"Your name in the National Instant Check System
Right now, many liberals and conservatives are pushing to have the "dangerously mentally ill" put in to the National Instant Check System (NICS) to prevent them from buying guns. Liberals may like it because it's one more step in stripping their political enemies of rights and power, whom they often define as "sick" or "in need of help". Conservatives assuredly like it because it redirects the political heat, justified or not, they are taking for mass shootings. The targeted group is rarely in a position to fight back. Getting committed to an institution, wrongfully or not, is so shocking and humiliating that most who are would hesitate ever to bring it up again.
But few are asking if this really targets those likely to commit violence, or if it so overreaches in the scope of destroying civil rights and social position, that the harm it does will be decades in the making and continuation. As one commentator on NPR noted, private attorneys are considered "officers of the court" who can get even HIPPA medical information. Very handy for divorce cases. NICS information will likely have even less restrictions. So your prospective employer or apartment manager may contract a law firm who checks NICS for your name. If the employer or manager doesn't just pass you over out of hand, how would you answer the question, "Why is your name in NICS?"
So, who deserves to be in NICS? Would it be the people who in your name have served and actually killed in war, and come back with depression and PTSD? If not, why should people who have merely suffered abuse and trauma, producing the same ills, and not killed anyone? Back in the 1990s, the Houston Chronicle ran a long series of articles by Mark Smith detailing how psychiatric hospitals falsely committed tens of thousands of people in Texas, just to drain their health insurance. It was so widespread that Congress held hearings and found that psychiatric hospitals targeted military families, who had relatively rich medical benefits. It got so bad the hospitals were paying bounty hunters to pretend to be public officials and drag healthy people in off the street. Do those people deserve to be in NICS?
Here in Tulsa, the Tulsa Center for Behavioral Health, with the Tulsa County District Court and District Attorney, can and have accepted any allegation that someone with a mental illness has been threatening as proven fact. Whereupon, the staff of TCBH gets to tell the Court who has to have treatment. Never mind the personal benefit and conflict of interest that would never stand in any criminal proceeding. It's a handy way to dispose of anyone with a history of trauma or abuse that you don't like. Do the people who have been wrongfully accused and then committed to justify the jobs at TCBH deserve to be in NICS?
According to Oklahoma law, any bigot with a badge can drag someone off to TCBH. The State Police had brought in one woman who had stopped in front of them to pay a toll. She was eccentric and non-violent, professing to be Christian Scientist and Scientologist, refusing all medication, and often seen walking down the hall with a bible and speaking angrily to herself. From personal experience in talking to one's self, I can suspect that she had been abused in some way and was still trying to work it out. Do people like her deserve to be in NICS?
From past history and current medical research, we can expect that institutions and courts involuntarily commit 15 to 50 harmless and innocent people for every dangerous person set free. Do they really deserve to be in NICS? And given the past history of psychiatric institution excesses and corruption, not to mention Medicare fraud, what makes you think that it can never happen to you? All you need is one bad reaction to an allergen or medication, or heat exhaustion, that disorients you and temporarily makes you act odd, so that some bigot feels (or claims to feel) threatened. Under Oklahoma law, the defines you as "in need of treatment", because your alleged mental illness can always be "evaluated" after the fact, by people who would benefit from your commitment. You all have some kind of mental illness, just ask most any psychiatrist.
If all these other people deserve to be in NICS, what about you? After all, do you really believe that God was going to call Oral Roberts home if he didn't get that million dollars? Or that the only evil in the world is defined by what the media find newsworthy?"