Bipartisan Support for Funding National Instant Criminal Background Check SystemSubmitted by dwalters on Wed, 07/16/2014 - 22:39
It's always a great thing to hear that the silly kiddos in DC are finally working together. Gosh, if I didn't know better, rather than the government being divided in to Red and Blue factions, I might have mistaken it for being a single Purple one.
76 Republicans joined Democrats to add $19.5 million to the federal instant background check system for gun purchases.
The, current, NY Times article links back to a times.com piece from late May (maybe it was posted back then, but I didn't see it). It reads:
Additional co-sponsors of the amendment to an appropriations bill include Reps. Pete King (R-N.Y.), Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.), Joe Heck (R-Nev,) and Mike Quigley (D-Ill.).
The amendment passed 260 to 145.
The measure, if passed by the Senate and signed by President Barack Obama, would increase funding for the National Instant Criminal Background Checks System (NICS) by $19.5 million to pay for improvements to the database. A prospective gun buyer is checked against the database for red flags like felony convictions and history of mental illness, but the system is woefully dysfunctional. A USA Today investigation recently found that in five states alone, law enforcement agencies failed to submit records of 2.5 million arrest warrants to the database. Twelve states have submitted fewer than 100 mental health records to the NICS database, Thompson said.
I'm reminded of tales from the Soviet Union. From Wikipedia.org (broken up for readability):
In the Soviet Union, a systematic political abuse of psychiatry took place and was based on the interpretation of political dissent as a psychiatric problem. It was called "psychopathological mechanisms" of dissent.
During the leadership of General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, psychiatry was used as a tool to eliminate political opponents ("dissidents") who openly expressed beliefs that contradicted official dogma. The term "philosophical intoxication" was widely used to diagnose mental disorders in cases where people disagreed with leaders and made them the target of criticism that used the writings by Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Vladimir Lenin.
Article 58-10 of the Stalin Criminal Code—which as Article 70 had been shifted into the RSFSR Criminal Code of 1962—and Article 190-1 of the RSFSR Criminal Code along with the system of diagnosing mental illness, developed by academician Andrei Snezhnevsky, created the very preconditions under which non-standard beliefs could easily be transformed into a criminal case, and it, in its turn, into a psychiatric diagnosis.
Anti-Soviet political behavior, in particular, being outspoken in opposition to the authorities, demonstrating for reform, writing books were defined in some persons as being simultaneously a criminal act (e.g., violation of Articles 70 or 190-1), a symptom (e.g., "delusion of reformism"), and a diagnosis (e.g., "sluggish schizophrenia"). Within the boundaries of the diagnostic category, the symptoms of pessimism, poor social adaptation and conflict with authorities were themselves sufficient for a formal diagnosis of "sluggish schizophrenia."
The "mental illness" ploy is an old tool of State tyranny. It's a shame that people can't go talk to a shrink without fear of the State attempting to act outside of its Constitutionally (supposedly) limited authority. The 2nd Amendment says "...shall not be infringed" - while the word "except" never appears.
While NICS has been around since the late 1990s and the Times article says - "The Thompson amendment does not overhaul the NICS, it merely increases funding for the system" - they're not using the extra millions of dollars as toilet paper. The article goes on:
In fiscal year 2013, the system was provided just $18 million. Last year that was pushed to $59 million. The Thompson amendment increases funding for the system for 2015 to $78 million.
With a 333% funding increase over the period of two years, the legislation may not have overhauled the system, but I bet by Ned all that money has.