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Mother of Oregon Gunman Wrote of Keeping Firearms, by The New York Times

Mother of Oregon Gunman Wrote of Keeping Firearms The New York Times


She acknowledged having expertise in dealing with autism, saying that both she and her son — whom she never identified by name — had Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder.

Consoling another parent seeking help with disruptive behavior by their autistic child, Ms. Harper shared that her own son “was, among other things, a head-banger” when he was younger who was initially misdiagnosed with attention deficit disorder. But over time, he had learned to cope and was doing better, she wrote: “I was in your shoes and now my son’s in college.”

She expressed frustration with people who questioned how successful a person with autism could be, noting: “I have Asperger’s and I didn’t do so bad. Wasn’t easy (understatement) but it can be done.” She also said she had “dealt with it on a daily basis for years and years” because of her son, who she said was progressing well.

“He’s no babbling idiot nor is his life worthless,” Ms. Harper wrote. “He’s very intelligent and is working on a career in filmmaking. My 18 years worth of experience with and knowledge about Asperger’s syndrome is paying off.”

An online posting from six years ago included the unlikely revelation that she used to read to her son a book by Donald J. Trump, the real estate mogul now running for president...

“Fact: Before my son was even born, I was reading out loud to him from Donald Trump’s ‘The Art of the Deal,’” she wrote.

Stashed in: Guns, Gun Violence, Trump!

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What can we conclude from this description of the man and his mother?

People with some types of autism lack empathy and that crazy people should never own guns. 

Too bad there's no "crazy person check" by gun sellers. 

The gun sellers should be making judgment calls, but they shouldn't be the main one.  They are in the wrong position and probably only have a few minutes.  I'd favor some type of jury that could, when desired, interview someone, talk to their family, friends, looking into whatever is needed to determine sanity and safety.  They should have a very narrow range of things to decide and consider so that there isn't discrimination or arbitrary deprivation.  In some areas, apparently sheriffs have this responsibility, but that has devolved in many places so as deprive everyone who doesn't have a situation the sheriff likes vs. allowing everyone who doesn't cause a serious concern.  Part of it will have to be living with mistakes.

I think that for the most part the gun sellers do make those judgment calls.

No gun seller is going to sell a gun to a clearly crazy person.

One problem is that not all crazy people are crazy all the time of gun purchase.

They may seem fine at the point of gun purchase.

In any case this is a big issue with no clear easy solution.

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