From: David Rholl
I was in total shock after reading Nathan Hansen’s article on the opinion page of the January 2, 2013, Winona Daily News. Evidently, he does not believe in researching facts before writing his opinions. What he blames the National Rifle Association for actually came from a “Statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Criminal Justices Information Services on November 25, 2011.” Included in the Statement was the problem that adequate information is not being provided to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, (NCIS). The NCIS prevents firearms from being transferred to persons that are criminals, drug users, illegal aliens, the dishonorably discharged, protective order persons, the mentally incompetent, etc. Any person wishing to buy a firearm from a dealer must go through this check. If the NCIS says “No,” there can be no sale. The problem of the NCIS not having up-to-date and adequate information is frequently due to states that maintain information privacy policies and/or claim inadequate manpower to respond.
Looking back at three previous shootings; The Representative Gabby Gifford’s shootings, The Virginia Tech shootings, the Colorado movie theater shootings: in each of these three cases the colleges attended by the shooters were aware of their respective shooter’s mental conditions. Although they all were certainly aware that their respective shooter had mental problems they took no actions to inform authorities. There may be some similarities in the Newtown shootings once all the information can and will be found. Failure to report adequate information may be due to the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act which prevents doctors, nurses and educational institutions from releasing any health information to anyone other than the person being seen. This information must be provided to the NCIS in order that they can keep firearms from reaching the hands of the wrong people. Information provided to the NCIS remains under their strict confidence. It does not go to some national register for all of us to see as Nathan Hansen claims. I hope that Nathan Hansen isn’t suggesting that a person with mental disabilities has the right to purchase and use firearms. I certainly believe he doesn’t know what he is writing about.