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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As this article reveals, murder statistics appear sensitive to all kinds of things such as poverty, unemployment rates, police training and tactics, trauma center preparedness, urban gentrification, and so on, including gun laws. Notably, Chicago—a city that bears comparison with New York City—has draconian drug laws and a murder rate which is out of control. At least with tobacco smoking, we can refer to statistics even if we can't demonstrate the causal nexus with the certainty of a chemical reaction. Statistics just seem to increase the mystery when it comes to murder rates. They confuse and confound.

Not to mention that patients that would otherwise seek help decide not to and be completely on the loose to do whatever they might?

Well, I don't get the newspaper article.

The new law in New York seems to be similar to what California psychiatrists and therapists have had to do since the mid-1970s, from the Tarasoff decision.

Why don't these so-called experts in New York just send an email to their colleagues in California to find out what the new law might do?

They might hear that California has a higher rate of crime. Of course, New York and California are different in many ways having little to do with psychiatrists.

As always, when it comes to human affairs causality is hard to pin down. 

Would I? Probably not. However, many people here would argue that you can't take the rights of a citizen away based on a hunch about what they might do.

The words we use for the 2nd Amendment are that "it's a Constitutional right," which it is. That is what makes it intractable as you put it. Revoking or modifying it is difficult bordering on impossible, especially with anti-gun people clamoring, which makes the pro-gun people dig in. There are two ways to do it but both of them depend on amassing a super-majority. In other words,  it takes more than just a simple majority of 50%+ to do it.

In a nutshell:

Both Houses of Congress must propose the amendment with a two-thirds vote. This is how all current amendments have been offered.

Two-thirds of the State legislatures must call on Congress to hold a Constitutional

It will be a long time before enough critical mass is built up to succeed in changing the 2nd Amendment.

psst Karl, Strega is a 'she'.  We did the same-sex marriage thing, might have caused some confusion :)

Vermont seems to be one of the most relaxed state about gun laws.  Any more relaxed and there would have to be a law insisting you carry one!

Lots of gun availability, lots of guns, and low gun crime rate (for the U.S.). What a conundrum.

In particular, Karl, in Vermont you do not need a permit to carry a firearm concealed on your person (say, a pistol under your jacket).  Most other states in the US require such a permit.  Illinois forbids the practice completely.  Permit-free carry is known here as "Vermont Carry" or sometimes "constitutional carry" since many regard a prohibition or restriction on carrying a weapon in that manner as a violation of the second amendment (and I tend to agree with them).

In spite of this... nay, I think it's in part because of this... Vermont has a very low crime rate.  The very places you should be most frightened of here, at least in regard to your physical safety, are the ones with the strictest gun laws.  Now that's counter-intuitive if you think guns somehow cause (or correlate) with violent behavior.  But they don't.

@ Strega,

Any more relaxed and there would have to be a law insisting you carry one!

We already have that :D

And the results are quite good, maybe there is a lesson here.

Gun Town USA

You're going to run into the fact that for anti-gun people that any positive news regarding guns must be wrong. They won't even look at the facts. that's funny;

...the fact that...They won't even look at the facts.

The vitriol and hyperbole on both sides of the gun debate is ridiculous.

Regardless what anyone's opinion is the 2nd Amendment is clear about the Right to "keep and bear Arms" and it's clear about who's Right that is.  It is also unambiguous about who the phrase "shall not be infringed." is directed at. 

All laws written to infringe on the Right bestowed upon "...the People..." are a direction violation of First Law and the Supremacy Clause takes precedence.

Under the founding Constitution of this country exercising a "Right" does not require permission nor a permit nor the paying of fees.

Tyranny even in small doses is still unacceptable to free persons.

Bursts out laughing, no offense mate!  And I'm hoping I'm not addressing this post to a cute puppy dog :)

(and if I am, err...nice red collar you have there)



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