Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Mental Health Records Privacy Threat To Public Safety

We have all watched the horror show at Virginia Tech and its aftermath. The torment, heartbreak and litigation will go on for decades yet to come.

There are those that what to blame gun rights in America for this but much larger mass murders were committed with gasoline or fertilizer bombs. There is far more to preventing this kind of carnage than those futile efforts to control the sale of lethal materials that kill.

Cho Seung-Hui was a frightening fellow that raised the eyebrows of students, teachers and even his parents. Despite two separate stalking complaints, reports of odd behavior, a commitment by a judge and efforts by his own parents to get him treatment there was no serious intervention.

A few decades ago our mental hospitals were overflowing with troubled people but today’s society lets troubled people like Cho Seung-Hui wander the streets. New and “enlightened” thinking brought the change in how we deal with the mentally ill folks in our society.

We claim we want to keep guns out of the hands of maniacs but we refuse to provide the names of those people who threaten our safety to law enforcement. There is no way for gun sellers or anyone else can determine if a person has been diagnosed with mental disease. We rely on the buyer’s representations on a gun form. The fact is that Cho Seung-Hui lied on his gun application.

This really is not about gun or gun-rights but simple public safety. We must remove twisted souls like Cho Seung-Hui before they do these things. Law enforcement must react swiftly to behavior issues related to mental health.

Mental health professionals must be forced to report to law enforcement the names and data on people receiving treatment or those who need but refuse treatment.

Most importantly all Americans must be able to defend themselves from criminal, maniacs and anyone who threatens their safety. You can’t make those well intentioned and ineffective gun bans that hold down the law-abiding so that they can be victimized by the Mental Health Records Privacy Threat To Public Safety.


Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,
This goes back to the earlier debate about the homeless population, much of which is mentally ill. The reason why our society does so little to care for the mentally ill is not because of an "enlightened" liberal agenda, but because mental health facilities have been severely underfunded since the 1980s. Unfortunately our prisons are becoming warehouses for the mentally ill at greater expense to the taxpayer, and after these people have already cause some sort of social harm.

Robert said...

Gotta agree with Paul on this one. If they're underfunded, it's because the mentally ill were released in droves back in the 70's (or whenever - I'm not sure of the timing of all this) and there was no _need_ for funding.