Yesterday, New York became the first state since the Newtown shooting to pass new legislation concerning guns and mental illness. While there are new restrictions on the types of guns New Yorkers may purchase, one of the largest changes is in the reporting of potentially mentally ill patients to authorities by therapists and psychiatrists.
According to the new law, any person suspected of having suicidal or violent potential is to be reported to local authorities, who will then be required to search for and confiscate any firearm the individual has access to.
Opinion in the mental health care industry is mixed.
According to Dr. Paul S. Appelbaum of Columbia University, this new law will require mental health professionals to report a much higher percentage of people… even people who really pose no danger.
Conservative or liberal, republican or democrat, most lawmakers agree that something needs to be done in order to keep these powerful weapons out of the hands of dangerous people – the disagreement however is in the best way to accomplish this.
What is needed is for members of local and national legislative bodies to actually work together in the creation of an effective system which limits the access dangerous people have to firearms.