The Gun Banners, the Progressives, are pioneers in talking about the abolishment of evil by replacing it with a diagnosis amenable to government intervention. “Mental Illness” fits the Liberals definition of someone who cannot own a gun which is exactly how the Soviets and the NAZI’s sent people to the gulags and the gas chambers.
The easy expansion of the idea of mental illness to include every mistake made by anyone makes it easy to take away someone’s Right to own a gun. The way it does that doesn’t matter once the idea that a right can be taken away is accepted. Then it’s just a matter of expanding the definition of mental illness to include more and more activity until the Right to a gun is taken away from everyone.
There are many kinds of “Mental Illness”. Which ones are serious enough to give government the power to do what they were not permitted to do?
If a person is dangerous to others, why are they among those to whom they are dangerous? If they are dangerous why can their Right to a gun be taken away before they are removed from society?
What about felons? Part of the theory of incarceration is the removal from society until it’s safe for a convicted felon to return to society. If a felon cannot be trusted to own a gun why are they trusted enough to own perhaps a baseball bat? A sword? A knife? Should a convicted felon be allowed to handle a tire iron? Dangerous people should not be walking among us but is a felony conviction sufficient to prohibit owning or handling a dangerous object?
Is someone who is convicted and serves their time a danger to others? That depends on what they did. Murder is a felony. Murders are dangerous because they could murder again. A burglar is not as dangerous as a murderer but burglars may not want to hurt people. They want to steal but do they want to harm people? Some do, other’s do not. How can the motives be determined? The theory is that once a thief, always a thief but that’s going far too far.
Another problem with the diagnosis of mental illness is the overlap with other conditions like the lack of intelligence. Individuals with extremely low IQ’s border on the inability to distinguish right from wrong. E.g., an IQ of 70 suggests mental retardation—at least in the populations of Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. There it would frequently be associated with dysfunctional social behavior and visible deficiencies. They have an impaired sense of judgment. But are they dangerous?
“Social pathology” — delinquency, crime, drug abuse, illegitimacy, child neglect, permanent welfare dependency — is disproportionately concentrated in the segment of the population with IQs below 75; Are they dangerous? Perhaps. Note that Crime is greater in the low IQ parts of a culture. When are they too dangerous to be among other people? But are they evil? There is no correlation between evil and low IQ. Government and the Progressives must not be allowed to presume there is.
The point is it’s too dangerous to give government the ability to force people based on the rather simple-minded idea that all mentally ill people are dangerous.