The GOP now wants to make it easier for people with severe mental illnesses to buy guns
I truly do not understand the thought processes of Republicans. Consider this NY Times editorial:
Republican lawmakers and the National Rifle Association often attribute gun massacres to the country’s inadequate mental health system, rather than the easy availability of firearms. Now, those same people want to make it easier for those with schizophrenia, psychotic disorders and other mental health problems to buy guns.
The House voted last week to scrap a policy the Obama administration finalized in December that would have added to the national background check database about 75,000 people who receive Social Security disability benefits because they have mental health problems. People who would be added to the database under this policy have conditions that make it impossible for them to work, cannot manage their own affairs and have someone else receive benefits on their behalf.
Licensed gun dealers must check the database before selling firearms. The Senate could pass the legislation to overturn the Obama regulation this week, and President Trump, who has embraced many of the N.R.A.’s extremist positions, would almost surely sign it into law.
The Obama administration policy was inspired in part by the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., by Adam Lanza, who killed 20 children and six educators. An investigation found that psychiatrists had recommended that Mr. Lanza be treated for obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety and anorexia, calling attention to the need to keep guns from people with severe mental health problems.
Federal law prohibits people who have been “adjudicated as a mental defective” or involuntarily committed to a mental institution from buying guns. But it has been hard to enforce that restriction because government agencies have not always submitted the names of people with mental health problems to the background check database. The Obama policy was intended to address that weakness by guaranteeing more reporting.
While most people with mental health problems never commit violence, it makes no sense to give them access to the kind of assault weapons that can kill scores of people in minutes. That’s why the push to repeal this Obama policy is deeply troubling. Even Republican lawmakers like Senator John Cornyn of Texas have previously said that the deeply mentally ill should not be able to buy guns. . .