Erik, I don’t advocate violating HIPPA laws per say as I’m a large proponent of minimal government interference in personal freedoms (to a degree obviously based on regulations that affect moral welfare as I’ve shown in this article I’ve written). However, in medical care we quarantine and isolate those with infectious diseases. When Ebola broke out in Dallas a while back, names got released and quarentines were in place. This is for the common good obviously. What I’m proposing is that counselors, social workers, and clinicians are able to report a client to a system that flags them were they go to buy a gun. So, let’s a say a woman with mental health issues wants to buy a gun. When she goes to buy the weapon and they perform a standard background check, it flags her in the system. From there, the dealer only knows that she’s flagged in the system and he cannot legally sell her a weapon. Her private information remains between her and her counselor. I would never advocate having weapons dealers being able to spot mental health issues, so not sure where that was implied in the story.
In regards to those who don’t have access to mental health resources, therein lies the problem. Or as one person stated on my Facebook “If I got flagged and couldn’t buy a weapon because I went to a counselor and am struggling I wouldn’t go to a counselor because I loose my freedoms.” Those are both problems that I don’t have a solution to, but as I stated in the article, it wouldn’t fix everything but be a start. Far too often we seek to fix everything all at once and get nowhere, and we forget this simple fact: small seeds grow into big trees. I’m proposing we start where we can with infrastructure we have in place that isn’t a stretch.