EDITOR OF REDSTATE
The Toomey-Manchin Proposal Will Allow Doctors to Block Your Right to Guns
I just talked to someone familiar with the Toomey-Manchin proposal who raises a serious concern based on his understanding of the legislation.Everyone on all sides agrees that we need better help for those with mental health problems who need treatment.Unfortunately, the person I talked with is concerned that the Toomey-Manchin proposal could discourage people from getting help.The proposal will allow a doctor to add a patient to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) without ever telling the patient he or she has been added.There would be no due process requirement. Not all doctors will be able to do it with the same ease, but many will. Knowing a doctor could add him to a federal database as mentally ill without his knowledge could potentially dissuade a patient from going to the doctor in the first place to get help.Worse, if the doctor does so and makes a mistake, the patient would have to actively work through the system to get himself removed — guilty before being proven innocent. In some states, should a doctor flag you as having mental illness without your knowledge, you may very well see the state come collect your previously purchased guns.Activist mental health providers will probably be overly aggressive in adding people to the list. Give it five years in liberal areas and people who believe in the physical resurrection of Christ will probably get automatic entry onto the list.Mental health is a serious issue and the Toomey-Manchin legislation could have negative consequences. Worse, it would still not stop a Columbine, a Newtown, or the daily massacres in Chicago.