California's strict firearm laws didn't prevent Elliot from purchasing 3 handguns, they have hoops but not really that strict. If you are eligible to purchase a handgun in Oklahoma you are free to buy one in California, there is no higher standard.
Elliot didn't 'fall through', homeless guys fall through. Elliot drove his BMW through.
The Rodgers didn't have troubles getting their MINOR child taken care of, and they certainly had the money to pay for his care. They didn't need help, they needed to commit the boy, but most likely didn't want the stigma for him or them. Daddy was a director on the movie- "The Hunger Games"
Once Elliot turned 18 the parent lose a lot of the ability to control their son, but again a relative can work with healthcare providers and have an adult family member committed for evaluation. While the process is often referred to as the Baker Act, most states have a process to commit a family member against their will, but it isn't pleasant. I can see how the creative, sensitive, and perhaps overly conscious of status and importance could shy away from the ugly world of involuntary commitment.
Now what I know about the mental health care system.
My mother slowly descended into a delusional world. She heard voices, she signed gibberish. She at first thought GOD was talking to her, but a Pastor at her church told her GOD doesn't speak directly to people, so she figured it was the devil. She also decided her husband of 40 some years was trying to kill her by injecting her milk jugs with poison. She took to hiding in the bathroom, and only eating fast food she saw being made. Her husband was a wreck and refused to do anything about it. A daughter lives nearby and started working with her health care provider to Baker Act her. Hubby spilled the beans and my mother fled Florida for Oklahoma. My wife and I were out of the Country at the time on business. My mom went to live with her sister in northern Oklahoma.
I went to talk to her when I got back, having heard from both my half sister and step father. My mom was a mess. However there was nothing I could do on my own, my aunt and her husband refused to help. But as luck would have it my mother had a living will incase of incapacitation and that would allow for a 72 hour eval. Armed with that I coordinated with the local healthcare official up there and she did a home eval that led to a 72 hour eval. My aunt and uncle were NOT pleased with me but that wasn't my concern.
During the eval I was told she did have significant issues, when I went back up to hear the results I was informed she was going to be released, while delusional she wasn't a threat to herself or others, because of that her medical eval was now private information and only she could release it. (she didn't) So I became the last family member to hug her. She said goodbye and I replied I doubt I'll ever see you again but how about until I see you again... she just smiled and said ok.
I never saw her again.
Now if that wasn't enough for you, my maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather were committed for dementia and alzheimers respectively. My Grandmother, who had lost her husband years ago kept claiming a series of men were her husbands. She was caught breaking a window to climb into a guy's house, claiming they were married but she forgot her key. (My wife had told me my granny would tell the same story three different ways when we had dinner with her once a month- I never noticed) Grandpa started wandering down the road, they lived in town, in his underwear and would relieve himself in other people's flowerbeds.
Dealing with the health care community... yeah, I know a bit about that...
Well, then I apologize for assuming....Your story sounds heartbreaking, and believe me when I say I understand what you went through.
While I don't think that cops should be mental health workers, nor should they have to be, they can asses that someone is a danger to themselves, or others, and take appropriate action to make sure that the correct facility evaluate them.