IMO, there should be some sort of background check that includes the "candidate's" (mental) health records and that should then be piggybacked with a licensed mental health professional's interview and evaluation and/or references that include prior bosses and/or teachers.
Oh wait...that example was the Trolley Square shooting. Huh.Kenneth K. Hammond, who was at the mall for an early Valentine’s Day dinner with his wife, said he first thought the sound of gunfire was construction noise but drew his gun and told his wife to call 911 when he realized what was happening.
“I’ve been in situations before where I’ve had to chase a guy who was pointing a gun at me,” Hammond, 33, said Tuesday from the Ogden police headquarters where he works.
Hammond, who fired on Talovic, is being credited with drawing the gunman’s attention until other officers could reach the scene. Talovic was killed, although it was unclear which officer fired the fatal shot, police said.
“I feel like I was there and did what I had to do,” Hammond said.
Seems like we have already tried the "more guns" approach. (there are more guns in this country than ever before) That doesn't seem to be working.
We have already tried the "figure out and help mental health issues" approach. (There are more people on paxil, prozac, zanex, etc etc, and also more people seeing psychiatrists/counselors than ever before).
So maybe we should try the "less guns approach". Maybe it wouldn't work but its worth a try.
I wonder if it was a proven fact and guarantee that getting rid of guns would save lots of lives, if gun owners would even be willing to give them up.... it seems like most gun owners love thier guns so much that even if they knew losing thier guns would save lives, they still would choose to hold on to them.
And I think you are being far too confident in the ability to use testing, training, and examinations to determine whether people would be safe or unsafe gun carriers. If you think mental exams would have stopped any of the school shooters from owning, I'll bet you're wrong -- most of these people are quite mentally sound. On the other side of the coin, many cops have frozen or acted unpredictably when situations arose, despite extensive training. The lines between "professional" and "joe schmoe" aren't as clear as you're making them out to be.
As far the off-duty officer in this example, he later served 90 days for failing to control his "gun" with two separate minors, and resigned amid harassment claims from others at work as well as "use of excessive force" in on-duty situations. So if "makes good decisions" or "uses good judgment" or "exhibits control" or "doesn't lose temper" or "good guy" is among your criteria for ownership or carrying, he probably should have been eliminated.
As for other "strong" examples, use the internets. There are plenty. They don't get as much pub or don't stick in your memory as much because generally dozens of people don't die. It's impossible to know what would have happened at Trolley Square had Hammond not been there, but reports indicate between a minute and 1:15 between the time he got involved and the time help arrived. Not too hard to imagine what an armed man in a crowded mall could do in that time.
Also, off topic: Anyone know why i can no longer put spaces between my sentences/paragraphs? Like when i hit enter a few times to make a gap between paragraphs then i post the reply, everything is bunched together.