Thursday, legislation here in Delaware made it through the state senate which will expand background checks for gun purchases. I cannot find anything that objectionable about its provisions; there are exemptions if the transactions "are between immediate family members, law enforcement officers, or if they involve antique firearms or the return of a gun by a pawnbroker." What's more worrisome is coming proposed legislation by DE Attorney General Beau "I've Tried Tens of Cases" Biden that will expand the definition of who is mentally ill:
“But the other piece that we’re going to be introducing next week is another part of our package. And that is expanding and broadening the category of folks who have a mental health issue that we believe should prohibit them from possessing a firearm,” he added.
The mental health definition has been fuzzy in gun bills introduced on the federal level, but usually has boiled down to whether a person is adjudicated mentally ill. Much of the debate on the Hill has been about whether a doctor can violate patient confidentiality in reporting a person to be listed in the gun-check database, and whether that would discourage those afflicted by mental illness from seeking treatment.
Biden called adjudication “a very high standard, basically being involuntarily committed to a mental institution.”
Michael Walsh says,
Good idea — let’s adjudicate more folks as mentally ill, because obviously we don’t have enough of them. But what about that civil-liberty-threatening, “health care professional would have an obligation to report” bit? Shouldn’t that make us just a tiny bit nervous — especially in light of the president’s series of executive orders about guns in January, two of which helpfully stated:
Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
Walsh adds "The flagrant abuse of psychiatry as a tool to control or eliminate political opposition could never happen here, right?" and then links to this little nugget.
Hmm.Posted by Hube at April 20, 2013 04:42 PM | TrackBack