Monday, October 27, 2014

Dennis Saffran notes that the New York Times has apparently discovered its support for the second amendment. It seems it's not easy enough for mentally ill persons to keep and bear arms, and this is anathema to the Times.

The tone and prominence of Sunday's article suggest that the Times has decided that its support for expansive rights for the mentally ill trumps its support for expansive gun-control legislation. Speaking favorably for what must be the first time of "the right to bear arms" (without a single harrumph about a well-regulated militia), the Times frets that the provision has denied this right to 34,500 "people with mental health issues," though it notes that only 278 of them actually had gun permits. Trotting out its usual talking points about the rights of the mentally ill (rather than its usual talking points about gun control), the Times quotes unnamed "advocates" and "experts" who warn that such laws "stigmatize people with mental illnesses" and "discourage patients from seeking help." They lecture us that "the vast majority of people with mental illnesses are not violent." [...]

While the Times blasted the Heller decision as "wrongheaded and dangerous" (and sure to "cost innocent lives, cause immeasurable pain and suffering and turn America into a more dangerous country") for recognizing a limited individual Second Amendment right, it now appears to lament the failure to fully extend to the mentally ill what it would deny to everyone else. Such are the perils of knee-jerk orthodoxy.


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