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Old January 8, 2013, 03:09 PM   #26
MLeake
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ClydeFrog, how can the law be fair if individuals can be deprived the exercise of Constitutionally protected rights without due process?

If due process is followed, how can this NOT be handled on a case-by-case basis?
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Old January 8, 2013, 03:13 PM   #27
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ClydeFrog, how can the law be fair if individuals can be deprived the exercise of Constitutionally protected rights without due process?
Really? Have you been asleep for the last twelve years? This is really not the time or place for that discussion but civil rights and due process ended sometime in October 2001.
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Old January 8, 2013, 03:21 PM   #28
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There is really only one effective way to keep mentally ill individuals from acquiring (legally) weapons and that is to create a national (or on a state level) registry of who is or isn't mentally ill. I don't think that any of us want the government to start digging through our individual medical history to determine who is naughty and who is nice.

If you have been adjudicated mentally incompetent, then that is on your background on a state level and can be determined. That is due process and is the only acceptable way in which a person's rights can be taken from them according to my understanding to the Constitution.

None us want gang bangers having guns. Demographically, you can determine which areas the gang members are likely to live in. You can further determine what demographic pool that the gang members are likely to come from. You can further correlate which kinds of people who are likely to live in the previously demonstrated geographical areas. Basing who can have 2nd Amendment rights this way is unconstitutional and wrong.

I don't want to be on a National register that limits my Constitutional rights, if they can take one of them away, they can make a case for taking others away and not just from the mentally ill.

It gets back to the issue that opinion or anecdotal experience should not be the threshold that limits a person's rights. The only acceptable way to do this is through Constitutionally prescribed due process.
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Old January 8, 2013, 03:22 PM   #29
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While it is easier to make one-size-fits-all judgments about mental health issues, to do so flies in the face of individual freedom as MLeake points out. Alabama Shooter you have a more cynical view of our system of government than I do, and I am not as trusting as I once was.
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Old January 8, 2013, 03:24 PM   #30
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Have you been asleep for the last twelve years? This is really not the time or place for that discussion but civil rights and due process ended sometime in October 2001.
That kind of hyberbole begs either an explanation or a retraction.
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Old January 8, 2013, 03:35 PM   #31
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9/11. Patriot Act. Tin Foil Hat of varying tightness.
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Old January 8, 2013, 03:47 PM   #32
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win-lose, I believe that is already the approach.

The only likely changes I could see to it, that I might support, would be in providing specific exemptions to medical privacy laws, with specific reporting requirements for specific factors that have been proven to be predictors of likely unlawful, violent behavior.

I realize I used "specific" multiple times. That was by design. I do not believe in allowing legislators or social/medical policy types to paint in overly broad brush strokes.
I agree with you.... "Specifically" (sorry, had to do it), I think the real issue is the criteria for mandatory reporting. The subsequent disclosure of private medical records and the due process that should follow are equally important, but to my mind not as complex. Medical Dr.'s are already mandatory reporters for instances of suspected child endangerment. Expanding to mental health issues that are specifically categorized and evidenced would make a lot of sense.
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Old January 8, 2013, 03:48 PM   #33
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So you can accept the Patriot Act and its ilk as faits acommpli, or you can lobby for repeal or limitations of existing legislation, and prevention of further such.

To accept it as defining our current discussion isn't cynical, it is defeatist.
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Old January 8, 2013, 03:52 PM   #34
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Mental health adjucation...

It's simple. Basic steps like preventing gun ownership or use if you;
Have been involuntary committed to a mental health facility. Attempted suicide or self-inflicted wounds, are prescribed or required by a medical doctor to take medications or drugs that can effect your ability to own/use a loaded firearm, made threats or have a court action(PFA, restraining order, trespass notice, etc) due to unstable behavior or mental illness, can not safely operate or fire a loaded firearm.
It's not a insult to a person with mental illness & it's not a violation of the person's civil rights.

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Old January 8, 2013, 03:56 PM   #35
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So, post-op Percocet count?

A suicide attempt twenty years ago?

Any mechanism for restoration of rights?

The devil is in the details.
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Old January 8, 2013, 04:03 PM   #36
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There are simple answers to most complex questions, and they are almost always wrong. Clyde Frog in each of the examples given there is plenty of room for abuse by an over-zealous governmental lackey with a personal agenda.
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Old January 8, 2013, 05:01 PM   #37
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What is "THE" definition of mental illness

Following ClydeFrog's post, 25 years ago in the USSR, not voting for the right (and usually only) candidate was grounds for incarceration in a mental hospital / gulag.

You may have heard the following people are clearly mentally ill, which often also have a significant political component:
Anyone wanting to have more than 1 gun
Anyone voting Republican (or Democratic, Tea Party, etc)
Anyone who takes drugs (any, illicit, class III, etc)
Anyone over the age of X (or between 13 and 19)
Anyone running for Congress
(Attend a hearing with Senator Lautenberg, and you'll agree
Anyone that .... (add your own)
........
How about people that have had PTSD? What's the difference in that and being scared $#!+-less? Are they all mentally i'll?

This is going to be an interesting debate, with potentially far reaching consequences. I don't believe there can be an effective single definition, or disqualification for drivers license, gun ownership, voting, or most any other restraint of rights and privileges.
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Old January 8, 2013, 05:23 PM   #38
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So you can accept the Patriot Act and its ilk as faits acommpli, or you can lobby for repeal or limitations of existing legislation, and prevention of further such.

To accept it as defining our current discussion isn't cynical, it is defeatist.
I was merely explaining the "hyberbole" being questioned, neither accepting nor lobbying against such.

As for the questions you raise, this isn't a medical room, though if there are some medical specialists, I'd love to hear some of their input. How long ago should a suicide attempt be before it is "forgiven" from the record?

What duration of a cessation of suicidal tendencies is suggestive of a lifetime cessation?

Self-multilation or "cutting" is, from what I understand not a suicidal tendency but still a sign of deep psychological problems. Guilt? Fear? Giving someone under the strain leading to cutting a gun seems akin to pouring gasoline on a fire. But keeping them from one if they needed one for the fear they feel seems cruel too. They have bigger issues than owning a gun. They're most likely in a situation they need to get extricated from more than they need a gun. But I don't know. I'm not a doc, nor a shrink. And us debating these points with so little knowledge is little better than the elected official from that blog earlier. The one who wanted to ban barrel shrouds as the thing on the stock that goes up.
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Old January 8, 2013, 05:43 PM   #39
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MLeake,

You said it. You have limited experience with bipolar and, I would venture to say, you're no expert about diabetes either. And all your ridiculous comparisons are just that.

What I said isn't using any broad brush. It's a fact, unlike most of what you posted in this thread.

You may know guns and such but you should also know your limitations.

I'm not going to waste any more time on this. Argue, or debate if you will, with someone else who wishes to do so with you.
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Old January 8, 2013, 06:09 PM   #40
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Water-Man, please share your credentials, other than having somebody very close who is bi-polar. I suspect you have none.

Or, if those are credentials, then I could claim to be quite the expert on diabetics - I am surrounded by them, including an in-law who does not drive because of sudden onset blood sugar crashes. She broke a wrist last year, passing out and falling to the floor when one crash caught her off guard.

The only "fact" you stated was that you have had experience with at least one bipolar person. Everything else you said was your opinion. Again, feel free to cite credentials or facts, beyond that.

As to my "ridiculous comparisons," cars driven by people having medical events can be quite lethal; I have never been assaulted by a bipolar, but have been assaulted by drunks and by hot-tempered idiots (they did not like the results); and yes, you do paint with a very broad brush.

JimDandy, in some ways, you are right, ideally this should be debated by experts. Unfortunately, I could very easily see some poorly drafted bills put forward in the near future for public referendum purposes, so even we layman should probably give the topic some thought.
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Old January 8, 2013, 06:49 PM   #41
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The only pressing issue when it comes to Mental Illness in my opinion, is the government's ability to declare one mentally unable to own a gun, drive a car, etc.

That is a scary slippery slope. To be frank, a centralized authority saying that certain people cant have guns based on subjective guidelines they create and establish is MINDBLOWINGLY unconstitutional and guaranteed for continued abuse to the point of effective banning. Think of the may issue states that function on a similar principle of need declared by a subjective authority.
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Old January 8, 2013, 07:49 PM   #42
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Whether you agree or not it is the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Not just Mr. Perfect who has never experienced a meltdown or crisis ever in his life or ever lost his temper and got in a brawl with someone.

Screening people and branding them before they have ever done anything wrong is totally against anything our country stands for. It is fascism pure and simple. There is no evil gene... there is simply evil and it can possess a person if they allow it to.

Crime is a force of nature. You are not going to stop tornadoes by banning storms. Of course you could try by messing with the ionosphere or changing the climate but you would only make things worse.

The best way to protect against a force of nature is to strengthen your home and body and be prepared personally.
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Old January 8, 2013, 09:31 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Come and take it.
Whether you agree or not it is the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
It's even more basic than that. This isn't just about depriving mentally ill people of their Second Amendment rights; it's also a question of depriving them of their right to liberty, which is even more fundamental than the right to bear arms.

"In 1975, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in O'Connor v. Donaldson that involuntary hospitalization and/or treatment violates an individual's civil rights. The individual must be exhibiting behavior that is a danger to themselves or others and a court order must be received for more than a short (E.g. 72 hour) detention. The treatment must take place in the least restrictive setting possible."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Involuntary_treatment

Note that part of the Court's ruling is that involuntary treatment (which includes forced medication) is, per se, a violation of civil rights -- and so not to be undertaken without serious safeguards, including court proceedings in which the person is entitled to legal representation.

And the key phrase here is "exhibiting behavior that is a danger to themselves or others" -- it's not enough for someone to have a diagnosis that's associated with a potential for violence, or that the person makes others uncomfortable by, say, ranting on street corners: they must be shown to be dangerous by their actions (which may include things they say: making specific threats against others, etc.).

At the federal level, the current standard for prohibiting a person from possessing firearms is that the person must have been adjudicated mentally defective, or (involuntarily) committed to a mental institution. Neither of these is particularly easy, and rightly so. Both require an individual decision by a court, on a case-by-case basis.

This is a hard standard to meet, and that's as it should be. We don't need to make it easier to take away constitutionally protected rights in order to provide the illusion of safety; we need to fund and enforce the mechanisms that already exist for balancing individual rights and the public good.
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Old January 9, 2013, 12:12 AM   #44
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First I want to thank the OP for being so forth coming. I believe that was incredibly brave.

I want to address a couple of things I saw in this thread though.

1) On the whole diabetic issue. I am a diabetic and have been for about 7 years now. My wife is also diabetic. She was diagnosed about 5 years before me, but has probably been diabetic since her teens (we are in our 40's). Due to the length of time she went undiagnosed and how much longer she has been diabetic, her's is much harder for her to control. She has a lot wider blood sugar ranges then I do, and that causes larger drops in her BS. But we have both experienced the symptoms associated with low blood sugar, or a fast drop in blood sugar (the symptoms, actual feeling is the same) First, you wouldn't want to draw a gun when that is happening because your hands shake like you wouldn't believe. Secondly, if the BS drops too far, or too fast, you can get irrationally angry. You have no reason why you are angry, you know inside your own head, that it's irrational, that there is no logical reason for that anger, but boy, that doesn't make a difference. Does that mean I might 'shoot someone'. No, although yelling and screaming have happened. I have often had my wife yelling at me, and told her to eat something, then we can discuss it. (Nope, that's not a husband get out of jail card... you pay for those just like any other time you are right, yet arguing with your wife <wink>). Usually five minutes after eating something, or even sooner, that rage is gone. The first time this happens to you, it scares the sh*** out of you. I kid you not. Over time, you learn to recognize that its coming on and how to handle it. So I can say as an expert that has the problem, the OP's comparison is very valid, and as a diabetic, I don't find it offensive at all. Does any of that mean that I (like the OP) shouldn't have the right to own a gun, absolutely not. It just means I need to be a little extra careful in being responsible. A prime example. My wife and I were at the Gun range last Friday night after work (way after lunch and before dinner). By the time we had been there about an hour, I could start to feel those inner jitters and start to see my hand shaking as I targeted that deadly paper we like to kill so much. Despite me enjoying myself, that signaled it was time to put the guns away and go get something to eat. You learn to watch for those signs, and luckily in the case of me and my wife, we learn to watch for them in each other.

2) On the whole Mental Health issue in general. As another poster said, we already have mechanisms in place to properly deny rights as needed. I don't feel we need any additional laws governing that. (Now, we might need a tech tweak in having that information entered into the database that they search when they do a background check. That part I don't know about, as I don't know if it's entered or not. What we do need, and it's the direction the Mental Health talk needs to take (at least in my opinion), is one of access and availability. We need a cultural revolution (the good kind) that takes the stigma away from seeking mental services in the first place. Be it simple depression or something far more complicated. We need resources in place for people to be able to seek and get help, in whatever form that takes (I am not a psychologist or a doctor). We need to make it to where that when a parent has a kid that has issues, they have someplace they can turn to for help. Maybe that help is as simple as some parenting classes... Maybe the issue isn't the kid at all. Maybe it's some counseling for the kid, or as a possible last (and I stress the last part) option, maybe it is drugs or some long term care for that kid. Maybe their brain is so far miss wired, that we don't have the knowledge to make it better... We need humane ways of dealing with that. Not a return to the 70's Mental Prisons, and not the current method of letting them fall through the cracks until they run into trouble with the law, or worse (i.e. some school shooting). That's going to cost money. I know a lot of people on this board (and your totally entitled to your opinion) will take the Individual standing on their own two feet approach that lots do concerning things like universal health care. But the bottom line (again, in my opinion), is that we are a society, and somethings, are worth the society funding together, public education, libraries, roads, police, fire fighters, etc. I think that we really have to include the availability of mental health in that. It has to be acceptable culturally for people to seek health, accessible and available, and affordable for them to do so. A certain percentage of our population are going to need it one way or another, and we as a society are going to pay for it one way or another. We can pay for it the current way... i.e. a larger criminal justice system to support those that have run afoul of the law, increased missed time from work, the cost of all the ER visits, and things like mass shootings. Or, we can put systems in place to help people get the help they need to be productive members of society. Will some people take advantage of that system, of course they will. People have taken advantage of every system the government has ever had from road work to jails, but that doesn't mean we don't have them, because in the end, the cost to all of us as a whole is lower then if we didn't have them. Will it keep all shootings like Sandyhook from happening? Of course not. But it might just make them (and a whole lot of other problems) happen a lot less. So for me, I don't want the Mental Health issue to focus on ways to deny adults their rights. I want it to focus on how to give people access to the mental health services they may need, and the younger they can get that help the better. A lot of mental health issues compound over time, so the earlier they are caught the better.

That said, I don't look for us to do this, because it's too complicated a solution. We (I mean all us Americans) have an aversion to coming up with long term complicated solutions that solve the true problems instead of the symptoms of the problems. Crime, Gun Violence, and the number of gun murders in this country, are really a symptom of another problem. As many have said, if we take away all the guns completely. And I mean, if there was a magic Feinstien fairy land, were we could wave a wand, or flip a switch and all the guns were magically gone from this country, we would still have the real problem and the people that perpetuate that violence would simply find another way to perpetuate it. I certainly do not know all the answers, to fix it, and I think it's truly bigger even then just mental health. (Economy, Education, work ethic, etc) But as far as the mental health aspect goes, I think you have to make people feel comfortable seeking the help they may need (as in culturally remove the stigma associated with seeking help) and secondly make the services available so that once they seek the help, it's there for them to take advantage of. As it stands right now, We stigmatize anyone that admits to being anything less then perfectly fit (physical or mental health included) and we have a system where prices for help are out of control, and that's if there is even any help available. It's just my opinion, but that's where we need to start. That's the conversation everyone should be having.

Thanks again to the OP for being so forthcoming.
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Old January 9, 2013, 01:38 AM   #45
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Does your soul have a cold?

A few years ago the Japanese didn't have a word for depression. Then Glaxo Drug company began the "does you soul have a cold?" series of commercials and now magically a significant part of the population requires Glaxo drugs to treat their "depression".

Homosexuality was considered to be a mental disorder until one day in 1973. At 9am it was a mental disorder. At 1 pm it was a life style choice. What changed ? The American Psychological Association took a vote and magically it changed.

I had a friend at college who went on a two day drug binge. Typical wildness of youth. His parents were wealthy and had good insurance. Their doctor decided he needed to be institutionalized. I visited him a few times and he was the same as he'd always been. The insurance ran out in one year and would you believe it, same day the money dried up, he was cured. Magic

While there is such a thing as real mental illness, there are also a number of scams and differentiating between the two is very tricky.
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Old January 10, 2013, 12:21 AM   #46
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I feel strongly that they are going to try and make a boogie man, scapegoat out of people with certain kinds of illness. Now to the mentally ill who purposely do not get treatment, do not take their medicine, who abuse drugs on top of the illness, and those who have a history of violence, of course they should not be able to have have guns. They have had their rights taken away through due process.
Looking at the statement about mentally ill who "purposely do not get treatment"- this is one of the problems with targeting the mentally ill with anti-gun laws. The people who need help might avoid it because of the threat of losing their rights.

Personally, if I felt I needed some sort of mental treatment, for example, counseling after a traumatic incident, I'd be inclined not to seek help. Knowing my luck, 10 years later some bill will eventually pass banning people from PTSD or some other disorder from owning firearms.
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Old January 10, 2013, 01:14 AM   #47
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I agree the OP has some courage. I had a Bipolar Mom, she wasn't a danger to anyone but herself, the illness took her(suicide) in her 60's.
I wouldn't have worried about her having a gun, she wasn't dangerous to others.
These shooters are cut from different cloth than the average person with a mental illness.
It's obvious to any trained person that they are a danger.
I am all for setting the bar high to remove your 2nd amendment rights, and even higher for committal. However, your right to swing your arm ends at the tip of my nose. My right to live trumps your right to be free to kill me.

At this point the bar is so high it might as well not be there.
Pay special attention to the facts coming out about the Aurora Shooter. Several people in authority knew he was dangerous for a certainty. He was still able to be free to kill people.
The press is being very quiet about that his apartment was set to be one big incendiary bomb, in other words guns were irrelevant to whether he was dangerous.
Most of these shooters hole up and kill themselves at the first sign of resistance, adding one more to the total killed by their mental disease.
If we had a magical opportunity to walk up to his Mom, who we can assume loved him most, a week beforehand and say to her "your son is a danger to himself and others soon he will become a mass murderer then kill himself, do you want us to lock him up?" the answer would have of course been yes.
I would have given anything for that opportunity with my Mom and she was only a danger to herself.
These people are protected from the harm their mental disease causes by an inpatient stay, and so are we.
Let's say at some point the Aurora shooter is healed of his disease/controlled by meds, our society with it's idiotic mental health system, that should have acted instead of reacting just sentenced him the hell on earth of looking at a mass murderer in the mirror every morning.
If tomorrow I become as obviously dangerous as these people were, please God, lock me up before I kill someone!
I have been at the bedside as they informed people that they had killed someone in an accident/incident they caused. Look one of those people in the eye while that happens and you will never again question the concept of Hell, and no I'm not talking about that's where I was convinced they were going after death.

I hope the man upstairs has more mercy than that.

We are punishing them in a horrible, inhumanely cruel way for their disease that wasn't their fault in the first place, while patting ourselves on the back for our"Open-mindedness"
I can give you your freedom, and you will be a mass murderer, or I can (hopefully temporarily) take your freedom away and heal you from the nightmare you're living in.
Both choices suck rocks, only one has a lower death toll and mercy for the poor person afflicted.
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Old January 10, 2013, 02:14 AM   #48
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Yeah, yeah, we all know someone who has had the "two major mental illness'": Schizophrenia, or bi-polar/manic depressive which falls under the heading of Major Depressive Disorder. I don't think there's any question that anyone who has been diagnosed with either of these and been institutionalized at some point must be added to the list of denial from an FBI's background check. The problem is (anecdotally) that only about 250,000 of the 2.5M are actually reported by the individual states to the Feds. Big Problem.

How about all the other nut cases that have never been institutionalized that are walking time bombs with no trail to follow? They can be extremely bright stealthy people who are simply misanthropes for whatever reason. Or there can be the person who just snaps and goes "postal" because of an extreme emotional breakdown (fired from a job or a love that is lost). Most of the time these people are not discovered until it's too late.

You think maybe some relatives know about these stealthy individuals long before they become a major news headline? Yeah, I think so. What's wrong with a relative putting this disturbed person on the FBI background check list with the only one's that can remove that person being another relative who is willing to accept felony responsibility? Abuse.......sure but if you're limited to 3 strikes and out (depending on how many different relatives you have and who is on who's side), then it should serve it's purpose.
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Old January 10, 2013, 02:20 AM   #49
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Sure, that kind of thing would NEVER be abused by relatives during a family feud...
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Old January 10, 2013, 02:25 AM   #50
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Well if you're mentally competent, then I'm sure you'd have no problem finding one of your other relatives sign you off with felony responsibility. Remember, after the 3rd sign off.....it's final.
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