A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
- Second Amendment to the United States Constitution
But the same progressives who advocate gun control also oppose the involuntary incarceration of mentally ill people who, in the case of these mass shootings, posed obvious dangers to society before they committed their horrendous acts of violence. From the point of view of the progressives who oppose involuntary incarceration of the mentally ill – you can thank the ACLU and like-minded organizations – it is better to disarm the entire population, and deprive them of their constitutional freedoms, than to incarcerate a few mentally ill persons who are prone to engage in violent crimes.
In any troubled relationship between the powerful and the less powerful, like the relationship between a repressive totalitarian government and a dissident citizen, or between parents and a gay teenager, or between husband and wife in a patriarchal society, the language and ideas of psychiatry and mental health practice are open to abuse as a form of social control. In these instances, the mechanism of involuntary commitment is also open to abuse as a way to confine those who are threatening to the social or political order.
- Alicia Curtis, “Involuntary Commitment,” in Bad Subjects, Issue #58, December 2001. (Click here for full article.)