Sunday, November 27, 2005

You Can't Have it Both Ways

Headline that caught my eye on the CNN website:

Mental illness no red flag in gun buying

Hey why should it be, the US Constitution states that it is the right of every nutbar to bear arms.
Or something like that.

But seriously.
The article cites some cases of diagnosed psychotics who bought guns and used them on themselves or others.
Diagnosed psychotics are, according to the article, prohibited from buying guns,

however,

privacy laws prohibit their names from being publicized in the first place.

So the names of people suffering from conditions that make it undesirable (and even illegal) for them to possess weapons cannot be made known to those who provide them with these weapons.
I know I already said that. I was making sure I had it right.

Clearly this situation is untenable, and something must change.

Of course if the privacy laws are loosened and names of the mentally ill are circulated along with those of known felons and other criminals, it gives us one more reason to hide grandma in the attic lest she be carted off to the looney bin.
Society's attitudes have improved with regard to such illnesses as depression but there is still a way to go before it is regarded in the same light as other chemical imbalances such as diabetes.

And I'm not arguing that depressives should be allowed to buy guns, I'm arguing that nobody should be allowed to buy guns unless there is a good reason for it.
That way, guns will be in the hands of the police, the hunters, and the career criminals, all of whom know how to use them.

If your store is held up, you give them the money and nobody has to get hurt.
If your house is robbed you hide under the bed and nobody gets hurt.
If you feel a homicidal rage coming on, you take a knife instead of a gun and only those within arms' length are in danger.

It is beyond me why they cannot see that in order to have a society where gun ownership is a RIGHT, not a privilege, too many other rights have to be sacrificed.

Nobody needs to carry a gun in their pants.