Well said Charles. You have bared your heart and family before us. Yes I have a son who has depression. He too is brilliant. Can build any computer from scratch. Is on meds but when they run out... oh well.
But many with serious mental illnesses do get hold of them and murder.
But the point in the beginning was that McPherson was on record of having schizophrenia agreed treatment and no one knows if he actually did. He should have been denied a legal purchase, God forbid he would buy a stolen gun.
I agree with you Charles. Have a great week.I guess I should add that I know a 4th person with diagnosed mental health issues: some kind of bipolar. He is a professional associate. Brilliant. Very hard working. Fully functional. Is more self aware than most folks who have never had a mental illness. He is on some kind of medication and sees his doctor regularly. I don't whether he has any interest in guns, but I'd have zero concern about going shooting with him or with him owning guns if he wanted to.
Even among illnesses like "bi-polar" and "schizophrenia" there remain very diverse manifestations. Many (most??) of which do not result in any danger to others nor direct danger to oneself.
I think it might be more accurate to say that many who commit high publicity mass murder have/had mental illness. I believe the vast majority of those with mental illness are not violent and not a danger to anyone except maybe themselves. Very few persons (mentally ill or not) ever engage in violent crimes. Among those who do, mental illness (and illicit drug use, and certain racial demographics, and men) tend to be over-represented.
In most cases involving those with mental illness, the danger to themselves seems to come in the form of dangers of their lifestyle (eg living on the streets) or diet (including self medicating with street drugs) rather than any overt, deliberate attempt to inflict harm on themselves.
If he was ever adjudicated a danger to himself or others he should have been receiving treatment and proper supervision. And in that case, I'd agree that it would appropriate to limit his access to firearms. Of course, mental health care in this country is pretty poor in terms of the public health.
But one big reason for that is our respect for individual rights. Many of us know someone we believe would benefit if only it were easier to force them to accept treatment. I expect most everyone here also recognizes the danger of making it too easy for the powers-that-be (be it government, or the mental health establishment, or family, etc) to declare someone incompetent to make their own decisions and thus eligible for forced treatment.
Let us also consider the danger of complaining someone getting a gun who shouldn't have. There is sometimes some value in pointing out that current laws are not keeping criminals and insane people from getting guns. But that can also be easily flipped into a concession that current laws are not strong enough and therefore we should accept stronger laws. Was it not in the wake of some allegedly crazy person engaging in a mass shooting that the gun grabbers really pushed the "universal background" (aka "Universal Registration") mantra?
In free society, the only (mostly) sure way to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill who are a danger to others, is to incarcerate or institutionalize the criminals and mentally ill.
You and I should not have to pass a background check, prove our sanity, or otherwise tolerate any prior restraint in order to exercise our RKBA. That is true whether we want to buy a gun, carry a gun, sell a gun, or even manufacture a gun. (We clearly have a lot of work left to get our laws into harmony with our natural and constitutional rights.)
If we focus on keeping guns away from criminals and the mentally ill, we place our own RKBA at risk, I believe. We should focus on protecting our access to the means of an effective defense against those criminals and dangerously mentally ill who are not receiving proper care. Our secondary message in this area, then, might be that we need better ways to keep the criminals away from civil society and to provide better treatment for the mentally ill.
All the best.