Disarming ‘Individuals With Mental Illness’ Would Affect a Quarter of the Population

Susan Stocker/TNS/Newscom”How do we make sure that individuals with mental illness do not touch a gun?” Florida Gov. Rick Scott asked yesterday, responding to the shooting that killed 17 people at a Broward County high school on Wednesday. The question, reminiscent of NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre’s demand for “an active national database of the mentally ill” after the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, is woefully misbegotten, casting an unmanageably wide net into the wrong ocean.

Survey data indicate that half of all Americans will qualify for a psychiatric diagnosis at some point in their lives, while a quarter of them do in any given year. Does Rick Scott or Wayne LaPierre think the government should strip 160 million people, or even just 80 million, of their Second Amendment rights because their mental illnesses might predispose them to commit mass murder?

Federal law currently stops far short of disarming

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