Roger L. Simon

Guns and Schizophrenia (UPDATED WITH A CAVEAT)

(SEE UPDATE BELOW)

No one is more boring and predictable than Senator Dianne Feinstein immediately calling for the banning of assault weapons after the carnage at the Washington Navy Yard. That an AR-15 wasn’t even involved in the mass killing is also predictable. Liberalism, as exemplified by Ms. Feinstein, is just a fuddy-duddy ideology in general, so old-fashioned you want to bang your forehead on the table.

But…

…no one should want paranoid schizophrenics to have arms… not even a number two pencil because, if their voices tell them to do it, they will put out your eye with it.

So…

…it’s about time that folks on the right stop being paranoid themselves and worried about the Second Amendment (yes, we must completely and permanently support it for obvious reasons) and start doing something about crazy people. They shouldn’t have guns. They should be in hospitals.

Aaron Alexis wasn’t an Islamic terrorist or even (fallacious and deeply reactionary as our government was) a man angry at workplace “mistreatment” of some sort like Major Hasan. Aaron Alexis was deeply and completely insane. He heard voices. He was nuts.

Ditto for a whole series of whackos lately in Tucson, Aurora, Newtown, and Virginia Tech with a huge number of corpses on their hands.

Such people should not have the right to bear arms of any level under any circumstances whatsoever and we on the right should LEAD the charge to prevent it. The NRA itself should lead the charge. It might even be a game changer.

We should — the NRA should — start to craft legislation now that makes it genuinely difficult, if not impossible, for the insane to get weapons. Yes, the underserving will be swept up in this, but there should be an appeals process built into the legislation.

The cliché goes — and I believe it — that guns don’t kill people. People kill people. But if you believe that too, you should want to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people — most specifically those who have no grip on reality and hear voices.

Start doing it now. Just because the left never does anything original or surprising doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.

I see that Jonah Goldberg agrees. He wrote today on The Corner:

Maybe it’s time to look at this issue by itself? I have no doubt you could write gun control laws for the mentally ill too broadly. Just as I am confident you can write them too narrowly (we know this is the case because too many deranged men hearing voices have gotten their hands on guns lately). Nothing will ever stop every crazy person from killing people, with or without firearms. But surely there’s a better way to do things than accept these horrors as a new normal?

Okay, so why don’t we take the lead for a change?  Suggestions?

UPDATED:  It now seems as if Alexis was being treated for mental illness, most likely with psychiatric drugs that may/may not have caused or exacerbated his behavior.  What does this mean?  Proceed with caution, obviously.  First do no harm.  As some have noted below, we need some kind of discussion of how we get such people off the streets.  But, man, is that expensive (not to mention the other implications – we don’t want to turn into anything like the USSR where political enemies were defined as insane and incarcerated).  In any case, not easy.  Is the price of our freedom that we will always have some percentage of madmen walking around with shotguns?  Possibly.  Whoever said life was simple?