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MacCrocodile 1
I've decided that as long as I can use something as a weapon, I have a legal right to possess it. It's in the constitution, after all.
Posted by MacCrocodile on September 25, 2012 at 9:08 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 2
One less mouth to feed off the federal teet as Mittens Romney and Rob McKenna would say.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on September 25, 2012 at 9:13 AM · Report this
You might think 2nd Amendment rights are not absolute. And, I might agree. It's the NRA and their powerful, wealthy lobby that disagree. And, that is all that matters.
Posted by tacomagirl on September 25, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
If Mr. Lee was not secured in a mental health or assisted living facility if he was dangerous, he at the least should have been under some home care supervision (possibly a relative since getting a nurse or nurses is an expensive proposition) in order to have minimized the possibility of this occurring.

I've usually been very critical of the cops for shooting unarmed people, but I'm not inclined to do so in this case. Mr. Lee was failed by other circumstances.
Posted by neo-realist on September 25, 2012 at 9:16 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 5
I would think it's a near impossibility to keep weapons out of anybody's hands. There are just too many guns out there. Mix in mental illness, drugs and alcohol and just plain anger. I wouldn't want to be a cop.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on September 25, 2012 at 9:24 AM · Report this
seattlejenny 6
This does raise an interesting point about the rights of the elderly but first let's take away the fucking cars.

Sounds like maybe he wasn't even holding the gun? Very sad.
Posted by seattlejenny on September 25, 2012 at 9:28 AM · Report this
@1, I like this idea. How can we get weed classified as a weapon?
Posted by Root on September 25, 2012 at 9:34 AM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 8
Another good argument for institutionalization of the mentally incompetent by the State.
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on September 25, 2012 at 9:42 AM · Report this
seandr 9
If I ever get to be 77-years old with Alzheimer's, please shoot me, too.
Posted by seandr on September 25, 2012 at 10:16 AM · Report this
Mildly surprised that Goldy has written a post that included the word "gun" that isn't histrionic and with which I largely agree.

Other thoughts... Who knows all the relevant circumstances? E.g. was his dementia professionally diagnosed or just something the family kinda noted by the by?

Also not generally in favor of people killing other people but if someone threatens deadly force that threatener is giving permission to be recommissioned as fertilizer.
Posted by BLUE on September 25, 2012 at 10:26 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 11

I know back in the 1940s there were abuses at the sanitariums, but that was when there were no ways to monitor remote rural locations. Now we have webcams, UAV drones, ...
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on September 25, 2012 at 10:33 AM · Report this
venomlash 12
@8: When do they come pick you up?
Posted by venomlash on September 25, 2012 at 10:34 AM · Report this
"The Second Amendment right to bear arms is not absolute. We as a nation need to have at least as much respect for the awesome responsibility that comes with owning a deadly weapon as we do for that single, caveat-filled sentence in the Bill of Rights."

Finally you make a good point on this issue. The irresponsibility toward gun ownership is the single most pervasive issue facing gun rights and the lobbies that protect it. It doesn't seem to be a priority.
Posted by Bean on September 25, 2012 at 11:23 AM · Report this
Nice case of "blame the victim" here.
Posted by hmmmmm on September 25, 2012 at 11:44 AM · Report this
I agree in theory, but I can't think of a way to effectively do this without causing more problems. Only way to do seems be to set up a registry of those too mentally ill to own weapons and that seems pretty fraught with problems.
Posted by giffy on September 25, 2012 at 12:27 PM · Report this
I agree. If it's true this gentleman was suffering from Alzheimer's, he absolutely should not have been armed. Of course, I'm not sure who you think is responsible enough to make that decision. A government entity, perhaps? The ones that continue to let drunk drivers back out on the street, and people so old they can't tie their own shoes?

I also think that if you asked, say, any women, or blacks, or mentally handicapped individuals alive around 1950 about the government's ability to reasonably determine 'mental health', they might have concerns. Given we used to lock up, sterilize, and otherwise abuse perfectly healthy people based on the government's determination of their fitness as members of society.
Posted by NateMan on September 25, 2012 at 1:48 PM · Report this
meanie 17
more calls for gun control when it was a misnomer in this example.…

Calling for some agency that decides to take peoples rights away is just one potential boondoggle here, but how would it be executed? no answers there, just blame the object.

If you want to bring back state sponsored institutionalization realize what your suggesting, it wasn't that long ago that being gay, or communist was considered a mental illness.

Magic government hand doesn't fix everything.
Posted by meanie on September 25, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
Just Blue 18
Most states do have laws that can prohibit mentally ill individuals from legally owning guns. However, where the line is drawn varies. Some require a legal finding of incompetence. Others require only a diagnosis and/or voluntary treatment. I'm not sure what the laws in Washington are, however. This link is from 2007, but I don't have time to do a more extensive search right now:…

Posted by Just Blue on September 25, 2012 at 2:25 PM · Report this
maxk 19
It's an interesting idea, but how do you implement it? Send in cops to confiscate weapons from people who you think are too dangerous and might do something crazy with them? I don't imagine that will go well.
Posted by maxk on September 29, 2012 at 8:10 AM · Report this

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