New Gun Law?
A Reuters news story today reports that Congress is considering a law to beef up the NICS check (instant gun purchase background check) so that it will have better access to records on mental illness:
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Prompted by the Virginia Tech massacre, a U.S. Congress reluctant to tackle gun control may pass limited legislation to help keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill, lawmakers and aides said on Sunday. "
This is probably the most intelligent thing I've seen printed in the aftermath of the VA shootings last week, a proposal that addresses what actually went wrong. However, the devil is in the details. How will they get the information? What will they include? Will there be an appeals process to get inaccurate information cleared? They don't give many details in the article:
"Seung-Hui Cho, a Virginia Tech student, took his own life after fatally shooting 32 others. He had bought two handguns in Virginia but his mental health had not made it to a federal registry. The proposed bill would provide money to the states to help update the national instant-check background system with mental-health adjudications, which ban firearm purchases."
Anyone who reads my posts knows that I oppose most gun control laws, but I can support this IF it is done right, as nobody wants psychos similar to Cho to get their hands on dangerous weapons. I do have a BIG concern that gun grabbers may try to make an overly broad interpretation of what mental illness is and restrict the rights of citizens who are not dangerous or ill but who may have gone through counseling for one reason or another. As an example, a friend of mine went through counseling a few years ago after his mother passed away to help deal with the grief. He went to a few sessions and then stopped once he was over it. Would this new law make him ineligible? I will watch this proposal carefully. Lets hope that Congress genuinely creates this measure to keep guns away from certified mentally ill individuals without trying to turn this into a back door gun control scheme.