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Old January 4, 2013, 11:53 AM   #76
zukiphile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E Meyer
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.
I agree, and it has been my intent to steer clear of any of the substance of the same-sex marriage issue. I might take your point step further and note that it is poor rhetorical etiquette to attribute an opponent's position to a fear, real or imagined, where that opponent has provided to you a stated basis for his position. You would not do that to me and I would not do that to you.

However, when discourse turns away from fair discussion, as it so often does in political matters, there are a number of techniques that are distasteful but have proven utility.
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:02 PM   #77
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Quote:
A strongly held belief with some emotional components about a political position isn't as of yet a mental illness.
Not yet. But society is getting there. Due to the stigma of mental illness in the US (and many other places) if you can successfully brand your enemies as mentally ill than you will cut off a level of support for them and osctracize them.
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:19 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alabama Shooter
Not yet. But society is getting there. Due to the stigma of mental illness in the US (and many other places) if you can successfully brand your enemies as mentally ill than you will cut off a level of support for them and osctracize them.
True, and it's a pity that this is often what people mean by "debate."

And if you use a fancy-sounding term like "----phobe," it's harder for those to whom you're applying it to start using it self-referentially, with a kind of ironic pride (cf. "gun nut").
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:25 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alabama shooter
Not yet. But society is getting there.
Since I have put Glenn to the trouble of fleshing out his objection more than he may have preferred, let me suggest that his original objection very much runs counter to the trend of making differences in reasonably held beliefs a psychiatric matter.

We wrote about Soviet misuse of psychiatry on the same basis, and it is not a pleasant development that the abuse lives on in daytime talk shows and politics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alabama shooter
Due to the stigma of mental illness in the US (and many other places)...
At the risk of being flippant, I don't know how we would destigmatize being a nut. On the other hand, there should be room in an ordinary person's life for having a bad day and being sad without being offered a pill to fix it.
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:44 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zukiphile
At the risk of being flippant, I don't know how we would destigmatize being a nut diabetic.
Fixed it for ya. I don't mean to be flippant either, or offensive, but a mental illness is basically an illness like many others -- often with a genetic component, often with a life history component... often treatable with meds and lifestyle changes.

Do you know any diabetics who've been arrested for public drunkenness because hypoglycemia can mimic intoxication? It's not that unusual. Lawyers... expenses... an arrest record... [sarcasm] All richly deserved, because they're sooo irresponsible. [/sarcasm]
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:48 PM   #81
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The overuse of psychiatric terms could well be a basis to denying gun ownership. So do we want to go there?

In other threads, we've discussed how the truly dangerous on mental illness grounds might be prevented from committing a rampage. However, people have glibbly thrown around the ideas that if you have a mental illness or or whatever, you should be banned.

Well, if you bite your nails or pull off your eyebrows, that could be an a form of OCD - they may share common neurophysiology. It might cause you some distress - a diagnositc cue.

So, no guns for you!

We don't want psychiatric based gulags in the USA. In South Africa, opposition to apartheid was classified as not understanding the will of God or being a psychiatric disorder.

Yep, rhetorical flourishes are nice but you know - wanting to own weapons that are quite deadly is probably more vulnerable to nasty rhetoric than not. I hate to say that but that could be the case to folks who haven't given rational thought to the argument.

Why do you need that? You're nuts.
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:54 PM   #82
zukiphile
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I have prepared diabetic witnesses with the potential of hypoglycemia in mind.

That a condition may mimic the result of irresponsible behavior does not suggest that the irresponsible behavior can be de-stigmatized. That an individual with diabetes does not deserve to be stigmatized for a similarity to drunk behavior does not suggest that drunk behavior is desirable.

A wide range of mental illness, whatever the cause, is undesirable and a reluctance to be identified with an undesirable condition is reasonable. Where a stigma rests in a reasonable desire (wanting to not have a mental illness), I am not sure that the stigma is removable.
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Old January 4, 2013, 01:01 PM   #83
zukiphile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E Meyer
Why do you need that? You're nuts.
I attribute this to an excess of phlegmatic humors.
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Old January 4, 2013, 01:11 PM   #84
Glenn E. Meyer
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That's a good point about diabetes. I've mentioned that in class - but should all diabetics be banned from firearms ownership? A good friend or two of mine would be.

We have to be really careful with overgeneralization.

Great discussion, BTW.

Glenn
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Old January 4, 2013, 01:21 PM   #85
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Zukiphile, I agree with you as to the difficulty of "destigmatizing" mental illness; but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.

Can you name an illness that is desirable? Let's see... heart disease... cancer... asthma... nope, I'd rather not have any of them.

When illnesses are stigmatized, it seems to me that it's because they're scary, either because of contagion and/or symptoms (think leprosy here) or because they're seen as incurable, and it's human to be afraid of death: it's only recently that cancer is losing some of its stigma, and a lot still remains. A close friend died of metastatic breast cancer last year, and it was both sad and surprising to see how many of her friends more or less abandoned her -- just couldn't hack being confronted with her illness. And "stigmatized" was how it felt to her.

Yes, some mentally ill people have symptoms that are scary, and a very few are dangerous -- empathy and compassion are still appropriate responses, along with making sure the few who are in fact dangerous aren't in a position to hurt themselves or others. (It's not that long ago that quarantining people with contagious diseases, thus dangerous to others, was standard practice -- it still is in some cases, at least in the short term.)

Last edited by Vanya; January 4, 2013 at 01:24 PM. Reason: it's 2013 now.
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Old January 4, 2013, 01:35 PM   #86
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Quote:
Where a stigma rests in a reasonable desire (wanting to not have a mental illness), I am not sure that the stigma is removable.
These days I believe the Stigma evolves more around the unpredictable and some times dangerous behavior of the mentally ill. There are certain communicable diseases that cause erratic and anti-social behavior but these I think are not "mental illness" in the terms of the conversation here.

Quote:
it was both sad and surprising to see how many of her friends more or less abandoned her -- just couldn't hack being confronted with her illness. And "stigmatized" was how it felt to her.
Being sick changed her state as a person. People don't react well to that kind of change. Some people may embrace it on the other hand if they can identify with it.

The minister at our church suffers from a huge number of physical ailments. Treatments for these ailments take up a lot of time. Yet he still fulfills all of his duties as minister. Now, he came to our church with these ailments. I wonder if he had developed these ailments after he arrived would people remark how much he had changed and should we try to replace him?
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Old January 4, 2013, 01:39 PM   #87
zukiphile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanya
Zukiphile, I agree with you as to the difficulty of "destigmatizing" mental illness; but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.

Can you name an illness that is desirable? Let's see... heart disease... cancer... asthma... nope, I'd rather not have any of them.
It is my position that it is not reasonable to attempt to eliminate a stigma with a reasonable basis.

My sense is that the degree of stigma that meets mental illness increases as we get to the "cuckoo for cocoa puffs" end of the spectrum and decreases as we get to the "case of the Mondays" end of the spectrum.

I see no particular stigma attached to the ordinary sadness that accompanies the death of a family member. On the other hand, I very much doubt that the yelling homeless man I encountered on the way into my office last Monday gets very many inquiries from people looking for someone to housesit while they are on vacation. That may be unfair; he may be an ideal house sitter, but the appearance of not being reasonable and in control of his actions leads ordinary observers to understandable conclusions.

If someone's conclusion is false, it makes sense to try to talk him out of it. If a conclusion is reasonable, that is another matter.
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Old January 4, 2013, 01:51 PM   #88
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Would police and army or similar organisations not have any psychiatric checks or tests before they are let lose with firearms. If so why not civilians.


They manage to do the checks here. Part of a firearms certificate application form bellow. To me checking for mental health problems is common sense.

A13 Do you currently suffer from any serious medical condition including any alcohol or drug related condition, which is controlled by prescription medicines?
No Yes If yes give details below
A14 Do you currently have, or have you ever had, Epilepsy?
No Yes If yes give approximate dates of last two episodes
A15 Do you have a physical disability including sight related conditions (excludes normal spectacle use)
No Yes If yes give details below
A16 Have you attended a medical professional in the last 5 years for treatment of depression or any other kind of mental or nervous disorder?
No Yes If yes give details below
A17 Please give details of your current General Practitioner
A18 I give my consent for the police to approach my GP, consultant or other medical authority to obtain factual details of my medical history if necessary.
Condition:
Condition:
Dates: From
Dates:
To:
Date 1
Date 2
GP’s Name & Address inc Postcode
Usual Signature
Date
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Old January 4, 2013, 01:57 PM   #89
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manta49, it wasn't that long ago that homosexuality was considered a mental disorder.

Should being gay prevent one from owning a gun?

The thing is, once you put in mental health requirements, per se, as opposed to specifically identifying issues that should prevent firearm ownership, it is up to whoever gets to write the rules.

If those persons think that supporting Manchester United is a sign of poor mental health, or that opposing their political party is a sign of poor mental health, or - dare I say it? - that wanting to carry a gun is a sign of poor mental healt...

So the onus should be on the government to prove and specify what exact "mental disorders" would be real threats, and to further prove that an individual actually has such.
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Old January 4, 2013, 01:59 PM   #90
zukiphile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manta 49
Would police and army or similar organisations not have any psychiatric checks or tests before they are let lose with firearms. If so why not civilians.
My response may seem short and facile, but if an expansion would be useful to you, I would be happy to provide it.

The civilian keeping and bearing of arms is a matter of right, and a constitutionally explicit and fundamental one. The government may not curtail that right without due process. A psychiatric "check"is not due process, though a medical opinion can be an important step on the road to being adjudicated an incompetent.

Last edited by zukiphile; January 4, 2013 at 02:55 PM.
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Old January 4, 2013, 02:29 PM   #91
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Quote:
My response may seem short and facile, but if an expansion would be useful to you, I would be happy to provide it.

The civilian keeping and bearing of arms is a matter of right, and a constitutionally explicit and fundamental one. The government may not curtail that right without due process. A psychiatric "check"is not due process, though a medical opinion can be an important step on the road to being adjudicated and incompetent.
The other choice is to do nothing. Would you be happy for a person that had accessed to be a risk of harming himself or others. Buying firearms and living beside you and your family.
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Old January 4, 2013, 02:32 PM   #92
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Muddy waters...

Some forum members continue to muddy the water about the mental health issues related to gun ownership or use.
If you are gay, wet the bed, cry reading greeting cards, or whatever that's not as significant or as high risk as a person who makes threats, stalks someone, attempts suicide, or is violent.
To distort the issue(s) & avoid the real problem is wrong.
The NRA & other 2A groups should be pushing for changes that keep guns out of the wrong hands. With better laws or regulations at the state-local level, maybe a unstable person will be prevented from going on a spree killing or having a "suicide by cop" incident.

Clyde
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Old January 4, 2013, 02:45 PM   #93
zukiphile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manta 49
Quote:
My response may seem short and facile, but if an expansion would be useful to you, I would be happy to provide it.

The civilian keeping and bearing of arms is a matter of right, and a constitutionally explicit and fundamental one. The government may not curtail that right without due process. A psychiatric "check"is not due process, though a medical opinion can be an important step on the road to being adjudicated and incompetent.
The other choice is to do nothing.
I did not describe a choice, but explained why civilian ownership of arms differs from psychological testing for policing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by manta 49
Would you be happy for a person that had accessed to be a risk of harming himself or others. Buying firearms and living beside you and your family.
I think your intent is to ask me whether I would be happy to have a person access arms and live beside my family, even though there is a risk he may harm himself or others. If I have misstated your question, let me know.

I have neighbors with arms. There is always a risk that another may harm himself or another. I prefer that my neighbors retain their right to arm.
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Old January 4, 2013, 02:49 PM   #94
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And once again with Clydefrogs comment we are back to reality. There are dangerous people. They are pretty easy to spot if you know what you're doing.
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Old January 4, 2013, 04:24 PM   #95
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Quote:
I think your intent is to ask me whether I would be happy to have a person access arms and live beside my family, even though there is a risk he may harm himself or others. If I have misstated your question, let me know.
I am asking if you would be happy if someone who was known to have mental health problems. That made him a risk to himself and the public should be able to buy firearms without any checks. And would you be happy for the person to be living beside you and your family.
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Old January 4, 2013, 04:29 PM   #96
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I was a little rushed, let me add some more. Here are some criteria.
Tortured animals, or humans.
Threatened Family members or others.
Multiple assaults.
Referral from mental health professional.
Referral from from family member.
These trigger a simple response, a minimum of two psychologists(three might be better), examine the subject and determine if the are a danger to society.
If the answer is yes from only one, another Mental Health professional is involved.
Two yes's get you locked up until it can be determined more conclusively whether you are a danger.
Is this perfect? No.
Is it better? YES!
In almost all of these cases there was ample warning that these people were disturbed and dangerous.
Let's replay Sandy hook first. When Mom determines that he is" slipping away" and tells the babysitter "don't turn your back on him" she is clearly aware he is dangerous. She refers him. It's obvious to everyone concerned that he is dangerous and needs help, bang, he is behind bars, everyone is still alive.
I'm basing this on that a Mom, who never wants to see the bad in her child became aware of this, surely especially with her help it becomes an easy call for a trained person.
Now lets talk about the Aurora Movie theater rampage.
This was reported http://abcnews.go.com/US/james-holme...ry?id=16943858
Here are some excerpts;"The psychiatrist who treated suspected movie-theater shooter James Holmes made contact with a University of Colorado police officer to express concerns about her patient's behavior several weeks before Holmes' alleged rampage, sources told ABC News."

"Fenton would have had to have serious concerns to break confidentiality with her patient to reach out to the police officer or others, the sources said. Under Colorado law, a psychiatrist can legally breach a pledge of confidentiality with a patient if he or she becomes aware of a serious and imminent threat that their patient might cause harm to others. Psychiatrists can also breach confidentiality if a court has ordered them to do so."

Notice the mechanism is already partially in place, and It's what they are already trained to do.
Notice as well what I've been saying from the start, the system as presently constituted, is utterly incompetent when dealing with these situations.
What I'm describing here is not that expensive, in my experience the people caught in this net would not be many. 100-200 per state per year at most. Fund it however you want.
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Old January 4, 2013, 04:31 PM   #97
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ClydeFrog, if you were addressing me, I think you missed my point entirely.

My point was that if we use "mental health" as a potential barrier, then we have to stay very much on top of what conditions will be counted, and how determinations will be made, and we need to ensure limits and checks are in place.

Allowing vague wording in any such restrictions would allow for political abuses by government, and advancement of personal agendas by bureaucrats and psychological personnel.

Lots of things sound reasonable at first, but then have nasty and unanticipated effects. For instance, when Lautenberg was passed, did any of us suspect that getting into a fight with one's brother would count as "domestic violence"?
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Old January 4, 2013, 04:48 PM   #98
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The problem lies in balancing the problems with stigma related to mental health ("if anyone ever finds out about these problems, I will never be able to..."eg. own a firearm) and the growing problems of acts of violence by individuals with a "mental illness" and firearms.

I think an argument can be made that an investigation into mental health should be a condition precedent to owning a firearm just like a background investigation is. It's not necessarily a determinative factor in all cases but it shouldn't be ignored.
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Old January 4, 2013, 05:01 PM   #99
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What part of "Constitutional right" is suddenly not clear to a bunch of gun nuts enthusiasts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zukiphile
The civilian keeping and bearing of arms is a matter of right, and a constitutionally explicit and fundamental one. The government may not curtail that right without due process. A psychiatric "check"is not due process, though a medical opinion can be an important step on the road to being adjudicated an incompetent. [My emphasis.]
EXACTLY.

Quote:
Originally Posted by manta49
I am asking if you would be happy if someone who was known to have mental health problems. That made him a risk to himself and the public should be able to buy firearms without any checks. And would you be happy for the person to be living beside you and your family.
My happiness isn't the issue. The issue is when it's OK to deprive someone of a Constitutional right.

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides:
[N]or shall any person... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law...

Section One of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides:
[N]or shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law...

The mechanisms for due process in these cases already exist (see "adjudicated," above), and need to be followed.

It's astonishing to me that so many people are now willing to see the Constitutional rights of others violated in the name of public or personal safety, whether it's in the form of denying them the right to own weapons, or illegal wiretapping, or the extrajudicial murder of U.S. citizens. (Note the current position of the Justice Department on the latter, which is basically that due process simply means that someone in the Govt. says it's OK; why are we not -- speaking, of course, metaphorically -- up in arms about this??? But I digress, sort of.)

Sorry if I'm shouting, but... jeez.
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Old January 4, 2013, 05:04 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manta49
Quote:
I think your intent is to ask me whether I would be happy to have a person access arms and live beside my family, even though there is a risk he may harm himself or others. If I have misstated your question, let me know.
I am asking if you would be happy if someone who was known to have mental health problems. That made him a risk to himself and the public should be able to buy firearms without any checks. And would you be happy for the person to be living beside you and your family.
I believe you intend that text above to be a single question, correct?

Depends what the mental health problem is. Most of us carry around our own little batch of "crazy", and have the sense to refrain from inflicting it on others. If he is driven to check his stove a dozen times before he leaves the house, then I continue to prefer that he retain the right to be armed. People with "mental problems" are generally not especially dangerous.

Everyone is a risk to himself and the public, but few are a real danger. If a person is really a danger to himself and others, then involuntary commitment is called for, and there are due process requirements to continue that beyond a short period.

Depending on the mental problem, I might not be about the person living next door, but that wouldn't be because he had a weapon. Dangerous people don't need guns to hurt others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrubcedar
Referral from mental health professional.
Referral from from family member.
These trigger a simple response, a minimum of two psychologists(three might be better), examine the subject and determine if the are a danger to society.
If the answer is yes from only one, another Mental Health professional is involved.
Two yes's get you locked up until it can be determined more conclusively whether you are a danger.
Is this perfect? No.
Is it better? YES!
Is it a civil liberties catastrophy? Yes.
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