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Kerik: La. Shooting to Spur More Debate on Guns and Mental Health

By    |   Friday, 24 July 2015 08:56 PM

Kerik: La. Shooting to Spur More Debate on Guns and Mental Health
The shooting at a movie theater in Louisiana that killed two people and injured nine others is guaranteed to ignite yet another debate over people with mental-health issues obtaining guns, former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik told Newsmax TV on Friday.

"These are the things that you have no handle for," he told "The Hard Line" guest host Ric Blackwell. "Unless somebody files a report and somebody gets some intelligence or lets you know in advance that this kind of thing is going to happen, there's no telling.

"He has a restraining order," Kerik said, referring to the shooter, John Russel Houser, 59, who killed himself after firing up at a Lafayette movie theater Thursday night. "Where'd the gun come from? Was it legally purchased? Was it purchased after the restraining order?"

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"These are all things that people are going to look at — and it's also going to bring the light this constant conversation of gun control and who gets guns, how they get them, where they get them, and is it justified for them to have them?"

But even if someone "acting suspiciously" was tipped to law enforcement, authorities could easily be wary of approaching them because of political pressure by legislators and community activists, said Gregory Gilbertson, a criminal justice professor at Centralia College.

"Officers are becoming more and more reluctant to do that because they're not receiving the support from their local politicians that they really need to engage in proactive policing," he told Blackwell.

This may even be the case when informing the public about persons with restraining orders or other domestic issues, Kerik added.

"We live in a world that has become so — everybody wants to be politically correct. The bottom line is if you see something, you should say something.

"How many of these incidents, how many of these cases have we seen where once they've happened, people look back and they go: 'Oh yeah, this guy, he was locked in his room. He closed up his windows. He obviously had mental-health issues.

"In this case, a restraining order from 2008," Kerik said. "Who knows what he was doing there from that point on.

"But at the end of the day, in many of these cases, people realize there are problems, but they don't come forward and tell anyone — and that is where we are lacking."

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The shooting at a movie theater in Louisiana that killed two people and injured nine others is guaranteed to ignite yet another debate over people with mental-health issues obtaining guns, former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik told Newsmax TV on Friday.
louisiana, theater, shooting, guns, mental, health, bernard kerik
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2015-56-24
Friday, 24 July 2015 08:56 PM
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