As long as citizens have a right to bear arms, I understand the quandary faced by law-enforcement personnel and gun-control advocates when considering gun-ownership restrictions on the mentally ill. After all, those suffering from mental illness retain all other rights. The very rise of the Tea Party can be attributed to the right of sociopaths to vote. Nor do we strip Second Amendment rights from those suffering from other diseases. Of course, diabetics seldom receive homicidal directives from their toasters.
What struck me, though, in today's top news article, "When the Right to Bear Arms Includes the Mentally Ill," was the amount of weaponry amassed by the mentally ill: 18 rifles and shotguns; an SKS assault rifle and two handguns; 16 guns belonging to a veteran with PTSD. I understand people wanting to own a gun for self-defense. But maybe we could adopt a common-sense approach towards allowing mentally ill people to arm themselves: If the number of guns owned seems like a symptom of a mental illness--to wit, hoarding--then maybe it's time for the authorities to step in?