Millions Of ‘Mentally Ill’ People Missing From National Gun Check System

Photo: Lukáš Lahoda (CC)

Photo: Lukáš Lahoda (CC)

Just in case a convicted felon can’t get a gun on the black market, he may have a chance to obtain it legally. Raw Story reports:

The issue of gun control leapt back into the national discourse in the wake of January’s Tucson massacre.

But one of the most shocking gaps in the effort to prevent people prohibited by law from purchasing firearms continues to fly beneath the radar. Records of at least two million dangerously mentally ill individuals whose names should already be in the nation’s criminal background check system remain missing.

Tens of thousands of people’s records that would fall into other legally disqualifying categories in the background check system are also missing, with convicted felons high on the list. Yet Raw Story confirmed with experts on gun control that records of those whose mental illness has been legally determined to be a danger to themselves or others far outnumber the unreported information of individuals in other prohibiting categories.

[Continues at Raw Story]

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  • DeepCough

    I think expanding the Tucson shootings to a national discussion on who gets to have guns and who doesn’t is only going to incense the right-wing even further to fight gun control, especially when it could be argued that a “mentally ill” person is too right-wing for their own good. Speaking of which, I think it is even more dangerous to expand the legality of “mental illness” and to give psychiatrists the deliberative power to determine who gets to have rights and who doesn’t, because branding Seung-Hui Cho as mentally ill certainly didn’t prevent him from shooting people, something for which the mental health system of Virginia has not been held accountable. The advent of the Transportation Security Administration’s measures at the airport to prevent another terrorist attack have only lead to further complaints, protests, and incidents of assault on people’s person. I’m not saying we should let bad things happen at all, but if indeed we are to solve problems, we must to do so proportionately, otherwise the solution we enact could inadvertently make the problem even worse than it was before.

  • DeepCough

    I think expanding the Tucson shootings to a national discussion on who gets to have guns and who doesn’t is only going to incense the right-wing even further to fight gun control, especially when it could be argued that a “mentally ill” person is too right-wing for their own good. Speaking of which, I think it is even more dangerous to expand the legality of “mental illness” and to give psychiatrists the deliberative power to determine who gets to have rights and who doesn’t, because branding Seung-Hui Cho as mentally ill certainly didn’t prevent him from shooting people, something for which the mental health system of Virginia has not been held accountable. The advent of the Transportation Security Administration’s measures at the airport to prevent another terrorist attack have only lead to further complaints, protests, and incidents of assault on people’s person. I’m not saying we should let bad things happen at all, but if indeed we are to solve problems, we must to do so proportionately, otherwise the solution we enact could inadvertently make the problem even worse than it was before.

    • mrtastycakes

      “branding Seung-Hui Cho as mentally ill certainly didn’t prevent him from shooting people, something for which the mental health system of Virginia has not been held accountable”

      Amen! I was on campus that day. Do you know how many psychiatrists VT had for its over 20k students before the shooting? One. Guess how many they have now? One. But at least we have a law that makes politicians look like they did something, while also not spending any money to actually do something.

      Psychology isn’t a science anyway and disorders are created and debunked on a frequent basis (just look at some of the hilarious stuff Freud said–”vagina dentata” comes to mind). In Virginia, when eugenics was popular, being poor was considered an incurable mental condition. The Commonwealth didn’t just take away gun rights then, it forcibly sterilized and committed thousands of people, mostly children. It’s not ancient history either. This went on into the 1970s.

      Moreover, the mentally ill are less likely than an average person to commit a violent crime and more likely to be a victim of one, according to NAMI. Mental illness does not make you a criminal, unworthy of constitutional rights.

      • DeepCough

        No, but pretty soon, the mentally ill will have to take their own showers in special camps.

  • WhiteRose

    When it’s your time to go it’s your time to go, live life to the fullest. We have become so full of fear we are crippled. I remember as a kid being witness to an armed robbery at Christmas time, I was so young I thought they were Wells Fargo guys. So much trauma so little time….

  • WhiteRose

    When it’s your time to go it’s your time to go, live life to the fullest. We have become so full of fear we are crippled. I remember as a kid being witness to an armed robbery at Christmas time, I was so young I thought they were Wells Fargo guys. So much trauma so little time….

  • mrtastycakes

    “branding Seung-Hui Cho as mentally ill certainly didn’t prevent him from shooting people, something for which the mental health system of Virginia has not been held accountable”

    Amen! I was on campus that day. Do you know how many psychiatrists VT had for its over 20k students before the shooting? One. Guess how many they have now? One. But at least we have a law that makes politicians look like they did something, while also not spending any money to actually do something.

    Psychology isn’t a science anyway and disorders are created and debunked on a frequent basis (just look at some of the hilarious stuff Freud said–”vagina dentata” comes to mind). In Virginia, when eugenics was popular, being poor was considered an incurable mental condition. The Commonwealth didn’t just take away gun rights then, it forcibly sterilized and committed thousands of people, mostly children. It’s not ancient history either. This went on into the 1970s.

    Moreover, the mentally ill are less likely than an average person to commit a violent crime and more likely to be a victim of one, according to NAMI. Mental illness does not make you a criminal, unworthy of constitutional rights.

  • mrtastycakes

    “branding Seung-Hui Cho as mentally ill certainly didn’t prevent him from shooting people, something for which the mental health system of Virginia has not been held accountable”

    Amen! I was on campus that day. Do you know how many psychiatrists VT had for its over 20k students before the shooting? One. Guess how many they have now? One. But at least we have a law that makes politicians look like they did something, while also not spending any money to actually do something.

    Psychology isn’t a science anyway and disorders are created and debunked on a frequent basis (just look at some of the hilarious stuff Freud said–”vagina dentata” comes to mind). In Virginia, when eugenics was popular, being poor was considered an incurable mental condition. The Commonwealth didn’t just take away gun rights then, it forcibly sterilized and committed thousands of people, mostly children. It’s not ancient history either. This went on into the 1970s.

    Moreover, the mentally ill are less likely than an average person to commit a violent crime and more likely to be a victim of one, according to NAMI. Mental illness does not make you a criminal, unworthy of constitutional rights.

  • DeepCough

    No, but pretty soon, the mentally ill will have to take their own showers in special camps.

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