Broken Families and Broken Laws

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Broken Families and Broken Laws

Before 1981, when the Patients' Right Act was enforced, seriously mentally ill people could be institutionalized. While some people claim that is inhumane, families who had to deal with dangerously ill patients at least had a choice and knew where the patient was and that there would be some kind of treatment. Now we have multitudes of homeless people on the streets, and many of them are mentally ill. They can be picked up and treated for 72 hours, and that is all. Families cannot get any help because institutions cannot keep people unless there is a judge’s ruling that the person is dangerous one of the qualifier is that the person may have already killed someone. It would not make any difference whether the weapon of choice is a gun, knife, or death by strangulation. A deranged individual can be very strong, and they see reality as it merely may mean that the victim needs to be dead. Yes, if families and authorities would follow through on getting treatment for the mentally ill, it would greatly help society’s well-being. I agree we shouldn’t go around flinching in fear of mass shootings. But we should take reasonable steps to minimize risk. Lightning strikes are rare, but building codes require grounding, public pools are closed during storms and rational people don’t stand under trees or on golf courses. In this case we need to start bending the gun ownership curve downward. People need to comprehend that none of the rationale for firearm ownership are rational. They are dangerous tools which have no legitimate use in society outside of police, military or a hunter’s hands. You like to target shoot? Too bad, find another hobby.

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Virginia Tech Tragedy

In the Virginia Tech tragedy there were two young women who pleaded for help, that Cho was stalking them. A district court judge acknowledged Cho’s mental illness, and he was sent for psychiatric evaluation. Even though he was ordered to outpatient care, as far as the judge was concerned he did his job. Did he really? The problem is, Cho was not sent to a psychiatric institution. Instead, he was sent to a psychiatric hospital. Somehow this still qualified and enabled him to run out to a pawn shop and a gun dealer to make his gun purchases. Somewhere Cho had bought two semiautomatic pistols, the same ones used to massacre many innocent students at Virginia Tech, in April of 2007. He should not have been able to; his name should have appeared in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, a database that lists the name of those disqualified from purchasing weapons. (San Jose Mercury News). The list should consist of felons, individuals convicted of domestic violence including those mandated by the courts for mental health. Doctors who see patients with a serious mental health history should be required to inform the courts of such. -------------------------------------------------

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The Great Debate

California is on the right track, stating that their laws are if an individual has been hospitalized for seventy two hours for mental illness, cannot obtain a gun permit for five years. Now, most states have put in place that after thirty days of continual hospitalization you cannot obtain a gun permit. However, there are flaws in the registry the issue is that only forty percent of guns sold in the United States are licensed dealers. It seems that across the board state synchronized record keeping for all crimes, including mental health needs to be in effect. These records should be precisely entered in the central data base. On the other hand, the question remains, who will decide on who gets a hand gun and who cannot because there are people that may never become violent or use a weapon in a...
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