Submitted By tabbycat
The Journal of Legal Medicine, 33:171–199 Copyright C 2012 American College of Legal Medicine 0194-7648 print / 1521-057X online DOI: 10.1080/01947648.2012.657993
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
A 50-STATE SURVEY EXPLORING FEDERAL AND STATE FIREARM REGULATIONS RELATED TO MENTAL HEALTH
The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and this without any qualiﬁcation as to their condition or degree, as is the case in the British government. This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty . . . . The right of self-defense is the ﬁrst law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to conﬁne this right within the narrowest limits possible. Whenever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.1
INTRODUCTION On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho went on a murderous rampage at Virginia Tech University, slaughtering 32 people before turning his gun on himself.2 Cho had previously been diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder and declared mentally ill in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County.3 At the time of the shooting, Virginia law prohibited the “purchase, possession, or transportation of any ﬁrearm by any person adjudicated ‘legally incompetent,’ ‘mentally incapacitated,’ or ‘incapacitated,’ whose competency or capacity [had] not been
law student at Southern Illinois University. Address correspondence to Mr. Sterzer at Southern Illinois University School of Law, Law Journal Ofﬁce, Lesar Law Building, Carbondale, IL 62901, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. 1 ST. GEORGE TUCKER, BLACKSTONE’S COMMENTARIES ON THE LAWS OF ENGLAND (1803), available at http:// www2.law.ucla.edu/volokh/2amteach/ sources.htm#TOC7. 2 VIRGINIA TECH REVIEW...