Since the deinstitutionalization movement got under way in the 1970s, the mentally ill remain mentally ill, but now instead of living in warm, safe institutions, they live out on the streets, in homeless shelters and in soup kitchens, or drift back to their helpless families, occasionally showing up in "gun-free zones" to commit mass murder.
After the Virginia Tech shooting, an ABC poll showed that while Americans remained dubious about the effect of more gun control laws, 83 percent supported requiring states to provide information on the mentally ill for gun background checks.
Since then, the mentally deranged have continued committing mass shootings. There is still no way to prevent them from buying guns.
At the risk of joining the Republicans' circular firing squad when we ought to be fighting Democrats, here's how I think Republicans should be looking at things:
-- Pushing amnesty for illegal aliens: 80 percent of Americans ferociously oppose you.
-- Pointlessly opposing Obama's Cabinet nominees: 99 percent of Americans need a constant supply of NoDoz just to listen.
-- Staking out an Amnesty International position on a president's hypothetical ability to use a drone against an "American citizen" (named Anwar al-Awlaki) about to launch a devastating terrorist attack on U.S. soil: 70 percent of Americans are against you.
-- Opposing the Democrats' idiotic proposals on gun control: 60-70 percent of Americans support you, but the other 30 to 40 percent will hate you because they want to "Do Something."
-- Proposing the involuntary commitment of dangerous psychotics and implementing measures to prevent them from obtaining guns: 83 percent of Americans support you and will be furious at Democrats for trying to undercut such laws.
Liberals can't help themselves -- they're like Dr. Strangelove with the Nazi salute. The Democratic base will wail, "Who's to say who is crazy? Maybe we're the crazy ones!" and bleat about stigmatizing the mentally ill. Or, to quote Judge Sarokin, again: "[O]ne person's hay fever is another person's ambrosia."
Your choice, Republicans: Take positions that will make you extremely popular, reduce mass murder in America and simultaneously reveal the insanity of the Democratic Party, or keep prattling about topics of interest to no one. Take all the time you need. 2014 is a whole year away.