Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mental Health Screening

Mental Health Screening for Gun Buyers? It's Nearly Non-Existent

This morning, I posted a new blog at the Huffington Post that examines one of the hard truths about the gruesome mass shooting in Aurora:  Under federal law, mental health screening for gun purchasers is cursory at best, negligent and reckless at worst.

Most Americans probably assume that the background check for gun buyers who go through a federally licensed dealer (FFL) is robust, to include significant screening for mental health history. The reality is far different. Unless a gun buyer has been involuntarily committed or formally adjudicated by a court as a "mental defective," he is free to stockpile as many firearms as he wishes. Furthermore, when a gun dealer is processing a transaction, he does not see any details about the mental health history of a customer: just some type on a computer screen telling him to APPROVE or DENY a sale.

What can we do to improve this deeply flawed system and prevent the next Aurora?  Please check out my blog, " Aurora's Hard Truth: Mental Health Screening for Gun Buyers Is Nearly Non-Existent," to find out.

Best regards,
Josh Horwitz
Executive Director


  1. Good. That's as it should be.

    1. There are too many gun owners and gun sales for all of them to sit on some shrink's couch for a session.

    2. Our kind of government only works when it presumes that a citizen is a good person, unless the due process of law has shown otherwise.

  2. I like this. If you are going to target deadly items that need a mental health screenings before purchase then guns should be only one item of a VERY LONG list.

    Baseball bats, purchased by anyone at any age, is just a bat untill some disturbed individual sees someone elses head as a baseball.

    Knives, any kind from utility to steak, serves their purpose untill a crazy decides it would be fun to carve a person up.

    Cars are just transportation untill someone thinks it would be fun to joy ride while drunk, or a various other unacceptable conditions.

    Hundreds of thousands of examples can be used, and most all of them can be deadlier than a gun for the simple fact that most of those "other objects" can be used without warning to those victims being hurt or killed by them.

    Its not the gun, the bat, the knife or the car thats deadly, its the person in control of them. Those people can be stopped if there are warning signs that could be reported independant of any purchase of anything besides the gun. But is society, government or any law ready to screen each individual alive today before one red cent can be laid down on the counter to purchase ANYTHING? And at what cost to society? What you are asking isnt fool proof, far from it. How often do you wish to renew a screen on everyone before further purcases could be made for ANYTHING. No individual could be allowed to go unscreened, EVER!

    You are proposing PRECRIME convictions, convict someone before a crime of any kind could be commited. Is everyone willing to go thru a screening that could land them in jail just because someone else has determined that they could have the potential to trip someone else in a store so they would never be allowed to shop for groceries or clothes?

    Who would be doing the screenings? Were they cleared to do so by being screened? Who screened the people that approved of the screeners that is going to screen people. Who approved who in the first place? We cant miss anyone, or the fault can be carried downhill forever.

    Are going to screen the unborn for potential precrimes? What would we do with those yet unborn that failed the screen that would, if born, could wind up kicking a screener in the nuts?

    Kind of a paradox, huh. When you start, where would you end? There have been enough Pandora Boxes opened already. Want to open even more dangerous ways to SCREEN people?

  3. I read reports that the recent theater mass murderer actually sought help from a psychiatrist before his attack. Even more disheartening, the psychiatrist recognized his potential and even reported it to the crisis team at the university where he was going to drop out. And yet no one (in terms of law enforcement or other government agencies) did anything.

    Screenings won't work.

  4. Screenings in and of themselves wont work. Reporting a suspicious person or activity to the authorities sometimes work, like in the case of the Maryland guy who threatened his co-workers. But the Marland guy had not committed any real crime yet and the limit on what the law can do about someone like that varies greatly on what state or city your in. Sometimes a threat is a crime, sometimes not. It just depends on where you are. And if the threat can be considered a crime in the context of a crime.

    The guy was a idiot anyway. To even jokingly make such a threat and really have the hardware to back it up is going to make it very difficult for him to convince anyone that he was joking.

    For example, I do have some hardware that some would consider excessive and lot of others would think that I have just started a small collection. In either case, I would never even JOKINGLY make a threat like that! Some people are just stupid!

    And you cant fix stupid!

    Wait! Maybe there is a screen for that too???

  5. Excellent and extremely useful release, it will help to a particular person who will research this website successfully and know what he/she are researching. This would be very useful and through this blog’s useful content, it will be an determination to all.Herbal Incense