Mike’s Musings- Mentally challenged don’t need access to guns

January 25, 2013

Michael Wilcox, Publisher/Editor

What in the heck is going on around here. Within one week’s time, two deranged males have kidnapped and sexually assaulted females- one which brought a lot of attention nationally and another that occurred less than 50 miles away in Gladwin County.

The former has been well documented. CMU student is leaving the student activities center, forced into vehicle then raped. She escapes, crazy dude tries to burn down house she escaped to, and then ends up in Gaylord, where he hot wires a garbage truck and starts ramming police cars, before he’s finally shot to death.

The latter is a little less sensational. Last Saturday, police found a woman suffering from gunshot wounds, one to the head, in a house in Hay Township, Gladwin County. The woman said she was held captive for four days before breaking free and running to a neighbor’s home.

Police arrested the suspect as he drove by the neighbor’s house. He is being held on $500,000 bond and charged with attempted homicide and unlawful imprisonment.

Unlike the CMU case, it is suspected the victim and the suspect were acquaintances. To what degree, it has been undetermined. Eric Ramsey, the Mt. Pleasant kidnapper, supposedly had no idea who he was picking up outside the student activities center.

A third violent crime also took place over the weekend when beloved Harrison School Board trustee and business owner Floyd Dennis, 68, was shot and killed at a seasonal home in Temple. The suspect is Oahn Bass, 32, of Remus. No one knows yet why Bass and Dennis were together in that remote location. We do know, however, it was an extremely brazen act to shoot and kill a person in the manner Dennis was murdered.

I again refer to my opening statement. What the heck is going on around here. These aren’t the mean streets of Detroit. These are supposedly the tranquil backwoods of central Michigan where crime is only read in novels.

Floyd Dennis was gunned down like a beleaguered drug lord. The Gladwin victim was shot in the head, and thank God, is still alive. Ramsey, police thought had a dangerous weapon. It ended up being a bb pistol, but at the time cops had no idea.

I wrote last week, that existing gun laws were enough. I’m thinking hard about that statement, particularly when it comes to those committed involuntarily for mental illness. It was reported last week that several states do not participate in a federal data base of involuntarily committed mentally ill patients.

That essentially means, that if you have a history of mental illness in say, for instance, Pennsylvania, you may be able to pass a background check and purchase a gun in Michigan, because Pennsylvania records are not reported to the federal data bank.

If President Obama and others looking to strengthen our gun laws, would address the mentally ill and their ability to own guns, I’m thinking some of these preposterous crimes like the aforementioned might not be committed.

People in their right minds don’t kidnap women, unless it’s for money. They don’t rape them and shoot them. They are mentally ill. We need to make it very hard for them to obtain guns. That’s step one in cleaning up the violence in our communities.

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