New York SAFE Act Gets a Mental Health Assessment - Yahoo! Voices - voices.yahoo.com
Lawmakers perhaps considered cases like that of Seung Hui Cho, who shot to death 32 people in a 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech. Cho had been judged mentally ill in a court procedure two years earlier, according to the Washington Post.
Yet Cho passed required background checks to obtain guns, according to CNN, because his mental health records were kept out of the gun check database. With the SAFE Act, New York state legislators made a half-hearted attempt to remedy that by obligating mental health professionals to report dangerously mentally ill patients to authorities.
Such persons would then be entered into a national gun database.
The defiant reaction of the mental health community was summed up in a Syracuse Post-Standard story quoting Dr. James Knoll, director of forensic psychiatry at New York's Upstate Medical University.
"We're being transformed into agents of the state and agents of government control," Knoll said.