In The Absence of Reason: The Pause for Safety Act

Some background, The Pause for Safety Act, introduced by US Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), will “…give families and associates who fear someone close to them could commit violence new tools to help prevent these tragedies.”

The three points of the law are these:

  1. It would help ensure that families and others can go to court and seek a gun violence prevention order to temporarily stop someone close to them who poses a danger to themselves or others from purchasing a firearm.
  2. It would help ensure that families and others can also seek a gun violence prevention warrant that would allow law enforcement to take temporary possession of firearms that have already been purchased if a court determines that the individual poses a threat to themselves or others.
  3. It would help ensure that law enforcement makes full use of all existing gun registries when assessing a tip, warning or request from a concerned family member or other close associate.

My two cents:

First, reasonable people know that laws don’t “ensure” (or help ensure) anything. Laws don’t prevent (or help prevent) any act from occurring. If someone really wants to do something, they will find a way to do it, and I think that is the point all, anti-anti-gun legislation people are trying to make: gun control laws don’t prevent crimes. The flip side of that statement is also true: gun control laws do prevent law abiding citizens from exercising their constitutional rights.

Second, reasonable people don’t focus on the small picture, they look at the big picture. They say, what is good for one should be good for all, and what is bad for one should be bad for all. If someone posses a threat, it is the person that is at fault, not a gun. To open it up to the big picture, we don’t need to separate threatening people from their guns, we need to separate threatening people from society. Laws concerning threatening behavior have been on the books for years. It is the job of law enforcement to followup on reports of threatening behavior, and to remove the threat if they determine one exists. We don’t need a narrowly focused law to do what existing laws already do. We should remove the person posing the threat not the potential weapons available to that person. We should also not infringe on someones constitutional rights before they have been convicted of a crime.

Mental Disorders and Guns Don’t Mix

On Friday, December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, 20, entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children, and then himself. This is the latest in a string of shootings this year. In most cases the gunmen had a mental disorder or a undiagnosed/untreated mental illness. The deadliest cases involved powerful rifles, e.g. AR-15.

Thanks in part to the lifted ban on assault rifles in 2004, there is now a flood of powerful guns out in the wild. You cannot deny that statistically this increases the access of these weapons to all segments of the population. These weapons will be used by more hunters, more criminals, more hobbyists, and more mentally ill people.

If the number of people diagnosed with mental disorders is increasing, and the number of weapons is increasing, then sooner or later these groups are going to overlap.

The website, Fatal Gaps, also sheds light on another problem: mental health records are not being submitted to the national database. Thus, people like James Holmes, the shooter in Aurora, Colorado, can buy an AR-15 even though he has a history of mental illness.

We have already curtailed the 2nd Amendment with stipulations on people’s mental and criminal records (i.e. felons, “spouse beaters”, and the mentally ill cannot buy guns) so what more can be done to prevent these shootings? Assuming criminal records are more accurate than the mental health database, then it seems reasonable that fixing the mental health database will prevent more mentally ill people from buying guns; we won’t go into stolen or illegal sales of guns. I would also submit that we need more qualified mental health professionals, period. This makes sense giving the increasing number of mentally ill.

Loosing the L.O.S.T.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) is once again debating the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) – a bill Ronald Reagan and the republican senate killed nearly 25 years ago. It’s a bad for us (read U.S.) bill. So said CNN’s Glenn Beck and a growing number of the Informed:

America, this is not a joke — we have to wake up now, the killers are inside the house. Our country and our sovereignty is being lost to socialists, globalists, elitists, and corporations — and it’s happening right in front of our eyes. We must stand up now and say enough. Glenn Beck, CNN Glenn Beck Show, October 16, 2007