Do You Want the Government to Define “Mental Health” So You Can Buy a Gun?

The following question was put to me on Facebook.

Are you in favor of allowing private citizens trade guns and money with each other Gary DeMar, and in the process, defeat background check requirements?

After I wrote that the question “requires a more extensive answer,” I received the following responses from the questioner:

  • You are obviously an irresponsible, Wild West gun loon Gary, i.e., a reckless yahoo with utter contempt for public safety, and it is loose cannons like you who will cause Americans to lose the 2nd Amendment.
  • I might usefully add …your ignorance, arrogance, and intransigence re this subject or any other point of controversy is exactly what should be expected. No one can long remain a Calvinist without a generous endowment of those 3 character defects.

This is what passes for dialog for some people. Even before I’ve written anything related to the question he asked, I’m attacked personally laced with name calling.

The Second Amendment does not require background checks. That does not mean I’m opposed to them.

What I am opposed to is letting the government define what might be included in a background check database. Let’s stick with the mental health angle. A background check would determine if a person has certain mental health issues. Sounds reasonable until we start asking who will make the determination of what constitutes mental health issues.

You may recall that Joy Behar of “The View” described Vice-Pres. Mike Pence, and millions of Christians who believe as he does, of being “mentally ill.” Behar’s response to the controversy was to say, “It was a joke.” But there are a lot of people out there who argue that people who believe in God are mentally ill.

How many times have you heard leftists attack Pres. Trump by claiming that he’s insane. Rob Reiner just said the President is a “psychopath”:

How much longer do we have to put up with a mentally ill sociopath? When the fucked-up psyche of the leader of the free world comes before the horrific deaths of innocent children, it’s time for GOP patriots to stand up and end this sickness.

Many on the left have been tagging Pres. Trump with the “mentally ill” moniker for more than a year. “California Representative Jackie Speier contacted John Gartner, a former assistant professor at Johns Hopkins medical school and founder of Duty to Warn… A collection of mental health professionals, the political action committee, has advocated for Trump’s removal under the 25th Amendment” because of mental incompetence.

There are many who see the long-term implications of such a charge. If it can be made to stick for the President of the United States, what chance do we lesser mortals have against the full force of the medical establishment, well-funded political foes, and an opposition political party?

Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz noted:

There’s only one thing worse than trying to criminalize political differences and that’s trying to psychiatrize them. These psychiatrists who are trying to diagnose without having even met the man. That’s what they did in Russia.

Please, don’t tell me “it can’t happen here.”

You and I know what it means to be truly mentally ill. From what we know of Nikolas De Jesus Cruz, the Florida school shooter, he was and is most likely mentally ill in terms of today’s psychiatric definitions. The FBI and local police were aware of him. He was on their radar. There was ample first-hand evidence that Cruz was a danger. In September, the FBI was warned about a comment on a Youtube video from a user named Nikolas Cruz: “I’m going to be a professional school shooter,” but these agencies chose to ignore it. “The FBI of course did what the relevant authorities did in the case of Omar Mateen, the case of Nidal Hasan, the case of Adam Lanza: nothing.” (National Review)

Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter, was mentally ill, but he never purchased a gun. How could he have been stopped by a background check? The next step might be that guns could not be in the home where someone with a mental disorder resides. This could be expanded to include relatives where the designated mentally ill person might visit.

Pres. Obama proposed legislation that was draconian along these lines in its application that even the ACLU opposed it. “In a blog post last year, the ACLU said that while it does not oppose gun control laws, those laws need to be fair and not based on prejudice and stereotype.” (CBC News)

The charge of being “mentally ill” has turned political, as Reiner, Rep. Jackie Speier, Jimmie Kimmel, and others have demonstrated. Even those on the Right have described liberalism as a mental illness. There are Michael Savage’s book and frequent throw-away-line, Liberalism is a Mental Disorder. Does this mean that liberals should be denied the right to purchase a gun?

Politics is always going to play a role in definitions and laws. Consider the charge of being part of a “hate group.” The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) publishes a list of groups that it identifies as “hate groups.” There are “hate crimes.” Should people who are on SPLC’s list be denied access to guns because, like the mentally ill, they might commit a hate crime? The SPLC has a page devoted to “LAW ENFORCEMENT RESOURCES”:

Law enforcement professionals are more likely to encounter dangerous extremists than virtually any other segment of American society — and those confrontations are, tragically, sometimes fatal.

What if a background check included a link the SPLC database? Could a person who belongs to one of these “hate groups” be denied the right to purchase a firearm? Maybe not today, but it could happen someday.

There are dozens of Christian groups listed under “Anti-LGBT ideology” on the SPLC site. Floyd Lee Corkins admitted to authorities that he targeted the Family Research Council [with a gun] because it was cited on the ‘Hate Map’ of the Southern Poverty Law Center website.” (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr) Maybe we should include in the background check anyone who donates to the SPLC and agrees with its ideology.

We’re back to the original question:

Are you in favor of allowing private citizens trade guns and money with each other Gary DeMar, and in the process, defeat background check requirements?

If the time comes when I am denied a gun because of my political affiliations, Christian faith, and/or moral beliefs, then yes.

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