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View Diary: What gun control does the Second Amendment allow? (226 comments)

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  •  I have a question (1+ / 0-)
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    Adam B

    All sides seem to agree that restrictions on gun ownership by the mentally ill are ok. I don't have a problem with this.

    Are there already such restrictions, and how are they implemented? Does the average gun seller have a list of names of people who have been hospitalized or otherwise treated for psychiatric issues? How does that square with HIPAA? The average gun seller doesn't have a right to others' private health info, so how is this accomplished? Is it just mentally ill people with a police record?

    I honestly don't understand how this works.

    Years ago, I was hospitalized for severe depression. I don't own a gun and have no desire to own one. I have to say that I'm not excited about gun sellers having that info, and don't see how they can with current medical privacy law. If the choice is between my medical privacy and the lives of 6-year olds (or innocents of any age), I'll go with the safety of innocents over my privacy. I don't want a gun and I'm never going to run for public office, it's a trade I can make if it's required. It still makes me uncomfortable, and I still don't understand how it can be done without violating laws relating to the privacy of medical records.

    I keep hearing this thrown around, this idea of not allowing mentally ill people to have guns, but what does that mean? How is it defined? How is it implemented? Am I missing something obvious?

    •  Adjudicated, not merely treated (0+ / 0-)

      Federal law prohibits anyone who has been “adjudicated as a mental defective,” as well as those who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility, from purchasing a gun.

      I absolutely agree that the privacy/liberty concerns here are serious.

      •  thanks (0+ / 0-)

        Hadn't thought about the courts. As that's already a public record, it makes more sense to me. That would actually capture some of the most troubled people (and leave a lot of people out), most of whom are probably not much of a danger to others, but it's not my area of expertise, so I don't know.  Still a sticky issue, but not one I would be willing to fight?

        In general, better access to mental health care (which requires money and political will to fund it) is an absolute good for a humane society. I'm not sure how much impact it would have on the problem of gun violence, don't think it's sufficient, but it couldn't hurt.

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