Recently, a Vermont woman was released from a psychiatric facility following a voluntary commitment. The next day she purchased a handgun and the day after that, she killed herself. Naturally, some gun control groups are trying to capitalize on the incident:
Although Vermont lawmakers say theyâ€™re willing to talk about waiting periods, the issue doesnâ€™t appear to be a high priority. More attention, they said, appears to be going toward background checks.
Most acts of violence, especially suicide, are associated with impulsiveness, said Lindsey Zwicker, a staff attorney for the [Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence]. A waiting period is meant to curb those acts.
However, Zwicker said, she is not aware of any hard evidence that waiting periods actually reduce violence or suicides.
â€śWith a mandated waiting period, it would at least provide a cooling-off period, provide an opportunity for someone to seek help, allow them to reconsider, but we canâ€™t say for sure what effect it would have,â€ť Zwicker said.
So, there’s no hard evidence, but let’s pass a law anyway. In the meantime, someone who might fear for their life — from an abusive ex-spouse for instance — would not be able to obtain the ready means to protect themselves during that same waiting period.
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