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Mass. Gun Control Debate Seeks Common Ground On Mental Health

BOSTON — This week, several proposals to strengthen Massachusetts gun regulations are popping up on Beacon Hill.

On Wednesday, Gov. Deval Patrick refiled proposals that have failed to pass through the Legislature in the past. And on Friday, Rep. David Linsky, of Natick, is filing his legislation.

We caught up with Linksy and Jim Wallace, the executive director of the Gun Owners Action League, to talk about some of the issues being put on the table.

Jim Wallace: We need major reforms so that citizens can actually understand what’s expected of them as a lawful gun owner and then prosecutors can understand what they are able to do. And unfortunately, they need to be sorted out to the point where we’re dealing with what we call “prohibited persons” rather than wasting a whole lot of effort on the lawful citizens.

Bob Oakes: What do you mean by that, “prohibited persons”?

Wallace: One of the things that really bothered us a number of years ago when we had meetings with public safety officials was, I asked the public safety officials, “Can you tell me how many people applied for a license in the last couple of years and got it?” And they said, “Sure, we can give you those numbers.” And I said, “Can you tell me how many people have applied for a license and were denied and why they were denied.” And they said, “No, we don’t keep any of that information.” So we’re spending millions of dollars tracking the good guys who have licenses, but we’re not really spending any money tracking the bad guys.

How do we keep guns out of hands of people who should not have them, Rep. Linksy?

Rep. David Linsky: Well, we need to give the licensing authority, which in Massachusetts is the local police chief, greater discretion in denying applications. So I need to give them some more discretion in assessing a person’s ability to handle a gun safely, any mental health history that person has had, their training, their experience. And they just don’t have that kind of a discretion right now. If people want the guns, they get the guns.

How do you get a police chief information on the mental health status of someone when doctors aren’t forced to disclose that kind of information and neither are patients?

Linksy: I’m going to require, if my bill becomes law, that you number one, sign a waiver of your mental health records and number two, you disclose to the licensing authority who has those mental health records. If you don’t want to disclose your mental health records, then don’t apply for a gun license. That’s how we solve that.

Jim, what’s your take on that?

Wallace: The problem is the discretion has already been so widely abused by some police chiefs across the state that licensed gun owners in Massachusetts are not likely to support any further intrusion.

Even the mental health background check?

Wallace: Well because it’s been abused. And their fear is that if you open it up to even more discretion, it’s going to be even more widely abused.

There is definitely a bar that we should be able to agree on that if you’re diagnosed with “X” or above, or however you want to categorize that, you shouldn’t have access to firearms or anything else that could be a harm to yourself or others. The problem is, do we open Pandora’s box on the mental health issues and just allow carte blanche access to all of that?

But do you think there’s common ground on that issue somewhere? It sounds like you’re saying there might be common ground, but I don’t know what it is at the present time.

Wallace: The mental health issue has really been just pushed aside. There’s really no treatment programs for a lot of mental health. And what does exist, I’ve had people within the industry that say, “Jim, they go to outpatient facilities, they get drugged up to the max and thrown out the door.”

Linksy: Well, I would agree, certainly, that we have an inadequate mental health system here in the United States. We really do. And this is probably the thorniest issue in trying to prevent gun violence. That’s why in addition to looking at the issue of mental health aspect, I’m looking at issues of access to weapons and storage of weapons.

So how else to restrict access, then?

Linsky: I’m filing a bill that would require that assault weapons and large-capacity rifles are stored not at a person’s house. If a person has them and they want to use them for target shooting at the range, then keep in secure locked facility at the range.

Give me a number. How many bullets is one bullet too many that a rifle can hold?

Linsky: The standard magazines that come with those is usually around 10. I don’t see reason why, in today’s society on the streets, you need a magazine that holds more than 10.

Jim Wallace, why does any gun owner need more than 10 rounds?

Wallace: I have to say that one of the most frightening things that people ask me is, “Why do you need?” As a citizen, especially in Massachusetts, who’s had to go through the wringer to become a lawfully licensed gun owner, I would say, “Why do you need to take it away from me?”

As far as I’m concerned, as long as I’m using it lawfully, and I’m not harming anybody, then what’s the problem? The problem is in the hands of criminals, not in the hands of lawful citizens.

But what do you say to members of a very concerned public who say, “Gosh, the least we can do is take a magazine that holds 30 slugs or more out of hands of a criminal or a potential criminal, since in some cases, we don’t know who the criminal is until the person commits the act”?

Wallace: Well, the idea would be to actually take any kind of weapon away from those people. You hate to get into argument, but how many rounds is OK for a psychopath? Ten rounds, seven rounds, five rounds, two rounds?

Linsky: I want to remember that we’re trying to prevent gun tragedies here. And tragedies just aren’t crimes. They’re accidental shootings, they are accidental discharges, they’re suicides. All the statistics really show it is more likely to have a suicide or an accidental discharge in home than it is to ever, ever use one of those weapons on an intruder or in self-defense.

You also want to require gun owners to purchase liability insurance. What’s the point of that? Isn’t that just going to make it more expensive for gun owners to buy and own a weapon just so that there will be fewer sales?

Linsky: No. That’s not what it’s about. What’s really behind that is, it’s getting insurance companies involved in gun safety to have a role in seeing how guns are manufactured, how guns are stored, how guns are kept in houses, what types of guns, what types of ammunition.

How much is it going to cost?

Linsky: I’m talking to people from the industry and it could be as little as $50 a year.

Jim, your view on liability insurance?

Wallace: To bring insurance companies in on a civil right in Massachusetts or anywhere else, frankly, is just unacceptable. I mean, I’ve dealt with insurance companies and I’ve got friends that are agents. The first thing they do when something happens is try to deny your coverage. So, I’m not exactly sure they’re the ones to tell us how to do things safely or manufacture things safely.

So is there common ground here? I mean, I do hear both of you agreeing that it would be a great thing if we could somehow cut down on gun violence across America, but not necessarily a lot of agreement at this table on the specifics of how to go about doing that.

Wallace: Well, I think certainly one of the things we need to work on and we have talked about is going to be the mental health issue. I think there’s going to be a lot of conversations in the next couple months as to how we address that and to what extent we allow the government to intrude into our private affairs.

Linsky: Yeah, we do certainly have to fix the mental health system, but we can’t just stop there. We need to make it tougher to get a firearm in Massachusetts and we need to make sure that certain types of firearms don’t have a place in people’s houses.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/melinda.ballou.9 Melinda Ballou

    It seems that any increased limitation — on magazine size for instance — or requirement — for insurance or background checks — is viewed as unacceptable by Mr. Wallace. he responds with a question himself when asked by the reporter why responsible gun owners would need more than 10 rounds (“One of the most frightening questions people ask me is ‘why do you need?’ “). I am curious about what most gun owners perceive to be the appropriate number of rounds and would have liked a clear answer to that question and also to his response about abuses for background checks. What were those abuses? We need to have reasonable and responsible dialogue on these issues and I appreciate having a point and counter point discussion like this. Mr. Wallace’s point about the need to keep track of information about those who were denied access to gun ownership is a good one and looks like a point of common ground. Given the extremely high stakes here, we MUST build consensus and can ill afford polarization and the knee jerk reactions which all too frequently typify gun rights vrs. gun control advocates.

    • SoCoBen

      Melinda, Jim Wallace gave a more full answer when he was interviewed yesterday. The reason it’s scary to hear talk of what rights we “need” to exercise is because obviously no one needs to own a gun at all (indeed, most MA residents don’t own one).

      We seem to be going in the direction of banning all firearms that are useful for self defense. Most full sized 9mm and .40 handguns require magazines that are over the current ten round limit. While these magazines (which are, of course, necessary to operate the firearm) have previously been grandfathered in, the Governor’s legislation would require gun owners to give them up. In addition, the governor would limit all firearms to a seven round maximum (essentially, “cowboy and Indians” technology).

      Law abiding citizens should have access to the same firearms that law enforcement has. Magazine limits have no effect on mass killers, even if they follow them (and why would they?), because they pick defenseless targets so that they can reload at their leisure. But a parent cornered in his or her child’s room, with multiple violent men running through the house? Obviously, you don’t want your firearm to be loaded with fewer rounds than it was designed for.

      • Thinkfreeer

        By the way, the police in NY have discovered that their high capacity magazines (typically 15) are illegal. Just goes to show you what rushing through legislation can do. Of course the only reason to do so is to take advantage of a perceived crisis, which does not exist except in some people’s minds. We won’t even know what really happened at Sandy Hook for months. The CT State Police will not issue any information until the report is complete. We do not know much at all about that, really. There is even some doubt that the shooter actually used an assault weapon.

        I agree that we need to have whatever local law enforcement has (not the military). The police forces have been increasing their firepower. Why should we be different? Why do the police “need” assault weapons and high capacity magazines? The U.K. Police don’t even have guns.

    • Thinkfreeer

      Here is a simple rule for guiding this debate. Would you also restrict the magazine size for law enforcement? After all, why would they need 30 rounds to kill a law breaker? Whatever restriction is judged to be common sense, it must apply to the authorities as well. We, the people, are the government, and we get to overthrow those we have placed in office to run things if it has become a problem. Why would we let them have more firepower than us?

  • Molon Aabe

    Yea, store my property far away from my legal possession. Tell you what sir, come move my firearms to another facility not in my direct control…..why, you’d be stealing my property at that point and I won’t have that…..

  • Thinkfreeer

    Actually, I think Governor Patrick’s proposed legislation, with a seven round limit to magazines, and a requirement to sell or dispose of yours within one year, is penis envy. He saw that his next door neighbor, Cuomo, did it already.

    And, why seven? Where’s the logic here? Seeing how most of the mass shooters committed suicide, they didn’t actually “need” more than one round. did they?

  • andrew

    It’s tough enough to get a firearm license in mass. I had to wait six months to get one. Most of the restrictions this state has don’t make any sense now. I can’t buy a new glock but I can buy one made and sold before 1994. The the difference between the two are only cosmetic. That is only one of the many pointless regs that we have. With the issue of mental health leaving my second amendment rights in the hands of so called mental health professionals in nothing but negligent. We’re talking about a people who will turn anything into a mental illness to push more drugs for pharmaceutical company.

  • really?

    When was the last time any of you gun owners used your gun to defend yourself or your family? You watch too many movies “But a parent cornered in his or her child’s room, with multiple violent men running through the house? Obviously, you don’t want your firearm to be loaded with fewer rounds than it was designed for”. Get real. You’re more liklely to need your own firetruck. Your kid is much more likely to shoot himself or one of his friends with your gun than you are to use it to defend yourself or your family.

    Do you really think you can take on the local police if you have access to a larger clip? If it ever comes to that you are either dead or going to jail for life….so what is the point of the gun?

    UK police don’t have guns because most guns are illegal in the UK. It’s good you bring up the UK, they have a .07/100,000 rate of intentional gun homicides. The US rate is 4x.

    So, what are the great ideas to reduce gun violence that don’t have to do with limiting access to guns?

    • SoCoBen

      “…take on the local police…” Whoa, what are you talking about?! The police are on our side. They have firearms to protect themselves and others against the violent people who exist in this world. Likewise, everyone has a right to protect themselves and their families, even if you disagree with the Constitutionally-protected ways they sometimes choose to exercise that right. It only makes sense that we have the best tool for the job, just like the police — and in many cases, that means having magazines with a capacity greater than seven.

      “You watch too many movies… Get real.” I completely understand and respect people who choose to be unarmed. I only ask that you extend the same respect to the people you disagree with.

      Compared with the UK, our murder rate is about 3.5 times higher, but our overall violent crime rate is about 3.5 times lower. Both violent crime and murder rates have been going down in the US for some time now — in the UK, they’ve been going up… and the massacres haven’t ended.

      In 2004 a DOJ study determined that the Assault Weapons Ban (which included a 10 round magazine limit) had little or no effect on crime, a trend that was predicted to continue if the ban was reinstated. There’s no point in banning the firearms of thousands of peaceful gun owners, when we know it will have no effect on crime.

      • really?

        The second ammendment argument is solely based on an individuals right to protect themselves against government tyranny, you don’t have to listen carefully to hear the argument. The local police are the government they are referring to….as it’s very clear they aren’t going to defend themselves from the army or the airforce with a rifle. I’m not talking about taking on the local police, the gun nuts are.
        Maybe you’re a rational gun owner, but if you are then I suggest you speak as loudly as your whacko ‘if you come for my guns I’m going to start shooting people’ irrational and paranoid gun owning brotherin. Among the loudest whackos are the tea party republicans threatening to impeach the President for his executive orders, the NRA for making comparisons between the presidents children getting armed protection vs john q public’s, etc, etc. It’s time the rational gun owners took control of the discussion. The NRA has 4M members, and at last count the adult population of the US was 240M (out of 315M total). I don’t believe 1.6% of the adults in the country should trump the 98.4% of the rest of us.

        You seem to believe that your right to defend yourself from imagined violence, (which under the second ammendment is only in regard to government tyranny…not the scenario outlined of ‘multiple violent men…’ that I was responding to), trumps the rights of the 20 children murdered to become adults, and the thousands of other victims of gun violence. I disagree. I think if preventing some law abiding citizens from having the guns they want can save 1 of those kids…then as a society we limit your rights to protect theirs.

        You are making an assumption that I’m unarmed because I think the scenario described is an assinine justification for opposing rational gun control. I don’t think our gun laws should be based on the paranoid fantasies of people that think at some point they may need to defend their family while being cornered in a child’s bedroom while multiple violent men roam the house. I’m pointing out the scenario is possible but extremely unlikely and not a basis for crafting sane gun policy.

        I would also encourage you to check your statistics. If you are going to compare ‘violent crime’ rates, then you need to compare apples to apples. Each country keeps their own statistics, and they are basesd on the local definition of violent crime. A report recently issued by the National Academies Press (an independent organization first founded by congressional charter in the 1860s) has a relevant comparison. For violence (excluding suicide and war) per 100,000 people: United Kingdom — 1.14 incidents; United States — 6.47. The U.S. is the most violent country of the 17 developed countries assessed, and is about three times as violent as the next-closest. Finland

        I would also encourage you to check your logic. If your assertion is that because a prior policy was unseccessful that we shouldn’t craft any new ones to continue to try to mitigate gun violence….then I guess we should give up trying to find a cure for cancer too, as our prior efforts have failed to eliminate it. It’s false logic.

        The fact that we need to have an argument about sane gun laws proves the point. Every car has to be registered and inspected in the state annually. Every driver has to be qualified and licensed. Cars arent’ designe to kill people, but they do. Guns are designed to kill people, who in their right mind can argue that guns don’t warrant at least as much regulation as cars and drivers?

        • SoCoBen

          I don’t have the time to reply to every point here. But I’ll ask this: If this law doesn’t work, will you want to ban the rest of our handguns? How about shotguns with a greater than two round capacity? All of these firearms are now illegal in the UK (and yet gun crime is still increasing).

          Part of living in a democratic society is recognizing the rights of your fellow citizens to do things of which you disapprove. It seems that a lot of people who passionately agree with this concept are prepared to make an exception for firearms.

          • really?

            I’m not suggesting a gun ban (regardless of whether the new laws/executive orders show promise or not), i’m suggesting we make it at least as difficult to own a gun as it is to drive a car. All guns registered (none grandfathered, every gun registered), all gun owners licensed, all owners required to take a gun safety class, all required to have a initial background check, all required to give up their guns if after the initial check they become ineligible (which would require ongoing record keeping/updates). Much stiffer penalties for any dealer selling to someone that shouldn’t have a gun, much stiffer penalties for anyone caught with an unregistered gun and/or without a license to carry. Same requirements for the private sale of a gun, or use a dealer to broker.

            And, I would suggest that there is a line somewhere for which weapons are legit for self-defense, hunting, and sport shooting…and which are completely inappropriate for a civilian–somewhere between a single shot musket and a shoulder fired missile. Civilians can fly planes, but they can’t fly F-16′s. Is this a violation of someone’s rights? I think it is as much as banning semi-automatic rifles is….there are just fewer people that can fly/afford an F16 so nobody is complaining about it.

            We can’t have our own nuclear submarines or tanks either. I can’t build my own nuclear power plant in my back yard. Hell, I can’t even operate a business in a residential neighborhood. My house can’t be more than 35′ tall. I can list out a million examples of how individuals are prevented from doing some very harmless things because of rules that we all agree to live by. ie if you don’t like the zoning rules in your town, get them changed or move to another town. I don’t see why the gun debate gets special treatment, like it’s sacred. The 2nd amendment says nothing of a persons right to defend themselves and their family from other citizens. It’s strictly about citizens defending themselves against the government.

            I do agree on how a democratic society should operate, but lets also agree there are a wide range of other issues where our democracy does not operate in that fashion…those that would try to overturn roe v wade, those that try to prevent gay people from getting married. Our democracy is full of examples of 1 group trying to prevent another group from having the same rights, or from exercising rights they disagree with.

            I believe reasonable people should be able to agree on some basic gun control policy without an immediate call for revolution and armed rebellion. The argument is too often framed as the gun owner against government overreach. I’m here to say, as a member of civil society, employed in the private sector, that it’s not gun owner against government, it’s reasonable people (gun owners and non-gun owners) against unreasonable people that think they should be able to do whatever the hell they want with regard to guns. The government is just representing the will of the people in this case, not supressing the rights of individuals or stepping on the second amendment (which is a very dubious argument in the first place-regardless of what the supreme court says).
            So far I’ve heard one idea from the pro-gun lobby of how to prevent another Sandyhook, arm teachers. Great idea, until one of the teachers is having a bad day and they shoot the kids or other teachers.
            I’m all for some good ideas, let’s hear them.

          • bill smith

            I’m sorry but civilians can own and fly surplus military aircraft. guess you never heard of rich boys owning and flying suplus soviet fighter aircraft. albiet with their air to air cannons and missiles removed.

            its obvious you have never applied for a firearms permit. it aint all that easy sister. do you realize that a permit holder has to pay 100 dollars for the CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to own any firearm? and that 50 dollars of that goes to the state treasury AND has nothing to do with the permitting process?

            would you be in favor of making everyone pay 50 or 100 dollars for a license to vote? i’m game if you are. and before you say voting doesnt kill, one man was voted in and there are six million ghosts from that vote.

            ” I can list out a million examples of how individuals are prevented from doing some very harmless things because of rules that we all agree to live by” i agree with you on this, but remember fifty states agreed to live under this constitution before YOU were born..it is people like you who want to change it for everyone else that lives here. you dont want to leave…you want everyone else to. very tolerant.

            “…those that would try to overturn roe v wade.”
            if it REALLY is about “the children”….do you really want to go there with that argument?

            “against unreasonable people that think they should be able to do whatever the hell they want with regard to guns”

            just like it is none of anyones business who or what you call a partner, or what medical procedures you may have had in the past…it is NONE of YOUR business what kind of firearms someone may have, why they think they need them or what they require to operate or if they legally hunt or legally shoot at paper targets. NONE.

            ” The 2nd amendment says nothing of a persons right to defend themselves and their family from other citizens.”

            you might want to read Article CVI of the massachusetts state constitution…

            “All people are born free and equal and have certain natural, essential and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness. Equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of sex, race, color, creed or national origin.

            just like declawing a cat or pulling the teeth out of a dog would be cruel for denying them there means of self defense, every human has an inherent right to self defense regardless of whom the attacker is. if you want to be defenseless…by all means that is your right, but you do not have the right to make anyone else defenseless. i hear the are great places in europe that are without firearms or a pesky 2nd amendment…..i’m sure you can afford a ticket.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            so you trust the teachers to be alone all day with your kids but not with a firearm? Are you from Mass? you seem really ignorant of the current laws requiring background checks and gun safty classes for all gun owners. I should say legal gun owners because any one who wants can go to any housing project and buy any type of gun no questions asked and no paper trail no matter what foolish shortsighted laws you pass.

          • SoCoBen

            Yes, I believe the second amendment is sacred — I just wish the other amendments enjoyed equally zealous advocacy.

            “The 2nd amendment says nothing of a persons right to defend themselves and their family from other citizens. It’s strictly about citizens defending themselves against the government.”

            The second amendment says “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” While the role of civilians in the recent Revolution may have been fresh in the Framers’ minds, they certainly didn’t require that “the people” only use their firearms for revolutionary purposes.

            You’re right, of course, it’s reasonable to have regulations and a line has to be drawn somewhere. But this new legislation is far too restrictive because it bans the most common defensive firearms — indeed, it bans the exact firearms that police rely upon to defeat dangerous people.

            Even the much-demonized AR-15 is the best option for many people who have difficulty using other firearms effectively. Most people don’t realize this, but MA police consider the AR-15 to be safer and easier to use because it’s more accurate, has little recoil and is less likely to shoot through walls when compared with either a pistol or a shotgun. As a result, it “lowers the liability to the department.”

            Police call the AR-15 a Patrol Rifle: http://www.mlefiaa.org/files/MPTC_NEWS/Patrol_Rifle_Student_Manual_2010.pdf

            As others here have pointed out, there’s no reason to believe these new laws would reduce crime. Those who are proposing these draconian new restrictions on the freedom of others should bear the burden of at least proving that the law will have some significant effect.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          maybe you should just make a law limiting all cars to 20 mph? you don’t NEED to drive faster than that right? Don’t you think that would save a few chlidrens’ lives. I am sure it would save more than one so if you are against my idea then you must want children to die right? Every gun owner in Mass must have a liscense already and Mass already does background checks at gun shows so that car analogy is kinda silly isnt it? I think where people are getting confused is because of all the talk of “gun violence” The problem is guns are not violent they are inanimant objects. People are violent and all the gun laws in the world wont change that. We have failed at keeping drugs out of the wrong hands for 70 years and we cant even keep them out of federal prisons what makes you think that it will work with guns?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      I have fire extinguishers and smoke detectors don’t you? I hope I never have to use them but I take comfort in the fact that they are there. I think you are a little silly if you think people think they should have the same weapons as police in order to “take them on”. None of the ideas presented do anything to limit the access of criminals only people who want to follow the law. Since you want us to be more british can you tell us how many people are blugeoned and stabbed to death in the uk? I look forward to your reply Piers.

    • Thinkfreeer

      Simple. Shoot people who like gun violence.

  • Lawdog7

    The study Linski points to is a flat out lie, check it out. If laws are so effective at stoping or reducing gun crimes why has the Mass murder/violent crime rate gone up the last twenty years while the US average has dropped every year for the last twenty years. Answer, because criminals don’t obey the laws, that’s why our prisons and jails are full. I have to move out of this commy state before they seal the borders.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      this bill seems aimed more at increasing the prison population by makeing a number of new manditory minimum sentences than stopping any real threat

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    god help us. david linsky should try to apply for a LTC in worcester some time. The police there like in Everett routinly and habitually refuse to follow the current laws. Why should they be given more power? We already have a huge problem caused by giving police athority but no oversight in issuing liscenses. None of these laws would have prevented any shootings. Its just harassment or law abiding people plain and simple. When owning a gun is a crime only criminals will own guns. The woman in Georgia who protected her children with her gun shot 6 times and hit her attacker 5 times and he was still able to lead police on a high speed chase and foot persuit. Lucky for her it was only one intruder. Thats why you need more than 7 rounds. Does anyone really believe the criminals will even hear about these laws much less follow them? This is just doing something just to do something and the only one who benefit are the criminals who can now home invade without fear. Under linskys plan people who have perfect records and police permission to exerecise their right to own a handgun with a 10 round clip will become felons if they load 8 bullets in said clip. thats the kind of bright ideas this guy has come up with. Buy your shares in for profit prison companies I think their business is about to skyrocket if these laws pass.

    • SoCoBen

      It’s amazing to me that anyone could think that the police chiefs don’t have enough discretion.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        It just makes it very clear that they have no idea what they are talking about. The police chiefs currently clog up the courts with their inability to follow the laws we have and they want them to have more power? Can someone do a study of how many minorities recieved their FIDs when they were may issue vs how many have got them not that they are shall issue? Can anyone guess what the results of such a study would be?

      • anglocooler48

        Chiefs have way too much discretion, which they routinely abuse. Licensing should be on a Shall Issue and All Lawful Purposes basis. And the idea of opening up mental health records to Officer Friendly at the gun desk is preposterous. We **want** people with mental health issues to get treatment. We **don’t** want them to self-medicate with alcohol. I have this vision where any combat vet who gets counseling for PTSD is automatically labeled a dangerous nut and denied his second amendment rights, while the embittered loner obsessed with first-person shooter video games gets a Class A LTC because, after all, he has NO MENTAL HEALTH RECORD.

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    so you have to buy a membership at a gun club inorder to have more than 10 rounds? Currently these memberships are quite expensive. what happens to your guns if you dont renew your membership? Why do we want guns to be inaccesable to poor people?

    “Concerning nonviolence: It is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself, when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks. It is legal and lawful to own a shotgun or a rifle. We believe in obeying the law.”
    -malcom x

  • Thinkfreeer

    Linsky is a liar. But what would you expect from a former assistant DA? They, and the police, are allowed to lie to coerce defendants into making a confession or accepting a plea bargain. Don’t bother disagreeing with me, you cannot disagree with a fact.

    Linsky said, in his statement introducing the proposed legislation, “Every day in America, 83 people are killed by gun violence. Many are children.”

    I look at the same data as he does. I refer to the CDC data on injury-related deaths. A more accurate statement is, “On average in the US, there are 30 homicides per day by gun. That’s not even one per state. In the US, less than one of these homicides is a child.” Suicides do not qualify as gun violence. Any reasonable person can see that the suicide rate will not be substantially affected by access to guns.

    Of the 30,470 firearm-related deaths (not “gun violence”) in the United States in 2010, 19,392 (63.6%) were suicide deaths, and 11,078 (36.4%) homicide deaths. (CDC)

    This is a daily rate of 30.4, 0.6 of these were children 14 and under, children being 2%. This hardly qualifies as “many of them were children.”

  • jack

    hy iv had mantal health in the passt so take my right to privacy i have guns for my hole life and to gun club this is bullsit how about the vet thay ment to war for you so give as all the shit im no danger to any one sum people had it from birth take it out on me and vet your not puting me in tha nut ball class im a law abiden citazen so my spelling bad iyou got a lot of balls to take my right to privacy jasks06harley@aol.com tell me im out there with the real nuts your the nut making my life misrbul o ya spelling by fortbusing i allso belong to goal and nra will thay save my right the end/

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