It has been said over and over again that we need to "take guns away from the mentally ill." Infamously, President Trump made this same suggestion in a meeting yesterday, explaining that we can take the guns and then the mentally ill person can have "due process after." Of course, giving someone due process after you've already deprived them of liberty and property is like strapping a seatbelt onto a guy who's already been paralyzed in a car wreck. It kind of defeats the purpose.
Nonetheless, Trump is expressing a relatively common and popular view. His proposal found some support even among supposed conservatives (although if Obama had suggested the same thing, it would have been met with volcanic rage from every conservative in America without exception). And there does seem to be a certain logic to the idea. I mean, we can't just have mentally ill people running around with guns! Right?
Wrong. Here's why:
1) Being mentally ill is not a crime.
You know what is a crime? Threatening to shoot people. The Parkland killer should have had his guns confiscated and his butt thrown in jail because he explicitly threatened to use his guns against other human beings. His mental state is irrelevant. It doesn't matter whether he was a lunatic or lucid. What matters is that he acted violently and threatened violence.
If he had been kind of a weirdo, kind of "off," yet had never been violent or threatened violence, then it would not be fair to blame law enforcement for their failure to prevent the attack. But he was violent and he did threaten violence, and that is why we hold them accountable. There is no basis upon which we can take away someone's property if they have never committed a crime, threatened to commit a crime, or been caught planning to commit a crime. Of course, we can and must disarm them, at least temporarily, if they need to be admitted into an actual mental health institution; but if they are living on their own and functioning in human society, they are entitled to all of their rights and all of their guns.
2) Everyone is mentally ill.
Here's the crux of the matter. You want to take guns away from mentally ill people? Okay, hand yours over first. There are hundreds of mental illnesses listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and any psychiatrist worth his salt can find at least five or six that apply to you.
Feeling depressed? Hand over your guns.
Anxious? Welp. No guns for you.
Easily distracted? There go your guns.
Mood swings? Good bye, Second Amendment.
And on and on. The psychiatry industry has medicalized every human emotion, inclination, temptation, fault, and quirk. They've codified it all, cataloged it, slapped a label on it, and put it in their Mental Illness Bible. They've been trying for years to prove that basically everyone is mentally ill. And now they want to use mental illness as a basis to deprive people of their rights. Call me mentally ill, but it seems almost like the two things might be connected.
We're already told, absurdly, that 20% of Americans have "mental health conditions." So that's about 60 million Americans who will be exempted from the Bill of Rights from the start. The other 80% are only un-diagnosed because they haven't been to a psychiatrist yet. If "mental illness" is what it takes for your rights to be abolished, all the government has to do is instruct you to see a court appointed shrink. They'll have no trouble pinning at least a couple "conditions" on you. And how will you prove otherwise? I mean, you're crazy, remember?
This is a dangerous road. You don't want to go down it. Trust me.