Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks to the media after a caucus meeting with Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill in Washington August 1, 2011.
attribution: REUTERS

Do the right thing, Harry.
Sen. Harry Reid needs to wrap up Senate rules reform, and also wants to achieve some kind of bipartisan agreement. You'd think by now he'd recognize that those two goals are utterly incompatible when it comes to trying to accomplish something significant. Perhaps he does, so perhaps that's why he's issued an ultimatum: come to an agreement within 36 hours or Democrats will do it on their own.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is giving Republican colleagues 36 hours to agree to a deal on filibuster reform or he will move forward with the nuclear option. “I hope in the next 24, 36 hours we can get something we agree on. If not, we’re going to move forward on what I think needs to be done,” Reid told reporters.
Reid’s trump card in negotiations with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) is the threat he will change Senate rules with a simple majority vote, a tactic known as the nuclear option. This maneuver would allow Reid to change the Senate rules with a simple majority vote, something that has never been done, according to parliamentary experts.
The Hill, by the way, is wrong. The nuclear option was what Republicans were talking about doing during the Bush Administration to block Democrats' filibuster of judicial nominees. It would have entailed Vice President Cheney, acting as presiding officer, declaring the filibuster of nominees unconstitutional. That's pretty nuclear, particularly considering it would have happened mid-Congress. The constitutional option, on the other hand, is what we're talking about here: the establishment of rules at the beginning of a Congress. It has been used numerous times since the cloture rule was established in 1917. In fact, Sen. Robert Byrd used it four times as majority leader to enact filibuster reform. The Hill needs to find new parliamentary experts. Daily Kos recommends they talk to this guy. If Reid's going to threaten to do this with 51 votes, and follow through on it, then he needs to make it count. That's by including either a talking filibuster or a strong proposal to force the minority to produce 41 actual votes whenever they want to obstruct a bill or nomination.
We've got 36 hours to send him that message.
Please send an email to your Democratic senator/s urging them to pass real filibuster reform including the talking filibuster and/or flipping the burden.
If you don't have a Democratic senator, call Reid's office at 202-224-3542, and tell him to include the talking filibuster and/or flipping the burden of the filibuster.
2:50 PM PT: Here's a critical piece of information:
[Reid] specified that he has the 51 votes he needs to proceed on a Democratic plan, indicating he's willing to pursue the "constitutional option" of changing the rules without the usual two-thirds vote.
He's got the votes to make this happen. The only way real reform happens is if he gives up on the fantasy of a gentlemen's agreement with McConnell, and uses the 51 votes to enact real reforms that can make the Senate function again.

 2nd Term

GOP Moves To Extend Borrowing Authority

Updated January 21, 2013, 4:48 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON—House Republicans on Monday moved to extend U.S. borrowing authority until May 19, setting a timeline for the next phase of budget wrangling between the White House and Congress.

President Barack Obama was sworn in just hours ago and already the House Republicans are positioning themselves for the upcoming debt ceiling debate. WSJ's David Wessel joins The News Hub with details. Photo: Getty Images.
The bill to extend borrowing, which was introduced by GOP leaders Monday and is expected to be approved by the House on Wednesday, would suspend the debt ceiling until May 19, allowing the government to issue new debt to pay existing bills. At the end of that period, the debt limit would be increased to reflect the new amount of total debt incurred. Still, the deadline and other parameters for broader deficit-reduction efforts help flesh out last week's House GOP proposal to avert another fiscal showdown.
The $16.4 trillion debt ceiling has already been reached, and the Treasury Department has said it could run out of ways to keep paying all the government's bills by mid-February. Congress has voted to increase the debt limit dozens of times, but the debates about how to increase borrowing authority often are political, and many Republicans this year have said they would require large spending cuts in exchange for a vote to raise the borrowing limit.
House Republicans are set to meet Tuesday afternoon to discuss the bill in advance of Wednesday's vote. Rep. Tom Cole (R., Okla.), a member of the House GOP team that polls lawmakers in advance of big votes, said that a head count hasn't yet been taken but that the bill seems to enjoy wide support, including from current and former leaders of the Republican Study Committee, the party's most conservative faction.
The Senate is likely to pass the bill if the House approves it without adding any further conditions than are in it now, said a Senate Democratic leadership aide. That would postpone a confrontation over the federal debt and spending that has threatened to tie Congress in knots as early as next month.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) hasn't yet said how exactly he would handle the bill if it is approved by the House. Although the White House and congressional Democrats have said they would prefer a longer-term debt-limit increase, they see it as a major concession that the GOP has backed down—at least for now—from the demand that any debt increase be accompanied by comparable spending cuts.
"We don't think short-term is smart for the economy," top White House adviser David Plouffe said on "Fox News Sunday," adding, "Two or three months still has uncertainty." But he still said the offer amounted to progress.
President Barack Obama has said he won't negotiate with Congress over whether to raise the debt ceiling, saying it represents money Congress has already committed to spend.
One provision of the five-page bill is designed to advance a broader deficit-reduction effort and sets an April 15 deadline for the House and Senate to pass a formal budget. The provision specifies that if they don't, lawmakers' pay would be withheld.
Lou Fisher, a retired constitutional-law expert, said the pay provision may violate the constitutional prohibition on Congress "varying" its own pay, a measure designed to prevent lawmakers voting themselves pay increases.
House Republican leaders don't believe it is unconstitutional, a GOP aide said, because the provision withholds but doesn't change lawmakers' salary.

"I'm going to take a look one more time."

Raw: Obama's Last Look at Inauguration Crowds

3:25PM CST, January 21, 2013
As he left the stage following his second inaugural address, President Barack Obama paused for a moment to take one more look at the thousands gathered to watch. (Jan. 21)

New Mexico teen accused of family slaughter loved 'violent' video games, police say

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Dan Houston, Bernalillo County sheriff, revealed Tuesday that a 15-year-old teen accused of killing five family members was "involved heavily" in violent video games.

A 15-year-old New Mexico boy was "involved heavily in violent games" before he plotted and carried out the massacre of his parents and three siblings because he was "frustrated" with his mother, police said Tuesday.
Nehemiah Griego did not elaborate on a motive for the shocking crime, but he had plenty to say about his love for video games, including "Modern Warfare" and "Grand Theft Auto," authorities said.
"It was kind of what he was into and was quite excited as he got the opportunity to discuss that with investigators," Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston said a news conference.
The teen, who will be arraigned in Albuquerque on Tuesday afternoon, began planning the murders a week ago, and his blood lust went beyond his family, police said.

Bernalillo County
Nehemiah Griego, 15, is accused of killing his parents and three siblings in New Mexico.

He contemplated shooting up a local Walmart and killing his 12-year-old girlfriend's parents, Houston said.
The suspect sent the girl a photo of his dead mother after he shot her around 1 a..m, and he spent most of Saturday -- after ambushing his father at 6 a.m. and until he went to his church at 8 p.m. -- with her, officials said.
The unidentified girl has not been charged, but might be at some point, Houston said.
Griego gave investigators the vaguest of explanations for his actions.
"The motive as articulated was purely that he was frustrated with his mother," Houston said, explaining that the suspect refused to elaborate. "He was just frustrated with how things were."
Watch the sheriff's full news conference here
He said the teen was "very stern" and "unemotional" as he walked investigators through the cold-blooded executions.
He had four guns -- a .22 rifle with a 10-round ammunition holder, an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and two 12-gauge shotguns -- some of which had been purchased by his father's friends and sold to the dad privately, police said.

At 1 a.m., he allegedly killed his mother, Sarah, 40, while she slept. His 9-year-old brother, Zephania, was "awake and distraught" when he was slain soon after. A 2-year-old, Angelina, was sleeping when she was shot. A 5-year-old girl, Jael, was awake when she was killed.
Then Griego lay in wait for his father, Greg, 51, a former jailhouse chaplain who was working the graveyard shift at a rescue mission. When he came home, his son killed him, too, the sheriff said.
The father, who had an old arrest record and used to run a halfway house for ex-cons on his property, had taught his son how to shoot, police said.
Court documents say that the teen envisioned dying in a firefight with law enforcement after the killings.
Instead, he spent the rest of the day with his girlfriend before he went to Calvary Church, where his father had once been pastor, to talk to someone he knew, Houston said.
A church security guard was driving the teen back to his house when he apparently had misgivings and called police, who went to the house and found the horrific scene.
Police said they do not believe Griego had drugs or alcohol in his system, and there is no indication he was ever treated for mental illness.
"This is beyond any human reasoning or understanding at this time," Houston said.

Susan Montoya Bryan / AP
A bouquet of flowers adorns the entrance to a home on Monday where a couple and their three young children were found shot to death south of Albuquerque, N.M.

How Obama's Second Inauguration Looked on Today's Front Pages

A sampling of this morning's front pages from across the nation on the morning after Inauguration Day. (Screenshots via the Newseum, which has plenty more for you to look at here. You can also click on each cover for a more detailed look.):
New York Times:

Wall Street Journal:

Washington Post:

Arizona Republic:

Arkansas Democrat Gazette:

Los Angeles Times:

Miami Herald:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Chicago Tribune:

Des Moines Register:

Baltimore Sun:

Boston Globe:

Detroit Free Press:

Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Newark Star-Ledger:

Charlotte Observer:

Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Dallas Morning News:

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Obama plan eases freeze on CDC gun violence research

A little-known kibosh on government research into the public health effects of gun violence is expected to be lifted after President Barack Obama called Wednesday for renewed scientific inquiry -- and funding -- to address the problem.

Obama issued a presidential memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other scientific agencies to research the causes and prevention of gun violence -- and he called on Congress to provide $10 million to pay for it.

"We don't benefit from ignorance. We don't benefit from not knowing the science from this epidemic of violence," he said.

The move effectively reverses 17 years of what scientists say has been a virtual ban on basic federal research and is part of a package of new gun control policies aimed at reducing gun violence after tragedies such as the shootings last year in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn. It would encourage research including links between video games, media images and violence.

Here's the relevant part from the White House fact sheet, under action No. 14, titled clearly as "Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence":

Conduct research on the causes and prevention of gun violence, including links between video games, media images, and violence: The President is issuing a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control and scientific agencies to conduct research into the causes and prevention of gun violence. It is based on legal analysis that concludes such research is not prohibited by any appropriations language. The CDC will start immediately by assessing existing strategies for preventing gun violence and identifying the most pressing research questions, with the greatest potential public health impact. And the Administration is calling on Congress to provide $10 million for the CDC to conduct further research, including investigating the relationship between video games, media images, and violence.
Better understand how and when firearms are used in violent death: To research gun violence prevention, we also need better data. When firearms are used in homicides or suicides, the National Violent Death Reporting System collects anonymous data, including the type of firearm used, whether the firearm was stored loaded or locked, and details on youth gun access. Congress should invest an additional $20 million to expand this system from the 18 states currently participating to all 50 states, helping Americans better understand how and when firearms are used in a violent death and informing future research and prevention strategies.

The action immediately was praised by scientists who said pro-gun advocates -- including the National Rifle Association -- had choked off funding for CDC firearms research starting in the mid-1990s and imposed a chilling effect on those who dared to pursue it.

"He's saying this is very important and I'm going to back you on this," said Dr. Mark Rosenberg, president of the Task Force for Global Health and director of the CDC's Center for Injury Prevention and Control from 1994 to 1999. "Basically, they've been terrorized by the NRA."  NBC explains the back story:
From the mid- 1980s to the mid-1990s, the CDC conducted original, peer-reviewed research into gun violence, including questions such as whether people who had guns in their homes gained protection from the weapons. (The answer, researchers found, was no. Homes with guns had a nearly three times greater risk of homicide and a nearly five times greater risk of suicide than those without, according to a 1993 study in the New England Journal of Medicine.)
But in 1996, the NRA, with the help of Congressional leaders, moved to suppress such information and to block future federal research into gun violence [Dr. Mark Rosenberg, president of the Task Force for Global Health and director of the CDC's Center for Injury Prevention and Control from 1994 to 1999] said
An amendment to an appropriations bill cut $2.6 million from the CDC’s budget, exactly the amount the agency’s injury prevention center had previously spent on gun research. The money was returned to the agency later, but targeted for brain injury trauma research instead.

In addition, the statute that governs CDC funding stipulated that none of the funds made available to the agency can be used in whole or in part “to advocate or promote gun control.”

While that did not specifically prohibit firearms research, the language was ambiguous enough to alarm CDC officials and stifle scientists interested in gun data, said Stephen Teret, director for the Center for Law and the Public’s Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“CDC overreacted to that statement and became more reluctant to fund anything dealing with guns, even the traditional epidemiological research, so there was a chilling effect,” Teret said.

The NRA attacked some scientists, trying to discredit their research, endangering their jobs and even threatening their families, Rosenberg claimed.

“These were not mild campaigns,” he said. “When the NRA comes after you, they come after you with both barrels.”

Officials with the NRA did not return NBC News requests for comment.
The dearth of basic data means that policymakers and the public know little about the causes of gun violence that kills about 32,000 people in the U.S. each year. At the same time, Teret said, research into other public health problems such as automobile deaths has yielded dramatic results.

“When I first started, there were 50,000 people a year dying on the highways. Now it’s 32,000 and that’s because there’s been superb scientific research,” Teret said. “We need to be able to address gun-related injuries in the same scientific manner as highway injuries.”

Obama’s directive will immediately impact federal agencies that engage in scientific research about gun violence, said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. 

"We are committed to re-engaging gun violence research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health," she said in a statement. 

The move may restore the will to research gun violence, but it will be up to Congress to supply the funding to carry it out, the scientists noted.

If that happens, there are talented researchers poised to pursue the projects, said Dr. Frederick Rivara, a pediatrician and editor of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

He estimated that if CDC were given the green light for research now, scientists could have meaningful results that could be used to shape public policy within a year or two.

“We’ve lost almost 20 years of really waiting around,” said Rivara. “Given how large a public health problem this is, it’s a tragedy.”
For those who do not have the time to see the whole Inauguration, look here and see it in 2 minutes

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Israelis head to polls as shift to right is expected

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks set to win a third term in office, pushing the country further to the right, away from peace with the Palestinians and possibly towards a showdown with Iran. NBC's Jim Maceda reports.

TEL AVIV -- Israelis headed to the polls Tuesday in an election that was expected to give Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a third term in office and mark a shift to the political right.
More than 5.6 million Israeli are eligible to vote, and results are expected Wednesday morning.
The vote is expected to be followed by talks between different political parties to form a coalition government since no single party is likely to get an outright majority of the 120 seats in the Knesset.
Netanyahu’s Likud party is running with the nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, and opinion polls have showed a surge in support for the far-right Jewish Home party, Reuters reported.
Several Israeli Arabs and Palestinians claimed Tuesday that Israel was moving toward “fascism and racism” and said that hope for the creation of Palestinian nation as part of the proposed two-state solution to the Mideast crisis was fading.
In Tel Aviv, however, voter Ari Abacsis, in his late 20s, said Netanyahu was a proven leader.

Millionaire Naftali Bennett, who is bitterly opposed to a Palestinian state, is set to propel his party into a key position during upcoming elections. NBC's John Ray reports.
“I think Netanyahu did it in the past and he did it quiet well. Nobody is perfect, but Netanyahu fits the requirements,” he said.
“He did some good things. He brought back Gilad Shalit [the Israeli soldier held for years in Gaza]. We remember him for that and for a lot of other things,” he added. “All the others didn't prove themselves. He proves himself. I think we don't know what is happening behind the scenes.”
Young people have 'lost hope'
Yaffa Braverman, 58, an art gallery owner in Tel Aviv, criticized the number of small parties in Israeli politics.
“The problem is the system. We need more big parties that are capable of making important decisions, and the way that we'll do it again is based on small parties and everyone fighting for his own chair,” she said. “I think that's why the young generation has lost hope.”
Avi Shai, 35, financial adviser also from Tel Aviv, said he hoped Netanyahu would develop better relations with the United States and move to the left.
“I don't see any resolution coming because it's a different situation we're in," he said. "A lot of things can happen in the near and far future. Everything is liquid here in the Middle East. It doesn't matter which prime minister is elected -- a lot of things can happen."
“I hope that Prime Minister Netanyahu would be more in the left wing and would have better agreement with Obama, which is not the case right now,” he added.
Palestinians living in Israel expressed a similar lack of hope, but in much stronger terms.
Hana Hurani, 34, an engineer from Eilaboun in the north and an activist in the National Democratic Assembly, said Israel’s politics were headed toward “fascism and racism.”
“We, the Arabs, should stress our national identity and our unity as Arabs. Election day is a day on which Arabs try to represent themselves, and after that we go back to a racist reality,” he said.
“On the Palestinian issue, I expect there to be a stalemate and as there will be more settlement expansion, we will witness the final burial of the two-state solution on which there is an international consensus,” he added.
'Indifference is fatal'
Hurani said Israeli Arabs should “be more active” politically: “Indifference is fatal. … Unfortunately, ignorance and abstention from voting is one of our enemies."
Nijmeh Ali, 30, a political science Ph.D. candidate at the Hebrew University and a lecturer at Al Quds University in Jerusalem, said it was clear from opinion polls that the next government would be right-wing.
“The Palestinian street is boiling, and it will explode at one point against the existing occupation,” he said.
“There is racism and discrimination against the Arabs in Israel, and this will not change since we are a defect in the Zionist project, whether we demand our social or political rights. The legitimization of racism will increase,” he added.
Mustafa Barghuti, 55, a member of the Palestinian National initiative in Ramallah on the West Bank, said most Israelis were voting for Jewish settlements and an “apartheid system at the expense of peace and a two-state solution.”
“It looks like there is no peace camp in Israel,” he added.
Fawzi Barhum, a spokesman for the Hamas movement in Gaza, said he expected that Israel would elect the “most extreme and racist government to lead Israel.”
Reuters contributed to this report.
Related content:
Avast! Israel's Pirate Party angles for 2 percent of electoral booty
Charismatic ex-commando pressures Netanyahu from the right as Israel prepares to vote

Anger, violent thoughts: Are you too sick to own a gun?

Mike Groll / AP
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs New York's Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act into law.
If there’s one thing Republicans and Democrats can agree on, it’s that mentally ill people should not have access to firearms.

But as lawmakers rush to restrict that access in the wake of recent mass shootings, mental health experts warn of unintended consequences: from gun owners avoiding mental health treatment to therapists feeling compelled to report every patient who expresses a violent thought.

“Many patients express some idea of harm to other people, everything from, ‘I wish I could rip my boss limb from limb,’ to, ‘I have a gun and want to blow that guy away,’” said Paul Applebaum, director of the Division of Law, Ethics, and Psychiatry at Columbia University.

Therapists usually interpret this sort of talk as part of the treatment process, experts say. But under a new law in New York, one of the strongest to be passed to date, therapists may feel compelled to report every instance of violent talk, lest they face legal consequences if something happens. And some say ordinary patients may wind up suffering the most.

“There’s one group of people who are gun owners who may reasonably or unreasonably think, ‘I’m not going anywhere near a mental health person, because if they misinterpret something I say as an indication I’m going to hurt myself or someone else, they’re going to report me and take away my guns,’” Applebaum said.

Several polls conducted since the shooting in Newtown, Conn., have found widespread support for new legislation that would restrict the possession of firearms by the mentally ill, as well as for increased government spending on mental health.

Federal law already bars the sale or transfer of firearms to a person who is known or thought to have been “adjudicated as a mental defective.” In addition, at least 44 states currently have their own laws regulating possession of firearm by mentally ill individuals, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But not enough states report their mental health data to the federal government, rendering the federal law largely toothless.

'Not taking any chances'

New York’s expanded gun law signed by Cuomo on January 15 goes further than most state laws in that it requires mental health professionals to report any person considered “likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others” to local health officials. Those officials would be authorized to report that person to law enforcement, which could seize the person’s firearms.

Previously, New York judges could compel seriously mentally ill people thought to be dangerous to receive involuntary outpatient treatment.

“I see it very frequently,” Steven Dubovsky, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Buffalo, said of patients expressing violent fantasies. “You see people who struggle with anger or have violent thoughts, and if I thought they were going to act on it right away, I would stop them.”

“Now if you’re mistaken, you’re wrong about this, and you don’t report it, you could face criminal sanctions. I’m not taking any chances at that point,” Dubovsky said. That could encourage therapists to over-report, he said.
Rep. Rob Barber, who was critically wounded alongside Rep. Gabby Giffords, talks about his task force to provide advice on mental health issues to prevent gun-related violence.
There have been cases where better enforcement of laws already on the books might have helped avoid bloodshed, said Richard J. Bonnie, a professor at University of Virginia’s law school. Bonnie headed a state commission on mental health law in the wake of the mass shooting at Virginia Tech.

Shooter Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people and then himself at the university in 2007, should have been adjudicated as mentally defective following a special justice’s order issued two years before the shooting, Bonnie said. Such a designation, properly reported, would have disqualified him from owning a gun under existing federal law.

But that message never got passed on to the feds or Virginia Tech, Bonnie said.

Shoring up the flaws in mental health reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System – something Obama addressed in his proposals – would help prevent future mistakes, Bonnie said. Obama also called for background checks to be required on all firearm purchases – currently only 7 states account for 98 percent of the names prohibited for reasons of mental illness in the NICS database, according to Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

According to DJ Jaffe, executive director of the Mental Illness Policy Org, which advocates on behalf of the seriously mentally ill, all the talk of mental health and gun violence obscures a bigger issue – a nationwide struggle with how to care for the mentally ill.

“Most of the things they’re discussing are totally irrelevant to helping people with serious mental illness,” Jaffe said. “No one wants responsibility for the seriously mentally ill.”

Related stories:
Support soars for tougher gun laws, surveys show

Jump to discussion page: 1 2 3 ... 48

A sixteen-year-old victim of abuse talks to a school psychologist because she feels suicidal. The doctor reports this to the State, and she is uploaded into a database prohibiting her from buying a gun in the future (she cannot buy one yet anyway due to her age, but she could buy one when she turns eighteen.). Ten years later, at 26 years old, she is no longer depressed, no longer suicidal, has fully recovered from the abuse, and is a healthy, productive member of society. Now she can't buy a gun because... well, she has "a history of mental illness"? Furthermore, if she tries and is turned down, not even knowing whether she was put into the database, she will be prosecuted for trying to buy a gun? I dunno, that just seems crazy to me, pardon the pun. It's making a victim of the victim twice over, ya know what I mean, Vern?
  • 283 votes
#1 - Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:37 AM EST

I agree. This may prevent people that could be treated for mental illness from seeking the assistance they need. Hopefully something is included that would allow a person to be deemed "cured" or "treated" so they are not permanently punished for seeking help.
  • 106 votes
#1.1 - Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:51 AM EST

“Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.” ~ Ronald Reagan
  • 154 votes
#1.2 - Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:07 AM EST

Newest round of firearms laws are a knee jerk reaction to the shootings, without thinking the laws thru. Example NY has a limit of 7 bullets in a gun, they forgot to exempt police.
  • 159 votes
#1.3 - Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:10 AM EST

... I dunno, that just seems crazy to me, pardon the pun. It's making a victim of the victim twice over, ya know what I mean, Vern?
or if she joins the FBI and the FBI gives her a gun...Is the FBI above the law? In other words, do government agency have to check mental health records at every mental health institution before issueing a gun to the agent? Who's vern anyway? I can't find any more post before yours :P
  • 29 votes
#1.4 - Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:29 AM EST

Comment author avatarpatter123Expand Comment Comment collapsed by the community

Comment author avatardeprogrammerExpand Comment Comment collapsed by the community

I agree. This may prevent people that could be treated for mental illness from seeking the assistance they need. Hopefully something is included that would allow a person to be deemed "cured" or "treated" so they are not permanently punished for seeking help.
This is the conundrum this whole disaster creates.
How many therapists are going to be willing to deem someone is "cured" or "treated"?
If someone is diagnosed as unstable to own a firearm and then is deemed cured, what happens if that person creates another Aurora, Newtown or just shoots at one person and misses? Who is responsible then, the patient, the therapist or both?
You know in our embarrassingly litigious society the therapist will be dragged through the legal system as being complicit to the crime. After a few hundred such cases, how many therapists will be willing to certify a patient stable to own a firearm? How much will the malpractice insurance go up on each and every psychiatrist, psychologist and mental health therapist? All this cost will trickle down to each and every one of us. Will that added cost guarantee societies safety?
Predicting human behavior is impossible. Predicting violence is even more unpredictable.
  • 119 votes
#1.7 - Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:41 AM EST

You are so correct JimSpence.
  • 28 votes
#1.8 - Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:45 AM EST

Lets face it !!!!
The biggest responsibility for the weapons falls on the owner. The weapons should have trigger locks on them. Also should be stored in a safe with a combo lock and only the owner knows the combo. Those two things alone will cut down on some of the gun deaths. Granted this is not fool proof but is at least a start. As for background checks . I am all for it. Mental health issues are a can of worms for sure. But should be looked into anyway. The sale of weapons at gun shows should be looked at also. The buyer should provide a valid license or carry permit to purchase a weapon at the show or submit to a background check at that time in all states. These suggestions are a better starting point than doing nothing or blowing smoke to make the public feel good.
  • 18 votes
#1.9 - Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:47 AM EST

Comment author avatarOBAMA the CowardExpand Comment Comment collapsed by the community
So Cuomo must report every gang banger in New York and take away their guns!!! YIPPEE!
  • 61 votes
#1.10 - Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:59 AM EST

The thing is, mental health IS the issue-along with the frustration and anger that's so prevalent in this country today-ignore it and you ignore the problem. No one of sound mind walks into a school, movie theater or any other public place and starts shooting everyone in sight. Without addressing this aspect, all the bans on specific guns, clips, ammo etc. are nothing but feel-good legislation-they will not stop anybody from obtaining what they need to do whatever they set out to do.
  • 56 votes
#1.11 - Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:01 AM EST

is anyone feeling "safe" about these proposals? is this where we want our country to go? how many people will be infringed on by this "crazy" proposal? MOST of our gun violence is gang related and yet we choose NOT TO ADDRESS THAT? i think crazy people should not have guns,are we going to leave it up to a doctor( i use that term lightly),that most of the time makes improper diagnoses and drugs the patient,rather then come up with some reliable form of TAKING CARE of the patients problem(they drugged my daughter,when ALL that was needed was stability at her moms,and punishment when due) she is now "back to normal behavior" because she is being disciplined equally at BOTH PLACES.these guys are NOT QUALIFIED to tie my SHOES! and they should have the ability to do what? stupid proposal at best!
  • 45 votes
#1.12 - Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:04 AM EST