We’ve seen a lot of hysterical posturing coming out of the very tragic Newton massacre. Most of them have been extreme in limiting access to guns by sane, responsible people. This one is from an uncle of one of the victims. It is reasoned and attacks the actual cause of the killings, an insane and violent person. I wish it had run in a mainstream newspaper. I found it on Breitbart who links to a Bloomberg news article, In Little Noah’s honor, sensible gun legislation,
This is what the uncle proposes:
He had sent a memorandum to the White House task force on gun violence on behalf of Noah’s mother, brother, sister and seven other family members. It included a number of novel proposals. One is a new reporting requirement: If you have “knowledge of a grave and imminent threat of serious physical harm” that someone else has made, and “reasonable cause to believe” that person has access to a gun or bomb, you would have a legal requirement to inform a law-enforcement agency.
As you may be able to tell, Haller is a lawyer. He points out that 18 states require any person who suspects that child abuse or neglect is going on to notify the authorities. There’s no reason in principle, he argues, to say that a legal obligation should exist in those cases but not when you have reason to believe that someone plans to shoot up a school.
In the memo, not making the call would be a misdemeanor with a penalty of as much as six months of confinement. Again, though, Haller draws a parallel to the child-abuse reporting requirement: People are rarely prosecuted for not observing it. The laws have, nonetheless, helped to shape a valuable norm.
A second proposed statute would establish a standard for securing firearms. Someone who has “reasonable cause to believe” that he has made a gun accessible to a person who is mentally ill and considered dangerous, or otherwise poses a grave and imminent danger to others, would be guilty of a misdemeanor, and maybe even a felony, if that dangerous person gets the gun.
Noah Pozner’s family also proposes that the government fund school-security reviews and upgrades, and augment emergency grief counseling.
Read it all, I find it the most logical and compelling case I have seen proposed since that event. In other words it puts in legalese what many of us have been saying all along.