March 15, 2017
It almost seems like satire. The NRA is calling an Illinois bill that would allow family members afraid a loved one will shoot himself or others to petition the courts to remove firearms for a limited amount of time “anti-gun.”
After Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured 14 others near the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara in 2014, California passed a similar gun order of protection law in which family members and friends can request a restraining order from a judge before gun violence occurs. “When someone is in crisis, the people closest to them are often the first to spot the warning signs, but almost nothing can now be done to get back their guns or prevent them from buying more,” said Democratic Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner of Berkeley in supporting the legislation.
Assemblywoman Skinner is right. When a gun owner becomes unstable and likely to shoot himself and others, family, friends and coworkers are usually the first to know. They are also often the victims as we saw with the murders of the Stay and Short families.
Many soon-to-be murderers post their homicidal intentions on social media like Elliot Rodger, whose mother called 911 after seeing his YouTube page postings. Others like the Tucson, Aurora, Navy Yard, Virginia Tech and Fort Lauderdale murderers are known to be seriously mentally ill.
The brother of Esteban Santiago, the confessed Fort Lauderdale airport killer, asked why his brother was allowed to keep his gun after U.S. authorities knew he’d become increasingly paranoid and was hearing voices. Santiago claimed the FBI and CIA made him watch ISIS videos and he had previously been charged with domestic abuse. His gun was returned to him by police after a psychiatric evaluation and he proceeded to kill five and wound six with it.
(His case is reminiscent of that of Kyle Aaron Huff who killed six at a Seattle rave after police in Whitefish, MT returned his seized gun.)
It is no secret that the NRA works for the “gun rights” of convicted felons, domestic abuse suspects, mentally disabled social security recipients and people who have been hospitalized for mental illness. After the Virginia Tech murders, NRA lobbyists pushed through a gun restoration provision in national background check laws for people with mental illness.
“In several ways this bill is better for gun owners than current law,” boasted the NRA website because “certain types of mental health orders will no longer prohibit a person from possessing or receiving a firearm.”
It is no surprise the guns-for-everyone NRA opposes the Illinois bill in favor of waiting until bloodshed occurs to remove a gun. The bill is “ripe for abuse by individuals that disagree with the Second Amendment,” bellows the NRA “and the mere insinuation that gun ownership makes you a danger to yourself or others is offensive and insulting,” No, NRA: the real “offense” is to families and strangers gunned down by someone who everyone knew would murder.