The court has erred on gun rights before, the error unnoted. Scalia decreed in Heller that “felons and ‘the’ mentally ill” may not legally possess firearms. As entertained as we are by “the” mentally ill, it has no legal definition. It is broad caricature. Who among “the” mentally ill may not is the issue, and it is a discrete group, those whom a court of law designates as a danger to themselves or others because of a mental illness.
When Obama made his gaffe about the Special Olympics on the Tonight show, their advocates reached him before he reached his car. When Rahm Emanuel made his similar gaffe, the response from advocates he deprecated was immediate. To date no mental health advocate or advocacy has addressed Scalia’s error. No legal scholar has, and no law professor.
Why? We, every aspect of this society, continue to be entertained by this specific caricature.
Do lawyers really believe a “the” mentally ill exists? Do law professors? Do legal scholars? Journalists? They do, or their silence would not be so deafening. Do I? My voice is too small to be heard, but no, the caricature is offensive.
Harold A. Maio, retired Mental Health Editor
8955 Forest St
Ft Myers FL 33907