Thursday, February 21, 2013

How Not to Identify Potentially Violent Mental Cases

How do you screen out those who are mentally unfit to handle firearms? This website recommends checking for one of three factors:

1. The person has been judged incompetent due to a permanent or long-term condition...not the kind of quick, moment-by-moment check-in used to tell whether patients are "alert" in the hospital (after a night without sleep even the staff may not seem "alert"), but a legal ruling that the person has been out of touch with reality for a long time and is likely to remain so.

2. The person has been convicted of a violent crime in the past.

3. The person is using any of a group of drugs associated with violent crimes, including prescription medications, especially antidepressants like Prozac, Luvox, and Zoloft, as well as illegal street drugs that may have been found in the bloodstream after a traffic violation or other disorderly conduct.

Unfortunately, the current administration, packed as it is with frustrated nannies who want to view the whole world as children, is rejecting this common-sense, ethically unassailable approach to firearms safety. Michael Connelly reports: