“Prospective gun owners would have to pass a mental health test before being granted a firearms licence under recommendations submitted by a NSW coroner,” the AAP story on World News Australia tells us.
After inquiring into the self-inflicted shooting death of a man during a confrontation with police in Sydney, Deputy State Coroner Paul MacMahon found the licensed gun owner had posed a “very great danger” to many unsuspecting people…An inquest, in November 2009 and March 2010, heard police evidence that the man intended to kill numerous people at random on the day he visited Eastwood Mall.
That’s pretty terrifying. Why wouldn’t Australians want to make sure people like this are disarmed?
Why wouldn’t we?
Could we if we wanted to?
Depending on the source you consult, a widely accepted estimate is that there are 80 million gun owners in this country. What good does it do to only screen “prospective gun owners” when there are so many existing ones, all being subjected to the stresses of life, to changing medical conditions, to challenges and tragedies and life-altering events that can test the limits of human endurance? And while the odds are that peaceable gun owners will, as a group, overwhelmingly remain so, any one of them could be ready to snap.
What would such analysis cost for 80 million people? And are there enough providers to perform the task?
More than the country can afford, certainly more than people of limited means could come up with, so I guess the goal of disarming the poor would still be served, and no, the Department of Health and Human Services tells us there is already an overall shortage of mental health professionals without adding more to their plates. Besides, like other practitioners, they have specialities. I doubt the sexual or family therapists or child psychologists are going to be much help.
Of course, just because you pass this year doesn’t mean you’ll pass five years from now, or whenever a retest is mandated–perhaps after the next government-designated life-altering event occurs (and won’t that be a joy, when some bureaucrat contacts you after the death of a loved one to demand a screening so you can keep your guns?). And we’ll need to make sure there’s an appeals process, so that will tie up the courts both in terms of expense and caseloads, plus make sure there’s enough police manpower to round up the guns of those who fail the test, and to replace the ones who don’t return from such raids…
Then we need to factor in that just because someone has gamed a test doesn’t mean they’re “safe”–or that the “science” of mental health–or anything else, up to and including tea leaf reading–is accurate enough to offer predictive certainties of future behavior…
You see how ridiculously unworkable this gets in order to be comprehensive, don’t you? Especially when we know that no gun prohibition scheme in the most restrictive places in the country has ever succeeded at stopping motivated violent criminals from obtaining them?
Anyone who would seriously offer such a ludicrous proposal as a rational solution to “gun violence” must be certifiably nuts. And anyone willing to use up-to-lethal force to execute such a loopy scheme ought to be locked up and treated.
Who can we trust with guns? Who can we trust with freedom?
‘Some people simply shouldn’t have guns’
Who watched “The Watchmen”?
I mean “listened to.”
If you missed last night’s live conversation, you can listen to the archived recording at your leisure.
Doc Bean and I spoke about the Korean surplus rifle story, the imprisoned New Jersey gun owner and more.
I’ve embedded the segment in the video player in the left sidebar. It takes about an hour, so you can play it in the background while you’re visiting other websites.
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For more commentary on the right to keep and bear arms as it relates to the issues of the day, visit my blog, The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance.