[Note: The following article by Wendy McElroy appears on the Future of Freedom Foundation website. Wendy raises some very interesting points about the tying of gun ownership to mental health. It is a very good article. -- Shorty Dawkins, Associate Editor]
Who is Mentally Ill?
by Wendy McElroy * February 8, 2013
The current push toward gun control is being presented in a particularly dangerous and dishonest manner. It is being framed in terms of mental health and packaged in a way that almost guarantees victory for the advocates of control. The debating point proffered is, “How do we keep guns away from the mentally ill?”
Thus far, President Obama’s answer has been vague and administrative enough to avoid the need for Congressional approval.
As the International Business Times reports, “In addition to gun control measures, Obama’s anti-violence package includes increasing mental health resources, boosting funding for school security and lifting restrictions that prevent the government from researching the causes of gun violence.”
These few specifics are indicative, however. For example, Obama is attempting to lift a longstanding ban on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) taking a position on gun control. In 1996, Congress made the appropriation of funds to the CDC conditional on the stipulation that “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”
Now Obama has asked for $10 million for the CDC to research “the causes and prevention of gun violence.” Obama is declaring gun violence to be a public health issue. And he wishes to expand the sharing of mental health information between government agencies.
Moreover, Obama seems to have reversed himself on whether doctors should ask patients about whether they own guns. Under Obamacare, the federal government cannot use medical records to compile a database of gun owners. Nevertheless, Obama recently and prominently stated that Obamacare “does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.” Indeed, the American Academy of Pediatrics encourages them to do so in the name of public safety.
Public safety. Public health. And the individual is lost in the shell game.
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