whose rights?

Hundreds of mentally ill people successfully petition the court each year to have their gun rights restored, often after a hearing that lasts less than 5 minutes and which does not always include the judge asking to see written reports from psychiatrists stating that the person has recovered from their mental illness.

Even when it does, the reports might be written by a general practitioner, or a psychiatrist who has just met the petitioner, and has been duped. Often friends and family who can testify to the instability of the petitioner are not questioned. Or the petitioner shows up in court, wearing full camouflage and muttering gibberish to himself, and has his gun rights restored anyway.

Why aren’t these cases being looked at more carefully?

I think the source of some of the problem is that the right to bear arms is a national one, but the regulations relating to the purchase and possession of firearms fall to the states to create and enforce. And states don’t always talk to each other, or mental health facilities don’t share their information with the state or the FBI, or when information is requested from a state or the FBI privacy laws may prevent its disclosure.

Who came up with this system?

And why is it more important to preserve the rights of those with mental illness than is it to preserve the rights of the rest of us not to die a violent death at the hands of someone who may be unable to discern fantasy (i.e. the voices in his head) from reality?

Judge Lookabill “. . .would feel a lot more comfortable if there were more safeguards.” Ya’ think?

There are concerns that this constitutional right must be upheld, and that if people can demonstrate that they have recovered from their mental illness the rest of us don’t have the right to refuse them. But that’s ridiculous. First of all, most mental illnesses seem to be of the chronic sort, and any recovery is more like a remission, and completely dependent on a) the patient staying on their meds and b) no extraneous emotional stresses in the patient’s life. Is the judge going to monitor that somehow? Is the patient going to come back in a few months and say, “Ya’ know, I was feeling pretty good, so I stopped taking my meds, and now I’m unemployed again and my ex-wife won’t let me see my kids because I’m hearing voices of the people that live in the walls of my house, so I think that, given the circumstances, I probably shouldn’t have these weapons available to me right now”?  Somehow I doubt it.

Secondly, I understand that it’s an illness, a disease, so I’m trying to come up with a comparison like a diabetic’s right to eat candy bars or someone in the final stages of lung cancer and their right to continue smoking, but in those cases they are only going to hurt themselves. We’re talking about guns, here. Guns. Guns that they might not only turn on themselves, but guns that are often turned on others: bystanders and coworkers and fellow students and teachers and completely random strangers.

We should be being more careful about this.

The Second Amendment was written right after the revolution, when our ability to become an independent country and write our own constitution and govern ourselves had been challenged and fought for. Any revolutions we want to fight now are supposed to be fought at the ballot box. Is there concern that we might need to fight one again? Maybe the poor and downtrodden, you know, the 90% of the country that holds only 28.5% of the country’s wealth, (are YOU one of the top 10%? I know I’m not) will decide THEY need to take THEIR country back. But somehow I doubt this will happen.


Maybe we should give it back. They took better care of it than we do, and were here first.

Yeah, let’s give it to this guy, he’ll know what to do with it:

(In my quest for the pictures above I ran across this:

Seriously? That’s offensive, reprehensible, irresponsible. Maybe if you want to be taken seriously you should try not to be such a wingnut. Although comparing Obama to Hitler might not interfere with your right to get your gun rights back, the racist implications alone are disturbing, not to mention that Hitler had millions of people killed because of their religious beliefs. So much for that basic right the conservatives are always harping about. And it’s interesting that when I look up Leninism on Wikipedia I find the theory explained that a communist revolution will only occur under a pre-condition of an economically exhausted industrialized nation, so maybe we should keep those gun rights available just in case.)

Anyway, I’ve gone off on a tangent, not unrelated to what happens when I spend any time at all on youtube.

So. . .

. . .what is it about guns, anyway?  Can someone explain to me the fascination? If you’re not a hunter, or in law enforcement or the military (the last two of which, if no one had guns, we would maybe need less of), what’s the attraction? Can someone explain it to me? I know this is going to make it obvious that I’m a girl, as if you couldn’t tell that already, but I JUST DON’T GET IT.

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