No Guns for Folks On Anti-Depressants?


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30 cal slob
April 17, 2007, 04:28 PM
Been browsing a few non-shooting/non-gun communities and instead of the usual knee-jerk ban everything responses, I'm (anecdotally) coming across a lot of "well, sometimes this happens" to "no guns for folks on anti-depressants."

Would you support this restriction?

How would you verify that somebody is taking anti-depressant meds, given that there really is no federal mental illness database?

Is ATF Form 4473 going to be amended to include a question about psychiatric meds?

Curious to hear what you think.

-slob

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junyo
April 17, 2007, 04:33 PM
The only problem is doctors prescribe meds like candy these days.

PotatoJudge
April 17, 2007, 04:37 PM
Psych meds are given for all kinds of legitimate reasons, and it's not the ones getting treatment we need to worry about. Also, it'd be another reason for a person to avoid treatment. It's just a bad idea all around.

ArmedBear
April 17, 2007, 04:43 PM
The problem with psych meds is that, in some cases, maybe in many cases, we don't really understand what the med do to people.

So I have mixed feelings.

Some of these meds are no "safer" than "street drugs." The fact that they came from a legitimate professional in a white coat doesn't necessarily make them better than if they'd come from a black market seller in a trenchcoat.

IdahoFarmer
April 17, 2007, 04:45 PM
My wife is currently on anti-depressants for post-partum depression. Apparantly this is somewhat common for females in the months following childbirth. I formally disregarded "depression" as an excuse for the weak minded (no offence meant). However, I can now tell you from first hand experience that depression is legitimate, due at least in part to a physical chemical imbalance.

I would be SERIOUSLY ANGRY if anyone attempted to take away my wife's rights to purchase and carry firearms due to this issue.

Farmer

MrDig
April 17, 2007, 04:46 PM
Knowing what little I know about medications I know this, Sometimes they are prescribed off label. That means that they are prescribed for the "side effects" as much as for the intended use. ie the Anti-Depressent Elavil/Amytriptaline is prescribed for its "sedative" effect in some cases to help the patient sleep. Not as an Anti-Depressent.
Wellbutrin, also and anti-depressent is prescribed to help people quit smoking, ie Zyban is just Wellbutrin with a new name.
For Crying out loud as an extreme measure Thorazine (an old school anti-psychotic) is prescribed as a cure for hiccoughs. I know this since I had the hiccoughs for about four days once, and the Doc gave me a low dose of Thorazine for about a week. Something about it made the hiccoughs go away. I was not at the time Psychotic and have never been adjudicated incompetent.
The point of all of this is that just taking a medication dosen't make you mentally ill and or a danger to self or others. This is one of the reasons you have to be Commited or Judged Mentally Ill or Incompetant to be denied a firearm.

El Tejon
April 17, 2007, 04:48 PM
No, there is already a process to commit those deemed mentally unstable.

Anti-depressants are passed out like candy. Tens of millions would be impacted.

Big Calhoun
April 17, 2007, 04:48 PM
Absolutely not!!

Two years ago, my wife and I were expecting our first child. The entire pregnancy was difficult and culminated in her being in the hospital for 2 weeks, giving live birth prematurely, and our child passing away. I was 29...my head was MESSED UP. I never had to deal with anything on that magnitude in my personal life. Subsequently, I had to make all the arrangements and the decision to have him cremated.

During the middle of all of this, I had trouble sleeping, short tempered, would go into fits of depression. I attended a counseling session at the hospital and they scripted me something for anxiety. Never have been a big fan of medicines and I never did get that script filled. It was an emotional time and I needed help. Things passed, life moved on, and I'm two months away from the birth of our second child with what has been an easy-peasy and noneventful pregnancy.

We all need help at times. Help does not equate to defect.

mnrivrat
April 17, 2007, 04:50 PM
No Guns for Folks On Anti-Depressants?

That would be barking up the wrong tree !

pax
April 17, 2007, 04:52 PM
My mom has fibromyalgia. She takes low doses of anti-depressants to help with that.

My dad has chronic back pain. He, too, takes low doses of anti-depressants. Apparently they help him sleep better.

A friend has high blood pressure. Guess what? The doc handed him an Rx for an anti-depressant along with his blood pressure medication.

Buddy of mine was recently diagnosed with a long-term, degenerative disease that will cripple him and eventually kill him. He is on anti-depressants, understandably so, I think.

Another friend of mine is watching her partner of 20 years die slowly from cancer. As the full-time caregiver to her partner, and the mom to their kids, she is dealing with a lot of stress. Yup, anti-depressants for her, too.

So which of these people is a threat to society so severe that you would take away their human right to self-defense?

And why would you want any of them to avoid the doctor's office in the first place, because the legal threat was severe enough to keep them from seeking help for minor problems before the minor problems became major ones?

pax

jeff-10
April 17, 2007, 04:55 PM
The problem with singling out someone for seeking treatment is that once everyone finds out you can lose your rights for seeking treatment no one will anymore. Letting a crazy man not on drugs buy a weapon and a crazy man on drugs not buy one, in itself is crazy.

I believe it was Bill Clinton who signed an executive order allowing ppl who have been treated for mental illness still receive top secret clearances. It doesn't really make sense to block the ppl already in treatment from doing something when you have nutjobs doing the same thing who aren't being treated for there craziness.

BTW this is coming from someone who has never seen a psychologist and never will.

MrDig
April 17, 2007, 04:56 PM
Well said Pax. Who am I to judge anothers mental state simply based on the medicines they take.

30 cal slob
April 17, 2007, 05:00 PM
interesting responses. i am not advocating anything - i just want to hear what you think.

the VT shooter was reportedly on anti-depressants and had a history of mental illness (unspecified).

let's take another hypothetical cut at this question:

No guns for folks who are

1) under 25 and
2) being treated for a mental illness and
3) are on anti-depressants?

bowfin
April 17, 2007, 05:01 PM
I'm not a big fan of antidepressants, and neither are the Armed Forces. I had a nephew who scored high enough to go to nuke school for the Navy turned down for enlistment because he was once prescribed antidepressants.

As for postpartum depression it is almost universal, it was handled for centuries without antidepressants. I don't know how or why these meds became so necessary now. Of course, they used to keep women and the babies in the hospitals for six days after birth, and most women had a better support net of friends, neighbors, and relatives to check up on them and lend a hand.

PILMAN
April 17, 2007, 05:01 PM
What the hell is wrong with people? First we have them saying "no guns for legal aliens" and now "no guns for the mentally ill", some of the folks here are starting to sound like a bunch of Nazis.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of you were willing to trade your first child so you yourself could keep your arms.

Smokey Joe
April 17, 2007, 05:02 PM
I do know that there are a number of prescription meds, and OTC drugs, too, that make me too loopy to safely handle a firearm.

I react rather more strongly than many people to certain drugs.

And when that condition occurs, I scrupulously avoid handling any of my guns. Or driving. Or using a power saw. Or climbing ladders. Etc, etc, etc.

But then, I don't do any reloading when I'm tired, or upset, either.

I think it's called common sense.

TimboKhan
April 17, 2007, 05:04 PM
For a very short period of time, I took an anti-depressant. It really didn't work for me, and my depression wasn't severe enough to really warrant it anyway. I think for some people, anti-depressants are a godsend, and in no way do I think that they should be a disqualifying factor for a gun purchase.

220_Swift
April 17, 2007, 05:06 PM
I was on an anti-drepessant for anxiety for quite a while. No actual depression, just had issues with anxiety and sleeping. Worked very well.

And my father was taking anti-depressants while he was quitting smoking. They gave hime the patch, and the anti-depressants. Worked wonders for him as well.


Not every person who is given anti-depressants has depression. They have multiple other uses than just that. Their is no reason to put everyone in the same boat, when circumstances vary. JMHO

obxned
April 17, 2007, 05:14 PM
These days, not being depressed just means you haven't a clue.

bowfin
April 17, 2007, 05:35 PM
and now "no guns for the mentally ill"...some of the folks here are starting to sound like a bunch of Nazis.

Somehow, that sounds more damning to our cause than bolstering it.

nibb
April 17, 2007, 05:38 PM
I agree. Im not sure if it applies to all people. Bu if you take anti depressants it means you can and will become unstable without the pills. But hey, if people can drive why not use guns too.

PotatoJudge
April 17, 2007, 05:46 PM
Bu if you take anti depressants it means you can and will become unstable without the pills.

Nope.

RavenVT100
April 17, 2007, 05:48 PM
Placing someone who has been prescribed meds at the same level a a convicted criminal for purposes of owning a firearm does not strike me as the most productive solution available to us. There is also the issue of medical privacy, as that would have to be done away with in order to make the data available. Unless your proposal is on the honor system.

It would also increase stigma and very likely cause individuals who need help to avoid getting it, for fear of being punished for having sought it. Then we're back to square one.

When the prohibitionists are in knee-jerk mode, they begin looking for ways to disenfranchise people in order to make themselves feel better. Please try to avoid falling into the same trap.

30 cal slob
April 17, 2007, 05:50 PM
...if you take anti depressants it means you can and will become unstable without the pills.

not necessarily. if you take anti-depressants, it means ... you've taken anti-depressants.

ojibweindian
April 17, 2007, 05:50 PM
The shooter wasn't suffering from major depression; he was anti-social. Someone with a strong sense of entitlement, narcissistic, and very little, if any, empathy for the suffering of others.

Thing is, insurance companies don't pay Drs. to treat anti-socials, so they often will diagnose them as something else, i.e. major depression, and stuff anti-depressants down the miscreant's throat.

Anti-depressants aren't the problem. Misleading diagnosis of a patient to get paid, though, is.

30 cal slob
April 17, 2007, 05:52 PM
was interesting to hear that this fella reportedly started a dorm fire.

wonder why he wasn't charged with attempted arson and reckless endangerment.

MrDig
April 17, 2007, 06:17 PM
nibb, your statement about people who take anti-depressents becoming unstable is exactly the misunderstanding that people have about Depression, Mental Health and the Meantal health System. Depression of all the Mental Illness, is the Most stable and Most Treatable. I work in a Mental Health Group Home. We don't even interview people only Diagnosed with Depression, as they are too healthy to live at our home. My guess would be that you have dozens of aquaintencess who are taking antidepressants and won't tell you because you equate depression with Crazy. Work with Schizophrenics for a few years and you will see. Depression is easily the most treatable and least volitle of the mental health conditions.

Smokey Joe
April 17, 2007, 07:15 PM
When the prohibitionists are in knee-jerk mode, they begin looking for ways to disenfranchise people in order to make themselves feel better.I very much fear that exactly this will be the result of the Va Tech incident.

Furncliff
April 17, 2007, 07:27 PM
FWIW...the Federal Aviation Agency has already done something like this in connection with the physicals taken for a pilots lic.. Take antidipression meds. and you can't get a a medical certificate to fly.

I have known pilots with 20,000 hours of safe flying who were diagnosed as depressive and could easily have been treated with meds (and perhaps treated for a short time), who refused to take the meds and get grounded. They rather remain as they are and continue to fly.

The possibility that the same kind of twisted logic could apply to gun owners is not without precedence.

Two Cold Soakers
April 17, 2007, 07:38 PM
Now, understand, I live in a small town, I actually bought the house I live in from my doctor, we know the same people, he told me once about this urologist who ...nevermind......

Anyhow, he made me aware of two SSRIs used for non-mental illness reasons:

Prozac has been listed for sexual dysfunction (premature ej);
Wellbutrin has been prescribed to take the edge off of smoking cessation.

It's not the meds that diagnose an illness. It's the symptoms.

Soakers.

IdahoFarmer
April 17, 2007, 08:33 PM
Quote from bowfin:
As for postpartum depression it is almost universal, it was handled for centuries without antidepressants. I don't know how or why these meds became so necessary now.


bowfin, have you had any friends or family involved with this issue? If not, I respectfully ask that you consider reserving judgement. I held your beliefs for a long time... until depression hit close to home and I saw it first hand. Very strange seeing the life and vigor fade from one's eyes.

Farmer

Soybomb
April 17, 2007, 08:45 PM
Some antidepressants like SSRI's are used to treat many other conditions than depression including things like anxiety, ocd, ibs, and eating disorders so of course not.

Past that its just very flawed reasoning because there is no demonstrated link that shows people on antidepressants are likely to cause problems. If you want to worry about someone you need to focus on the untreated people, not the ones being treated.

Travis McGee
April 17, 2007, 08:49 PM
If they ban folks who have ever been prescribed these meds from gun ownership, they'll wipe out abuot a third of the next generation from gun ownership by simple legal fiat.

Add to it misdemeanor domestic violence (he said-she said will do) and you are up to about half of tomorrow's Americans losing their RKBA.

A gun grabbers dream.

EAFO
April 17, 2007, 08:52 PM
not everybody who takes anti depressants is pasty white and wearing all black clothing. you dont have to want to kill yourself to need them. and to the people who say its all a bunch of garbage and people have been dealing with this kind of stuff for years without medicine are probably the same people who have to take pills for their blood pressure or cholesterol.

depression can be hereditary....so can stupidity.

Dr.Rob
April 17, 2007, 09:05 PM
There is a 4473 question about health. It asks if you have been classified as a Mental Defective... this is a legal definition and can cover anything from being retarded, to having a stroke, head injury (or similar medical condition). Your doctor might file this on you without your knowledge. It's hard to get repealed once it's on your record in many places.

It is my understanding that if you've ever been thrown in the booby hatch on a 72 hr mental health hold as an adult , you may well indeed get the 'MD' flag.

If your psychiatrist thinks you are too crazy to drive or operate heavy machinery, he or she may well tag you MD.

Mr White
April 17, 2007, 10:30 PM
Do you think for a second that they'd grant an exception to anyone who's taking or took antidepressants to treat something completely unrelated to mental illness?

Elevil is an antidepressant used to treat suicidal depression. It is also sometimes used to treat diabetic peripheral neuropathy. I don't know why, but it is. I took it for 3 days for neuropathy and stopped because I couldn't tolerate the side effects.

I could be denied my 2nd Amendment rights because I have nerve pain in my feet!! That's bullsh**!!!

Max Beep
April 17, 2007, 10:39 PM
In order to keep people on anti-depressants from having guns you would need to register all guns and then have a data base that would flag owners when prescribed certain medications. The antis and big government folks would love that... And besides if you feel so insecure you need to own guns you must be mentally unstable anyway!!

jlbraun
April 17, 2007, 10:42 PM
I wouldn't be in favor of prohibiting guns to those that have taken antidepressants.

However.

I'm scared of anything that mucks with the brain chemistry.

tinygnat219
April 17, 2007, 10:49 PM
Would never happen without violating half a dozen confidentiality laws with HIPAA to boot.

Zen21Tao
April 17, 2007, 10:55 PM
I would support a "no guns for people on anti-depressents" BUT only after they write into law:

"No computers/pens & paper for people on anti-depressents"

"No journalists/reporters that are on anti-depressents"

"No practice of religion for people on anti-depressents"

"No abortions for women on andi-depressents"

"No protection from self-incrimination for people on anti-depressents"

etc.

skinnyguy
April 17, 2007, 11:06 PM
I'm on anti-depressants. I'm as safe as anyone when it comes to weapons. I wish nobody any harm except those who would harm me or mine.

Being depressed does not make you inherently dangerous, nor should it preclude you from owning a firearm. I know I'm not alone in this, my mother, my brother, my supervisor, a brother-level friend, and maybe 8 other people I know are firearms owners, AND on anti-depressants. To my knowledge, none of these people have ever drawn their firearms on another human without defensive cause, and when they did, the situation defused, and they didn't have to fire.

Depression is hell to live with, I know this for a fact. Being on medication is hell, but depression is worse, and I would worry more about those who are NOT on anti-depressants than those of us who are. Being on anti-depressants says that there is a problem that has been identified, and it's being treated. It's a medical condition that can be treated, as is asthma, glaucoma, cancer, broken bones or any other of a plethora of medical conditions.

Since I wear glasses also, should I not be allowed to shoot because I can't aim properly? Everybody is responsible for their own actions, I have taken the responsibilty to treat my depression, to get glasses so I can see, and live my own life and not blame everyone else for the things I deal with.

Green Lantern
April 17, 2007, 11:14 PM
As a pharmacy tech, AND as someone that has loved ones with depression:

I think the best case scenario might be if the antis try some B.S. like that, then get buried by the backlash that would result. See, these days there are about more people taking antidepressants than NOT taking them.

As for the prohibition, ask yourself this? Would you rather go shooting with someone who's on antidepressants and needs them - or with someone NOT on antidepressants and who needs them? ;)

As others have pointed out, the statement that someone taking antidepressants will "go bonkers" WITHOUT them is NOT true.

What worries me is that I can easily see people avoiding treatment just BECAUSE of "rumblings" of this. I'd hate to see how bad the "Stuff" could hit the fan if this ever WAS proposed!

gezzer
April 17, 2007, 11:23 PM
There is a 4473 question about health. It asks if you have been classified as a Mental Defective... this is a legal definition

Bull, the 4473 states Adjudicated mentally defective. That is it. Read one

TimboKhan
April 18, 2007, 01:26 AM
Bu if you take anti depressants it means you can and will become unstable without the pills

Nope. Completely wrong. For me, at worst it means that I will cry at odd times, and just feel.... well, I will just feel depressed! Thats not "unstable", and it doesn't mean I shouldn't own a gun.

My guess would be that you have dozens of aquaintencess who are taking antidepressants and won't tell you because you equate depression with Crazy

This is true. Except for my closest buddies, I never told anyone that I was on anti-depressants or even that I was depressed. For some reason, there is a percentage of people that just want to judge you, play doctor, and try to tell you what is wrong with you and why. My mom, for example, will just not drop the subject. I know she is just trying to help and to understand, but frankly, I always feel more depressed after talking to her, and I honestly regret ever telling her that I have depression. Every time someone kills themself, or every time someone in her church mentions depression, or every time ()*&)@#$ Oprah does a show on depression, I have to hear about it. Sucks. By the same token, you would never, ever guess that I had depression and I am about as far away from a pasty-faced milquetoast as you can get. It is easy to sit and judge when your experience in the matter equals nothing, and your idea of medicine is to walk it off. But this 6-1 former all-state wrestler, former all-state football player, former all-conference Baseball player, Former Marine, and college graduate is telling you: Your wrong. Depression sucks, and it is prevalent. It's not about a weak mind, it's not about daddy not hugging you enough when you were three (although I guess it could be), and it's not about whining or trying to think of excuses. It's a real, valid condition that very likely is affecting someone you know.

R.H. Lee
April 18, 2007, 01:44 AM
nibb said:
Bu if you take anti depressants it means you can and will become unstable without the pills. But hey, if people can drive why not use guns too.

So, nibb, where did you earn your doctorate?, hmmmmmm? That is what qualifies you to make such a sweeping, across the board statement, correct?

plexreticle
April 18, 2007, 01:46 AM
What a bizarre question. Should people on anti depressants not be allowed to own a car?

mike240se
April 18, 2007, 02:07 AM
I believe when i applied for my purchase permit in nj one of the questions is are you seeing a pyschiatrist and/or taking medications. I was taking antidespressants when i got my permit, for sleeping disorder, but am not anymore, they didnt make me unsafe to handle a gun on them or off them.

Prince Yamato
April 18, 2007, 02:31 AM
Antidepressants alone is not a reason to deny someone gun ownership. As someone else stated, sometimes the medications are used for their side-effects. People who suffer chronic diarreah/bowel movements are often given Anti-depressants to cease the frequent bowel movements. Frankly, I'd love to see a case like that hit the Supreme Court. The headline would read:

"Man denied gun on account of pooping too much."

.cheese.
April 18, 2007, 02:39 AM
Here is the deal with this.

I myself have been on anti-depressants. When I was much younger, I had a rare and unrecognizable condition whereby I had constant vertigo. Multiple visits to neurologists, ENT's, etc. and nobody could figure out the cause.

Finally, a neurologist suggested, "Maybe it's a physical manifestation of stress?"

So I began psychotherapy whereby I was placed on anti-depressants. The doctor I worked with seemed bogus and I felt it was a waste, especially because I was fairly certain that it was not the cause of the problem. I switched psychiatrists, and that psychiatrist prescribed medication like candy. He tried anti-psychotics (just because of the anti-anxiety and sedative side-effects), anti-depressants, and more... all at once. The result? I was asleep throughout most of middle and high-school due to the sedative side-effects.

Shortly afterwards, I was diagnosed with an intestinal medical condition, completely uncurable. The condition, along with the sedative qualities of the medications (which were later deemed WAY overkill when I switched to another psychiatrist), created a need for me to switch into a sub-school (of my regular school) for children with severe learning issues. It lowered my self-esteem and I was taught nothing. Those schools are essentially finger-painting 24/7.

When I switched psychiatrists again, this time because I felt the previous one was popping pills into my mouth like I was a science experiment, it was decided that there really was NO NEED for me to be on ANY of those meds. The doctor offered for me to stay on a mild anti-depressant, simply because by this point I actually was mildly depressed from the troubles the last doctors had caused me and my real medical condition.

Not long after, I was taken off those drugs and was fine for years. Didn't see anybody for a long time.

About 2 years ago, I began experiencing anxiety and depression after I dealt with a very unruly girl, and some very unprofessional professors. I tried psychotherapy again just for the heck of it to see if it would help. It didn't. The psychologist suggested I get a psychiatrist involved. He like the doctor from my childhood, began popping pills into me. This time I didn't have negative side effects, but at the same time I felt the effects weren't treating my problems at the time.

A few months ago I switched back to my psychiatrist (the one who had originally deemed medication was not needed). He once again said I had fallen victim to over-prescribing doctors and said that there was absolutely no need to be on any medication. He believed my anxiety and depression to be within reasonable and healthy levels under the situations I was going through.

I was taken off of those meds, and once again was fine.

Now the only thing that I ever take is a Xanax once in a blue moon (prescription) to help me deal with stress due to my medical condition (flares, etc).

My case shows that these pills are prescribed without need, and that just because somebody has been on them, doesn't mean they needed them. I never needed pills. I needed time, and patience. That was it.

The doctors are eager however to try the newest meds to see if it helps.

If the legal usage of those meds one day prohibit me from owning a firearm, it will be a sad day. I have no mental issues. I have the same problems your average Joe has with depression and anxiety.

My mistake was that I gave doctors a chance to make things better, faster.... which both didn't work, and eventually may need to be explained on my record, if laws go into place prohibiting ownership.

Many people on such drugs are like me. They don't really have a problem. They're sane and normal people like me. The have no real mental disorder. They just have bought into the enticing notion of quick solutions via pills to problems that aren't severe enough to warrant them.

We all get stressed, and depressed sometimes. If one day we get penalized for giving doctors a chance to make things easier - it will be sad.

Lew
April 18, 2007, 02:54 AM
I'll wade in with everyone else and say "NO NO NO!" Good Lord. Maybe we should caliper their heads too? What a nightmare this question conjures up for me.

30 cal slob
April 18, 2007, 08:40 AM
yeesh, i want to jump off a bridge after reading through this thread. (j/k....)

if policy makers are going to consider further restrictions on people undergoing treatment for mental illness, the issues put forth in this thread need to be considered and weighed.

IANAD ( :neener: ) so this thread is an education for me. i had no idea how many off-label uses anti-depressants meds have!

RealGun
April 18, 2007, 09:18 AM
Don't we already know the answer here? "ANYONE who would want to carry a gun must be crazy. Only cops should have guns."

Therefore, no one gets to carry except the government's own.

Notions of classifying people as fit to carry is just a nibble in the direction of ruling out carry for everyone. There is a lot of "playing God" in that, and it's very exhilarating. Another gun control law is just another "high" for the antigunner.

The crazy ones are the blissninnies.

Like in many things, insurance companies make the rules. When I bought health insurance, I was called with a question about my application. They noted my treatment for depression. I told them I had not been hospitalized and had not missed any work. The answer was "thank you, that's what we needed to know". Nevertheless, there is a mental health treatment exclusion on the policy, the usual practice for pre-existing conditions. The question, I believe, was whether they would cover me at all.

I submit that being hospitalized or missing work are valid measures of how affected someone is by depression. But just like with the question of felons out of prison, if not hospitalized under someone else's care, one has the right of self defense.

bowfin
April 18, 2007, 10:44 AM
bowfin, have you had any friends or family involved with this issue? If not, I respectfully ask that you consider reserving judgement.

Yes, I have had two brothers and two nephews who were diagnosed as having "depression"and IN EVERY CASE, their problems didn't go away with a handful of "Happy Pills". Depression went away when they either fixed the problems or learned how to deal with them.

The brother who was depressed because he hated his job got better when he got a different job.

The brother who was depressed because he left his wife and kid and moved across the country for his high school sweetheart got better when he got off the sauce and moved back to salvage his relationship with his daughter.

The one nephew had to get a figurative boot up his arse by a court appointed counselor and told that no one could (or should) feel good about themselves or their life when they screw it up so thoroughly on a regular basis.

The last nephew took it personally that the Navy put him in the "too screwed up to join" pile because of his "Happy Pills", and decided the doctor who gave them to him was a quack, and got on with his life.

Depression is one of the Good Lord's ways of saying something in your life sucks and you need to change it. If he wanted you to change by swallowing something, he would have made a Prozac berry bush...

RealGun
April 18, 2007, 11:00 AM
Depression is one of the Good Lord's ways of saying something in your life sucks and you need to change it. If he wanted you to change by swallowing something, he would have made a Prozac berry bush...

Not!!! Pills are prescribed to correct brain chemistry. Depression is not necessarily a reaction to life, but it can cause one to view things negatively. Treatment with medication is not simply because a person can't "get a grip".

bowfin
April 18, 2007, 11:09 AM
Not!!! Pills are prescribed to correct brain chemistry

...so, you are saying that these pills are prescribed only after various samples of the brain's chemicals are taken from the patient and analyzed in a lab, to make sure it is indeed a chemical imbalance? I mean, that is the only sure way to know that it is really a brain chemistry problem, isn't it?;)

armoredman
April 18, 2007, 11:22 AM
After reading this thread, and the very vocal opposition to the idea, I cannot help but wonder if Feinslime or upChuckie will introduce it in today's session.

redneckdan
April 18, 2007, 11:26 AM
I would be steadfastly against this. I take a low dose antidepressent to help control IBS, a stomach disorder. The antidepressent blocks seretonin from over activating my stomach motility. Sounds like a backdoor gun ban to me.

bowfin
April 18, 2007, 11:27 AM
I am okay with people on various medications to treat mental disorders if they get an okay from the treating physician.

Those being treated shouldn't have a problem with the guy they let be in charge of their brain be the guy in charge of their guns also.

RealGun
April 18, 2007, 11:30 AM
...so, you are saying that these pills are prescribed only after various samples of the brain's chemicals are taken from the patient and analyzed in a lab, to make sure it is indeed a chemical imbalance? I mean, that is the only sure way to know that it is really a brain chemistry problem, isn't it?

That seems a strawman argument. It's a whole lot easier to prescribe the meds and see if they help.

RealGun
April 18, 2007, 11:33 AM
Those being treated shouldn't have a problem with the guy they let be in charge of their brain be the guy in charge of their guns also. - bowfin

Is it your intent to be disrespectful here? Perhaps you should back off.

30 cal slob
April 18, 2007, 11:44 AM
i am in charge of and responsible for my brain regardless of where it may get a tune-up.

bowfin
April 18, 2007, 11:52 AM
Is it your intent to be disrespectful here? Perhaps you should back off.

Not in the least, either for the "disrespectful" part or the "back off".

If one is to the point that they cannot handle day to day living without a doctor's intervention, is that person capable of deciding if they are okay to drive, pilot a plane, run a punch press, or own a gun? I would think a person would take a doctor's advice if he said "Don't drink dairy products while you are taking this or that." or "Don't drive or operate heavy machinery four hours after taking this." Why would it be any different if he said "It might be best to not go shooting or have a handgun until we get a handle on this depression thing."?

RealGun
April 18, 2007, 12:48 PM
If one is to the point that they cannot handle day to day living without a doctor's intervention, is that person capable of deciding if they are okay to drive, pilot a plane, run a punch press, or own a gun? I would think a person would take a doctor's advice if he said "Don't drink dairy products while you are taking this or that." or "Don't drive or operate heavy machinery four hours after taking this." Why would it be any different if he said "It might be best to not go shooting or have a handgun until we get a handle on this depression thing."? - bowfin

Thanks for the clarification.

I have had the experience, and don't think a counselor or psychiatrist managing meds is going to raise the issue of suicide beyond the question of whether one ever considered it. I don't believe I was asked about whether I had any firearms either. One risks an indirect suggestion to go buy a gun while he still can.

If it is your understanding that the meds cause aberrant behavior toward others, you should just drop this until learning more about it, both careful to separate the context of various mental disorders and understanding that very different drugs may be used for treatment of each.

Let's leave the counseling to the pros.

ingram
April 18, 2007, 12:52 PM
Definitely not.

I was taking anti-depressants for a while to help deal with anxiety, not being depressed at all. These drugs have multiple uses, anti-depressant does not equal depressed person.

I eventually stopped taking them because of a rare side effect that made me sweat more than normal and it was too bothersome to continue. Therapy has been helpful, and in my mind should always be taken in conjunction with any drug when dealing with these sorts of issues.

but unfortunately I have reverted to my old habit of always wearing a tin foil hat =(

Justin
April 18, 2007, 12:54 PM
How about this:

Public policies shouldn't be written and dictated in reaction to exceedingly rare, high-profile events.

RealGun
April 18, 2007, 01:08 PM
Public policies shouldn't be written and dictated in reaction to exceedingly rare, high-profile events. - Justin

I agree but was picturing Sarah Brady's reaction to that axiom. Sympathy for her did a lot of damage.

gm
April 18, 2007, 01:22 PM
labeling...:barf:


Not everybody has the same tolerance for being able to deal with certain situations and some folks take meds to help them cope with a death in the family,loss of a coworker,financial instability,a robbery or traumatic event that leaves them feeling defenseless or a injury that leaves them without an arm or an leg.Some take them to help them cope with other health problems,both serious and minor.It does not make them "weak" to seek treatment.


There are already laws in place to cover people who operate or attempt to operate machinery or weapons while under the influence of meds that impare their judgment and co-ordination,this is why there is a drug test at an accident.There are also already laws to cover criminally insane and those committed involuntarily by a judge to a hospital because they cannot make rational decisions.


Throwing everyone who is or has ever taken an antidepressant for an event in their lives to being dangerous and irrational is labeling,over generalizing and absurd.

Neo-Luddite
April 18, 2007, 01:26 PM
At least one media source stated that the FBI had found no record of anti-depressant prescriptions in the killers history. *MY*surprise was that someone is keeping tabs on scripts other than narcotics? I think it was ABC news.

If true, it sounds like someone is laying the ground work to add a new block of citizens to the no-gun club. The metal health angle of this story is just coming up now. And guess what? His privacy was respected and the institution 'did nothing' (or little) as a result.

Don't get me wrong--I'm in no way saying that needing psych meds should in any way in disqualify someone like a felony conviction or what have you. But we need to be warry. The anti's are looking for an angle to work--the mag capacity was the first they have gone at but it is not flying. They will seek mental health restrictions next---and THEY will inform us all what sane SHOULD be.

(To Big Calhoun: It's good to hear things are going better for you. Take care and Best Wishes- Mike.)

Geister
April 18, 2007, 01:30 PM
Public policies shouldn't be written and dictated in reaction to exceedingly rare, high-profile events.

By far one of the best quotes I've ran across.

RealGun
April 18, 2007, 01:35 PM
Throwing everyone who is or has ever taken an antidepressant for an event in their lives to being dangerous and irrational is labeling,over generalizing and absurd. - gm

I think you also belabor a stereotype, because medication is not only treatment for ones reaction to events in their life. Many people have chronic melancholia and benefit from boosting the brain chemistry that controls that condition. If you contrast someone who just never seems to accomplish much or even smile easily and someone known as very dynamic, productive, and outgoing, you are probably observing a significant difference in inherent seratonin levels, all of no particular credit to a difference in character or any other external influence on personality.

RealGun
April 18, 2007, 01:42 PM
At least one media source stated that the FBI had found no record of anti-depressant prescriptions in the killers history.

I think what will ultimately take the heat and cause policy changes is why this guy was referred for counseling to no avail.

NM234
April 18, 2007, 01:55 PM
I think it would be ridiculous to stop people on anti-depressants from buying a gun.

If you look at how the pyschological manual has grown in the past twenty years everything is a mental illness, hell almost everyone in here could probably get the label attached to them if they went to a pyschiatrist.

I think that only those that have a mental illness that causes them to be dangerous to others should be denied (most of the "mentally ill" are not dangerous, for example eating too much can be considered a mental illness). So only those who are dangerously mentally ill or felons convicted of violent crimes (for example I don't think someone who shoplifted $100 15 years ago should be denied the right to bear arms; actually in MA, one of the most restrictive states, a felon who has been out of prison and off parole can have their right to bear arms reinstated after 7 years and an evaluation) should be denied that right.

Machete
April 18, 2007, 02:33 PM
I take antidepressants for my anxiety disorder, so that seems very stupid to me considering everyone who takes antidepressants don't take them for depression. The question would be better phrased "should people who suffer from chronic depression be allowed to own firearms".

RealGun
April 18, 2007, 02:49 PM
The question would be better phrased "should people who suffer from chronic depression be allowed to own firearms".

I believe the question was raised in the context of recent events, so I would say the question is whether they would be a danger to anyone else. Such folks are not typically aggressive, so there seems to be some confusion about why we should care if they have guns.

stevekl
April 18, 2007, 03:34 PM
The only problem is doctors prescribe meds like candy these days.
And that doesn't mean that some people don't need them.


As for postpartum depression it is almost universal, it was handled for centuries without antidepressants. I don't know how or why these meds became so necessary now.

"As for broken bones it is almost universal. It was handled for centuries without casts and crutches. I don't know how or why casts and crutches became so neccessary now."

Bu if you take anti depressants it means you can and will become unstable without the pills.

Huh, that's weird. I quit taking anti-depressants a year or so ago and I don't remember becoming unstable.

Bowfin, your use of the term "happy pills" betrays the fact that you, like a lot of people, don't understand what anti-depressant medicine does. It does NOT produce euphoria. It does NOT give the user a narcotic-like feeling of unearned happiness. In other words, it's not a cheap, easy road to happiness like you think it is.

What it DOES do is "even you out". Depression is a disorder. It's not made up, it's not "all in your head". It makes your brain not work the way it should work. All it does is give depressed people the kind of working brain that non-depressed people already have.

Happiness is something that is achieved by using the tool which is your mind. A normal person has a working mind/tool, and uses it, WITH effort and creativity and work, to achieve what he wants: happiness.

A depressed person has a defective mind. Even with great effort he can not achive his goal of happiness. Anti-depressants fixes the mind, which allows the person, with normal effort and work, to achieve his goal. It is not a substitute for the mind. A person who takes a pill can not achieve happiness without effort. All the pill does is give him the working mind that non-depressed people already have.

Two Cold Soakers
April 18, 2007, 04:21 PM
Would never happen without violating half a dozen confidentiality laws with HIPAA to boot.

At least one media source stated that the FBI had found no record of anti-depressant prescriptions in the killers history.

There is no Dr. - Patient confidentiality in the post 9-11 US of Amerika.

Am I the only one who read that confidentiality statement the docs asked us to sign a few years ago? It allows Health Care providers (or was it requires them?) to release information only as required by law.

Which law?
New laws? Common law? All laws?
Who makes the laws? What laws have been passed in the last five years in regards to medical confidentiality?

BTW, if the gun board of my state (Michigan) wants to, they can petition my medical records and find out about that re-occurring B-17 under Luftwaffe attack dream I had as a kid. If the pediatrician said I was suffering PostTraumaticStressDisorder, I could, according to Doc, be stripped of the CPL.

REPEAT there is no Dr-Patient confidentiality.

junyo
April 18, 2007, 05:25 PM
And that doesn't mean that some people don't need them.No doubt, and nobody's contesting that. But in the context of the original question, the fact that doctors DO prescribe meds to people that don't have a major problem would tend to rule out prescriptions as an accurate indicator of serious mental defect worthy of loss of rights.

tmg19103
April 18, 2007, 06:04 PM
Under the American's with Disabilites Act, and per federal case law, it is illegal for states to discriminate against those who have been diagnosed with or suffer from depression - and this would include buying a gun or getting a CCW.

The law for prohibiting guns goes to those who have been involuntarily committed or who are a clear and present danger to themselves - and I just started another thread on this in General Gun Discussions as it seems Cho was involuntarily committed in the past.

nemoaz
April 18, 2007, 06:30 PM
I'm calling BS. I just search all federal cases and found NOTHING.

bowfin
April 18, 2007, 06:35 PM
I call them "Happy Pills" not because they make anyone happy, but because people think that they will make them happy.

I wonder how many million people (doctors and patients both) skip over the first standard remedy of "Sunlight and exercise" that has been proven to be as effective as prescription drugs in treating clinical depression.

In fact, if one Googles "exercise depression", a pretty authoratative name appears first in line...(Mayo Clinic)

Anyhow, I think I have dragged the thread way off topic, no one ever changes any opinions over the net, but I just have an abiding distrust of antidepressants and the possible side effects.

I can't think of anything else to add to my side of the debate.

30 cal slob
April 18, 2007, 06:37 PM
let's get Tom Cruise to post on this thread and throw in his $0.02 on the Scientologist's point of view.

:uhoh:

Zen21Tao
April 18, 2007, 06:43 PM
This issue of anti-depressants and massacre is a perfect example of a heuristical bias. In research the phrase "correlation doesn't imply causality" exists for a reason.

People are looking for similarities between numerous killers to blame for their acts. The problem is that they are ignoring everyone else. It may be the case that many of these such killers has been taking anti-depressants but what isn't mentioned is (1) how many people not taking anti-depressants go on killing sprees and (2) how many people taking the same anti-depressants don't go on killing sprees.

What also isn't considered is that in many cases of correlation there is a separate unconsidered thing that is causally responsible for both things considered and found to correlate.

For example, in the case with anti-depressants and a killing spree. If a correlation did exist, it could be a negative self image causing depression. It could also be the case that this self-image is transfered onto others and the way the person lashed out at this image was by lashing out at the people he had projected it on. The bottom line is that such a case could be that reaction to the condition not the medication was what fueled the killings.

Mike U.
April 18, 2007, 07:02 PM
No guns for people on anti-depressants?

This is an inherently BAD idea. For example, I have Peripheral Neuropathy. It's a complication of diabetes where my feet are in great pain most of the time alternating with numbness and often times both at once. :what: Sound fun?
Well, the most effective treatment for this is a drug that is also used for depression called Elavil(amitriptyline). Over long term administration this drug enters nerves and acts as an analgesic and allows me to live relatively pain free.

See where this would not be such a good idea?

SteveS
April 18, 2007, 07:31 PM
People are looking for similarities between numerous killers to blame for their acts. The problem is that they are ignoring everyone else.

Another factor to consider is that the companies that manufacture these drugs have deeper pockets than the killers that have taken thier drugs. If the plaintiff's attorney can show a connection, there would be a much greater award.

BTW, if the gun board of my state (Michigan) wants to, they can petition my medical records and find out about that re-occurring B-17 under Luftwaffe attack dream I had as a kid. If the pediatrician said I was suffering PostTraumaticStressDisorder, I could, according to Doc, be stripped of the CPL.


This is not true. There is nothing in the CPL statute that allows the board to petition the court for your records. At this time, the board can only obtain your records if you inform them that you have a record and consent to the release of you record.

tmg19103
April 18, 2007, 07:43 PM
"I'm calling BS. I just search all federal cases and found NOTHING."

I'm not going to bother calling a buddy from the gun club who is a lawyer who can give me the case law as we have discussed this, but this should help...

http://depression.about.com/od/legalissues/f/ada.htm

Now this just refers to Title I which regards employment. Title II regards access to state or federal regulated services (buying a gun or getting a CCW are examples, as is getting a drivers license) and also states dpression is a covered disability that can't be descriminated against. Just as you can't deny a driver's license because you are depressed, you can't deny the purchase of a firearm.

Valkman
April 18, 2007, 07:55 PM
Man this argument makes me mad, and much of it is because people like bowfin have no clue. If they give someone a AD and it didn't work it means you try another until you find one that does work. I've had depression since my liver transplant in '93 and was on elavil for a long time, then Zoloft and now Cymbalta. Elavil is now hard to get because you can commit suicide with it and no one around here will prescribe it.

To say people on these drugs are dangerous in any way is assinine - you need to worry about the people NOT taking them who should be. If you have the tendencies the VT shooter did then you need big time help but most of us do not.

SteveS
April 18, 2007, 08:04 PM
Now this just refers to Title I which regards employment. Title II regards access to state or federal regulated services (buying a gun or getting a CCW are examples, as is getting a drivers license) and also states dpression is a covered disability that can't be descriminated against. Just as you can't deny a driver's license because you are depressed, you can't deny the purchase of a firearm.

I am skeptical, too. I am a lawyer and I have worked with mentally ill clients that were denied a driver's license. They were required to get evaluated by doctors in oder to get their license back. Additionally, many CPL statutes contain provisions for denying a permit to someone with a "serious mental disorder." I do not work with ADA claims, but it was my understanding that a governmental entity can deny a person for a "legitimate reason." A blind person that is denied a driver's license is not going to prevail on an ADA claim. I am interested in knowing if their are any courts that have allowed an ADA claim for a depressed person that was denied a CPL.

Stevie-Ray
April 18, 2007, 08:21 PM
A few months ago I had a problem with my left eye. It didn't hurt or itch or anything like that. It is hard to explain. Suffice to say I felt like tearing it out of my head. There was an accute sensitivity to light and if there was a light source near, I couldn't even stand to have my eye shut. Things rushing by (traffic, pages of video, etc.) drove me nuts. Closest thing to normal was wearing a black eye patch on the left eye. I was looked at by several doctors, the second last being the ENT that had earlier operated on me for a severe sinus condition. He gave me a clean bill of health, save for a single maxillary polyp, which he considered a non-issue. He recommended a neuro-surgeon. Now I was worried. Went through all kinds of tests culminating in a CT scan searching for a mass. Thankfully nothing surfaced and I was diagnosed with migraine headaches. I was prescribed, you guessed it; anti-depressants. Looking up the drug, it said clearly: May also be prescribed for pain in certain cases depending on Doctor's diagnosis. I take one before bed and that's it, but I can't argue with results. I've never been that bad since.

tmg19103
April 18, 2007, 08:26 PM
SteveS - you said "mentally ill" - I said depressed. Have you ever had a client denied a dirver's license or access to other government services because he or she was depressed? Perhaps if the depression was accompanied by threats of violence, but depression alone is a protected disability.

Since you are lawyer, you should easily be able to look up the federal circuit case law across all circuits that have ruled depression is a disability covered under the ADA. If you look at the laws that prohibit firearms ownship due to mentall illness, they never state the mental illness but refer to being a clear and present danger to one's self or others - or something along those lines.

So, if you are depressed and suicidal, yes, you can be denied buying a firearm or getting a CCW. If you have documented depression with no dangerous behaviors other than feeling flat, down or blue - then you have a protected disability.

PistolNewbie
April 18, 2007, 08:51 PM
:what: Depression is a very broad term. Antidepressant drugs are perscribed for many medical conditions that should have no bearing on owning or handling firearms. An extreme gray area that can't be generalized as far as I'm concerned. :mad:

skeeter1
April 18, 2007, 09:13 PM
Nope. I was on anti-depressants for a while, and then I retired from my job. Once I was no longer around the Boss-from-Hell, I had no more use for them. I'm not sure they really did any good, but they sure were expensive.

SteveS
April 18, 2007, 10:11 PM
Have you ever had a client denied a dirver's license or access to other government services because he or she was depressed?

Yes, he was able to get a driver's license with documentation from his psychiatrist.

One of the conditions in MI for obtaining a CPL is that:

The applicant does not have a diagnosed mental illness at the time the application is made regardless of whether he or she is receiving treatment.

One could argue that he or she is not a danger to themselves or others and I think they would stand a good chance of getting their license, as long as they had the support of the person treating them. The statute also specifically mentions depression in another part. I believe a board would have a tough time denying based just on a mental illness and I believe there would be grounds for an appeal.

Based on a cursory scan of caselaw, a state agency could deny a CPL based on a mental illness if it can show that the mental illness would interfere with the ability to use a gun safely. I don't do ADA work, so I am not going to say how the court makes a determination. There was an ABA survey that said people making claims under the ADA lost 96% of the time.

tmg19103
April 18, 2007, 11:02 PM
If you had a client who was denied a driver's license soly on depression - with no other issues such as other psychiatric disorders, suicidal tendencies, history of violence, history of hospitalization due to depression or other issues outside of the depression, you should have referred it to an ADA lawyer and taken 30% of a big settlement.

I'm in Pennsylvania, which is a "shall issue" state and where the law reads that the reasons to be denied a CCW for mental illness go to "an individual who is not of sound mind or who has ever been committed to a mental institution".

"Not of sound mind" sounds subjective, but it has a legal definition in PA:

"lacking mental ability to understand the nature, consequences, and effect of a situation or transaction. This must be proven by by explicit evidence, and not by conjectural proof". i.e. eyewitness reports of threats of violence, dangerous self destructive behavior, an inability to feed or nourish one's self, inability to understand how to pay your bills, etc.

Yes, a severely depressed person could meet this criteria and usurp the ADA, but as far as everyday depression goes it is protected and the vast majority of depressed people who feel blue or sad understand the nature, consequences and effects of situations. In reality, to meet the criteria of not being of sound mind in PA you are legally just about at the point of being able to be involuntarily committed anyway - unless you have the constant care of family members in cases of alzheimers or the like.

What we also might be talking about are varying degrees of depression. Most people are not incompacitated by depression and live pretty normal lives with it. The federal courts have ruled that an inability to sleep well or a loss of sexual desire due to depression constitute a disability for which you cannot discriminate. If a depressed worker tells an employer his or her fatigue is caused by not sleeping well due to medically diagnosed depression, the employer is walking a very fine line on firing that employee for lack of job performance due to fatigue without first making reasonable accommodation.

If someone suffers from depression and the symptoms are an inability to sleep well and loss of sexual desire, that, at least in PA, has no bearing on receiving a CCW or buying a firearm. Your depression causes you to feel suicidal or go into violent rages (which happens in the vast minority of those suffering depression), then you are not of sound mind.

Autolycus
April 18, 2007, 11:23 PM
I was suffering from insomnia and an abnormal sleep schedule due to staying up late to write papers and do homework for some of my classes. I was going to bed at 6:00 am and missing class or not being able to sleep.

The medicine I was prescribed for this was to help me fall back into a normal pattern and it is effective. However the doctor did not tell me that it is also an anti-anxiety medication and that I would feel tired and drowsy all day long. I thought it was a common sleep aid but I was wrong.

I dont think it is right to deny anyone the right to own a gun because of their health or what medicines they are on.

SteveS
April 19, 2007, 12:18 AM
If you had a client who was denied a driver's license soly on depression - with no other issues such as other psychiatric disorders, suicidal tendencies, history of violence, history of hospitalization due to depression or other issues outside of the depression, you should have referred it to an ADA lawyer and taken 30% of a big settlement.


How many people have you treated? How many ADA claims have you been involved in? With all due respect, you don't seem to really know what you are talking about.

Depression, or even dysthymia, can be severe enough to warrant concern. What is "everyday depression"? What is medically diagnosed depression? Can you accurately predict who will go into a violent rage?

tmg19103
April 19, 2007, 01:13 AM
With all due respect in return, I don't know the exact situation with your client so that is why I provided caveats - and no you can't accurately predict who will go into a violent rage - depressed or not. Perhaps nobody should get a driver's license or CCW because anybody could go into a violent rage at any time? Me thinks not.

Those suffering from mental illness, assuming they are not violent, have rights. To assume that anyone who has been diagnosed with dysthymia or major depression, when they have never otherwise shown any behavior that indicates anything violent or suicidal, to assume they will go into a violent rage just because they are depressed is close minded and a violation of that persons rights.

If I were denied a driver's license based on a standard diagnosis of dysthymia (assuming mild to moderate symptoms and no history of suicidal ideations) I'd expect a strong advocate in my lawyer who would fight for my rights and sue the pants of the DMV and state. Then, some lawyers might prefer to make it into a long, drawn out fight in order to pad those billable hours. Other lawyers might be misguided and not understand that those diagnosed with dysthymia are in the majority of cases not dangers to society or themselves, but due to this ignorance those lawyers might not be strong advocates for the rights of their clients.

As for your client, no, I do not have all the facts, but do please tell me how I don't know what I am talking about. If your client is a suicidal person who suffers from road rage then no, of course he should not have a driver's license. If, however, your client just has standard symptoms of dysthymia, such as fatigue, a decreased appetite, trouble sleeping and some indecisiveness, what does that have to do with the potential for going into a rage and why should that person not be able to drive a car? How many non-depressed people get behind the wheel to go to work after a bad nights sleep while missing breakfast? Should we yank their licenses?

To further your statement that I don't know what I am talking about, I indicated that the inability to sleep well due to depression and impaired sexual relations can constitute a disability under the ADA. Please tell me how I don't know what I am talking about per the below links. Towards the bottom of the first link we read that the inability to sleep well due to depression can be an impairment per the ADA (as quoted by the EEOC) and in the second link the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled impaired sexual relations can constitute a disability under the ADA. Note I say "can" constitute a disability because circuits have different rulings on sleep as an impairment, but agreement is across the board at the SCOTUS level on sexual relations - however an impairment is always judged on a case-by-case basis. So, if your depression causes a major life impairment, you are covered under the ADA - however, if that impairment were to affect your ability to drive or own a gun in a safe manner, all bets are off. No doubt it is not a cut and dried legal area, but the mentally ill and people who suffer from depression do have rights and they deserve strong advocates - especially so deranged individuals like Cho can hopefully be found out and properly treated before we have another VA Tech. At the same time, those suffering from depression don't need to be pre-judged as suicidal, murderous maniacs just because they are depressed. Just as tens of millions of firearms owners did not kill anyone yesterday, 20 million or so depressed people in the U.S. did not either.

http://www.eeoc.gov/foia/letters/2003/ada_definition_sleep_apnea.html

http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/pdf/limitation.pdf

Shrinkmd
April 19, 2007, 01:52 AM
Anyone remember that from Peanuts?

I could write a really long post about risk assessment and dangerousness among the mentally ill, since I do that for a living. From what I remember the studies said that people with mental illness are 2 or 3 times more likely to be violent than people without, although when you add in substance abuse the numbers go up. Also, women with mental illness have higher rates of violence, which are similar to men! Try looking up studies by Monahan on mental illness and violence.

I agree with the other poster on the notion that these are very low frequency events, and making huge changes to our laws and way of life trying to ward them off is foolish. Suicide happens all the time, and is one of the most common causes of death, but predicting one is very difficult. Lots of depression, mania, anxiety, psychosis, and substance abuse out there, and the overwhelming majority don't try it and don't do it. Hindsight bias is always 20/20.

Not that we appreciate this everyday. Remember the big article in the paper comparing your chance of dying in a car accident or drowning compared to terrorism? Then again, we all buy a lottery ticket every now and then to enjoy a dollar's worth of fantasy for a day or two. But we all know that the chance of winning is less than that of shooting sub-moa groups with a rusted out Mosin and that foul Albanian surplus ammo.

Mental illness is real, and treatment works. It's just like the rest of medicine though. When you have a broken bone sticking through the skin, you know what's wrong (and likely what treatment will be needed) before an x-ray. Unfortunately, most of medicine is still more art than science. Shucks, some people can have pneumonia even when their chest x ray is clear. Some people's blood sugar or blood pressure just doesn't seem to respond to medicine and other treatments. Some things just don't get better.

But to be on topic, no, I most certainly do not think that being on antidepressants, in a vacuum, should be used as a criterion for RKBA.

SpeedAKL
April 19, 2007, 01:54 AM
I take Paxil and I'm perfectly fine. I see no reason to deny people who have taken anti-depressants guns unless they've been shown to be unstable and/or in need of being institutionalized.

jmabbott888@aol.com
April 19, 2007, 02:26 AM
Anti depresants, depends on what for & type & amount, WAY TOO MANY VARIABLES, if anything enforce the MENTAL part on the form for this part. If you have been to the looney bin & are on or off the drugs & you are a menace without the pills then no gun. If you are on anti-depresants & can function not a menace or in the looney bin then you can get a gun depending on the rest of your background aka felon, legal age etc.

tmg19103
April 19, 2007, 02:37 AM
Hey ShrinkMD,

You got me curious so I looked it up. While I just found an overview, it does not offer any grand statistics and indicates that the major determinants of violence are socio-demographic and socio-economic factors such as being young, male, and of lower socio-economic status as opposed to being mentally ill.

I also think one significant differentiating factor would be between those suffering form milder forms of depression who take an anti-depressant as opposed to those who have much more severe mental illness along the lines of bi-polar, schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses.

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1525086

Jeff White
April 19, 2007, 03:07 AM
The problem with singling out someone for seeking treatment is that once everyone finds out you can lose your rights for seeking treatment no one will anymore.

This has already happened. Last summer I responded to an attempted suicide. The wife of the suicidal man told me that he had tried to shoot himself the week before and his brother had wrestled the gun away from him. She showed me the hole in the ceiling. I asked why she didn't call the police and EMS then and she said she didn't want to see him lose his FOID card. :uhoh: She did tell me that the brother had removed all the firearms from the house.

Jeff

SteveS
April 19, 2007, 09:19 AM
My client got his license back within a month of losing it. Suing under the ADA was not needed.

I think we may be misunderstanding each other. I never suggested that the mentally ill should be denied rights. On the contrary, I have cautioned against making knee-jerk reactions because of what happened. I have also never said that people with depression should be denied a CPL and I agree that licensing agencies should have to show more than a diagnosis to deny a permit. I have worked with hundreds of mentally ill people that go to school, go to work, raise families, and do the same things as non-mentally ill people, so I would never suggest that they be discriminated against.

What I am trying to do is be realistic, and this is where I question what you know. Mentally ill people, as a group, are not a very politically powerful group. They do have some good advocacy groups, such as NAMI and various state groups. Professional groups also lobby for their rights. As I indicated in my other post, most ADA claims are not ruled in favor of the plaintiff and the most difficult claim to win is one that deals with a mental impairment.

The state, in denying a license, needs to show a legitimate reason for the denial. Given the current climate towards gun ownership by many in the public, especially as it relates to the mentally, I can't say that there is a huge amount of support for all mentally ill people carrying guns. Currently, my state does not seem to make denials solely on the basis of a diagnosis. I can't comment on other states. I am concerned that the public, in their demand that this not happen again, will push for more stringent controls on the mentally ill obtaining weapons. There are already laws on the books preventing certain mentally ill people from carrying guns and many (but not all) of the state statutes I have seen have vague langauge that could be expanded to cover more mentally ill people.

Again, I do not support additional restrictions on the mentally ill and I think they should only be denied rights in rare circumstances and only following due process. I hope I am wrong, but the more they show Cho's tape and pick apart his mental history, the more I am convinced we will see some kind of backlash against some of the mentally ill carrying guns. While the ADA is an option, it seems to be a huge longshot. In my search, I was unable to find any cases where the ADA was used to appeal a denial of a CPL. It certainly could be used in a claim.

From what I remember the studies said that people with mental illness are 2 or 3 times more likely to be violent than people without, although when you add in substance abuse the numbers go up. Also, women with mental illness have higher rates of violence, which are similar to men! Try looking up studies by Monahan on mental illness and violence.

I recall similar studies (or maybe the same one), but wasn't the 2 to 3 times greater in regards to people with schizophrenia?

I also think one significant differentiating factor would be between those suffering form milder forms of depression who take an anti-depressant as opposed to those who have much more severe mental illness along the lines of bi-polar, schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses.


I think it would be very significant and it certainly bears further study. I have worked with hundreds (possibly thousands) of mentally ill clients and have only been assaulted once and that person was severely mentally ill.

RealGun
April 19, 2007, 10:01 AM
I don't think it is helpful outside a discussion with a professional colleague to blithely refer to common depression as "mental illness". Nonprofessionals are likely to have a strong, often inappropriate reaction to that term, and those suffering from common depression may be less likely to seek treatment. I am sure you know that part of the problem is that depression sufferers resist thinking of themselves as sick and may only seek help when desperate or someone intervenes.

Probably my biggest concern is that common depression should not be lumped in with other conditions that are potentially dangerous to others.

Others have already revealed that the drugs commonly used are often prescribed for other conditions, so we certainly don't want to key restrictions to what drugs are being used.

My client got his license back within a month of losing it. Suing under the ADA was not needed.

I think we may be misunderstanding each other. I never suggested that the mentally ill should be denied rights. On the contrary, I have cautioned against making knee-jerk reactions because of what happened. I have also never said that people with depression should be denied a CPL and I agree that licensing agencies should have to show more than a diagnosis to deny a permit. I have worked with hundreds of mentally ill people that go to school, go to work, raise families, and do the same things as non-mentally ill people, so I would never suggest that they be discriminated against.

What I am trying to do is be realistic, and this is where I question what you know. Mentally ill people, as a group, are not a very politically powerful group. They do have some good advocacy groups, such as NAMI and various state groups. Professional groups also lobby for their rights. As I indicated in my other post, most ADA claims are not ruled in favor of the plaintiff and the most difficult claim to win is one that deals with a mental impairment.

The state, in denying a license, needs to show a legitimate reason for the denial. Given the current climate towards gun ownership by many in the public, especially as it relates to the mentally (ill), I can't say that there is a huge amount of support for all mentally ill people carrying guns. Currently, my state does not seem to make denials solely on the basis of a diagnosis. I can't comment on other states. I am concerned that the public, in their demand that this not happen again, will push for more stringent controls on the mentally ill obtaining weapons. There are already laws on the books preventing certain mentally ill people from carrying guns and many (but not all) of the state statutes I have seen have vague langauge that could be expanded to cover more mentally ill people.

Again, I do not support additional restrictions on the mentally ill and I think they should only be denied rights in rare circumstances and only following due process. I hope I am wrong, but the more they show Cho's tape and pick apart his mental history, the more I am convinced we will see some kind of backlash against some of the mentally ill carrying guns. While the ADA is an option, it seems to be a huge longshot. In my search, I was unable to find any cases where the ADA was used to appeal a denial of a CPL. It certainly could be used in a claim.


<snip>


I also think one significant differentiating factor would be between those suffering form milder forms of depression who take an anti-depressant as opposed to those who have much more severe mental illness along the lines of bi-polar, schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses.

I think it would be very significant and it certainly bears further study. I have worked with hundreds (possibly thousands) of mentally ill clients and have only been assaulted once and that person was severely mentally ill.

gulogulo1970
April 19, 2007, 10:12 AM
If every one of these mass shootings involves a person on ADs then well it needs to be looked into.

Almost everyone will agree here that you should not handle or shoot guns if you have been drinking. But mind altering seratonin uptake inhibitors are above scrutiny? They even carry warnings now about increased suicide risk on the bottle.

I'm not saying ban the possession of gun ownership by people who take ADs but there needs to be a test or something. I undersand that the vast, VAST majority of people on ADs are better and peaceful. My wife took a mild AD to quit smoking for example.

If something isn't done (and it won't be) we can look forward to these AD boosted shooting sprees not only killing a boat load of people but eroding our rights in the fallout as well.

If it turns out that these drugs do this in certain people then a way needs to be found that keeps the drugs out of these peoples bodies. I just don't know how you do that.

I wish I had an easy answer.

30 cal slob
April 19, 2007, 10:32 AM
I can't say that there is a huge amount of support for all mentally ill people carrying guns.

i guess that's what i was trying to drive at with this thread.

good to get this issue out in the open and discuss.

RealGun
April 19, 2007, 11:24 AM
these AD boosted shooting sprees

There has been no credible report to that effect. That is your own need to control others speaking.

If it turns out that these drugs do this in certain people

But if you have been reading, you know that drugs were certainly not the determining factor in this incident. Cho was driven by more powerful forces and was ill far beyond common depression. Have you read a report of what, if any, medication he was taking? Do you really know much about AD medication? Are you aware that depression or obsessive/compulsive behavior would have been only a marginal symptom in his case? My armchair diagnosis would be more like paranoid schizophrenia, often treated with very different medication than would be prescribed for common depression.

Don't put too much stock in warning labels. They are often ludicrous, acknowledging the smallest of incident percentages, and really only serve to protect drug makers, pharmacies, and prescribing doctors from liability claims.

BAT1
April 19, 2007, 11:47 AM
The truth is most people that have been prescribed these meds may not be eligible to buy a gun in the future. That is going to include alot of school age children in the future. Ritalin is prescription cocaine, Ambien caused a good friend to wreck her new car, There are reports citing Ridalin in the Columbine shootings, and there reports Mr. Cho was on Prozac. You cannot regulate deficiencies in the body with artificial drugs that cause a worse imbalance. And now, they want to give vaccine's to all our daughters. Like Jimmie Buffet says there is isn't any dumb ass vaccine, which is really needed for our government.

tmg19103
April 19, 2007, 11:58 AM
SteveS, thanks for your clarifications. I agree with what you have to say.

There will no doubt be some form of gun control backlash due to the VA Tech killings by an extremely mentally deranged person, and I think the anti's would have the most ammo (and perhaps an actual point or two) by going after how Cho, given a mental history that included all sorts of past dangerous and aberrant behavior, which included a judge calling him mentally ill and a danger to others, was able to legally buy a gun.

I actually prefer this to attempts at blanket gun control against all such as a renewed AWB, but no doubt if and when the anti's go after the mental stability of potential gun owners, we need to be vigilant that it does not become a subjective witch hunt, but rather just a tightening of the EXISTING process where those who TRULY are a danger to themselves and others can't legally get their hands on firearms (and we all know any lunatic or criminal can always get a gun illegally). No new laws needed - let's just enforce the existing ones as they should be enforced - but no doubt judges will now be more cautious when an individual is brought before them for a mental detention hearing.

The concern and what needs to watched out for is the anti's trying to turn anything that could possibly be classified as a mental illness, and for which that person meets the legal criteria of being of sound mind and is not a danger to public safety, into a reason to deny gun ownership or a CCW.

StuckInMA
April 19, 2007, 11:59 AM
Too many variables. I won't write my life story, but.....

I was mistakenly placed on AD's for what turned out to be severe indoor allergies when I moved into my very first apartment.

I was sent to an ER for observation (not admitted) for suicidal tendencies which was a side effect of a new seizure med I was put on.

I am now taking an AD to help me sleep due to a completely unrelated medical condition.

On paper these events would certainly disqualify me if reviewed by anyone not trained in medicine. And who's to say my doctor isn't an anti that would refuse to write a letter stating otherwise?

Unless they assembled a group of physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, etc. to review the medical portion of my history there's no way they're qualified to use my medical records against me. Even then it's a slippery slope since we'd have no idea where each one stood on the issue of gun ownership.

SteveS
April 19, 2007, 12:03 PM
I don't think it is helpful outside a discussion with a professional colleague to blithely refer to common depression as "mental illness". Nonprofessionals are likely to have a strong, often inappropriate reaction to that term, and those suffering from common depression may be less likely to seek treatment. I am sure you know that part of the problem is that depression sufferers resist thinking of themselves as sick and may only seek help when desperate or someone intervenes.

Unfortunately, you are right. There is a huge stigma in regards to getting help for depression or any other condition. I think things have been improving, but the general public is certainly ingnorant, for the most part, when it comes to these types of issues.

tmg, I am worried about the same thing.

Justin
April 19, 2007, 12:04 PM
1) Ritalin is not cocaine. It's similar to an amphetamine.
2) If someone is driving a vehicle after taking Ambien, I'm unsurprised that they had an auto accident.
3) SRI's and other anti depressants have helped far more people than they've harmed. (Gee, sound familiar?)

Like Jimmie Buffet says there is isn't any dumb ass vaccine

Indeed.

Pixel
April 19, 2007, 12:38 PM
Ritalin is prescription cocaine

I take Ritalin for adult ADD (diagnosed by a psychiatrist in 2002 after extensive testing) and have for the past five years. Ritalin is actually a prescription amphetamine, and in a person who truly has ADD/ADHD acts more as a calming agent than an agitating one. I have no trouble napping during the day, even with the Ritalin. Compared to when I'm not taking the Ritalin, I may be slightly more outgoing, but I can't imagine Ritalin causing anyone to snap and go shooting a bunch of people. I would hope that usage of Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta or other ADHD treatments won't be used to disqualify gun purchases - in my experience, it's the people I've known with untreated ADHD who are more likely to commit impulsive, stupid acts.

RealGun
April 19, 2007, 12:44 PM
You cannot regulate deficiencies in the body with artificial drugs that cause a worse imbalance.

Well, you do have to judge or try out which one will have managable side effects or none, while providing some sense of benefit beyond the placebo effect. It took three tries to find one that seemed to suit me, and I wouldn't mind experimenting further, if taking meds again.

Be careful about attributing undesirable behavior to medication. That same behavior might occur or be worse without the meds. It depends. Stigmatizing the prescription and taking of medication or lumping a whole general class of drugs in a sweeping statement is not helpful.

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