Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Massachusetts Does Not Share Mental Health Records with the FBI

The Boston Globe
Despite its reputation as a state with strong gun control laws, Massachusetts has for more than a decade failed to provide the FBI with mental health reports on people seeking to buy guns, the result of a state law prohibiting such sharing. Massachusetts has submitted just one mental health record to the federal database since 1999, a period in which the FBI has processed 1.6 million background checks of state residents who seek to buy guns from federally licensed dealers.
Guess who's responsible for the laws which prevent states from entering this vital information into the federal data base? That's right, the NRA and the gun lobby.  Who else?

Now, in order to deflect attention from the problem of gun availability, they point fingers at the failure of the mental health system.

Gun rights folks are nothing if not hypocritical and self-centered.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. The gunsucks at the NRA have a consistent strategy: Object and delay.

    Say, did you know that the gunsuck LaPierre was the guy who originated the idea of gun-free zones? Or at least after Columbine he was strongly on record in favor of the idea. This is a perfect illustration. First you promote an idea, and get people discussing it. Then you promote the opposite, and that delays the discussion.

    The real discussion is "What guns should be banned?" and "How should we register guns?"

    1. The real discussion is what speech should be banned and how should we register speech. Do you see how easy that is?

  2. The term, mentally ill, gets tossed around a lot in this debate, but I heard a claim a while ago that one quarter of the country is mentally ill. The problem, of course, is that this wide net sweeps in people with mild depression, with a desire to check to see if the stove got turned off, with Asperger's, and with any of a number of other conditions that don't make the person a danger to society--unless you count making really bad computer operating systems and social networks.

    I've yet to see a definition of mental illness that will keep those who are genuinely a danger to innocent people under control but retain freedom for everyone else.

  3. The problem, as mentioned in the article but not included in your excerpt, seems to be with defining which sort of mental health patients' information will be included. For both mental health patients and those who work in the mental health field, this is a significant issue. What criteria will be used to determine if a person is to be reported? The stigmatizing of mental health patients is already a problem. It is a sufficiently significant issue that the ACLU also has reservations about expanding the NICS database, the reference to which is also excluded from your excerpt.

  4. This article does a great job pointing out how government policies fail all the time. And this is why I do NOT entrust my family's security to the government.

    The reason that the State of Massachusetts failed to provide data to the federal background check system is irrelevant. The only important fact is that Massachusetts failed to provide it. And the same dynamics can mess up any gun control scheme. Thus I have no reason to believe that any gun control scheme will succeed in making anyone safer.

    1. All gun control initiatives save lives. That will be increased dramatically when the NRA and gun lobby is forced to stop interfering.

    2. "All gun control initiatives save lives." Prove it.

      You see the NRA and gun lobby being forced to stop? That won't happen. The people will rise and rise again to stop your side from trying to control us.