Just a terminal flaw in the American character, the great tragedy of our times. When these mass shootings occurred in countries like the UK and Australia, people were moved and took action. In the States, even the slaughter of innocent children does nothing. We have failed a moral test here, as a nation. History will not be kind.
Nick in London made this comment in the New York Times last night with regard to this powerful article by Michael Luo and Mike McIntre titled, "When the Right to Keep and Bear Arms includes the Mentally Ill." To paraphrase teacher ken, please read this article and think about it.
What is moral about laws which make firearms ownership legal for institutionalized violent mentally ill individuals? How many family members and police officers will be shot and killed because of gaping holes in these laws?
Most states simply adhere to the federal standard, banning gun possession only after someone is involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility or designated as mentally ill or incompetent after a court proceeding or other formal legal process. Relatively few with mental health issues, even serious ones, reach this point.So if someone is voluntarily committed or just have the police called about an incident, there is little that can be done to permanently remove their arsenals of firearms.
The New York Times obtained court and police records from more than 1,000 cases around the country in which guns were seized in mental-health-related episodes.We can list the names of the mass murderers who should be forbidden to own firearms, but what about those who just shoot their families or themselves? What about those whose families live in terror of those possibilities? Isn't there a common sense, middle ground we can have? Must the authorities return firearms to the mentally ill after they have been confiscated in the name of the NRA?
A systematic review of these cases — from cities and counties in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee — underscores how easy it is for people with serious mental health problems to have guns.
Please read this powerful article. Please read the reporting from earlier in the year by the same reporters on the problems of children accidentally killing other children.
I predict this series will be nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. This is a moral issue and we need to act.