Sunday, December 16, 2012

Madness, Deinstitutionalization and Murder

From Clayton Cramer's research paper at The Federalist Society (via Althouse):
Studies in New York and Connecticut from the 1920s through the 1940s showed a much lower arrest rate for the mentally ill. In an era when involuntary commitment was relatively easy, those who were considered a danger to themselves or others would be hospitalized at the first signs of serious mental illness. The connection between insanity and crime was apparent, and the society took a precautionary approach. Mentally ill persons who were not hospitalized were those not considered a danger to others. This changed as deinstitutionalization took effect.
Be sure to read it all. For example:
Patrick Purdy, a mentally ill drifter, used his Social Security Disability payments to buy guns, while having a series of run-ins with the law. After one suicide attempt in jail in 1987, a mental health evaluation concluded that he was “a danger to his health and others.” In January 1989, Purdy went onto a schoolyard in Stockton, California with an AK-47 rifle, murdered five children and wounded twenty-nine others, before taking his own life.
Lots more examples like that at the link, but Purdy's is interesting. His crimes led to the passage of the federal assault weapons ban in 1994 (which expired in 2004). The left always uses these horrific killings to take away guns, and the media's working hard now to exploit Sandy Hook for the same purposes. See: "Media Sets Gun Control Narrative, Shuts Down Mental Health Debate."

  RELATED: At The Other McCain, "Guns Don’t Kill People …"