Answering Ben Shapiro: We Don’t Need Gun Control, We Need Nut Control

Ben Shapiro posed a very good question: “Why the Hell wasn’t he in jail?” Devin Patrick Kelley was the poster boy for mental illness. He was an open-and-shut case of nutbag. The Air Force locked him up in a mental institution following his making credible death threats against his supervisor. He escaped. then served a year in a military jail after harming his wife and her toddler son–fracturing his skull.

This guy was walking around free, with the only thing between him and mass murder being ATF Form 4473 (which he lied on) and a collection of data in the NICS database. The weak link broke.

But the strongest links also broke. We don’t need more gun control (in fact, we need less). We need nut control.

Allow me to attempt to answer Ben’s question.

I met with a lady Tuesday. She’s in the medical field, and made a comment to me that’s stuck in my mind. “Normal people don’t shoot people.” She’s right. Then she rattled off some statistics about the poor state of America’s mental health profession. I checked them out. Sadly, she’s right.

Some facts:

  • There’s a severe shortage of psychiatrists in the U.S. 77 percent of U.S. counties are “underserved” by psychiatrists.
  • By 2025, it’s projected that the psychiatric profession in the U.S. will be short by 12 percent, or over 6,000 qualified doctors.
  • Over half of new psychiatry trainees are international medical graduates.
  • Psychiatry is the number one specialty where doctors don’t participate in health insurance plans.
  • Insurance companies typically shortchange psychiatrists or don’t pay at all.
  • There’s a critical shortage of state psychiatric beds nationwide.
  • Mentally ill patients are held in emergency rooms, hospitals and jails, sometimes for weeks.
  • The U.S. is short by up to 123,300 psychiatric hospital beds.
  • 19 of 38 state mental health directors said their states have been threatened with or found in contempt for failing to admit jailed inmates found mentally incompetent into mental health facilities in a timely manner.
  • Obamacare has made all of the above worse.

Feel free to click on the links and read them for yourself. This nation is in a mental health free fall, and some very sick people are walking the streets, many with felonies on their records, or a history of violence.

For every Devin Patrick Kelley who manages to slaughter innocents, there maybe 30 or 40 potential Kelleys out there, with the only thing separating them from murder is money, a target, opportunity, and sometimes, a Form 4473.

With over 14 million NICS instant background checks for firearms purchases in 2016, the system actually works pretty well. Felons and other ineligible people get denied. But that doesn’t stop them from getting guns. Adam Lanza stole his mother’s guns, after killing her. The final report on Lanza by the Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate is damning.

This report suggests the role that weaknesses and lapses in the educational and healthcare systems’ response and untreated mental illness played in AL’s deterioration. No direct line ofcausation can be drawn from these to the horrific mass murder at Sandy Hook. (emphasis in original)

That’s the “we won’t throw you under the bus” card in point 31. All the other points scream “Lanza was a classic case of a sick person obsessed with violence.

Authors conclude that there was not one thing that was necessarily the tipping point driving AL to commit the Sandy Hook shooting. Rather there was a cascade of events… worsening OCD; depression and anxiety; profound and possibly worsening anorexia; and an increasing obsession with mass murder occurring in the total absence of any engagement with the outside world. AL increasingly lived in an alternate universe in which ruminations about mass shootings were his central preoccupation.

Now we have another case to deal with. Actually, there are plenty of cases. James Eagan Holmes is serving 3,318 years for the Aurora movie theater shootings. When we get to the bottom of Stephen Paddock’s mass murder, we will likely find he was a nutbag (the alternative–that ISIS isn’t lying–is not a pretty thought to entertain).

There are nutbags walking the streets, and Democrats want to legislate more ways to prevent legal ownership of rifles and handguns by law-abiding citizens, who stop nutbags like Kelley. And even were we to legislate more draconian rules, only the full repeal of the Second Amendment would really make a dent in our society–it would actually destroy our society, because this is not Australia or Europe.

But to get back to Ben’s original question. Why wasn’t Kelley in jail? The answer: He was. But he served his sentence, got out, and there is no mental health system in America to handle people like him–not anymore.

If we want to stop mass killings, besides a revival of religion, there’s only one answer. We must stop looking at more gun control, enforce the laws already on the books, and focus our efforts on nutbag control.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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