The tragedy of the young Greenwich boy who shot himself two days ago should not be used as political grist, but his death did cause me to focus on one particular aspect of the new gun control laws being enacted across the country, including here in Connecticut, that will achieve the exact effect of what control advocates claim they seek to protect against, suicide.
Anti-gun legislators have imposed new laws requiring health professionals to report to the state anyone who is contemplating suicide. So anyone feeling suicidal, gun owner or not, is now faced with a choice: seek treatment, in which case he will be recorded in a permanent central registry as secure, the NSA and IRS scandals have shown, as the lowest-level governmental employee chooses to keep it, or “tough it out”. The head of Silverhill Psychiatric Hosital and its chief psychiatrist, each of whom supports the rest of the gun law, think this is crazy, a complaint that can be made about most of what passes for legislative solutions to the problem du jour, but the truth is there nonetheless.
It shouldn’t be too hard for even, say, an EMT to see why forcing a person considering suicide to choose between being permanently stigmatized and, in the case of gun owners, having his gun collection confiscated and thereafter barred from owning any, or declining to seek treatment and hoping the feelings will pass, may well cause more suicides, not reduce them.
Put in a way that might help that ambulance driver grasp the concept, suppose that a smoker, fearing he was suffering a heart attack, knew that the responding emergency crew would report him to the health authorities, who would then confiscate the cigarettes in his home and bar him from purchasing more for five years. How many smokers might decide not to call for help and hope that what they thought might be a heart attack was instead a mere case of indigestion?
Nanny Bloomberg would delight in forcing despicable, filthy smokers to make that choice and in fact, I’m surprised he hasn’t already enacted a law for it; those interested in saving the lives of heart attack victims might disagree.