...IF Only. We NEED to toughen EXISTING Gun Laws
Our EXISTING gun laws allow felons and people with mental/emotional disabilities to be barred from legally purchasing/owning guns. (http://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/possession-of-a-firearm-by-the-mentally-ill.aspx AND http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/can-someone-possess-gun-after-criminal-conviction.html)
That’s right and proper.
Those on “Terror Watch Lists” and those under FBI Investigation should also be barred UNTIL they are cleared and removed...AND all those cleared (those the government cannot make a case against MUST BE removed immediately upon conclusion of a hearing).
We CAN also change the parameters of the laws barring those with mental/emotional problems WITHOUT further legislation or debate. ALL those sentenced to “Anger Management” for things like “road rage” and domestic abuse charges SHOULD be barred from legally owning guns.
Further, ALL those classified as “disabled” over mental/emotional problems from bipolar disorder top PTSD SHOULD also have their rights to own guns rescinded.
Some may ask, “What about police officers and other Peace Officers disabled with PTSD?”
I’d reply, “ESPECIALLY former police officers and other peace officers who are disabled with various mental/emotional disabilities!” The training such people have, coupled with their documented disabilities make them “overt dangers to themselves and others.”
Right now, we arbitrarily require “mental disability” to be defined as “involuntary confinement in a mental health facility.” That is entirely nebulous, arbitrary and capricious...and it SHOULD BE changed, NOT with legislation, but by the stroke of a pen.
That bar is ridiculously too high, especially in our current deinstitutionalized world.
ALL of this SHOULD BE just “common sense.” It’s NOT a “punishment” to those so disabled, it’s merely putting the protection of society ABOVE the desires of a handicapped few.
Moreover, as much as felony and mental health records are often protected from public view, they MUST BE surrendered in ALL cases when a person seeks to buy a gun, or apply for certain kinds of employment. It must be implicit in such applications that a person’s criminal and mental health records WILL BE opened to scrutiny.
In such circumstances, public safety must come first.