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Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:14 AM

Mental Health Background Checks for Gun Buyers Is a No-Brainer -- And Almost Impossible

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/comprehensive-mental-health-background-checks-gun-buyers-no-brainer-and-almost

Comprehensive Mental Health Background Checks for Gun Buyers Is a No-Brainer -- And Almost Impossible

On Wednesday, President Obama said strengthening background checks for gun buyers was one of the key features of his package of gun control reforms, before he signed an executive order telling federal agencies to “clarify that no federal law prevents healthcare providers from warning law enforcement authorities about threats of violence.”

And on Tuesday, the fine print of New York’s new gun-control law—rushed through its legislature and signed that day by Gov. Andrew Cuomo—went even further. New York is now requiring mental health professionals to report any mental illness that could lead to violence to police agencies. The police, in turn, will use that referral to revoke any gun license issued to that person, confiscate any guns they own (but pay them), and possibly order forced hospitalization if that person doesn’t follow a treatment plan.

These steps—from the White House issuing executive orders to try to get more and better information into the FBI’s national background check database for gun buyers, to what New York’s Gov. Cuomo is calling the nation’s “ most comprehensive” gun law—are conveying to Americans that better gun buyer background checks are on the horizon.

But health law and policy experts say both the White House—and to a much greater extent, New York state—are overpromising what can be delivered in the near future to strengthen gun buyer background checks, especially when it comes to including and acting on mental health records and information.

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Reply Mental Health Background Checks for Gun Buyers Is a No-Brainer -- And Almost Impossible (Original post)
xchrom Jan 2013 OP
Scuba Jan 2013 #1
Downwinder Jan 2013 #3
napoleon_in_rags Jan 2013 #2

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:59 AM

1. Simple, just include a mental health evaluation into the purchase qualification process ....

... and build the cost of the eval into the cost of the weapon. Viola!

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Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:53 AM

3. Well people can get sick, sick people can get well.

Make it an annual license and evaluation.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:02 AM

2. Why, its simple.

Take the list of people receiving services, and put it in the database. Remove them from the database when they no longer need services. If people are resistent to services but its clear to others that they need them, alert law enforcement for monitoring. Integrate psyche screening for arrests for little things like vagrancy, to help people falling in the cracks.

It only gets complex when you try to figure out ways to remove rights from people who have commited no crimes, based on their medical history. That's unethical. What I'm talking about is a strait deal, you need help, you give up things to get it. Monitoring for resistant people, toolkit for eval for arrests on little things.

Edit: I think the key most empowering thing is for people to know when they can't handle responsibilities like gun ownership due to drugs booze or mental health crisis, and willingly hand them over to a responsible party for the duration of their crisis, and to get a helping hand. Fostering such a culture of responsibilty is more powerful than any oversights, but it requires people not be afraid to ask for help. Once attained, this takes out the whole middle area of people who need a little help for a time. What it leaves you with is people who are resistant to treatment. They fall into two camps: basically sane, and too crazy to realize they're crazy. I don't think it would be hard to sort the two out.

Anyway, just my thoughts. I am not a shrink nor do I have deep academic background in this.

Peace

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