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Old January 2, 2013, 11:58 PM   #51
Ben Towe
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I certainly am no expert in the mental health field, but I have done a bit of reading about it (I do bit of reading on everything, consider me and amateur researcher). In my humble and simple minded observations I've found there are few concrete facts and a lot of opinion in the area. It seems that there is consensus on what a healthy mind is and what an extremely sick mind is (schizophrenia, psychopathy, etc.), but in between the extremes there isn't. In the middle of the road no one agrees on what should be done. Do we medicate or use therapy, or use some combination of the two? This is nothing against you Glenn, I'm certain you have forgotten more about about it than I will ever know.

Someone mentioned the use of the word psychopath. You have all almost certainly interacted with one in your life. You may even know one well. They look and act like everyone else, and the vast majority are not inclined toward violence.

Quote:
So, for all the experts here (credentialed and otherwise), what was the difference
Well for one thing, in 1950 the U.S. population was about 150,700,000. Today the population is somewhere around 315,100,000 (US Census Bureau estimate as of this writing). Even if the per capita incident rate was the same as today, there would have been half as many incidents per year.

On the other hand, research indicates that we were a far more violent nation at that time than we are now, so are we even sure that school violence wasn't more widespread (per capita) than it is now? Someone posted the number of school incidents and deaths as a result per decade, starting with the 1960s, over in the thread about psychiatric drugs (sorry, can't link to it on my phone). What we haven't considered in that thread is population growth over the years. Does anyone have any pertinent information on school incidents in the 1950s era?

Tying the question back to mental health, we know that treatment of the mentally ill was primitive (even barbarous) and less common back then. If incidents were indeed not as prolific as now, is this a case of less is more, as far as treatment?
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Old January 3, 2013, 12:24 AM   #52
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It's so comforting to believe in a golden age...

But if you look just at murder rates, according to the FBI's statistics, the rate per 100,000 averaged 4.9 between 1950 and 1959. It went up a bunch from 1960 to 1980, then began to go down again. Between 2000 and 2007, the homicide rate averaged 5.7, and in 2010 it averaged 4.8. (This is just what I turned up in a quick search -- dunno what happened in '08 and '09, but my impression is that it's consistent with that trend.)

So overall, if we were in some golden age of low violent crime in the '50's... we're there again now. And if I have to say this -- mass murders of the kind people get so wound up about now are, and always have been, a tiny percentage of the total. What has changed is the news cycle: we hear about them instantly from an increasingly sensationalistic and fear-mongering press, and this makes them seem much more common than they are.

Whether it's blaming guns, blaming the mentally ill, or blaming the media, our obsession with finding a single, "master-molecule" explanation -- a nice, simple, comforting fix to believe in -- prevents us from being open to the complexity of the real world and real people. It's too bad, because I doubt that there's any one-size-fits-all explanation for why people resort to violence.
...............................
http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=2221
http://www.bjs.gov/content/homicide/.../totalstab.cfm
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0873729.html

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Old January 3, 2013, 01:22 AM   #53
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Wait a second, there is a point that is missing here.
I'm not educated on the level of Dr. Meyer but 20 years of being a nurse plus 2+ decades of taking care of a severely mentally ill daughter gives me some insight, maybe more than most clinicians, I've had to live with someone I love slowly slipping away slowly and being powerless while it happens.
In a lot of these murderers cases there was someone who had a mental health background who was aware of how dangerous they were, and if the current mental health system were different intervention, including locked psych units etc. would have stopped it. These are indisputable facts, I can dig up the references if needed but they are all pretty easy to find.

I've been in parent support group meetings where multiple members described being assaulted by their children. Authorities(LE, Mental health workers) were involved at the appropriate times and in the appropriate manner. The parents(I vividly remember one parent who looked like she got into a fight with a biker gang) were powerless to stop the child/young adults behavior.
I've listened as one parent talked about the possible need to shoot his own child when that child was released from jail in order to protect the rest of the family. The child had been quite clear that he intended to kill them upon his release.
You can tell me that there is no test for this and I will agree. You can tell me that to lock people up using our current state of knowledge is a little nuts in and of itself, and I'll tell you you are talking sense.

But,

At some point it becomes obvious, even to a layman, that a certain person is dangerous.
Let me assure you as things sit there is no good way to handle this, and if there were a great deal of these problems would have been handled before there was bloodshed.
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Old January 3, 2013, 07:06 AM   #54
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Could M1 rifles be purchased by mail years ago? Just asking--I don't know.
Yeah, they could. I bought my first firearm (a Model 1200 shotgun) by mail.

I remember lots of ads for 1911 pistols and other surplus firearms, prepaid, delivered to your door. Lee Harvey Oswald bought his Carcano and a Model 10 SW by mail.

Surprisingly, you can still order a gun by mail. The CMP will ship an M1 rifle to your door.
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Old January 3, 2013, 08:24 AM   #55
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More differences between the 50's and now:

Quote:
Well for one thing, in 1950 the U.S. population was about 150,700,000. Today the population is somewhere around 315,100,000 (US Census Bureau estimate as of this writing). Even if the per capita incident rate was the same as today, there would have been half as many incidents per year.
1- Besides there being twice as many of us now, we are much more crowded- in the 50's we were still a much more rural nation- My uncle never gets tired of telling me that the school bus that rolled into Sherman township in sw Furnas Co. picked up 50+ kids every morning ..... and there are now no inhabited houses in that township. The school that bus went to is closed and there are only 3 schools left in that county. Where did all these people (and theri descendants) go? To the city and suburbs.

1950's America was much more small town deal- Everybody knew your name, and your parents, and if you were "not right" everybody knew it.... and if you really were deemed dangerous by your community ..... you were "institutionalized".

Quote:
if the current mental health system were different intervention, including locked psych units etc. would have stopped it. These are indisputable facts, I can dig up the references if needed but they are all pretty easy to find.
2-Now I am not a MH proffessional, either, but I am a bit of a history buff...... I noted that the rise of all these atrocities dovetails fairly closely with the decline of forcible commitments and the shuttering of many of these "institutions" in favor of outpatient drug therapies, in the 1980's..... think about it: When was the first time you heard the term "Off his meds" ?

Now before all the Head Docs here go ballistic, I am not for bringing back Nurse Ratched and Electro-Shock therapy..... but if you have mentally ill people walking the streets that are one missed med dose from losing it ..... and they are responsible for taking their meds ...... this stuff WILL happen, and in the disjointed society that we have today, it will be a complete surprise to most everybody in the affected community, because people today barely know their neighbors, let alone everyone in town.
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Old January 3, 2013, 10:23 AM   #56
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Scrubcedar - you make reasonable points. My original post was to point out to use terms correctly and not to make progun folks look silly.

How we use current psychological or psychiatric techniques to stop Chos, Lanzas, Loughners, etc. is quite a problematic issue.

Mod - hat on - throwing God out of the schools, the golden years etc. is off topic. It was the correct use of terminology.

If we continue to stray, then I will shut myself down and you.
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Old January 3, 2013, 10:45 AM   #57
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Sorry for contributing to the thread veer, I deleted an earlier post that I made that was off topic.

Back on topic though, New Years Day I went into the local Wal-Mart and checked to see the state of their ammunition supply. I happened to over-hear two men discussing the Sandy Hook incident. Their references about and knowledge of mental health, prescription meds, etc sounded every bit as lame and uninformed as clips, assault guns, etc that some constantly chide the antis on.

My initial thought is that education is the answer, but I'm not sure how we'd accomplish that. Despite being in the information age, ignorance abounds on many topics and media sound bites, cliches and catch phrases still seem to rule the day.
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Old January 3, 2013, 12:38 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrubcedar
I've listened as one parent talked about the possible need to shoot his own child when that child was released from jail in order to protect the rest of the family. The child had been quite clear that he intended to kill them upon his release.
You can tell me that there is no test for this and I will agree. You can tell me that to lock people up using our current state of knowledge is a little nuts in and of itself, and I'll tell you you are talking sense.

But,

At some point it becomes obvious, even to a layman, that a certain person is dangerous.
Let me assure you as things sit there is no good way to handle this, and if there were a great deal of these problems would have been handled before there was bloodshed.
Actually, there's a fairly straightforward way of handling this. Most states, if not all, have laws against making terroristic threats or criminal threats. If someone has actually threatened violence in the presence of witnesses, whether against parents, schoolmates, or others, he's committed a crime, and the question of mental illness (and the terminology thereof ) is secondary. Charge them under those statutes and let the legal system sort out whether to jail them or commit them.

In any case, the first step is to report the person's behavior to authorities; then it's on those authorities to do their job. In hindsight, it's clear that Pima Community College dropped the ball with Jared Loughner, allowing him to withdraw rather than involving the police and/or mental health system after students and faculty reported his bizarre and threatening behavior. The same is true of the state of Virginia with respect to Seung-Hui Cho: had the state followed the Federally mandated requirement to report that he had been adjudicated mentally ill, things might have turned out differently in that case.

It's probably useful to focus on ways of improving the existing system, including adequately funding mental health care, and unifying and enforcing reporting requirements. It's not useful to play armchair diagnostician, especially after the fact.
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Old January 3, 2013, 01:01 PM   #59
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In any case, the first step is to report the person's behavior to authorities; then it's on those authorities to do their job.
As I pointed out earlier in many cases the problem was brought to authorities. Little, no or improper actions were taken.
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Old January 3, 2013, 01:21 PM   #60
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Alabama Shooter, that's exactly my point -- hence my references to the Loughner and Cho cases.

I'd add that in my opinion, focusing on mental illness as a response to gun control supporters is mostly a way for gun folks to lay blame on some "other" group... "Oh, no, it's not us nice gun owners who are the problem, it's all those crazy people out there."

It's seriously wrong from a civil rights point of view, and when it's applied to anti-gun folks, it's a strategy with potential to backfire: once you introduce "hoplophobia" (silly term) into the discussion, why shouldn't the other side argue for a diagnostic category called "hoplophilia"? [sarcasm] "Surely anyone who thinks he needs that many guns must be mentally ill..."[/sarcasm]
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Old January 3, 2013, 01:31 PM   #61
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Quote:
Most states, if not all, have laws against making terroristic threats or criminal threats. If someone has actually threatened violence in the presence of witnesses, whether against parents, schoolmates, or others, he's committed a crime, and the question of mental illness (and the terminology thereof ) is secondary. Charge them under those statutes and let the legal system sort out whether to jail them or commit them.
This may seem off topic at first but it gets there .

As true as this is , it is total bull pucky at the same time . I live in a big city very close to down town . There is a very big homeless population here and a good amount of them are unstable .

I often see the same people ( homeless/bum ) walking around my area . A few of them are way out there , talking to them selves , screaming at the top of there lungs on the corner . When I walk down the street . I must cross that street to avoid them . Why do I avoid them , because like I said they have been around for awhile and I've seen them act out in very aggressive ways . . Sometimes the cops come and hall them away and two weeks later there they are again on the same corner doing the same thing .

How can this happen ? they know how to play the system and know what to say and the TERMINOLOGY to use . We have become a society that must put a label on everything and if they don't fit the exact label then there's not alot anybody can do .

Quote:
At some point it becomes obvious, even to a layman, that a certain person is dangerous.
I do agree that some of us if not most should not be sighting specific disorders or illnesses like we know what we are talking about but sometimes crazy is just crazy
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Old January 3, 2013, 01:53 PM   #62
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Quote:
I often see the same people ( homeless/bum ) walking around my area . A few of them are way out there , talking to them selves , screaming at the top of there lungs on the corner . When I walk down the street . I must cross that street to avoid them . Why do I avoid them , because like I said they have been around for awhile and I seen them act out in very aggressive ways . . Sometimes the cops come and hall them away and two weeks later there they are again on the same corner doing the same thing .

How can this happen ? they know how to play the system and know what to say and the TERMINOLOGY to use . We have become a society that must put a label on everything and if they don't fit the exact label then there's not alot anybody can do .
See my point above about adequate funding for the mental health system. Estimates of the percentage of homeless people who are mentally ill run from 15% to 45%.... the main reason they're homeless is that they have no resources of their own, are too disabled to work, and we as a society have decided they're not worth caring for. Others have mentioned the movement to "deinstitutionalize" the mentally ill: community mental health centers and residential facilities were supposed to pick up the slack, but were and are chronically underfunded. We get what we pay for -- or don't.
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Old January 3, 2013, 04:22 PM   #63
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I believe that 20% of the U.S. prison population is seriously mentally ill, along with 10% of the U.S. homeless population.

As for the suggestions made by the Maryland Task Force --- The Washington Post Metro, Thursday, Janurary 3, 2013: "Law enforcement officials in Maryland should be authorized to confiscate firearms from people who make a specific threat of 'serious violence' against someone," according to recommendations released Wednesday by a state government-appointed task force on guns and the mentally ill.

"If the person making the threats does not own a gun, that person should be blocked from buying one," the task force said. "The task force thinks every single one of these catagories {mental health and other professionals}, should be reporting. Some of these may be stronger than others in current law."

I am "cautiously optimistic" about the proposed effort "to keep dangerous individuals away from firearms"... quoting: Philip Watson, director of special projects at the Second Amendment Foundation, a gun rights group. "But we're concerned about improper administration of it...as well as provisions for due process," Watson said. There would need to be "safeguards against improper and overzealous application of the law, and stronger provisions for restoring gun ownership rights to those who have had firearms taken away, with the burden of proof on the state."
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Old January 3, 2013, 04:48 PM   #64
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This thread is interesting in that it is to distinctly different conversations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
One problem of broadly inclusive diagnoses as preventing gun ownership is that it would prevent folks who need help from getting it. Unless a condition is really, really directly predictive - I'd be very cautious about stigmatizing folks.

We found in our PTSD/Cop work that officers who suffered would not seek help or see department psychologists as they felt it would hit their job evaluations - even if said to be confidential.
Indeed. The other problem with restricting the possession of firearms solely on the basis of a medical diagnosis is that a medical diagnosis is not an adjudication. A significant and permanent curtailment of an individual's rights without due process is problematic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Come and take it
Also why would we want to keep a gun out of a felons hands or a person who due to his condition is a danger to himself or others, but at the same time allow them to drive a car?
In my state, if he is an adjudicated incompetent, he is not entitled to drive a car.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PawPaw
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E Meyer
Throwing around a term like hoplophobia - implying a true anxiety disorder is fairly useless. So is using the term neurosis in modern parlance when trying to put down an antigun person.
Agreed.

So, let a layman ask the question: If we agree that "hoplophobe" is a pejorative, what is the preferred term for someone who is afraid of guns? Or are labels useless in this debate?
That hoplophobe is a pejorative is not a reason to withhold its use. The concept of an irrational fear of arms is itself negative. That hoplophobe is not currently a legitimate medical or psychological diagnosis is also not a reason to withhold its use. Many words that are not psychiatric argot use Greek constructions, and the use of a Greek construction is not itself a medical or psychiatric diagnostic claim.

As a matter of political discourse, describing an opponent's irrational fear as a phobia can be very useful. It has been used in the recent past to marginalize and stigmatize positions that are not the result of a psychiatric disorder.

It is likely more useful in calm and reflective fora to explain why a fear of arms is irrational, but not every consequential political conversation is calm and reflective. If a pejorative effectively conveys the lack of a reasonable basis for a position, it is not obviously unfair to use it.

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Old January 3, 2013, 05:01 PM   #65
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schools, universities & training courses...

I was discussing these issues(mental health, firearms-weapons, school violence, etc) with my ex-girlfriend. She was on the faculty of a large university in TX and taught music in other places. She expressed concern with the administration & state regulations not really protecting the teachers or professors in some areas.
I'd sent her a media article & recorded video of a college student becoming violent/aggressive in class. This was about 2 years ago too(pre-Sandy Hook & VA-Tech).
These places need to screen or enforce rules better to prevent spree shootings or outbursts. Many of these colleges/schools don't want any complaints or lawsuits.

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Old January 3, 2013, 05:17 PM   #66
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An fear of weapons is a symptom of a more complex condition.

As much as Psychiatrists want to pound away at the father of Psychiatry, he had tremendous insight. We live in a society where people are encouraged to remain in an immature nymph stage of development and never really achieve independant adulthood without somehow being firmly attached to the governments umbilical cord.

When you have sexually immature adults you have problems and symptoms such as a fear of weapons.

Also mental illness may only be part of the equation. Religion whether we like to discuss it or not may have played a part. It is known that Adam had a website devoted to devil worship.

http://usahitman.com/scinc/

Near the bottom of the article is where they bring their argument around to Adam Lanza and what some of his acquaintances knew about his online activities.
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Old January 3, 2013, 06:19 PM   #67
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Sorry, It's been a busy day, otherwise I would have chimed in sooner.

Vanya, as I recall the child we both talked about had actually assaulted his father, and was making the threats as they hauled him away for assault. The "threats" charge, even had there been one available, was secondary to the assault. ALL of these parents that were worried about their children that way had restrained their children in the midst of an assault on themselves or others at that point. I know because after I had heard a few stories I asked for a show of hands, they pretty much all went up. I've been very, very lucky with my daughter that way.
The reason this is important is that even when it became apparent that these people were a danger the system was simply not set up to stop it.

We can deal with theory all you want, but unless we address the reality that is occurring right now, not years in the past, nothing will change.
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Old January 3, 2013, 07:14 PM   #68
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Sigh - the reason not to use hoplophobe is that if specifically envoke the term and try to make being an antigunner a mental illness (as was stated), you misuse the idea of specific phobias and anxiety disorders.

It is not that you shouldn't use it as it perjorative but it makes no technical sense.

Not to be against the rant but being against gun ownership is not a sufficient indicator of mental illness. If it makes you feel better to think that go ahead but frankly is it stupid.

Using old Freudian terminology is stupid. Freud explains everything and there are baloney Freudian analyses of how you, my gun loving buds, are nuts for liking guns.

Same with religion - I can easily find how believing in some religious tenets are seen to be psychopathological. Freud is based on the idea that anything you do is pathological. The rejection of that is what started other psychological paradigms.

So continue to use these as it is a way to feel better about yourself but it is useless in the real battle about the RKBA.
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Old January 3, 2013, 07:19 PM   #69
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Freud explains everything and there are baloney Freudian analyses of how you, my gun loving buds, are nuts for liking guns.
Something about my ding-ding is all I can recall at the moment. He did get there first mostly. When you plant new growth in virgin soil you can plant what you want.
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Old January 3, 2013, 07:26 PM   #70
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Ha - you said ding-ding and then planting seed in virgins.

How Freudian?

That's why I teach the history of Freud and then why his psycho-sexual stuff is seen as incorrect. Thus, us using it - blah, where's the puke smilie.

However, his views on memory and selective attention were a worthwhile contribution but not part of what people usually talk about.
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Old January 3, 2013, 07:33 PM   #71
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Any valid work he did does not make into popular culture.
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Old January 3, 2013, 09:25 PM   #72
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This whole thread reinforces that truth of the Chinese adage, "The first step toward wisdom is calling things by their right names." It never ceases to amaze me how strenuously some folks will resist learning and using correct terminology for technical matters apparently just because they want to do it their way.

And BTW, I'm convinced from my reading of Col. Cooper's writings and my conversations with him that he fully understood the hoplophobia was his invention and not an accurate, clinical term. He indeed used it metaphorically. It was simply his personal explanation for why the Brady Bunch and their Fellow Travelers were suffering from a mental aberration could not be shaken in their beliefs by rational argument or data. And I believe it was his way to avoid getting too caught up in "how do we convince the anti-gunners" discussions.
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Old January 4, 2013, 09:54 AM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenda E Meyer
***

It is not that you shouldn't use it as it perjorative but it makes no technical sense.

***

So continue to use these as it is a way to feel better about yourself but it is useless in the real battle about the RKBA.
What if the term is not offered in a technical sense, not psychiatric argot, but a succinct description of an irrational fear?

I don't know whether the term is used to make users feel better about themselves, but the prior political use of a phobic description was certainly used to stigmatize and embarrass political adversaries. It appears to have been politically successful.
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Old January 4, 2013, 11:24 AM   #74
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As a metaphor, it might have some rhetorical usage.

My initial point was to reply to a post that when off on claiming true mental illness. That was not useful in debate.

Being convinced of a position in spite of evidence is more a function of normal cognitive decision making processes. A good read on stupid decision making processes is Kahnemans' Thinking, Fast and Slow.

So rhetorical use of 'phobe' - I DO NOT want to start a discussion of gay rights but the usage of homophobe to describe opponents of gay marriage is equivalent to hoplophobe. A strongly held belief with some emotional components about a political position isn't as of yet a mental illness.

There are theo'phobes' - people strongly disapproving of religion. Sloppy usage - well, I'm going to load the clips of my semi-automatic assault rifle, now ().
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Old January 4, 2013, 11:48 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
...There are theo'phobes' - people strongly disapproving of religion. Sloppy usage - well, I'm going to load the clips of my semi-automatic assault rifle, now
How about "nomenclature-phobes" -- people who strongly disapprove of using correct terminology?
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