Sometimes you have to wonder about people. Occasionally, you run across a story, and it’s absolutely clear that those people haven’t thought beyond their knee-jerk reactions to an issue. A perfect case-in-point is a bill introduced in California that would bar suicidal people from buying guns.
Now, on face value, some people might think that this idea makes sense. After all, we don’t want people committing suicide. But, then, you think a little more about it, and you dig into the details of the proposed law, and you have to shake your head.
The first problem with this law is the fact that California allows assisted suicide. To be fair, the people who support assisted suicide would say that the people who want to die that way are requesting to die. Of course, isn’t that a statement that you can make about anyone who commits suicide?
Now, understand me, I’m not trivializing suicide, but this point needs to be made: this bill essentially says that you are only allowed to kill yourself if you have help from a government-approved third party. California isn’t a state that is actually trying to keep people from killing themselves, so to prevent suicidal people from buying guns just seems to be a situation where the state is talking out of both sides of its mouth.
The second problem with the proposed law to prevent those who are suicidal from buying firearms is how they determine who is suicidal. Alexa Lardieri writes,
SFGate reports that the bill from Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, would allow people who fear they are at risk of suicide to anonymously and confidentially submit their names to the state office that conducts background checks for firearm purchases, in order to prevent themselves from purchasing a gun.
Two points here: 1. How many people are actually going to call up a hotline and say, “I’m thinking about killing myself. Don’t let me buy guns.”? I’m thinking not many. I think they would be much more likely to call a suicide prevention hotline where the can get some counseling. Giving a suicidal person more options may only confuse the issue and make it less likely that they’ll call anyone to get help which means more people will die.
The second issue is, how will this hotline determine that this is a genuine call and not a setup to harass someone? See, all it will take is a small group of anti-gunners to look up gun owners or registered Republican voters or any other group of people that they associate with being pro-gun. These anti-gunners can then call this hotline and, effectively, abuse this law to deprive innocent, non-suicidal people from purchasing a gun and exercising their 2nd Amendment rights. It’s not much of a stretch of the imagination to think this.
So, here you have typical anti-gunner hypocrisy tied up in another bill in California. When will it end?