and admit they have a mental problem (if they do) when buying a gun from a dealer just doesn't cut it. We may not be able to eliminate events like VT, but we may be able to make it harder for the nuts and mental cases to pull it off.
"... Americans... we want a safe home, to keep the money we make and shoot bad guys." -- Denny Crane
April 30th, 2007 03:44 AM
I know someone who had a major surgery and was on pain medication. Because they were in so much pain and not sleeping good at all, they ended up taking two doses of medication too soon together. This then gave them an overdose of opiates in their system. Someone who has never been arrested or charged with a crime in 50 years of life, suddenly decided to steal a pair of underwear from wal-mart, after they had just went and paid for some other things. She had probably $500 in her purse.
Originally Posted by Echo_Four
She was arrested, charged.. and went home. She then was taken to the hospital to be checked up because something didn't seem right. She was babbling incoherant things and was then comitted to the psych ward for a 72 hour evaluation. They learned there was a very very high dose of opiates in her system and that's what caused her to do all these things and not even know she did them.
All charges were dropped and she was released after the 72 hours.
Are you telling me that someone like this, needs to be prevented from purchasing a firearm now? This is a person who was comitted to a mental facility, held against her wishes, viewed as mentally unstable at the time.. and in the end it was just an accidental overdose of potent pain medication.
That's what I fear from this type of checks on your mental history. Someone like this is NOT the same as a person who truly is crazy and a danger to others. You tell me there aren't other people who accidentally took doses of pain meds too close together and were really out of it. I know I've done it. that doesn't mean I'm crazy, and even if I did get put into the psych ward like this.. it still doesn't mean I'm crazy or mentally unstable. But I fear this background check would end up keeping someone like that from buying a gun.
Or perhaps what about someone who felt depressed.. didn't want to kill themself or anything like that, just sought counseling because they were feeling down. Will they be ruled mentally unstable because they sought counseling?
April 30th, 2007 04:05 AM
Look, I'm all for a way of FFL's to be able to reliably find out if a person has been adjudicated mentally incompetent to own a firearm before he transfers a weapon to an individual. It is, after all, against the law to own a firearm if you are a head case. And I just happen to think it is a good or at least reasonable law.
However, the Federal Government is not in any way shape or form capable of handling such a database correctly, with any type of accuracy, ability to update and change a persons status as appropriately deemed by mental review or court order or just plain guarantee a lack of abuse of the system would take place.
Therefore I Vote NO!
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
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