Right Hooks

Mental Health Misfire?

A compromise may be headed for the back burner.

Jordan Candler · Apr. 14, 2016

One of the more daunting issues facing Congress is how to reform mental health care without abrogating one’s constitutional rights. Both sides are more or less unified on the issue of better mental health care, but while the Left believes the Constitution can be circumvented, Republicans want to make sure no one’s rights are unjustly trampled. After it initially appeared that a compromise was in the works, it may not work out after all.

According to The Hill, “Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is in talks with leaders of the Senate health committee to combine his mental health bill with one that passed the committee last month. But Democrats object to certain sections of Cornyn’s bill that they say would make it easier for mentally ill people to acquire guns, and the controversial provisions could shatter Democratic support for the bill. Those provisions would require a full judicial hearing to ban someone from buying a gun due to mental illness and would allow people previously committed for mental illness to purchase a gun as soon as a judge’s commitment order expires.”

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) complained, “Obviously I can’t support a bill on the floor that has those provisions in it.” Cornyn is “open to discussing it” but insists “this whole idea that we’re not going to have a fulsome discussion about mental health and [the] problems it creates with the criminal justice system, housing and the health care field seems kind of unrealistic to me.”

In too many cases, a person’s right to bear arms has been taken away without due process. For example, as Hot Air notes, “[T]here are tens of thousands of people in New York who might argue the point after Andrew Cuomo placed countless residents on the No Guns For You list without a single medical professional weighing in on their competence under the provisions of the NY SAFE Act.”

Republicans are at least trying to reach across the isle with a rational compromise. But despite how often they talk about common sense, Democrats want none of it. All that’s important to them is restricting guns from those who exhibit any type of “mental illness.” And as we’ve already seen, that could literally be anybody.

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