This is what the NRA and its followers say every time any regulation of gun ownership is proposed. First let me say that I have no quarrel with gun ownership by competently trained, mentally stable, law-abiding citizenry. I happen to feel the need to own a gun myself. In 59 years of living, going all over Houston and the country, I have never felt the need of a gun to protect myself, even when one was pointed in my face. Since I didn't get shot, my verbal skills were apparently enough. To be fair, I don't drive a flashy car, wear a lot of expensive jewelry, live in a house that looks filled with ripe pickings, or tell people I have my millions hidden under my bed (as if I had millions..there might be a quarter under there.)
The reason I was moved to write this blog was a recent case I saw on TV in which a guy with a history of mental issues bought a gun and killed some people. The specific case doesn't matter. Have you ever googled "history of mental illness bought a gun killed?" You will get back a long list of cases to peruse. While federal law mandates that the mentally ill should not be allowed to buy guns, most states have hobbled the databases gun shop owners can check for disqualifying information by prohibiting the sharing of this information from the medical community to the gun databases. Histories of domestic violence, felony convictions are also not put into these databases. My question is this: why does the NRA fight against such things. They do. They fight any movement to keep handguns out of the hands of people with histories of mental illness, citing privacy. This leads me to ask "How many NRA members would be excluded from gun ownership if these checks were made?"
I have lived in Texas almost all my life. I've known a lot of gun owners, some of whom surprised me. Most of them didn't give any clue whether they belonged to the NRA or not. Without exception, and let me repeat that, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, the only people I have personally known who ranted and raved about gun ownership and assaults on it, were alcoholics, durg abusers (including prescription drugs), clearly mentally disturbed (whether they had ever seen a mental health professional or not), men with misogynistic/abusive tendencies, or racist paranoids. All of these, in my opinion are people likely to kill other people with guns if they have them. I have the case of a drunken Houston man who shot and killed a young Scotsman who was trying to get help after jumping out of the car of two people who, in his own inebriated poor judgement state, had offered him a ride but clearly intended to harm him. The young man was trying to get over the fence so they couldn't see him if they drove by. Probably not the wisest move, but he'd pounded on the door screaming ""Help!" only to get no response. It was late at night, but he was still yelling for help as he climbed over the fence, where the man was sitting drinking. I don't know about you, but my response to that young man would not have been to shoot him, but to ask what kind of help he needed. Had I owned a gun and had it by my side, I might have pointed it at him until I was satisfied he was no danger to myself. I might even had told him to stop right where he was, and gone and locked myself inside while I called the police. I'm pretty sure that if I had heard a Scottish accent, I would have believed that he had no idea where he was or how to get back to his hotel.
What I would like to see is the NRA propose some legislation that would EFFECTIVELY screen prospective gun owners to root out the ones who are most likely to kill others, instead of looking like they are willing to put guns in those hands willynill