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News & Current Events Discuss Murderous 'monster' acquires an arsenal at the General Forum; They knew the house far too well. It was where Christian Philip Oberender, then 14 years old, had murdered his ...

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Old 01-23-2013, 10:32 AM
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Post Murderous 'monster' acquires an arsenal

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They knew the house far too well. It was where Christian Philip Oberender, then 14 years old, had murdered his mother in a shotgun ambush in the family rec room in 1995.

Now, 18 years later, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson was sending his deputies back to the home where Oberender still lives. Just two days earlier, Olson had scanned the day's shift reports and froze when he tripped over Oberender's name. A scan of a Facebook page then showed firearms spread out like a child's trophies on a bed inside the home, along with notes about the Newtown, Conn., gunman who shot 20 children to death.

What Olson's deputies found in the home in Watertown Township was chilling: 13 guns, including semi-automatic rifles, an AK-47, a Tommy gun, assorted shotguns and handguns, including a .50-caliber Desert Eagle.

Even more disturbing was the letter Oberender had written recently to his late mother, Mary: "I am so homicide,'' it said in broken sentences. "I think about killing all the time. The monster want out. He only been out one time and someone die.''

Today, Oberender sits in a Carver County jail cell on a charge of being a felon in possession of firearms. And Olson, who investigated the 1995 murder as a young detective, finds his investigators at the center of a case that exposes the dangerous loopholes in the nation's gun laws and Minnesota's system of criminal background checks.

Even though Oberender killed his mother with a firearm, even though he was committed to the state hospital in St. Peter as mentally ill and dangerous more than a decade ago, he was able to obtain a permit to purchase firearms last May. That piece of paper gave Oberender, now 32, the ability to walk into any licensed Minnesota retailer and buy any assault weapon or pistol on the rack.

Dozens of other Minnesotans judged by a court to be mentally ill have also found that designation no barrier to obtaining deadly weapons.

A Star Tribune review of state court records found case after case in which individuals deemed mentally ill in judicial proceedings later wound up in possession of guns and accused of violent crimes.

At least 84 people have been charged since 2000 with illegal gun possession or assault with a dangerous weapon even though they had previously been committed by a judge as mentally ill. Of that group, 29 were charged with multiple counts of weapons possession and nine were considered by a judge to be mentally ill and dangerous.

Additionally, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has more than 168,000 "suspense files'' -- records on Minnesotans who have been arrested since 1990 but whose files are so incomplete that the state can't determine if they should have the right to buy guns.

"The system failed in this case,'' Olson said in an interview. "We are having discussions with the BCA to make sure there aren't similar things like this hanging out there.''
Murderous 'monster' acquires an arsenal | StarTribune.com

Can we at least agree that something needs to be done regarding mentally ill people and weapon possession?

Or can I count on the same arguments that have just as much (or as little) legitimacy on this aspect?
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: Murderous 'monster' acquires an arsenal

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Originally Posted by foundit66 View Post
Murderous 'monster' acquires an arsenal | StarTribune.com

Can we at least agree that something needs to be done regarding mentally ill people and weapon possession?

Or can I count on the same arguments that have just as much (or as little) legitimacy on this aspect?
I agree that something should be done to help prevent mentally ill people from comitting violent acts. A registry of mentally ill people with violent histories could be helpful.
Here is the problem: Who decides what people are mentally ill enough that we should take away their rights? In my opinion the person would need to have a documented history of violence, otherwise we are punishing people for what we think they might do instead of what they've done.
Opening the NICS system to everybody so that background checks could be done on private sales would also be helpful.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: Murderous 'monster' acquires an arsenal

WTF new law are you going to pass? Everything he did was already illegal.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:47 AM
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Post Re: Murderous 'monster' acquires an arsenal

Sadly, the significance of the act (on the overall issue) would be limited.
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"Only 4 to 5 percent of violent crimes are committed by people with mental illness," Jeste said. "About one quarter of all Americans have a mental disorder in any given year, and only a very small percentage of them will ever commit violent crimes."
NRA Takes Fire for Stance on Mental Illness - ABC News

But at the same time, I would hope it would be an obvious something that should be done.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:52 AM
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Post Re: Murderous 'monster' acquires an arsenal

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Originally Posted by lurch907 View Post
I agree that something should be done to help prevent mentally ill people from comitting violent acts. A registry of mentally ill people with violent histories could be helpful.
Here is the problem: Who decides what people are mentally ill enough that we should take away their rights? In my opinion the person would need to have a documented history of violence, otherwise we are punishing people for what we think they might do instead of what they've done.
Opening the NICS system to everybody so that background checks could be done on private sales would also be helpful.
I think the obvious answer to your question would be the mental health professionals. The standards to invoke could easily be discussed and debated (e.g. depression => not a problem / schizophrenic => barred from gun ownership), but I am trying to determine if we can agree to ANY existing standard in the first place.

And this would be a "No" then for you...


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WTF new law are you going to pass? Everything he did was already illegal.
So I'll put you down for another no?
1) It was illegal because he was a felon.
The fact that he was mentally ill had absolutely no bearing on the issue.
If he had fantasies about killing his mother, told to his therapist who had deemed him mentally ill, yet he hadn't committed the crime yet...
The current law would have no say on him buying a gun to do the deed.

2) Enforcement of the law is a huge issue that comes to mind.
It's pointless to pass a law that has no teeth. That people can just ignore like it wasn't even there.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:07 AM
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Default Re: Murderous 'monster' acquires an arsenal

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Originally Posted by lurch907 View Post
Here is the problem: Who decides what people are mentally ill enough that we should take away their rights?
How about the same people who have the power to decide that you're mentally ill enough to be locked up?

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Old 01-23-2013, 11:47 AM
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Default Re: Murderous 'monster' acquires an arsenal

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Originally Posted by foundit66 View Post
Murderous 'monster' acquires an arsenal | StarTribune.com

Can we at least agree that something needs to be done regarding mentally ill people and weapon possession?

Or can I count on the same arguments that have just as much (or as little) legitimacy on this aspect?
That is absolutely chilling
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Murderous 'monster' acquires an arsenal

It is really difficult to determine who is mentally ill in such a way that they can be barred from owning fire arms. The case in the OP is so blatently obvious but most are not that clear cut. There are real issues of privacy in maintaining any kind of registry or database and unless a person is hospitalized, there is no official record. The unintended consequence of this could also mean fewer people willing to seek treatment.

In another thread somewhere - a poster mentioned Israel's system. They have strict gun control but a high proportion of gun owners and if I remember right, anyone who wants a gun undergoes psychiatric testing. The difficulty here though, is in our country it's a right and I don't believe that is the case in Israel.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: Murderous 'monster' acquires an arsenal

So most people with mental problems don't commit gun violence yet you don't want them to have guns? Maybe it's the sane ones we should watch out for?
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:30 PM
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Default Re: Murderous 'monster' acquires an arsenal

Quote:
Even though Oberender killed his mother with a firearm, even though he was committed to the state hospital in St. Peter as mentally ill and dangerous more than a decade ago, he was able to obtain a permit to purchase firearms last May.
That sounds 100% administrative to me...

If he applied for a permit to purchase firearms, and the person(s) in charge of granting them didn't bother to look up Oberender's past history...or even worse, looked it up and gave the permit anyway...Then I don't see how anyone can blame someone other than the person(s) representing the state and their failing to properly conduct research on the history of the person applying...

Quote:
"The system failed in this case,'' Olson said in an interview. "We are having discussions with the BCA to make sure there aren't similar things like this hanging out there.''
That's the whole story in a nutshell...WAAAAAAAY down in the article...

But the editors decided "arsenal" needed to be in the headlines...Saying ill of "the system" up there where it belongs doesn't push their agenda...
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