Should Social Security Have A Role In Preventing Gun Violence?
There seems to be widespread agreement that it would be best to keep guns out of the hands of those who are severely mentally ill. The problem is identifying those who are severely mentally ill. If only there were some government agency that had a database of people suffering from severe mental illness. I think I know of such a government agency. Social Security has a database of those who are drawing disability benefits and they are further identified in that database by primary diagnosis. I don't think that current Social Security policies allow data sharing for the purposes of keeping firearms out of the hands of those who are severely mentally ill but the Privacy Act has an exception that allows release of information for "law enforcement" purposes. Could that be interpreted to include gun background checks? I have heard nothing to suggest that the White House is considering the idea of using Social Security records to identify individuals who should not be allowed to buy guns. The idea may never be considered. It probably has drawbacks but I really don't like the idea of guns in the hands of schizophrenics.