Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Texas church shooter was an escaped mental patient so he was ineligible to buy a gun. Really? One reporter writes the story, every news outlet repeats it using exactly the same words: “Involuntary commitment to a mental institution would have been grounds to deny him . . . .” Yes, it would have been, if that’s what had happened. Was it?
Here’s the federal form to buy a gun. Question 11f is the relevant question. The instructions on the following page make clear that visiting a mental health institution, or working in one, or having a relative in one, or even being held in one pending trial, is NOT a disqualifying event. There must be an adjudication by a court that a person suffers from mental illness and is a danger to himself or others. “Adjudication” means a hearing before a judge with an opportunity to present witnesses in your own defense – a competency hearing. At this point, I see no evidence that happened to this guy.
Reporters breathlessly scooping each other; commentators expounding upon the implications of false premises; politicians waving the bloody shirt as provocation; and not one of them actually knows what they’re talking about. No wonder our national conversation on such a serious topic is indistinguishable from white noise.
And half the electorate thinks that the media is putting out intelligent, balanced “journalism”.