Originally Posted by long island leprechaun
Well, we have a constitutional right to own property, but we also have the Fifth Amendment that says we can deprived of that property as long as "due process of the law" is followed. Guns are property. Houses are property. Cars are property, horses are property. The Constitution doesn't enumerate every form of property that is covered, but it certainly allows for regulations to govern our access to it. For example, I could not purchase my apartment without homeowner's insurance, or good credit, etc. I have a consitutional right to own my home, car, etc. but I have to jump through various hoops to get it and maintain it.
I'm personally less concerned about the liability angle in Doggin's article than I am in finding a method to do mental health background checks in a way that protects privacy. Each state would have to draw up clear criteria for exclusion from gun ownership and have a system for screening. One possibility is a system similar to the evaluations done when one applies for
Social Security Disability. Criteria could parallel those used to screen candidates to carry weapons in the police force. The state contracts medical and MH providers who do an independent assessment. And I do think this would be of value, to some extent to prevent violent crimes toward others, but even moreso to reduce the number of suicides by guns, which is an even bigger number statistically. That too would be a public service.
Let's take this mental health thing one step further. If you can (with a reasonable degree of accuracy) detect in mental background check the likelihood of a violent crime being committed with a gun. Could you not detect the likelihood of any violent crime being committed by an individual?
Why not just order these tests done every 5 years or so (maybe when you get your drivers license renewed) and just sweep all the future murders off the street when the results come in.