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The gun-control debate

Regarding the Jan. 26 front-page article “Mental health clouding gun effort”:

Laws requiring therapists and psychiatrists to report a patient to law enforcement if he or she appears to be dangerous are inherently flawed.

A patient’s issues may be so complex — masking other issues, hiding neuroses behind denial — that it would be difficult for a therapist to determine whether that patient is truly dangerous. Reporting a threat would be based, in many cases, on an educated guess, which hardly seems fair to the patient. Even if therapists could make that determination, they would face the breaking of trust, causing patients to feel that they must hide their deepest problems for fear of being turned in. Patients must feel safe in sharing whatever they need to.

Such laws hinder the therapeutic process by making law enforcement the silent watchdog in the room, cramping the proven method of one-on-one therapy and violating the sanctity of confidence. With these laws, Big Brother is winning.

David Connor, Chevy Chase

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Regarding the Jan. 26 news article “Biden turns focus to background checks”:

It is disheartening to know that it is going to take moving mountains for Congress to ban assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. This is a basic public-safety protection that should be a slam-dunk. Too bad we do not have the collective stomach for revisiting the Second Amendment. When politicians say they believe in the right to bear arms, even when advocating for gun control, it is code for saying: “Don’t worry, gun lobby, we are really with you.”

The Founders intended the Constitution to be a living document. It is way past time we considered repealing the right to militarize our neighborhoods.

Natalie U. Roy, Arlington

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