Keep on eye on this story. I would be very surprised if Sencion was not well known to police for previous mental illness problems. I would be surprised if there is not a history of observational holds, followed by release because he was not an imminent danger.
Family members told authorities that Sencion had a history of mental problems dating back to age 16, the official said.
Eduardo Sencion, 32, had been taken into custody in South Lake Tahoe in 2000 under a California law that allows police to hold a person who presents a danger to themselves or others, South Lake Tahoe police spokesman Lt. David Stevenson said.
There’s no background check system that’s going to work to disarm mentally ill people like this if authorities refuse to act. Even under California law, this would only have disabled him from buying a firearm for five years. Being held under this particular California statute is not a federal disqualification, nor should it be, since the amount of due-process afforded is very low.
Our opponents will hew and haw that we must turn the country into a giant padded cell, rather than making sure authorities and the mental health system understand the importance of getting these people proper mental health treatment, and, when necessary, getting them off the street. It’s not going to do us any good if they switch from using guns to matches and gasoline. You have to get the mentally ill off the streets, or this kind of thing is going to continue occurring.