Friday, May 04, 2007
Friday May 4, 2007 - Gun control laws have moved up a few notches on the nation's media 'Hot List'with the controversy surrounding the Virgina Tech shootings that still have people around the world shaken and horrified.
Michael Luo penned an interesting piece for the New York Times Website detailing how the state privacy laws are impeding Congressional efforts to ensure that the Federal database that tracks gun ownership in the US include links to mental records so that nutbags can't purchase handguns and murder people. Accessing the Times link above may require you to sign up to login for access to their online articles but it's worth it.
Not surprisingly gun control groups are opposing the House measure on the grounds that it violates the privacy rights of the individual. Interestingly mental health groups and the pro-gun lobby are united in this effort to prevent mental health records from being tied to Federal background searches for gun owners. Oh the irony..
I studied Consitutional law in college and our rights must constantly be weighed and evaluated in light of the society we live in. So the rights of an individual's privacy must be weighed against the rights of other citizens not be to exposed to potentially dangerous individuals armed with handguns.
Our collective right not to have an unfortunate, possibly life-threatening encounter with a mentally disturbed individual armed with a gun is more important than that individual's right to keep their mental health records under wraps.
Given the widespread availablity of and access to handguns the collective rights to peace and prosperity outweigh privacy rights where the purchase of handguns are concerned.