Justice officials said the FBI's "Mental Defective File" has ballooned from 175,000 names in June to nearly 400,000, primarily due to additions from California. The names are listed in a subset of a database that gun dealers are supposed to check before completing their sales.
The surge in names underscores the enormity of the gap in FBI records that allowed Seung Hui Cho to purchase the handguns he used in April to kill 32 people and himself at the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg.
Seeming as to answer a question I posed a couple weeks ago, a Virginia state court HAD in fact found Cho to be dangerously mentally ill in 2005 and ordered him to receive outpatient treatment. But because Cho was not ordered into hospital treatment, the court's order was never provided to the FBI and incorporated in its database, which two gun dealers checked before selling Cho the 9mm Glock 19 and a Walther .22-caliber pistol used in the shootings. So had he filled out section B-class stroke A paperwork, he wouldn't have Legally bought the weapons. See gun control DOES work - but only as long as you're not Section B-class stroke A paperwork nuts. In other words, the Trix Rabbit can buy a gun, but the Cuckoo Bird who's Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs cannot. And they say the system doesn't work.
Federal law has prohibited gun sales to people judged to be "mentally defective" for nearly four decades, but enforcement of the requirement has been haphazard. A 1995 Supreme Court ruling barred the federal government from forcing states to provide the data, and 18 states — including Delaware and West Virginia — provide no mental health-related information to the FBI at all. Both Virginia and Maryland do provide the data.
Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a group favoring tighter firearms controls, said the most optimistic estimates suggest that even the FBI's expanded list is missing 4 of every 5 Americans who have been ruled mentally dangerous to themselves or others.
"If people realized how weak our system is in terms of background checks for people who are dangerously mentally ill, they would be shocked," Helmke said. "It's clear that there could be another Virginia Tech killer buying a gun today, and there's nothing that can be done about it."
I disagree, I think concealed carry permit would end that crazy shootin' up a school thing real quick. Of course, then suicidal Cuckoo birds will just take other innocent people out by ramming themselves into other cars or trains. There will be fewer shootings though. An armed society is a polite society.
The number of states reporting mental health data to the FBI this year grew from 23 to 32, officials said. Reminder, there are 50 states in the Union, kids. This is just over HALF the states participating. So you better hope the Cuckoo bird doesn't live in an adjoining state and decide to go on vacation for his murder-death-suicide-shoot-em-up-that'll show-'em spree.
"Instant background checks are essential to keeping guns out of the wrong hands, while still protecting the privacy of our citizens," (uh except for Virginia Tech *sshole...) Atty. Gen. Michael Mukasey said in a speech announcing the numbers in Park City, Utah. "But as we learned in the tragedy at Virginia Tech, the checks must be accurate and complete to be effective. We're making progress, and I hope that even more states will submit this information."
The Virginia Tech deaths, which resulted from the deadliest campus shooting incident in U.S. history, have prompted a push by federal and state lawmakers to improve voluntary reporting by the states of those covered by the ban.
House Democrats reached an agreement earlier this year with the National Rifle Association on legislation meant to encourage states to submit timely background check data to the FBI, by offering monetary awards and threatening penalties.
"Our position has always been that those who have been adjudicated as mentally defective or a danger to themselves or to others or suicidal should not have access to firearms" and should be added to the FBI's list, said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam.
The measure passed easily in the House, but it has stalled in the Senate due to a hold by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. He has said he opposes the legislation because its implementation would cost too much and because it lacks a mechanism to challenge inclusion on the list. He was joined by some veterans' groups, which argued that former soldiers might be denied gun-owning rights without due process. (Whoa, are you suggesting that veterans are nuts? Or just gun nuts?)
Mukasey highlighted the expanded FBI list during his first public speech after being narrowly confirmed by the Senate three weeks ago. He also told the National Association of Attorneys General that Washington would continue federal assistance for local communities struggling against rising violent crime rates.
But let's review - a Korean National, who was nuts but not SUPER nuts was able to get a gun. They've added some people to a list that is supposed to keep nutjobs from getting guns. Gun control works, as long as it works? What? My head hurts. I think I'm going to goto the firing range to think.