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Old January 16, 2013, 01:45 PM   #71
Evan Thomas
Join Date: July 7, 2008
Location: Upper midwest
Posts: 5,245
Originally Posted by rickyrick
In the list of EO I didn't really see anything that would pertain to me so much, I do see oppoetunities for people to get hosed by the healthcare system.
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
The ones that concern me are these:
4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
Those criteria are established by the 1968 GCA. Do we want the Attorney General to have the power to establish new categories of ineligible people?
I don't see too much danger here from executive orders per se. Given that the 1968 GCA established the criteria for prohibited persons, it would take an Act of Congress to change them -- all the AG can do is make recommendations/propose changes. As Glenn pointed out, the political makeup of Congress makes it pretty unlikely that they'll pass significant extensions of existing laws.

I'm not too troubled by the mental-health reporting stuff, for the same reason. Clarifying, even broadening, what health-care personnel can do in terms of reporting won't change the criteria established by 18 USC 922, which restricts who is reprted to the Feds to anyone who has been "adjudicated as a mental defective or has been [involuntarily] committed to any mental institution." Both involve action by a court, otherwise known as "due process."

If Congress were to pass a law altering this requirement, so as to allow people to be disqualified on the say-so of health-care workers, that would be an egregious violation of 5th Amendment rights, and would, I believe, be immediately challenged in court.

There's also nothing wrong with finding ways to make states do what they're already required to do in terms of reporting commitments etc. to the FBI. State privacy laws and lack of funding for adequate record-keeping are most of the problem there.

On the other hand, encouraging mental health workers to do what, at least in my state, they're already required to do, i.e. report anyone whom they believe to be an immediate danger to themselves or others, is a fairly good idea.

The other EOs around mental health are basically about making treatment more accessible, which is a fine idea, but takes money...

Last edited by Evan Thomas; January 16, 2013 at 01:52 PM.
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