Why HR2640 is the symptom, but the involuntary commitment procedures are the DISEASE!

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Green Lantern, Jul 10, 2007.

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  1. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Member

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    From GOA, who don't quite share MY take on it:

    Now, 2640 is NOT law at this time. So, to me it looks like the REAL problem is some slap-happy DA being able to strip a man of his freedoms with one word to the cops! :confused:

    Either Miller's rights were violated, or we have a MUCH bigger problem! Cause it looks to me like even if 2640 goes away, then what happened to Miller could happen to any or ALL of us!
     
  2. Beatnik

    Beatnik Member

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    Well, it's already happening, so it obviously doesn't make sense to fight it.
     
  3. BigRobT

    BigRobT Member

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    I'm kind of wondering IF the NRA or GOA has taken up the case of Horatio Miller?? Seems to me that some overreaching was done and people abusing their "positional authority". It fails me that a person could make a stupid statement and then get their rights revoked without due process. I think the DA in this case is blatantly wrong and unless he is an MD or other competent medical authority, has no grounds to do what he did. This almost seems like not only an attack on the Second Amendment, but also the First. Say something "wrong" and lose your rights!!
     
  4. Glockman17366

    Glockman17366 Member

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    I followed this case in a local gun rights forum (www.pfoa.org, for those interested) and contacted Fran Chardo, the Assistant DA the GOA is commenting about.

    Although I do not know all the circumstances of the case, but apparently Mr. Miller made statements that were, at best, unwise. Also, per the ADA (and the newspaper this story was first printed in), LE had been called to this gentleman's home 22 times (but they didn't specify why the cops were called).

    If Mr. Miller was 302'd in error or for a political reason, he'll have a heck of a lawsuit against the Community College, the Lebanon County (PA) DA's office, the shrink involved and local police force. I do know he was held after the initial evaluation period.

    I'm not saying the GOA is wrong, but I do know the GOA goes off half cocked on occasion.

    PA has a lot of gun rights avocates. The government knows we are scrutinizing their every move.

    This case fell off the radar screen in a couple of days (old news is news not reported), so I don't know what's going on now, but I will post if it arises again.

    However, the GOA is correct in that HR 2640 needs more work before submission to Bush.
     
  5. obxned

    obxned Member

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    "the county district attorney did not like what he had said, so, according to the Harrisburg Patriot News on June 20, "I contacted the sheriff and had his license to carry a firearm revoked. And I asked police to commit him under Section 302 of the mental health procedures act and that was done. He is now ineligible to possess firearms [for life] because he was committed involuntarily."

    Either:

    A. The county attorney has the education and qualifications to practice psychiatry, and spent sufficient time with Miller to make such a diagnosis.

    B. The county will get their butts sued, there will be an 'undisclosed' settlement, and the tax payers get screwed again!

    C. The entire Bill of Rights is now nothing but Charmin.

    Time will tell, but the answer is probably "C".
     
  6. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Member

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    "Wassup wit dat?"

    I'm not exactly "not fighting" 2640, but I'm a little more concerned about how the status quo WITHOUT it is still ripe for due process violations. FWIW, I sent the email linked to in the GOA alert, but I also added in my concerns about the current system of being committed as well.
     
  7. madmike

    madmike Member

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    Tag to watch.
     
  8. pcosmar

    pcosmar member

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    It could be an example of the reasonableness of restrictions.
     
  9. Golden Saber

    Golden Saber Member

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    News article

    The original news article was also printed here.

    My question continues to be, what is going on within GOA that they keep going further and further out on the limb they're on?

    ***********************************************

    Man took weapons to campus, police say

    Thursday, June 21, 2007

    BY TOM BOWMAN
    Of The Patriot-News

    At first, the Loysville nursing student didn't know why there were "all these cops" in Harrisburg Area Community College's Cooper Student Center Tuesday afternoon.

    What she learned chilled her: A 42-year-old man armed with a 9 mm pistol had told another student he had guns in his car and it would be "worse than Virginia Tech" if someone broke into the car, according to police.

    Nobody was hurt in the 12:30 incident, in which a man identified by authorities as Horasio Miller of the 3700 block of Green Street, Susquehanna Twp., was taken into custody after police said they found a handgun in his backpack.

    "Only a few people realized what was going on," said the woman, who asked to not be named and who said she was seated about four tables away from the man. "He was sitting there typing on a laptop. I think he was trying to look like a student."

    Miller, who is not a HACC student, wasn't arrested, but was involuntarily committed for mental evaluation, authorities said. The Dauphin County district attorney's office also had the county sheriff revoke his concealed weapons permit.

    In addition to confiscating the 9 mm in Miller's backpack, police took a handgun from his car and two firearms from his home, authorities said.

    Susquehanna Twp. police said they have been called numerous times about Miller by neighbors, some of whom said Miller would walk around outside openly wearing holstered handguns.

    Tuesday's incident started when a man approached a student in the college cafeteria and said he had guns in his car, Harrisburg Police Chief Charles Kellar said.

    The student told an armed HACC security guard that the man had a weapon. The guard called Harrisburg police, then watched him until police arrived, HACC spokeswoman Tracy Mendoza said.

    "It would be worse than Virginia Tech if someone broke into my car. I have guns in the car," First Assistant District Attorney Fran Chardo said the man told the student.

    Chardo said that would not qualify as a terroristic threat because there has to be an intent to terrorize another person.

    "Because of the statement, I was greatly concerned about this fellow," Chardo said. "I contacted the sheriff and had his license to carry a firearm revoked.

    Chardo said he also asked police to involuntarily commit Miller for psychiatric evaluation.

    "He is now ineligible to possess firearms because he was committed involuntarily," Chardo said.

    Dauphin County Sheriff Jack Lotwick said about 30 of the roughly 4,500 permits issued annually are revoked, mostly at the request of police departments. The office does not keep a count of the permit revocations, but Lotwick said it revokes permits if a person is involuntarily committed.

    Susquehanna Police Chief Rob Martin said his officers have been called to Miller's apartment building 22 times since 2004.

    Half of those calls were made by Miller for minor reasons, such as a lost cell phone or a recovered bicycle, but Martin said the other half were complaints about Miller from his neighbors. Miller was not charged or cited in any of those incidents, Martin said.

    Yesterday, some neighbors said they were worried by the way Miller wore unconcealed guns in holsters while he was in the yard outside of his apartment. Neighbors said they did not want their names used because they were afraid of upsetting Miller.

    Neither HACC nor Harrisburg police released information on the incident yesterday.

    After Miller was taken into custody on Tuesday, chief HACC spokesman Pat Early sent out an e-mail to the college staff explaining the incident. Early said he did not tell the students or the public about the incident.

    "It was something that was handled quickly, quietly. There wasn't anything to tell," Early said. "Our [security] officers approached the man when the Harrisburg police arrived. They determined indeed he was carrying a weapon. He was taken into custody and removed from the campus."

    John Sakkas, a HACC student from Lemoyne, said he did not hear about the incident until yesterday, when he arrived for his 8 a.m. speech class.

    Sakkas said he would have liked to have known about it sooner.

    "If he wasn't a student, there is no reason he should be on campus with a gun," Sakkas said.

    Staff writers Ford Turner, Carrie Cassidy and Frank Cozzoli contributed to this report. TOM BOWMAN: 255-8271 or [email protected]

    ©2007 The Patriot-News
    © 2007 PennLive.com All Rights Reserved.
     
  10. madmike

    madmike Member

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    Sounds like a not-too-bright wannabe cop.
     
  11. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "Miller, who is not a HACC student, wasn't arrested, but was involuntarily committed for mental evaluation, authorities said."

    "Chardo said he also asked police to involuntarily commit Miller for psychiatric evaluation."

    Lots of bad information here. Police do not commit people. They can arrange/apply for the evaluation through the local mental health system, but the evaluation is NOT an involuntary committment. That requires a finding by a judge AFTER the evaluation period. A judge; not the police; not a doctor; a judge or administrative hearing officer in a court setting.

    John
     
  12. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Member

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    The strangeness of Miller aside, is open carry illegal where he lives? If not, his neighbors need to learn to mind their own business....:mad:
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2007
  13. Glockman17366

    Glockman17366 Member

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    "The strangeness of Miller aside, is open carry illegal where he lives? If not, his neighbors need to learn to mind their own business...."

    Yes, open carry is legal in PA.
    That was the whole problem with this entire episode...Miller did absollutely nothing illegal.

    One thing i did write to the ADA...altough many of us support HR 2640 (and, BTW, Miller wasn't sent in as a result of HR 2640...that is not law yet...Miller was evaluated under PA law), the minute we see abuse of this limited authority, we gun owners (and there's a lot of us in PA) will ensure this law is modified to prevent such occurances.
     
  14. Kentak

    Kentak Member

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    I think it's Miller needs to mind his own business. Allegedly, he had hacked the phone box to listen to his neighbors phone conversations.

    The guy's a nut case.

    K
     
  15. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Member

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    :what: ^^^ Source?
     
  16. Kentak

    Kentak Member

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  17. Dave Workman

    Dave Workman Member

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    HOLD IT!

    Lemme see if I have this straight: This is the Horasio Miller, as described by the Harrisburg newspaper, that somebody is defending?

    The guy who lived like this?

    And who allegedly did this?

    Firearms are prohibited on the community college campus.

    Perhaps Kentak has this pretty well pegged.
     
  18. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Member

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    Okay...so...he's a nut.

    Go, GOA...:-/
     
  19. Kentak

    Kentak Member

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    I try. All I did was a little searching to try to get closer to an unbiased account of the incident. What bothers me is that GOA chose to tell only the version of the account that suited its purpose. GOA has a wild hair up its butt about HR2640. All well and good, but it does its members or its cause no good by misrepresenting issues or telling half-truths. As RKBA folks, we must hold our organizations to high standards of intellectual integrity--or they become no more credible than the anti's who use sloppy argument. Loss of credibility leads to ineffectiveness.

    We would also do well to remember there are millions of gun owners and CCW'ers out there. It's just reality to acknowledge that some of them, a very small minority I hope, are less than upstanding individuals. Defending them just because they are gun owners is a mistake until you learn as much as you can about the facts of the situation.

    K
     
  20. Glockman17366

    Glockman17366 Member

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    "Firearms are prohibited on the community college campus."

    No, firearms are not prohibited on the campus per PA law.
     
  21. madmike

    madmike Member

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    And if he's not a student, all they can do is ask him to leave.

    I would still tend to defend someone until the facts come out--innocent until proven guilty.

    I can't say this guy is a clear danger to himself and others. but he's certainly a twitch.
     
  22. Miller

    Miller Member

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    voluntary

    I beg to disagree with everything being said about Horasio Miller since noone
    ever got his side of the story the paper just print one side of it and never asked Horasio about what he said to that lady..
     
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