This Reuters’ analysis raises some excellent policy questions regarding gun posession and schizophrenia.
There are complications of course in the implementation of any policy, but I would like to see public policy reflect public safety over individual rights to own a firearm.
Passage of that bill to strengthen the background check system was prompted when a deranged gunman killed himself and 32 others in April 2007 at Virginia Tech University — the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history.
It turned out that the Virginia Tech shooter, university student Seung-Hui Cho, had been judged an “imminent danger” to himself and others. But that court finding was not submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
Since the 2008 measure to bolster the system became law, the number of records entered in the FBI registry of people deemed by courts to be dangerously mentally ill has more than doubled to about 1 million.
But that tally is still less than half of the total number of people — over 2 million — estimated to have been so adjudicated in the United States, the Brady Campaign says.
Arizona, for example, has submitted more than 4,400 names of persons ineligible to buy guns due to mental illness since 2008, a fraction of the nearly 122,000 estimated to have been officially judged dangerously mentally ill in the state since 1989, according to figures compiled by the Brady Campaign.