Gun Control Laws Part II: Judge, Jury and Executioner of Rights?

executionerIn Part I of my article, I covered the Constitutional conflicts the gun control laws have with not just the Second Amendment, but also with the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. Now let’s look at the news from the world of psychiatry that can impact the whole argument about “mental illness” and those who need to be prevented from owning a gun.

There is something else to consider as well. I recently received an e-mail that made me sit up and take notice. In that e-mail was a little eye-opening link to an article that said in part:

An open secret has been slowly bleeding out into public consciousness for the past ten years.
“And along with that:
“ALL SO-CALLED MENTAL DISORDERS ARE CONCOCTED, NAMED, LABELED, DESCRIBED, AND CATEGORIZED by a committee of psychiatrists, from menus of human behaviors.

“Their findings are published in periodically updated editions of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), printed by the American Psychiatric Association.”

Dr. Allen Frances, lead editor of the Fourth Edition of the DSM, stated

“‘there is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bullshit. I mean, you just can’t define it.’”

In almost every (if not every) gun control law that has hit the fan since the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan, the “mental disorder” clause has been included or strengthened. The Brady Bill placed more and/or harsher restrictions on the purchase of handguns by the American people; making it more difficult for some with relatively minor criminal backgrounds (high school fights, etc.) to get their concealed carry permit. It states,

“Section 922(g) of the Brady Act prohibits certain persons from shipping or transporting any firearm in interstate or foreign commerce, or receiving any firearm which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, or possessing any firearm in or affecting commerce. These prohibitions apply to any person who:

  1. Has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
  2. Is a fugitive from justice;
  3. Is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance;
  4. Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution;
  5. Is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States;
  6. Has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
  7. Having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced U.S. citizenship;
  8. Is subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner, or;
  9. Has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
  10. Has a record of being a felon.”

I knew that the Florida Legislature was putting a bill through the approval process after the Sandy Hook murders. I sent an e-mail about the editor of the DSM’s statements to two FL State Legislators and ended by asking them:

“Considering this information, how can the FL Legislature seriously take into account the psychiatric condition of ANYONE to figure out who can have a gun and who cannot? Using psychiatry as a delineator seems to be being used as a way to pre-judge someone, condemn them to guilt PRIOR TO THEM COMMITTING A CRIME and denying their Second Amendment rights. Considering what you both now know about psychiatry, how can you place any faith at all in the fake science of psychiatry and use it as a whip over the Second Amendment of American Citizens?

“Truth is, it’s a feel-good measure to make people believe that the FL Legislature is doing something – anything – to protect our children and us. That’s all it is. Let us, instead, do what will actually protect us. Let us allow the open carry of firearms of the citizens who have permits so that we can protect ourselves and not depend upon a LAW that can be easily – and is frequently – broken?”

To which FL Representative, Steve Crisafulli (R-District 51), responded:

“Thank you for your email about House Bill (HB) 1355. This legislation closes a loophole in the Baker Act system and is supported by the NRA. It stops people with mental illnesses – who are diagnosed an imminent danger to self or others – from being able to purchase firearms until they have had treatment and can apply to have their names removed from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

“By closing this gap, those mentally ill patients, who have been diagnosed as dangerous, can voluntarily agree to treatment rather than go through the full court process for involuntary commitment. The bill only applies to people who are going to be otherwise involuntary committed [my bolding]. Before voluntarily committing themselves to treatment, the bill provides that these people must have been examined by a physician and found to be a danger to themselves or others, receive written notice of this finding/certification of this finding and that they could be prohibited from obtaining a firearm. The patients must acknowledge in writing they were told they could be prohibited from obtaining a firearm, and a judge or magistrate must review the record classifying these individuals as dangers to themselves or others. I believe these are important protections that will prevent anyone from arbitrarily losing their Second Amendment rights.

“As an NRA member and a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights, I would not vote to restrict the Second Amendment rights of Floridians. I supported HB 1355, because I believe it strengthens public safety without compromising anyone’s Second Amendment rights. Also, as I said above, I think this bill simply closes a loophole in current law that deals with mentally ill individuals.

“With regards to an open carry law, I supported legislation to that effect when it was introduced several years ago, and I would do so again if it came before me for a vote.”

See where Rep. Crisafulli states that the patient’s records will be reviewed by “a judge or magistrate”? The doctor gets — at the doctor’s own discretion — to disclose to a judge your medical records. Whatever happened to doctor/patient confidentiality? Also, where is the chance for the patient to confront their accuser, plead the Fifth, where is their right to counsel (do their records go to the judge or magistrate accompanied by an attorney?), and why is the patient being denied his rights prior to committing any crimes? His right to liberty without due process — one accuser, no trial just a review by someone who is not a doctor nor a psychiatrist —  is denied. “Judicial review” is not “due process”. The Second Amendment defines and protects that liberty and without the right to such is that not the breaking of that Amendment, as well as two others? Dr. Allen Frances admits:

” —the serious errors in the DSM-IV. ‘We made mistakes that had terrible consequences,‘ [Dr. Allen Frances] says. Diagnoses of autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and bipolar disorder skyrocketed, and Frances thinks his manual inadvertently facilitated these epidemics—and, in the bargain, fostered an increasing tendency to chalk up life’s difficulties to mental illness and then treat them with psychiatric drugs.”

I understand the fear factor associated with Sandy Hook and other such tragedies, and I empathize with the parents and loved ones of those who were killed in such incidents. If a teacher had been capable of having a handgun in their possession the perpetrator could have been stopped much sooner. Feel good measures that legislate the actions of someone out of touch with reality and “a danger to themselves and/or others” mean nothing. Just like laws against perjury do not stop this administration from perjuring themselves, laws against dangerous people with mental illness do not prevent them from doing something wrong.

Let us, instead, arm the citizenry, open carry, and allow us to stop those who are an actual danger to others, instead of crippling the citizenry and crying for more gun control later. Another piece of paper with words on it does not stop those out to do harm at any cost and victims and survivors feeling better does nothing to prevent another incident. What does prevent it is someone there to take the threat out. Period.

About the author: Linda McKinney

I'm an Air Force Brat who married an Air Force Brat who was in the Air Force for twenty-plus years. I bleed Air Force blue. I've been married to him for over thirty-five years. I saw him through binoculars when I was fifteen (he was eighteen) and God told me we'd marry. We have two grown sons. I have four passions: God, America, my family and guns (in that order). I'm an amateur photographer (, an artist, a poet and writer (, and I'm determined to help return America to what the Founding Fathers intended her to be!

View all articles by Linda McKinney
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