In South Dakota, the lunatics don't just run the asylum; they arm it.
Rep. Bernie Hunhoff (D-18/Yankton) brings House Bill 1180 to the House Health and Human Services Committee. Hunhoff's original plan was to have the Yankton County Board of Mental Health review the records of all patients of the Human Services Center upon release, ascertain whether they were dangerous, and prohibit the dangerous characters from possessing firearms. Then Rep. Hunhoff pared HB 1188 down to subject only dangerous folks who are involuntarily committed for mental illness to loss of their right to buy or possess a gun.
The Department of Social Services, the state sheriffs association, and the court system all lined up at committee to say this narrow bill was good public safety legislation.
But for Republican Rep. Leslie Heinemann (District 8, pay attention!), Blaine Campbell, Manny Steele, Scott Ecklund, Jenna Haggar, and Melissa Magstadt, telling dangerous lunatics they can't carry a gun is just too much. Because dangerous lunatics are key to fighting crime and stopping tyranny, those six legislators voted against the amended HB 1188 in committee yesterday.
Ugh. Virginia passed legislation like this after the 2007 Virginia tech shooting. Maryland is taking up legislation like this now. The only reason to oppose this bill is the paranoid fantasy that we Democrats are going to take over the government and every county mental health board and lock all of you Republicans up in mental wards...
...for which, when you make crazy votes to protect the ability of dangerous, mentally ill people to carry guns, we might be able to make a provable case.