SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Missed the point of "instant background checks"
By Jim Dornblaser


August 22, 2007

After reading Rep. Jay Ramras' letter, I feel he totally missed the point of "NICS"

We all have sympathy for the ill & that includes the mentally ill. Treatment should be available to all that mentally challenged; but actual cures are very rare.

The purpose of "instant background checks" (NICS) is to keep firearms out of the hands of the immature, overly emotional, & irresponsible. The more complete the NICS list, the better the safety of the general public is served.

Ramras points out & I agree mental illness is not a crime. Acts and deeds done can be a crime. You point to the number of mentally challenged that are in our jails. An act of criminal behavior put them there, not the cause (mental illness).

Every prospective firearms purchaser must fill out an ATF form 4473. Question 11f asks "have you been determined mentally defective by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority?" If we could depend on everyone answering the questions on the ATF form 4473 completely and truthfully, the NICS system would not be needed. Such is not the case, some have selective memory & others just plain lie.

There now exists a loop-hole in the NICS reporting system. A person's medical records are considered personal & private. Surely the NICS system can come up with a method of highlighting a person as unable to legally own a firearm without going into detail as to medical history.

Jim Dornblaser
Ketchikan, AK

Received August 22, 2007 - Published August 22, 2007

About: "Retired resident of Ketchikan & responsable gun owner that wants to see gun ownership remain safe for the general public."


Related Viewpoint:

letter Mental Health Firearm Listing Not Right for Alaska by Rep. Jay Ramras

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Ketchikan, Alaska