Why we will keep right on arming the mentally ill

It’s past time for us to do something to get guns out of the hands of crazy people. But it won’t happen, because we’re collectively bat-guano nuts ourselves.

I’ll just say it: The Arizona shooter (I’m not going to use his name because I’m already sick of the publicity he’s receiving) should not have been able to buy a 33-shot Glock handgun without a little government regulation. Even cursory gun purchase reviews that many states use might have at least made it difficult for him to get the Glock, but Arizona’s nonexistent gun laws allow deranged lunatics to arm up without trouble. The awful absurdity of this was nailed down succinctly by Richard Cohen today in the Washington Post.

I’m all for the Second Amendment, which aimed to keep flintlocks in farmers’ hands without any hassle. But two centuries later, we’ve got to try to keep crazies from their rampages with automatic weapons. Don’t we? If you don’t think so, tell me why not, and make it good. Just don’t expect the families of the Tucson dead to buy any of it.

The sickening truth is that no reforms will be possible, because the National Rifle Association lobby is so powerful. It controls Congress and many state legislatures. And it’s not just working to keep crazy people packing. The NRA’s even fighting hard to strengthen and protect the flow of American-made assault weapons into Mexico to arm drug lords’ armies. To appreciate the full revolting truth of that, read this excellent Washington Post package.

The NRA and its congressional flunkies have cowed the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to the point ATF is just a waste of taxpayers’ money. Gun-runners have free rein. In a sane universe, that would be wrong, but in ours, it’s justified as the right to bear arms and unfettered free enterprise, even if the gun exports are arming killers in Mexico.

While running arms to the bad guys in Mexico is bad enough, freely offering semiautomatic handguns to domestic crazies is worse. Our society is simply insane if it continues to protect the ability of homicidal crazy people to obtain firearms. The longer this goes on, the more sane people will feel the need to compile personal arsenals, and who can blame them? If the crazy guy up the block has a Glock, be ready for anything.

We’re at the mercy of the nuts with guns and the paranoid gun nuts who allow the excesses. The wimps in Washington will be no help, either. I think I’ll start watching for specials at the local gun stores. I’m not crazy.

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32 Responses to Why we will keep right on arming the mentally ill

  1. Disturbing stuff. But I think we can look at the global arms race and see we don’t want a local one – everyone packing a gun wherever they go. Plain old shotgun or pistol won’t cut it, we’ll need assault guns to keep up with the “bad guys.” Pretty soon America will look like the Congo or Afghanistan… I’ll pass.

    Put into proper perspective, situations of self-defense rarely require the use of lethal force. Calmer thinking needs to prevail.

  2. p.s. The NRA wants to make it clear that the “guys with the guns make the rules.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqAWQ-TMF3I

    Completely psychotic organization, I’ll go so far as to say they are almost as insane as PETA.

  3. Jarhead1982 says:

    Tell ya what, when the government can do their job of actually enforcing the background check more than 1% of the time, can stop any felons who use fake identification to buy a firearm from a licensed source, the doctors who have the opportunity to put these lunatics away and don’t as occurred in Va Tech & Ft Hood and now AZ are prosecuted, we really don’t want to hear more empathic bull schiite about what you demand the 80 million law abiding gun owners to do.

    Each year, the government fails to prosecute between 65,000 to 75,000 people who are rejected by the background check, half of whom are not felons, might that include psychos, uh YEAH IT DOES! That total not prosecuted has added up to 1.66 million plus who were not prosecuted since 1994. Yep, we see how the NRA is not in charge of these government agencies, the actual background check, not in charge of the doctors either.

    Is the NRA in charge of all the judges, prosecutors and lawyers who fail to prosecute, geez, such a common answer, NO THEY ARE NOT!

    Yet here you are, crying like chicken little the sky is falling, beating on the people who are no way responsible for the actions of the few idiots.

    So until you pathetic morons get your heads out of your collective rectums, get a clue as to REALITY and actually address the first thing necessary (ALL THE GOVERNMENT FAILURES) go home and suck on your thumb and have your mommy change your diaper as your full of it!

  4. Frank says:

    1) Quote by Mark \should not have been able to buy a 33-shot Glock handgun without a little government regulation. Even cursory gun purchase reviews that many states use might have at least made it difficult for him to get the Glock, but Arizona’s nonexistent gun laws allow deranged lunatics to arm up without trouble\

    Wrong. In Arizona you still have to go through an FBI backround check when you purchase a firearm from an FFL, which he did, and passed.

    2) \Just don’t expect the families of the Tucson dead to buy any of it\

    The father of the 9 yo girl has done several interviews and has stated that this tragedy should NOT be used to restrict the ownership of guns in any way. His own son is very much into the shooting sports.

  5. paul r says:

    Mark,

    Try and get your facts straight. You write; “…we’ve got to try to keep crazies from their rampages with automatic weapons”.

    The Glock 19 is a semi-automatic pistol Mark not automatic.

    The really interesting thing about this incident is the fact that a (lawful) conceal and carry citizen was there and helped subdue the shooter and he did exactly what we are taught to do! As he approached the crowd he did not deploy his gun. When he got there somebody other than the shooter was actually holding the Glock in his hands (which is an incredibly stupid thing to do) but the armed citizen did not shoot him because he noticed that the Glock action was locked open thus the gun was empty. In other words, this average armed citizen made the correct threat assessment and showed considerable restraint despite the incredibly chaotic situation!

    This guy deserves a medal for bravery and a note of thanks from every CCW citizen in the country!!

    • Michael Trujillo says:

      I disagree, Paul. The REAL heroes would be the unarmed people who subdued the shooter.

      Also, I”m not doubting your account. I’d merely like to read about it myself. Can you say where you read or heard about the CCW guy?

      • paul r says:

        I agree with you re unarmed civilians; did not mean to suggest they were not hero’s as well.

        There are several interviews with him (I’ve forgotten his name) on the web but I first saw him on Hannity last night but he’s been interviewed by Geraldo and others.

  6. ExNuke says:

    Mark, the writer of this rant, appears to have made a serious effort to remain ignorant and is gullible enough to have internalized the propaganda that the Brady Campaign is paid to put out.
    Arizona operates under the same Federal Laws that require an Instant Background Check to buy a gun from a licensed dealer that his progressive utopia does.
    The sickening truth he avoids is that the NRA is made up of millions of voters that insist Congress respect the Constitution that they swore to uphold and defend when they took office.
    If he really doesn’t want fully automatic battle rifles, hand grenades, and rocket launchers sent to Mexico drug cartels why doesn’t he complain to Congress to stop sending them to the corrupt government and military in Mexico?
    Unfortunately we, the people who make up the NRA and other pro-gun organizations, have not yet managed to rein in the abuses of the BATFE. But we will keep trying and demanding that they clean up their own house and actually follow the laws that are in effect.
    No, he probably isn’t crazy and ignorant can be fixed by education, maybe if he would actually spend some time in a few gun stores “looking for specials” a few normal law-abiding citizens could expose him to the truth. But just like you can’t make a crazy adult take his med’s, you can’t make a self styled reformer try to learn anything.
    So sad.

  7. Mark Shenefelt says:

    It’s interesting that the flame-throwing responses here have zero to say about the main question posed: How might we make it tough for lunatics to get semiautomatic weapons? Your answers apparently are, “Nothing.” Chest-thumpers, you’re dodging the topic or are afraid of it.

    • Jarhead1982 says:

      Well Mark, shall we add reading comprehension failures to that list I mentioned earlier, or shall we have a repeat of the verbal thumping occur?

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      I will keep repeating it till it gets through your thick skull!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      Go beat on the government and fix their failure to enforce, Go beat on the doctors who failed to notify the authorities or go suck on your thumb also!

      again, and again, and again and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again……………………………………………..

    • MacDaddy says:

      Flame throwing responses? Hardly. What they are, and what your response proves, is the painful truth.

      You can’t take it.

      What we need is a mental agility test for paranoid bloggers who pretend to be reporters so we can see if they are able to read and not just pound keys like deranged chimpanzees.

    • hawg says:

      Mark I’m sorry but your ignorance is monumental.

      there is no such thing as a 33 round glock. the capacity has nothing to do with the gun being a glock. it is the magazine that is inserted into the glock. and while it might be possible to make a magazine that holds 33 rounds I’m not aware of it and it would be 12 inches long. not conducive to carrying it around. but I know, let’s not let facts get in the way.

      here’s a flash. YOU CAN’T CALL UP AND GET MENTAL RECORDS OR MENTAL INFORMATION!!!!! you know that pesky privacy hipa thing you’d scream about if your records were open. even the police NEED a court order to get this.
      and you’re not crazy until the courts say you are, so then how do you tell? how can a gun store tell? there is no crazy list. so the answer to your question is you probably can’t gaurantee a crazy can’t acquire a weapon,anymore than you can’t gaurantee you won’t get drunk one day run into me with your car.

      2nd amendment about farmers and flintlocks? do some research, you’re embarrassing me here. I suppose the standard examiner has no first amendment rights by using this new fangled internet thing since the press of 1776 was printing press ONLY.

      freely offering assault weapons to crazies? arizona has no gun laws? or restrictions? again, are you not the least bit embarrassed by your incredible ignorance?

      you know, I believe the people on the “left” or democrats are really serious about their agenda and goals, I’ll bet they wished you wouldn’t try to help. you make them look bad.

      but I know, I know, you’e just hauling their water, toting their bale

      • MacDaddy says:

        I think he is cowering under his desk wishing this thread would go away.

        • hawg says:

          wouldn’t you think the standard would have editors or something to check for some hint of accuracy or some hint of coherent thought?

          • MacDaddy says:

            I would think so. The problem with the SE is that their “reporters” are woefully uninformed and make no attempt to correct it.

            They are intellectually lazy and it shows in their articles regularly.

          • Efialtis says:

            I have been involved in the Gun Rights groups for a long time. I have seen things like “semi-automatic revolver”, “9 cm bullets”, “20 mm handgun”, “semi-automatic machine gun”, etc.
            It isn’t uncommon for those unfamiliar with guns to get things wrong. Since the Liberal crowd don’t like guns, they are “unfamiliar with guns” so they get things wrong…

            I guess Glock does make a 33 round extended mag… they also make a fully automatic pistol… but this was a Glock 19, not a Glock 18, and therefore, was not “automatic”…

            Easy to make the mistakes, but also easy facts to check.

    • David Sevy says:

      How about getting Nuclear weapons out of the Hands of Nut Balls around the world???? We can’t or don’t do anything about North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, the list goes on and on!!! Yet some of you think it’s OK to take away someones Rights here at home because YOU don’t think they are alright. There are already Laws against Murder, but that didn’t stop him. What if he had driven a car at high speed into the crowd??? Would that have been better??? Or if he used a gallon of gas and a match. I don’t have the answer but we have enough Laws on the books to deal with just about any possibility.

    • Efialtis says:

      Mark, you cannot stop “crazy people” from buying guns unless you know they are “crazy”.
      There is not way to know who is and who is not crazy without sending every person in the United States to a Psychiatrist for the tests and the proper diagnosis.
      Maybe if they come out with a blood test, or a brain scan that can pin point mental illness (I’ll even go as low as 90%) of the time… but I doubt that they could do so, and the legal ramifications might prevent it.
      We could, I guess, look to others to identify who is crazy or not… but let’s take this situation…
      You think I am crazy. A whacko conservative. A right-wing religious gun nut. Would you be the best source to determine my mental health?

      Our system has many flaws…
      A violent felon cannot get a gun, neither can a white collar felon… why? Is there something inherently dangerous about a fraudster felon? Some guy who cheated on his taxes? I understand not giving a paroled rapist or violent criminal a gun… but when you lump all people into some categories, you don’t solve the problem, you only create new ones.

      We create all kinds of laws… but criminals don’t follow the law… so does it really matter if he committed murder with a gun, or that he committed murder at all? Do we need to charge him with dozens of crimes to make one stick? Are our prosecutors THAT incompetent?
      Murder is already illegal. Dude already murdered 2 people. Then he tried to kill, what was it?, 13 others? That is at least 13 counts of attempted murder.
      Does it matter if he was “crazy”? Do you think he wouldn’t have found a way to get a gun anyway? If he were a felon, a “felon in possession of a firearm” charge added to 13 counts of attempted murder and 2 counts of murder is NOTHING, so why would he care?
      If he had been diagnosed as “crazy”, that would only have stopped him from buying the gun legally… there are still several avenues for buying guns…
      The illegal importing of guns into the USA is almost as bad as the importing of drugs. Has the war on drugs actually done ANYTHING to the importation of drugs? People buy drugs all the time! Dude was described as a “liberal pot-head”, so obviously he knew how to and has purchased drugs… for him to get a gun would be just that easy too…

      There is no reason to restrict law abiding citizens. There is no reason to infringe on our 2nd Amendment rights. Only the law abiding citizens follow the laws… disarming them only makes them targets. Otherwise there would never be a school shooting…

      Bloomberg wants to make it illegal to have a gun within 1000 feet of a “political”, why? Would a criminal obey that law when they won’t obey others?

      Ok, nuf-said on that…

      One last thing…
      33-shot Glock?
      Automatic weapons?
      I know you are “liberal”, but you work for a “news source”… you should use facts and truth… please be more careful in the future.

      • Efialtis says:

        My bad… looks like Glock does have a 33 round mag…
        My H&K has extended or hi-cap mags, but not in that range…

        I don’t like Glocks…

        Sorry mark, that is factual. The other should have been “semi-automatic”, not “automatic”.

        • Mark Shenefelt says:

          Efialtis, thanks for your posts. Yes, with an extended magazine, the Glock used in the Tuscon shootings did, in fact, have a capacity of 33 rounds between reloads.
          As for the automatic vs. semiautomatic issue, of course you are correct. My single reference to automatic was sloppy; elsewhere I correctly referenced semiautomatics.

          Meantime, it’s amusing to see you and other posters in this thread blithely assuming “liberals are clueless about guns.” For instance, I hold so-called liberal views only on certain issues, and I’m a gun owner. Too bad that critics of posts such as mine zero in on the author and skim the key issues. I applaud you for making a coherent argument about the mental illness issue.

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  9. Mark Shenefelt says:

    Thanks for the responses.

    Hawg, I oversimplified the Glock capacity matter. The killer used an extended magazine, giving the weapon a capacity of 33 rounds per load. The magazine was illegal until Congress did not renew the assault weapons ban.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/01/08/national/main7226879.shtml

  10. Jim In Houston says:

    \The magazine was illegal until Congress did not renew the assault weapons ban.\

    Incorrect again, Mark. Sales of new mags was banned by AWB…possession of existing mags was not.

    • paul r says:

      Okay, let’s give Mark a break here. He’s trying to have a conversation, so let’s have one. The AWB did not ban or exclude “hi-cap mags” it simply banned the importation and manufacture of hi cap mags after the AWB went into effect.

      Almost everyone in the press does not understand this issue the way that, we, gun owners do, simply because we live it and they don’t.

      That said, let’s be honest; hi cap mags make the Glock 19 harder to conceal and manage. I own a G-19 and load 15 rd mags.

      • hawg says:

        I’m all for giving Mark a break. If he learns something.
        but when he says stupid things like the NRA is “working hard to keep carzy people packing” and “fighting hard to strengthen and protect the flow of American made assault weapons into Mexico to arm drug lord’s armies.”, that is not first amendment rights that is BALD FACED LIEING.
        he cannot produce one single article printed by the NRA that suggests arming crazies and drug lords. not one

        you would think the standard would have some intregrity concerns about what is put into their newspaper

        • Efialtis says:

          Especially when the flow of weapons into Mexico is via the US Military.

          The NRA supports “common sense” gun laws…

  11. Kris V says:

    Come on, as far as the framers were concerned, we had the right to bear flintlocks and muzzleloaders. They didn’t have the vaguest inkling what a bunch of stupid, technologically advanced bunch of gun nuts we’d “grow” to be. When they spoke of the right to bear arms, they were talking about weapons that, if you were spectacularly good, might pop off four rounds in a minute, though 2-3 was more likely. To compare their intent with our reality is idiocy in the extreme.

    Stop hiding behind the second amendment to excuse stupidity and violence. And for goodness’ sake, shut up about cars, pencils, and gasoline as weapons–the day you can climb up a bell tower and take out a couple dozen folks with a knife, we’ll talk. The day you can stand fifty yards away and do mass-murder with a gas can, we’ll talk. Those are terrifically lame and mindless arguments, and I’m ashamed of anyone who would rely upon them.

    Oh, and when did “some won’t obey it” become a good reason for not enacting laws? Of all the idiotic claims! People speed, too–shall we do away with traffic laws? People deal drugs in violation of the law, should we nix our drug laws? People molest children–why don’t we just kill those laws, since some folks don’t obey them anyway?

    And I’d love to get our government to enforce the laws we have–how’s about we shut down those mindless gits at the NRA, stop their lobbying dollars, and see how far we can get then?

    And one last thing? Who gives two spits what North Korea is doing–are you really going to excuse our own 9,000+ gun related murders each year by pointing fingers at a country we already know is low rent and crazy? Goodness.

  12. Jim in Houston says:

    Kris V says:
    “Come on, as far as the framers were concerned, we had the right to bear flintlocks and muzzleloaders. They didn’t have the vaguest inkling what a bunch of stupid, technologically advanced bunch of gun nuts we’d “grow” to be. When they spoke of the right to bear arms, they were talking about weapons that, if you were spectacularly good, might pop off four rounds in a minute, though 2-3 was more likely. To compare their intent with our reality is idiocy in the extreme.”

    Poor Kris. I guess you didn’t read Heller. Just go here and get educated (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/07pdf/07-290.pdf). SCOTUS considers your argument to be foolish. From page 8: “Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modernforms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.”

    • Efialtis says:

      Had the Founders only ment “flintlocks and muzzle-loaders” (which are essentially the same thing) they would have said so. They said “arms” because they knew that technology would continue to improve “arms”…
      Just like in the 1st Amendment, they didn’t restrict free speech to how loud you could yell or printing on an old printing press… unless Kris thinks we should exclude internet, tv, radio, and all other electronic media, new printing technologies, mega-phones, micro-phones, etc, etc?

  13. Dave J says:

    The Brady Law already bans the sale of firearms to people who are mentally ill. We don’t need any further regulations. Here’s a noble concept. How about we lock up the Mentally Ill? They are a danger to society but Psychiatrists claim they can cure these nutcases with Prozac and other “chill pills”. It use to be that you would end up in the state mental hospital for being diagnosed with Schizophrenia or any other mental illness but now the liberals feel the mentally ill should have rights to live in society even though they are a threat to society. Lets ban the true criminals, not guns!

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