Steve Kazmierczak, who killed five at Northern Illinois University last week before killing himself, reportedly spent more than a year in a mental health facility for psychological problems during and after high school. He might also have been discharged from the military for psychological reasons. But he was able to buy several guns in the months prior to the shootings.
Are gun laws still too lax in identifying people with a history of mental illness?
In the wake of the Virginia Tech killings, Congress passed a law tightening mental health screening for guns. But the law only targets people who have been legally committed to a mental institution or program.
A new Illinois gun law that takes effect this summer will require medical personnel to report patients who exhibit â€œsuicidal, threatening or assaultive behavior.â€
Some kind of higher standard seems reasonable. Everyone has an interest in keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.