Mental Health and Gun Confiscation

Posted: June 21, 2013 by ShortTimer in Government, Guns, Healthcare, Second Amendment

We’ve hit on this before, but it’s coming up again.

Political Outcast has this good post from January that discusses how the “mental illness” argument is one that turns into a quick argument for gun confiscation:

New York’s new gun law requires that mental health professionals report any person they consider “likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others.” If they don’t report this concern, and if something happens involving this person such as a shooting, the mental health professional could face charges for not reporting the person’s behavior to law enforcement.

Obviously, this will lead to over-reporting, which is fine by state officials, because that means that’s more people they get to bar from ever owning a gun. The other effect however is that gun-owners will be refusing to ever set foot in a mental health professional’s office for fear that the doctor will misinterpret something they said or didn’t say as evidence of a tendency to commit a crime. And you know the doctor would report anything, even if it wasn’t true, because not reporting something puts them at risk of criminal charges should “something happen” involving one of their patients.

On the most basic, simplest surface, it sounds like a good idea.  The problem is that overreporting is safer than judicious reporting, as shrinks afraid of liability will always diagnose on the side of covering their butts to take guns away or keep guns away.

It means someone who goes in for treatment for depression or stress will have their rights stripped away.  It won’t be a temporary precaution or a suggestion that someone at risk surrender their firearms to a family member or friend or keep them out of reach until their treatment is complete, it will be the state deciding the patient has no right to self defense anymore.

And any shrink with a shred of lingering doubt will keep people from regaining their rights – out of concern that he could be sued.

There’s a mental health gun bill in Florida right now going to the governor’s desk – and it’s being opposed by mental health professionals:

Mental Health professionals worry if the governor signs the bill into law, fewer people will seek mental healthcare treatment.

“I think the people who have to implement this bill will find out it’s a lot more complicated and difficult to implement than anyone envisioned,” said Bryant.

Hammer said after a person with mental illness is treated, they’ll be able to petition the court to get their gun rights back.

“They will not be able to purchase a gun until they have been treated, and a psychiatrist says they need relief from disability,” said Hammer.

Note they won’t be released once the shrink says they’re in the clear – they’re released only after petitioning the government for their own rights again.

Also, mental health is by no means perfect.  Keep in mind that gay people were officially listed as mentally ill until 1974.

The next step for the anti-rights forces is to claim that anyone who wants a gun must be paranoid, so therefore, they shouldn’t have guns.  This mentality already exists in some educated urban areas and in many lefty circles.  It makes for a self-fulfilling prophecy, too – they really are out to get you, yet claim that since you think they’re out to get you, you’re mad and should be disarmed.

It’s really quite sinister.

  1. lostinmist says:

    In my experience with psychologists I don’t think they would be too eager to report a likelihood of harm. Especially since this may lead to an expensive week in the loony bin and client loss. Psychiatrists I have dealt with on the other hand have tended to be arrogant douches who can’t tell schizophrenia from an unexpected drug side effect. But I have only met with a handful of psychiatrists.

    • ShortTimer says:

      Good points.

      With the possibility of liability added on to it, any mental health professional may change their attitude towards treatment, whether talk-therapy psychologist or med-therapy psychiatrist.

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