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Define 'mental illness'

Published: February 15, 2013
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“Coburn is working on gun-control legislation” (Tulsa World, Feb. 9) quoted U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn: “The whole goal is to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and criminals.” Placing restriction of guns linked to mental illness raises a big question: Will the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders trump the Bill of Rights? What is mental illness? One definition: “Any of various conditions characterized by impairment of an individual's normal cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning, and caused by social, psychological, biochemical, genetic, or other factors, such as infection or head trauma.” What is meant by “impaired” and “normal cognitive?” It's professional mumbo jumbo.

Coburn and Congress need to focus on these words in the Second Amendment: “shall not be infringed.”

Richard Prawdzienski, Edmond


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