Pushes for more involuntary commitments, red flag gun laws in response to mass shootings face plenty of hurdles | Local News

Second Amendment

After high-profile mass shootings, calls to focus on mental health — including passing more red flag gun confiscation laws and expanding involuntary commitment statutes — have become as frequent as pushes for increased gun control.

“It’s about mental health” has become a common refrain after shootings.

Mental Health

Close to 27,000 Americans committed suicide last year with firearms — accounting for close to 57% of all gun deaths and 54% of all suicides, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.


Danvers State Hospital in Massachusetts was built in 1871 and served as a mental hospital and asylum until 1992. Mental health systems are still dealing with contemporary stigmas, access to care barriers and historical mistreatments and horror stories associated with “lunatic asylums.”

Bellevue Hospital

Bellevue Hospital in New York City is the oldest public hospital in the U.S. and is probably the country’s most notable mental hospital via frequent references in movies and books as well as on television shows.

Red Flag Laws

Crosses placed to honor the victims of the shootings at Robb Elementary School in 2002, in Uvalde, Texas. An Associated Press analysis found many U.S. states barely use the red flag laws touted as the most powerful tool to stop gun violence before it happens.

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