NIU

Posted by Mike Merritt in Society on

Well, now I’m glad I waited a day to do this.  As time goes on, more details are coming out.

Yesterday, I would found it interesting that somebody would just go off killing people for no reason.  Even if there’s no mental illness, there has to be an incident that would make a person just snap.

Today, however, more is coming out.  Lets take a look at some choice quotes:

Meanwhile, the AP reported that Kazmierczak’s parents had placed him in a Chicago psychiatric treatment center after high school. A former employee of the center said Kazmierczak habitually cut himself and wouldn’t take his medication, according to the AP.

Surely, any time somebody has ever been in a psychiatric treatment facility, this should be examined before giving somebody a gun license?  Now, the media might be sensationalizing this (it’s what media often does), but I am increasingly of the feeling that people under current psychiatric treatment (as he appears to have been, even outside the facility) should not be getting access to guns.

Now, before all the “no law shall prohibit ownership of a gun” crowd comes to hunt me down (no pun intended), hear me out.  Look, people are in psychiatric treatment for a reason.  They’ve got something going on that doesn’t make them dangerous necessarily, but they can put dangerous thoughts in their heads.  Sounds simplistic, I know, but the point I’m trying to make is that when you have someone with a history of self-harm, putting a gun in their hands may not be the best choice one can make.  So, lets continue…

University Police Chief Donald Grady said Friday that there were no “red flags” suggesting Kazmierczak was dangerous or disturbed.

Now, I definitely don’t fault the police chief, here.  He’s not lying, I think, because during this time that Kazimerczak was a student, he was on his meds.  To the outside world, everything was peachy.  This guy didn’t have a mental illness to them, and it showed.  All the media reports show he was a model student, and quite the scholar.  And so people can go on to lead normal lives, even with a mental illness, if they’re continuing with proper treatment.   Then he stopped for some reason…

People close to him have told police he was taking medication but had stopped and had become “somewhat erratic” in the last couple of weeks, Grady said, not specifying what the medication was.

Again, no fault of the police chief here, because who are they to know this kind of thing?  Unless Kazimerczak was acting in a dangerous way, they wouldn’t have known.  Similarly, “erratic” is a bit vague.  When I don’t have some of my asthma medication, and less oxygen is getting to my brain, I also do some things I’d consider “erratic.”  Am I dangerous?  Surely not.  So, I can see this one going two ways, depending on what erratic behaviors he was exhibiting.  The story seems to suggest that it was something that should have concerned people, but they were also saying yesterday that he had no signs of mental illness, and that’s since been smashed.

So, the questions are:

1) What was he doing after stopping his meds, and if it was concerning those who knew him, did they say anything about it?

2) I’m unsure of the laws of Illinois, but do they do background checks on mental illness?  If not, they should.

2a). If they do checks on history of mental illness, did he show up?  If not, why not?

3) What is considered the line for unacceptable granting of a gun license in Illinois?

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