Mental health experts say a new tougher New York state gun control law might interfere with treatment of potentially dangerous people and even discourage them from seeking help.

The law would require therapists, doctors, nurses and social workers to tell government authorities if they believe a patient is likely to harm himself or others. That could lead to revoking the patient's gun permit and seizing any guns. (source)

New laws tend to have unintended consequences worse than the conditions or situations they are intended to remedy. The hysteria over the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre has such strange bedfellows as the NRA and some of the most liberal Democrats calling for psychological or psychiatric evaluations of potential gun owners. 

Question: Does the state have enough of an interest to require a breach of the privacy normally holding between a patient and his clinician making the state an invisible presence in the conference room?

Question: Might more mayhem be prevented by letting clinicians do their job rather than imposing requirements on them.?

Question: Might imposing a reporting requirement on clinicians expose them to homicidal danger once the client realizes that his counselor has breached the shell of confidentiality holding between them?

Question: Given the ambiguities holding between what clients talk about and what they might actually do might a reporting requirement expose clinicians to needless criminal and civil sanctions if their best guess turns out to be wrong and a client they thought safe did something horrendous? The point is, it's a lot easier to judge how dangerous a patient was in retrospect and hold a clinician responsible.

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And...we haven't reached the age depicted in Minority Report where we arrest citizens based on a profile indicating they may commit a crime. We all have a right to remain free unless we lose that right through an act of our own or through the evaluation of an expert that we cannot control our lethal impulses, bearing in mind that such evaluations may lack deterministic certainty with a very high likelihood of both false negatives and false positives.

If you tell people that rights result from some sort of legislation (in a democratic society) or dictum (in a dictatorship), they nod their heads in assent. When you utter the obvious corollary, that whatever human rights exist aren't inherent in man but are the result of some sort of legislation or dictum (e.g., a vote of the United Nations), their faces go white. All rights are one of two things legislated (counting dicta as a form of legislation) or imaginary. Mostly, they are imaginary. Something we aspire to, but that's not nothing.

According to the college of Physicians and Surgeons (Canada):

The Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA) permits the disclosure of personal health information to prevent harm where certain criteria are met. Additionally, there are court decisions that set out separate and distinct criteria for disclosure by physicians where there is an imminent risk of serious bodily harm or death.

Furthermore, in Canada, there is a strict screening procedure that is done before anyone is allowed to purchase a gun, and handguns are strictly regulated.   Not everyone is allowed to "bear arms" here.

I agree that if there is a risk of serious harm or death, a clinician should be obligated to report it.  By doing so, clinicians would be doing their job, and reducing the mayhem. 

Doctors, psychiatrists, police officers, etc., are always at risk, and they know that.  It is also their duty to prevent the "mayhem" that you speak of.  Without them, there would be chaos. 

Oh, and I guess that, in Canada, if a clinician feels that someone is, a la Minority Report, on the verge of committing some crime of violence, they can take these person's freedom away indefinitely(?).

What about the unintended consequence, often argued, that you might, taking the long view, actually increase violence because people having such feelings and knowing the law will simply not expose themselves to indefinite incarceration?

Where is the line in the sand between sane and insane?

Who decides where the line belongs?

What criteria do they use?

Am I free to disagree if they draw the line between me and them?

As an Australian, I"m grateful for our gun laws.  Check out the statistics.

As to paedophiles, they don't deserve to breathe.  I know what "grooming" did to a member of my family.  Paedophiles shouldn't have any rights.  MAKO gave me peace of mind....they have the guts to name and shame those convicted.  I had the person listed there because he is a convicted paedophile.  

No you're right unfortunately here on the local news they reported that gun sales went up significantly, because people who thought they might like to have a gun thought that now would be the time to buy one.  They also said that that is worrisome because a lot of the people who did buy one or more guns have no clue how to use or store them. I mean this whole thing was nuts.  Why does any person, save a person who works for the military, or the FBI or something need a multi-bullet shooting gun.  I do not need a gun that shoots more then one bullet to kill a deer or a robber!

This is a reply to my top post(?).

I do not need a gun that shoots more then one bullet to kill a deer or a robber!

Now there, you are wrong, at least about the robber.  Sometimes you miss.  Sometimes you hit him but not in an area that stops the attack.  Sometimes you hit him somewhere fatal... but it's not going to kill him until long after he's done assaulting you.

And oftentimes there's more than one robber, so even if your first shot puts a bad guy down instantly, you are still screwed.

What he said.


I do not need a gun that shoots more then one bullet to kill a deer or a robber!

You must be one hell of a shot.

Of course, maybe if you can't get the deer on the first shot, the deer won the exchange.


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