Back in the U.S.S.R

by Michael Walsh

One thing about the fascist Left: Like really bad poker players, they always telegraph their intentions well in advance. The only problem is that the Stupid Party doesn’t see them coming until it’s way too late. So, as a public service, let me offer this simple arithmetical proposition and see if Sen Toomey and the rest of the bipartisanship fetishists in the mushy middle can add one plus one plus one and get three’s charm.

First, this report from Bridget Johnson at PJ Media, about a bright idea recently hatched in the head of the son of the sitting Vice President:

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden said the next step in gun-control is going to be expanding the definition of those deemed mentally unfit to own a gun.

“One of the things that we’re going to be focusing on in Delaware, including pursuing a background — universal background check which we passed in one — in one House, in the House of Representatives in our state legislature two weeks ago. Moving forward to the state Senate,” Biden said Friday on MSNBC.

“But the other piece that we’re going to be introducing next week is another part of our package. And that is expanding and broadening the category of folks who have a mental health issue that we believe should prohibit them from possessing a firearm,” he added.

That’s a good thing, right? I mean, who could possibly object to keeping crazy people away from firearms — especially when (as liberals see it) certain inanimate firearms themselves have the magical capacity to turn sane people nutty? In any case, there will be plenty of safeguards:

“We’re going to introduce legislation next week that says that if you are believed to be a risk to yourself or to others by your health care professional, that that health care professional would have an obligation to report that fact to a police agency who then would initiate a process to — to make sure that you do not possess a firearm,” said the vice president’s son.

“You would have due process rights and you have a judicial proceeding. But to make sure that those people who are mentally ill, that doctors believe shouldn’t be in possession of a weapon, don’t have them,” Biden continued. “Only 1300 people in 2010, for instance, were prohibited from possessing firearms because they were adjudicated mentally ill. This will broaden that category of people. We’ll have due process built into it. It will be constitutional and I think save lives, ultimately.”

Good idea — let’s adjudicate more folks as mentally ill, because obviously we don’t have enough of them. But what about that civil-liberty-threatening, “health care professional would have an obligation to report” bit? Shouldn’t that make us just a tiny bit nervous — especially in light of the president’s series of executive orders about guns in January, two of which helpfully stated:#more#

Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

Nah, sniffed The Atlantic at the time:

Those freaking out about Obama’s executive order should know that it doesn’t give doctors any new rights to report credible threats of violence—nor does it create new requirements for them to monitor patients prone to gun violence. Doctors have been expected to report potentially violent patients to law enforcement going back to 1976, when the Supreme Court of California decided in Tarasoff v. Board of Regents of the University of California that physicians have a legal obligation to break confidentiality when patients outline specific threats against specific parties.

So it’s just screaming lunatics we’re talking about here? The flagrant abuse of psychiatry as a tool to control or eliminate political opposition could never happen here, right? But then along comes this little news item:

Beware the DSM-5, the soon-to-be-released fifth edition of the “psychiatric bible,” the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. The odds will probably be greater than 50 percent, according to the new manual, that you’ll have a mental disorder in your lifetime.

Although fewer than 6 percent of American adults will have a severe mental illness in a given year, according to a 2005 study, many more—more than a quarter each year—will have some diagnosable mental disorder. That’s a lot of people. Almost 50 percent of Americans (46.4 percent to be exact) will have a diagnosable mental illness in their lifetimes, based on the previous edition, the DSM-IV. And the new manual will likely make it even “easier” to get a diagnosis.

Ready, class? One, two . . .