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Ask a Cop: Should gun owners pass a psychological?

Ask a Cop: Should gun owners pass a psychological?

By Officer Anonymous | Posted - Sep. 18, 2012 at 8:05 a.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY — Officer Anonymous, should gun owners have to pass a psychological?

There have been many stories recently of shootings involving persons with mental problems. Most of the major mass shootings seemed to have the suspects suffering from some mental illness. I often wondered if there should be a mechanism put in place as part of the gun-purchasing process that verifies the mental health of the person purchasing the weapon. Yes, I realize I'm talking about guns again, but I just love the comments and arguments!

James Holmes, accused of killing 12 people in Friday's shooting rampage in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater. His attorneys say Holmes is mentally ill and that he sought help from a psychiatrist. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool, File)
James Holmes, accused of killing 12 people in Friday's shooting rampage in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater. His attorneys say Holmes is mentally ill and that he sought help from a psychiatrist. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool, File)

Officers have to go through a stringent hiring process that includes a psychological examination. The same is true for federal agents. After these tests along with backgrounds and numerous other hiring steps, we are trained how to use a firearm and when to use it appropriately.

In this state, however, you too can carry a gun in an open carry setup just like law enforcement as long as you have the lofty qualifications of being of age and not convicted of domestic violence or a felony. This is where the gun advocates stomp and shout that I would like to take away guns and have the government control your lives. … I'll wait for the stomping of shoes and gnashing of teeth.

Now that the yelling and writing of letters to the editor are done, I'll continue. I'm merely suggesting an additional step to the firearm purchasing process. Now it may not be a quick step, but why are you in a hurry to buy a gun? Last-second Christmas gift? Forgot an anniversary and the wife really needs that pink Walther P22?

I suggested this idea in one of my lively gun debates, and the person I was arguing with stated that would just be another way “they” could control who purchased guns and who couldn't. They continued with “they” making it more difficult to overthrow said government. I was fairly certain this person wouldn't pass a psychological.

I do hear the “overthrow government” argument more than I think I should. I imagine this person saw "Red Dawn" one too many times and thinks his AR-15 and Desert Eagle are going to stand up against a tank or a drone firing Hellfire missiles. Wolverines!

The vast majority of gun owners are completely sane and responsible people and yes, why punish the many to stop the few? Isn't it worth another extra step to prevent mass shootings, murder-suicides and other horrible gun crimes? I am planning on purchasing a gun in a short time and would be happy to be the test case. It would be a bummer if I didn't pass.


We see no problem in tracking purchases of cough medicine and other ingredients in meth labs, but don't you dare monitor how many guns I own.

We gun owners seem to be so afraid that at any moment the government can swoop in and take all our guns that we squash any ideas involving regulating the sale, manufacture and enforcement of guns. We see no problem in tracking purchases of cough medicine and other ingredients in meth labs, but don't you dare monitor how many guns I own.

Since I've already got people in a lather, why don't we have a database that shows guns owned by what person? People always argue that cars are much more dangerous than guns, yet we have to register our cars. It would be good to know if a person just got out of court and immediately attempted to purchase a gun. Registering guns would also hold owners responsible who sold their guns to criminals in the black market.

The common argument is that the criminals don't have to follow the laws, they get guns through other means. Well, if every gun is registered, we will know where they got it. I have been looking back through a few of the recent shootings, and most of the suspects appeared to have obtained and possessed the guns lawfully.

In Utah, we have had many individuals walking around with open carry weapons around malls and theaters. Should I still feel safe and hope you are a sane person? If you are that person, should you really be offended if police approach you with guns drawn?

Ask a Cop:
Got a question for Officer Anonymous?
Send you inquiry or question for Officer Anonymous to askacop@ksl.com.

Gun owners are shooting themselves in the foot by not assisting in thinking of new ways to prevent these horrible crimes from happening. They should do this instead of regurgitating the same statements that more people should carry, an armed citizen is a safe citizen, and cops aren't always around so you've got to protect yourself. Would you say that to the family of one of the victims from the Aurora shootings?

I would like to see who can offer me the best explanation on why we shouldn't require a psychological and registering your gun purchase.

This column is my own opinion and does not represent the feelings of any department or government. Any information from me or this should not be considered legal advice and should be taken as entertainment.

Officer Anonymous

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