Letter: Critic must be a mind-reader

To the editor:

A Feb. 26 letter criticized my view that a national policy of forbidding gun sales to the mentally ill is wrong because most Americans suffer a form of mental illness at some time in their lives.

The president and vice president have demanded national background checks to prevent guns from being sold to the mentally ill. Unlike my critic, I do not know what the president is thinking, only what he says and does. At no time has he qualified his definition of mental illness to those deemed “mentally defective,” whatever that means.

According to the letter, selling guns would not be allowed to only a small percentage of the mentally ill: those not “in possession of their faculties” or those posing a danger to others. My critic admits that no bill on this topic has yet to come before Congress, but she knows its provisions anyway. She both reads minds and knows the future.

Concerning the idea that guns should not be sold to a person who poses a threat to others, how would you be able to predict who is dangerous until an individual actually harms someone? If you can predict which person will be a mass murderer, then get ready to go to Sweden to pick up your Nobel Prize.

A total misreading of my article is that I stigmatized the mentally ill. It is the president who has stigmatized the mentally ill by lumping them with criminals as a class that should not be allowed guns. I felt that would discourage people from receiving treatment. My article specifically recommended adequate treatment.

The writer states that murderers are “already fearful of seeking help before they kill.” Does she know the name of a single murderer who thought that?

How does she know what Adam Lanza thought?

Rick Sirvint


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