As a result of the Newtown massacre, there has been a push for stricter gun laws. But attempts to create legislation around prohibitions on assault weapons, background checks for gun shows, limits on ammunition clip sizes, etc. are opposed by the NRA and far right Second Amendment supporters who actually believe that further gun restrictions will lead to nation wide gun seizures by President Obama's jack booted thugs. And rather than focus on the weapons that doing the killing, the right wing seem to be diverting the argument with claims that it's the mentally ill who are doing the killing and if we just lock up all these folks, everything will be hunky dory. Of course these are the same deficit hawk types who have no problem cutting mental health service; but I digress. This morning, Steve Doocy listened raptly as he sat knee to knee with his right wing sensei , Peter Johnson Jr. whose passion for gun rights clearly supersedes concern for the rights of those who are mentally ill who, contrary to Johnson's belief, are not the main offenders!
The springboard for the discussion, "Are the Criminally Mentally Ill Killing America?,"was the recent hostage crisis in which a bus driver was shot and a young boy was taken hostage by an apparently deranged Alabama resident. Doocy reported that the crises had ended and the authorities believe that the deceased Jimmy Lee Dykes "was probably mentally ill." He asked "if that's what's killing America?" Knight of Malta, Peter Johnson Jr. said that if look at people "responsible for murder in the last three months...mental illness appears to play a part in each and every one of these issues." He showed photos of Jared Loughner Arizona shooting), Adam Lanza (Newtown), James Holmes (Aurora), Dykes, and Eddie Routh (killing of Navy sniper) who appears to be suffering from PSTD - an ailment that many combat veterans suffer from. Of course the fact that, since Newtown, 1578 gun deaths have occurred wasn't mentioned.
Johnson could have been reading from the NRA playbook in his gun defense: "We've got to come to terms with this in a way that does service to the second amendment and our Constitutional rights; but at the same time, a reality check. A lot of people who hate guns every time there's a murder involving a mentally ill person, they'll say let's cut the guns out, let's shut them down as much as we can." On cue, Doocy shouted "that's the president right now." (Lie - Obama's proposals are not aimed at "shutting down" guns)
Johnson continued his Second Amendment advocacy: "At the same time a lot of us who understand the Second Amendment say, OK this can't be prevented, this is a nut, these things happen." He leaned in even closer to Doocy as he said "that's not a good enough excuse." He preached that we need to preserve gun ownership rights while "at the same time making sure that insane people, people who are disturbed, people who have histories of menacing people, as Jimmy Lee Dykes did...doesn't get in a position where they can hurt children like Ethan..."Johnson attributed the lack of further fatalities to "the grace of God" when, in reality, it was some good work on the part of law enforcement." Johnson stressed that we need to look at mental illness and say "if you're crazy, you shouldn't have a fire arm." Doocy said, regarding Dykes, "the writing was on the wall." Johnson claimed that this happened because "we won't deal with the issue of mental illness and we must, beginning today." Doocy said that this was "a great analysis."
While Johnson is concerned about the Second Amendment, he doesn't seem to share the same concern for the privacy rights of those with mental health disorders. It's ironic that folks like Johnson, who are concerned about national gun registries, don't have a problem with a registry of those with mental health issues. If this were a "great analysis," somebody might have mentioned that this issue is very complex especially given that, according to Columbia University professor Stephen Hoge, "It is virtually impossible to identify who among the mentally ill are likely to be violent" and that " To have a policy that is based on identifying individuals who are likely to become violent is a failed policy from the beginning." Somebody might have mentioned that federal law already prohibits mentally ill people from owning guns and that states aren't submitting required information to the FBI. This "great analysis" ignored the fact that "people with serious mental disorders, while more likely to commit aggressive acts than the average person, account for only about 4 percent of violent crimes over all."
"Great analysis" or just more right wing propaganda pushing?
“You know, I find it interesting that the gun nuts who claim “HITLER TOOK THE GUNS” etc. etc….”
The REAL truth is that Hitler loosened gun ownership regulations, but don’t try to tell gun nuts that. They already made up their minds. Don’t try to confuse them with the FACTS.
“The gun culture is right about one thing, however. Hitler really did enact a new gun law. But it was in 1938, not 1935 – well after the NAZIs already had the country in its iron grip. Furthermore, the new law in many ways LOOSENED gun restrictions. For example, it greatly expanded the numbers who were exempt, it lowered the legal age of possession from 20 to 18, and it completely lifted restriction on all guns except handguns, as well as on ammunition.”