I have never met Nancy Skinner. She may be a very reasonable and nice lady for all I know. She was, after all, legitimately elected Assemblywoman to represent California Assembly District 15 this last go 'round. A professional politician, she transitioned seamlessly from representing District 14, termed out for that gig.
Nancy Skinner is a member of the Ruling Class. You can tell this by the photo of her beaming next to the leading member of California's Ruling Class, Gov. Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown. Gov. Brown is the son of the late Gov. Brown, Sr., also of the Ruling Class ca. 1961.
It is interesting that Ms. Skinner (formerly representing crime-prone Oakland) so closely identifies with the Brown dynasty because Gov. Brown, Sr. authored a pioneering law way back before America's cultural revolution that ensured lunatics could not be involuntarily institutionalized for longer than 3 days. This is directly connected to the Gun Control controversy raging across America, prompted as it was by a loon who was four fries short of a Happy Meal.
Institutionalized citizens were a big deal back in the 1950s. Americans were horrified to learn of abuse, including rapes, committed against residents of State institutions. The momentum behind Gov. Brown, Sr.'s law was to protect against this kind of thing. So Jerry Brown, Jr.'s father, Gov. Brown, Sr., decided to do something about it. Just like Nancy Skinner, here, he proposed a law.
The law Gov. Brown, Sr. advocated became known as the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS). It was passed by the legislature and signed into effect by succeeding governor, Ronald Reagan, in 1967. The idea was to stem entry into state-run hospitals by encouraging community systems to accept more patients, hopefully improving quality of care while allowing state expense to be alleviated by newly available federal funds.
LPS also was designed to protect the rights of mental patients. It was considered a landmark of its time -- a change in the attitude toward mental illness and its treatment. It also was of a piece with Gov. Reagan's desire to decentralize government as much as possible.
LPS restricted involuntary commitment in California, among other things. It allowed people to refuse treatment for mental illness unless they were a danger to someone else or themselves. It facilitated release of many patients, intending that they go to community mental health treatment programs. It became the framework for laws adopted in
46 44 other states. Not Connecticut, but I'll get to that in a moment.
LPS presumed that the people released from hospitals or not committed at all would be funneled into community treatment as provided by the Short Doyle Act of 1957. LPS was designed to organize and finance community mental health services for persons with mental illness through locally administered and locally controlled community health programs.
To the degree that California cities are plagued with mentally unstable citizens roaming freely today, the entire thing was a failure. Why? Because local communities failed to fund local services. Since then, Ronald Reagan has been pilloried for "causing the mental health crisis" in America -- which may be true insofar as some develop a disturbing tic when they talk about him. But really, it was authored in good faith by Gov. Brown, Sr., and signed in good faith by Gov. Reagan.
As noted above, the State of Connecticut has declined to permit involuntary detention of her citizens. In fact, they rejected a law to do so last summer, six months before murderer Adam Lanza did what he did.
Nancy Lanza was intending to institutionalize her son but the State of Connecticut declined to help. Adam Lanza was aware of his mother's intentions. It is theorized that Adam Lanza's murderous spree was a grotesque reply to his mother's efforts. When murderer Adam Lanza said "No," 25 innocents were left in the wake.
I don't include murderer Adam Lanza among the dead -- though he is as dead as dead can be -- because, frankly, he doesn't count. And I don't include Nancy Lanza either because she was not innocent. Nancy Lanza, aware that her son was deranged, failed to secure her firearms. You'll never guess what happened next.
What does this have to do with Nancy Skinner? Well, Assemblywoman Skinner noticed that a lunatic who was not institutionalized by the State of Connecticut (despite his mother's best efforts) murdered 20 children and six adults last December. So, as Nancy Skinner is photo-opping with the son of the man who started the movement that ensures California's own Adam Lanza's are free to roam our streets -- we just don't know who they are, yet -- you'd think she might pause to see how we got here.
Alas, no. Instead she suggests something ridiculously unconstitutional: banning bullets. "It is easier to buy bullets than cough medicine or alcohol. It should not be that easy." I see. How about pointy objects, Ms. Skinner? Will those be next in the super-safe, smothering cocoon-of-a-world you'd like us to inhabit?
Nancy Skinner is a professional politician. She does this for a living. It occupies her time, dawn-to-dusk, day after day, year after year. If she cared one whit about addressing the matter, she might look into how her District fails to properly fund local mental health treatment facilities.
But no. None of that small stuff for her. She'd rather think globally and act globally, punishing everyone because her colleagues in the State of Connecticut failed in their duties.
You get the impression Assemblywoman Skinner is unaware of how unaware she is.