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The California Shooting and Mental Health

I haven’t offered up much coverage of the California mass stabbing/shooting, largely because most everything that comes out early turns out to be wrong, and also the fact that I had a busy Memorial Day weekend, and needed some time to uncompress. It should be very telling to everyone that in Brady A-rated California, the top state in this nation for thorough gun control, their laws still did not prevent a crazy person from getting a gun. California has everything the antis say will fix the problem.

  • Universal background checks? Check
  • Very strong mental health requirements for gun ownership and possession? Check
  • Full registration? Check
  • Waiting periods before purchasing a firearm? Check
  • Magazine restrictions? Check

I want to especially focus on the mental health law in California, especially given Bob Owens piece this morning about how California is going to make it easy for your friends or family who may not like guns to deny you your fundamental rights with no due process. They are proposing to make a means for friends and family to petition to have you denied your Second Amendment rights. How many people you know, coworkers, etc, think you’re nuts just because you own a gun?

California already has strict laws governing firearms possession by the mentally ill. They are, in fact, very similar to Pennsylvania’s, though in some sense our law is more strict. Pennsylvania has the 302 commitment, and California has the 5150. Neither require any due process. I can just be a matter of a cop thinking your kooky enough to take you to the loony bin, and the attending physician agreeing to hold you for observation. In California, a 5150 earns you a five year prohibition from your gun rights. In Pennsylvania, it’s a lasting prohibition unless you petition to have your rights restored. But despite all this, someone still slipped through the cracks, because no one with the power to act acted. And, much as we can expect from politicians and gun control whack jobs, their proposed solution is more restrictions on the rights of ordinary people.

11 Responses to “The California Shooting and Mental Health”

  1. DevsAdvocate says:

    Geez, what else could the Antis do, lol.

    While this shooting is unfortunate, there is an opportunity for the gun rights crowd to point out how gun control is ultimately a fruitless endeavor.

    You could have the entire grab bag of gun control laws and still easily fail. EASILY. They’re more useless than nipples on the Bat suit.

  2. mike says:

    Other things California has:
    – handgun roster
    – assault weapons ban
    – “one gun a month”
    – Handgun Safety Certificate required to buy a handgun
    – microstamping requirement

    I’ll bet they also have laws against stabbing, shooting, and driving into people too. The real question is: How do we make sure that homicidal maniacs know about these laws? What we’ve got here is an “information gap” that’s getting people killed.

  3. Zermoid says:

    “a 5150 earns you a five you prohibition”

    Might wanna fix that.

  4. Patrick H says:

    It also shows the futility of mag restrictions. He had 41 ten round mags, and had no problems doing his evil deed.

    And his manifesto noted that he avoided a place because it had good people with guns (cops). I doubt this guy would have gotten far in PA.

  5. aerodawg says:

    All this incident will do is prove once and for all that the only stopping point for the anti-civil rights crowd is complete prohibition and confiscation. They’ve gotten absolutely everything they want in CA and it did not one whit of good and they’re not satisified with it….

  6. Harry Schell says:

    The same people who made the 5150 bar fairly high were addressing commitment abuses in the mental health system. They and other progressives ended abuses of the system but also made it very difficult to address people who are really ill but haven’t yet acted out sufficiently to warrant enough attention from the “authorities”.

    “Mainstreaming” the mentally ill has resulted in using jails instead mental hospitals for those who are ill and act out, filling the ranks of the homeless and more violent crime by people who are mentally disturbed.

    ACLU helped in this process, please note.

    A noble idea, but there are consequences.

    • 5150 doesn’t have a fairly high bar — actually it is astonishingly low, and often abused. Long-term commitment has a very high bar in California. See my article at http://pjmedia.com/blog/california-has-enough-laws/ concerning California laws o this subject.

    • Jake says:

      They and other progressives ended abuses of the system but also made it very difficult to address people who are really ill but haven’t yet acted out sufficiently to warrant enough attention from the “authorities”.

      Unfortunately, I think, the very nature of mental illness means that there will always be either a “grey area” like you describe, or easy and rampant abuses like the progressives were trying to stop. Too many of the dangerous mentally ill can fake it well enough to come across as just “creepy but not dangerous” that trying to catch them will end up netting too many who really are “creepy but not dangerous”.

  7. Echo says:

    They’ve gone completely off the wall this time–just ignoring the facts entirely, and making up their own out of whole cloth.
    Last report I heard was that he killed 7 women with a high capacity assault rifle.

    The anti-gun movement is rapidly becoming the sole domain of Daily Kos conspiracy theorists. Good for our objectives, yeah, but horrible for our political culture.

  8. RP says:

    Californians have one more reason to not stick it in the crazy. I can see vengeful ex’s taking advantage of a law like that.

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