Via Facebook I learned that the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (GOCRA) and Tony Cornish have been working on a alternate gun bill to be introduced Wednesday. The word alternate instantly raised red flags in my mind as it implied further restrictions on gun ownership just not a severe as what has already been proposed. After reading this article I’m even more worried:
House Speaker Paul Thissen and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said that a plan backed by gun rights advocates stands a better chance of passing this session even as some who favor tighter gun control hope for more substantive changes. Among other things, the new proposal set to be unveiled Wednesday morning addresses some mental health issues and adds to the parameters of what would disqualify someone from legally owning a gun.
Emphasis mine. I’ve voiced my concern regarding the gun rights movement’s decision to throw the mentally ill under the bus. By blaming mental illness the gun rights movement basically handed the gun control advocates a victory so long as they justify their efforts by claiming they are meant to prevent the mentally ill from acquiring firearms. Unfortunately the issue of mental illness is a very difficult topic in this country because it carries such a severe social stigma. If further prohibitions against gun ownership are created based on mental health it will discourage those suffering from mental illness from seeking professional help.
I will withhold judgement until after I read the bill but I am worried that it may be an attempt to toss the mentally ill under the bus in the hopes that such a sacrifice will satisfy the gun control advocates.