The problem with denying firearms to the "mentally ill"


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vito
February 7, 2013, 08:40 AM
We all agree, and probably this is almost universal, that seriously mentally ill people should not be permitted to purchase a firearm. How to define mentally ill is the big problem. Most mental illness symptoms are exaggerations of normal behavior, and in some case inappropriate behavior. It's easy to identify the extremes, but there is an awful lot of middle ground where the label of mentally ill may or may not truly apply. And then there are those who think that anyone who thinks differently than themselves must be mentally ill. What prompted me to write this thread was talking with a physician who stated that "no rational person should feel the NEED to own a gun", adding that in his opinion, "most gun owners appear to be irrational in their fears" and that in his opinion, "owning several guns, or keeping an arsenal of guns and ammunition is clearly a sign of serious mental illness". I told this individual that his ignorance was appalling and that maybe his statements were an indication of mental illness. Needless to say he now considers me another gun "nut". He asked me if I voted for Obama (I'm serious) and when I answered that normally I would respond that how I voted is none of his or anyone's business besides my own, but in this case I would state that I absolutely would never vote for Obama, considering him probably the worst president in American history. He then said "now I know you are really disturbed and should get help". This is why I fear a move to broadly define mental illness that would ensnare many of us for nothing more than owning guns and believing in the 2nd Amendment.

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Deen Macheen
February 7, 2013, 08:46 AM
The gun act in Germany in 1928 was revised in 1938 by the people who became the NAZI (National Socialist) Party. In 1828 gun ownership was prohibited for all private citizens. The 1938 revision included a clause that all "Germans that the Government deemed trustworthy" could now own guns.

Uh huh. You get it.

klcmschlesinger
February 7, 2013, 08:50 AM
That sounds like one dangerous doctor. Proving education does not develop common sense. I would make him my ex-doctor because he will abuse any system he can to deny someone's rights based on his misguided opinion.
I don't know anything about this, but maybe someone else does, but is what he did a breach of ethics? Perhaps if it is, he should be reported to some board or organization. Again, I know nothing and I'm sure someone will respond that does and make me look like an idiot. At least I am not pretending to be an expert.;)

Queen_of_Thunder
February 7, 2013, 08:50 AM
If you followed the recent news our government provided the very reason why people should own guns. Seems that the US Government has decided that its legal to kill a citizen if they are considered to be a threat. No Due Process. No notification.
No chance at all to invoke ones Rights. The Government wants you dead, your dead.
We have drifted over the line folks.

JRWhit
February 7, 2013, 09:43 AM
The biggest problem I see in the mental health issue is that you cannot punish someone for a crime they have not committed. I would think that the only way of deeming someone defective is to have proof or instance of violent behavior from mental illness, or verbal confirmation from the individual that they intend to harm others either by random act,or planned. Otherwise we cross a dangerous line with no definitive boundary.

ApacheCoTodd
February 7, 2013, 09:47 AM
I'd worry about the scale slipping over to get anyone who has ever been in re-hab, women diagnosed in the past with postpartum depression, ANYONE having ever been prescribed meds for any form of depression and the like.

If mental health and it's general lack of real science in so much of the assessment and diagnosis becomes a litmus test for firearms ownership - why stop there - might as well say they're disqualified to vote as well or parent or drive or...

CLP
February 7, 2013, 10:03 AM
We all agree, and probably this is almost universal, that seriously mentally ill people should not be permitted to purchase a firearm. How to define mentally ill is the big problem. Most mental illness symptoms are exaggerations of normal behavior, and in some case inappropriate behavior. It's easy to identify the extremes, but there is an awful lot of middle ground where the label of mentally ill may or may not truly apply. And then there are those who think that anyone who thinks differently than themselves must be mentally ill. What prompted me to write this thread was talking with a physician who stated that "no rational person should feel the NEED to own a gun", adding that in his opinion, "most gun owners appear to be irrational in their fears" and that in his opinion, "owning several guns, or keeping an arsenal of guns and ammunition is clearly a sign of serious mental illness". I told this individual that his ignorance was appalling and that maybe his statements were an indication of mental illness. Needless to say he now considers me another gun "nut". He asked me if I voted for Obama (I'm serious) and when I answered that normally I would respond that how I voted is none of his or anyone's business besides my own, but in this case I would state that I absolutely would never vote for Obama, considering him probably the worst president in American history. He then said "now I know you are really disturbed and should get help". This is why I fear a move to broadly define mental illness that would ensnare many of us for nothing more than owning guns and believing in the 2nd Amendment.
I would hope you report this physician to your State Medical Board. This is highly inappropriate.

rondog
February 7, 2013, 10:25 AM
All it takes is a doctor to put a check mark in the right box and "presto", you're "mentally ill", or at least on a "list".

SoCalNoMore
February 7, 2013, 10:37 AM
All it takes is a doctor to put a check mark in the right box and "presto", you're "mentally ill", or at least on a "list".
And that is the part that worries me. After working with doctors all day, I can honestly say some of them should be on that list. Our society puts too much reliance on the word of a person that "practices" their profession.

dab102999
February 7, 2013, 10:37 AM
The other problem is medication indused problems. I have a friend who is a reserve officer. A couple years ago he decided to quit smoking. The doctor proscribed a medication that ended up giving him terrible nightmares, and vivid ones on suicide and death. He imediatelly told the doctor and stopped taking that medication. About a month afterwards i remember hearing news storys of the same type thing happening to other people. Now once he quit taking the drug his "mind" got back to normiall. But in this situation i am sure the doctor would have to report something like this. Now once it would be cleared up would he het his guns back???

GAMALOT
February 7, 2013, 10:54 AM
Your doctor pal was educated in the liberal schools and ways and is drunk on the Kool aid.

Mental illness is a major problem but one I doubt we will ever get a handle on. A person can appear completely sane today and go nuts in a matter of minutes. It takes a trigger and an inner rage that may not be evident to anyone.

Your doctor could be nuttier than a fruit cake but doing a great job at hiding it from the general public. The fact that he is willing to express his off the wall opinions is a clear indicator that would cause me to stay very clear of this nut.

The Lone Haranguer
February 7, 2013, 10:56 AM
I hope this "doctor" is never put in charge of anything.

Certaindeaf
February 7, 2013, 10:59 AM
You're lucky you didn't get committed.

zxcvbob
February 7, 2013, 11:03 AM
WHERE were you talking to this doc? If it was in an examining room and you were the patient, you should report him to the clinic and to the state medical board. If it was in a bar (or Sunday school class), he is entitled to his goofy opinions just like the rest of us.

dirtykid
February 7, 2013, 11:04 AM
I think ApacheCo Todd hit it on the head,
what defines mental illness ??
At a different point in my life I was depressed, mainly because of the housing market crash leaving me un-employed with no marketable skills to get another job,, bills to pay,kids to feed,, I found myself in a "slump" NOT Homocidal,or suicidal , just down on my luck, feeling hopeless
Now, had I gone to a Doctor,and got perscribed some anti-medicine ,would I have automatically been labeled as "mentally unstable" ?
Thats the part that scares me !!

Ragnar Danneskjold
February 7, 2013, 11:04 AM
This is the problem that occurs whenever you let the government create a "can have the right to _____" group and a "cannot have the right to _____" group, and then let that same government decide who falls into what group. The flaw in this idea should not be a mystery to any thinking person.

gym
February 7, 2013, 11:27 AM
You should have told him that "doctors who catagorize people into a group, never having met them, should have their license revoked", unless they work in a prison camp

gossamer
February 7, 2013, 01:29 PM
I think ApacheCo Todd hit it on the head,
what defines mental illness ??

It's called The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diagnostic_and_Statistical_Manual_of_Mental_Disorders)

...and it is far from infallible. Like most human beings and opinions on both sides of the RKBA issue, the DSM is fraught with cultural biases, personal biases, conflicts of interest, and corporate/political/special interest group influence.

Are the problems with denying firearms to the mentally ill more important than the problems with denying freedom from unlawful search and seizure to the mentally ill? Or freedom to move about the country in general to them?

The field of Mental illness/health is an inexact science. So, for that matter, is our criminal justice system, our laws and, often times, our use of our rights. Nonetheless, the fact that these things are inexact should not deprive us from using them. As we know all too well, any tool can be misused to grave consequences or to take away the inalienable rights of others, be that a tool for measurement of mental illness, or a tool for defense of self and others.

The DSM - with all it's flaws and capacity for abuse in the wrong hands - is the tool that measures mental health capacity and defines various mental illnesses. Can it be used to deprive others of their God-given rights? Yes. So can a gun.

But potential for misuse in the wrong hands doesn't seem to form much of an argument to bar their employ by the rights ones.

Outlaw Man
February 7, 2013, 01:29 PM
Personally, if a person is so severely ill, mentally, that it isn't safe for them to have a gun, I think very serious consideration should be made about keeping them off the streets. It's all too easy to kill someone with something other than a gun, especially if the attacker lacks the ability to show mercy towards his victim and the victim cannot easily perceive the attack as a threat until it's too late.

Granted, there are people who are mentally ill (or juvenile felons) who should not have a firearm and can, because their records are sealed, while there are people with non-violent felony records that can't have a gun but are probably not at all a violent threat to anyone. The system is definitely broken. I'm just not sure that's the right way to fix it.

rdhood
February 7, 2013, 03:23 PM
This reminds me of a typical doctor joke:

What do you call the guy who came in last in his medical school class?

"Doctor"


I have numerous PERSONAL interactions with doctors that show that they are both fallible, make mistakes, and are (to some extent) no smarter or better than anyone else. For example, one day I was having HORRIBLE pain and needed to see the doctor. I saw the doctor, who declared it "gastroenteritis". A week later, I spent a week in the hospital with a burst appendix. This is just one of several instances over my lifetime.

I have three Bachelor or Science degrees (EE, CS, Biology). I have been to school more than the average doctor. I do not respect them any more than anyone else with an advanced degree, especially in light of the mistakes that made in my case. They are human, and a good percentage of the time they are making calculated guesses.

A couple years ago he decided to quit smoking. The doctor proscribed a medication that ended up giving him terrible nightmares, and vivid ones on suicide and death. He imediatelly told the doctor and stopped taking that medication. About a month afterwards i remember hearing news storys of the same type thing happening to other people. Now once he quit taking the drug his "mind" got back to normiall.

This brings up an entirely DIFFERENT question: to what extent are mental illness responsible for the various multiple shootings that have occurred, and to what extent are the MEDICATIONS given to those patients responsible? Seriously, it looks like some/all of the mental patients doing these killings are on psychoactive medications. HIPPA , the med privacy law, prevents talking about it even after their death. But it is time that responsible parties stand up and start talking about the possibility that medications might be exacerbating the problem rather than helping the patient.

gossamer
February 7, 2013, 03:30 PM
This brings up an entirely DIFFERENT question: to what extent are mental illness responsible for the various multiple shootings that have occurred, and to what extent are the MEDICATIONS given to those patients responsible? Seriously, it looks like some/all of the mental patients doing these killings are on psychoactive medications. HIPPA , the med privacy law, prevents talking about it even after their death. But it is time that responsible parties stand up and start talking about the possibility that medications might be exacerbating the problem rather than helping the patient.

You make a great point. Look up "SSRI Withdrawl" (http://ssristories.com/index.php) and you'll see that medications, or withdrawal from meds have led to sad and devastating outcomes.

Just read this one: http://ssristories.com/show.php?item=2357

Often times people who are plagued by the symptoms of SSRIs are labeled monsters by a society that failed to recognize that the cure can often be worse than the disease.

Can we say with any certainty that the outcomes would have been any different without the SSRIs? Not really.

But they are tragedies traceable to SSRI and other med withdrawal. It's a sad reality that is repeated way too often.

JFrame
February 7, 2013, 03:31 PM
This is the problem that occurs whenever you let the government create a "can have the right to _____" group and a "cannot have the right to _____" group, and then let that same government decide who falls into what group. The flaw in this idea should not be a mystery to any thinking person.

That's basically my thought also...

To fall back on that over-used term, "slippery slope" -- I would mistrust the policies establishing "mental illness" as a reason to deny firearm ownership. Aside from relying on the whimsy of doctors, who will ultimately be deciding what actually constitutes "mental illness"?

Something tells me that, given the draconian insertion of the government into health care in general (i.e., "Obamacare"), we need to fear that it will be government bureaucrats who will wind up making (or heavily influencing) those decisions.

Does taking prescription tranquilizers or an MAO inhibitor qualify a person as being at risk mentally? Homeland Security has already established that people belonging to local "militia" groups are potential "terrorists." Who is to say that the Department of Health or some other "authority" won't declare such members to be "paranoid" and "mentally ill"?


.

Cosmoline
February 7, 2013, 03:35 PM
It is not safe to talk to a psych or counselor. But there's an easy solution. Don't.

Don't get counseling, don't get RX for happy pills, don't talk to a psych. If you lose your RKBA because of mental health problems, it's your own fault for going to one of those people in the first place. And if you're sane enough to realize this and not need the happy pills, then you won't be losing your RKBA because of mental health detentions.

22-rimfire
February 7, 2013, 03:41 PM
What I got out of this.... if you voted for Obama, you're okay. Simply perfect in every way.... Mary Poppins... If you own a gun or a lot of guns, then you're a "gun nut" and inherently unstable. And... you probably voted for that "other guy".

Mental health issues should be a significant part of any gun control legislation. And I would hope that everything else gets deleted and we are left with "mental health" issues. Defining this is the difficult part and who's opinion takes precidence?

gossamer
February 7, 2013, 03:54 PM
To fall back on that over-used term, "slippery slope" -- I would mistrust the policies establishing "mental illness" as a reason to deny firearm ownership. Aside from relying on the whimsy of doctors, who will ultimately be deciding what actually constitutes "mental illness"?
Does taking prescription tranquilizers or an MAO inhibitor qualify a person as being at risk mentally?

You don't need to "would mistrust" them because they are in effect now.

Per The NICS Improvement Amendments Act Of 2007:

Section 922(g)(4), Title 18, United States Code, prohibits the receipt or possession of firearms by an individual who has been "adjudicated as a mental defective" or "committed to a mental institution." Regulations issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), 27 C.F.R. § 478.11, define these terms as follows:
Adjudicated as a mental defective.

(1) A determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease:

Is a danger to himself or to others; or
Lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs.
(2) The term shall include —

A finding of insanity by a court in a criminal case; and
Those persons found incompetent to stand trial or found not guilty by reason of lack of mental responsibility pursuant to articles 50a and 72b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. 850a, 876b.

Does the NICS maintain a database of medical records or information on an individual's mental health condition, diagnosis, or treatment?
No. The NICS does not maintain a database of medical records or information on mental health diagnoses or treatment plans. When a record of a person prohibited from possessing a firearm as a result of mental health issues (i.e., a person who has been involuntarily committed to a mental institution or adjudicated a “mental defective” by a court, board, or other lawful authority) is entered in the NICS Index, the entry contains only a name, other biographic identifiers, like date of birth, and codes for the submitting entity and prohibited category. The NICS Index does not contain medical records or medical information.





Who is to say that the Department of Health or some other "authority" won't declare such members to be "paranoid" and "mentally ill"?

The law of 2007 already permits "a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority" to be declared a mental incompetent if they "as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease:
Is a danger to himself or to others; or
Lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs."

And yeah, if one is so paranoid or so "mentally ill" or so ___insert symptom here___ that they are a danger to their self or others, or lack the capacity to contract or manage their own affairs I do not see that it's a bad thing for them to be denied on a NICS check.

Even as a supporter of RKBA, I'm not going to support a change in the current law that would permit people meeting these standards to pass the NICS system. And frankly, I don't really care who the president is at the time.

JFrame
February 7, 2013, 04:12 PM
You don't need to "would mistrust" them because they are in effect now.

...



I was talking in terms of broadening the depth, scope, and particulars of whatever mechanisms are in place now. That is certainly what Obama has been talking about, and given the invasiveness of Obamacare on U.S. health care, one can only shudder to think how they might try to impact firearm ownership from a "public health" standpoint.


.

Grey_Mana
February 7, 2013, 04:27 PM
The term "who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution" is clear. Lowering the standard is a slippery slope.

Most of America thinks that somebody who was mentally ill, but got better, shouldn't carry a lifetime stigma. If medical care can restore your right to keep and bear arms, and our healthcare system continues to deteriorate so that the waiting time to see a doctor is months-to-years, is that a due process violation? You know there is a least one crazy judge who would order the return of a violent felon's guns, if he had any pretext to do so.

Most Americans think we should accommodate the elderly. Age-related dementia is estimated to occur in 13.7% of people over the age of 71 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2705925/). When is a person be too old to keep and bear arms?

Most Americans would agree that being mentally ill doesn't protect you from danger. One might argue about the reliability of the studies, but there are multiple studies showing higher rates of mental illness in people who have suffered rape and other abuse. Insofar as civil rights include the right to self-protection, that right is not diminished by being mentally ill. When should a schizophrenic rape victim be denied the right to protect herself? I certainly don't want to be shot because I was minding my own business and somebody else went crazy. I don't want somebody to be a target because they were a target in the past.

I don't think the government, especially the Federal government, has the wisdom to answer these questions. Issues that are beyond the scope of government should be beyond the scope of regulation and restriction. Fundamental issues including religion, free speech, the economy, the right to bear arms, the right to seek or refuse medical help - should not be infringed upon.

krupparms
February 7, 2013, 05:07 PM
Queen, I was told last night by a friend that the POTIUS stated something similar to that in a speech yesterday. Is that what you are referring to? Or is it something else?

Alaska444
February 7, 2013, 05:29 PM
That sounds like one dangerous doctor. Proving education does not develop common sense. I would make him my ex-doctor because he will abuse any system he can to deny someone's rights based on his misguided opinion.
I don't know anything about this, but maybe someone else does, but is what he did a breach of ethics? Perhaps if it is, he should be reported to some board or organization. Again, I know nothing and I'm sure someone will respond that does and make me look like an idiot. At least I am not pretending to be an expert.;)
Unfortunately, as retired physician as of 2007, I must conquer that many in my profession are no longer the happy, rich, Republican supporting docs that American culture believes we all are.

More and more especially of the newest generation of docs are brainwashed in medical schools today to manage resource allocations from their practice placing the emphasis on survival of the organization above the individual survival of the patient before you. The bean counters enforce this concept once you are in practice and your salary is now often dependent on how well you score on resource utilization.

Many doctors now are likewise socially progressive and gun violence is a topic of great debate and discussion during training and in practice.

Don't get me wrong, there are many such as myself who remain conservative gun fans, but we have an entire new generation of docs operating under a different ethical paradigm than what I grew up with in my medical training.

Unfortunately, just as the doctors were essential to bringing in the Nazi final solution, so are they likewise involved in much of the socially progressive agenda of today. Sad commentary, but that was my own observation prior to retiring early from renal disease in 2007. Yes, be wary of the docs today, don't assume that they are all Marcus Welby, conservative, rich GOP supporters any longer.

Alaska444
February 7, 2013, 05:31 PM
The term "who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution" is clear. Lowering the standard is a slippery slope.

Most of America thinks that somebody who was mentally ill, but got better, shouldn't carry a lifetime stigma. If medical care can restore your right to keep and bear arms, and our healthcare system continues to deteriorate so that the waiting time to see a doctor is months-to-years, is that a due process violation? You know there is a least one crazy judge who would order the return of a violent felon's guns, if he had any pretext to do so.

Most Americans think we should accommodate the elderly. Age-related dementia is estimated to occur in 13.7% of people over the age of 71 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2705925/). When is a person be too old to keep and bear arms?

Most Americans would agree that being mentally ill doesn't protect you from danger. One might argue about the reliability of the studies, but there are multiple studies showing higher rates of mental illness in people who have suffered rape and other abuse. Insofar as civil rights include the right to self-protection, that right is not diminished by being mentally ill. When should a schizophrenic rape victim be denied the right to protect herself? I certainly don't want to be shot because I was minding my own business and somebody else went crazy. I don't want somebody to be a target because they were a target in the past.

I don't think the government, especially the Federal government, has the wisdom to answer these questions. Issues that are beyond the scope of government should be beyond the scope of regulation and restriction. Fundamental issues including religion, free speech, the economy, the right to bear arms, the right to seek or refuse medical help - should not be infringed upon.
They are already lowering that standard with the thousands of US veterans deemed to have PTSD. Unfortunately, the Chris Kyle event will not help that. Many veterans today are no longer cleared on NICS and are denied the RKBA. It is already beginning down a very large slippery slope as we speak.

Alaska444
February 7, 2013, 05:35 PM
I would hope you report this physician to your State Medical Board. This is highly inappropriate.
Sorry, what did this doc do that was wrong expressing his own opinion in a private conversation simply because you disagree with his opinion?

On the other hand, do you really believe that the state medical board, which is a political institution composed in CA anyway of police officers who do the investigations and have all the authority with the docs on the board only acting in an advisory role, that they would in the least investigate a doc for private statements against gun ownership?

Alaska444
February 7, 2013, 05:43 PM
The other problem is medication indused problems. I have a friend who is a reserve officer. A couple years ago he decided to quit smoking. The doctor proscribed a medication that ended up giving him terrible nightmares, and vivid ones on suicide and death. He imediatelly told the doctor and stopped taking that medication. About a month afterwards i remember hearing news storys of the same type thing happening to other people. Now once he quit taking the drug his "mind" got back to normiall. But in this situation i am sure the doctor would have to report something like this. Now once it would be cleared up would he het his guns back???
Sorry, but that is a noted side effect of the medication which is likely Chantix from your description.

As a physician, you don't have to report a side effect to any authority. The doc can simply stop the medication and monitor the patient for any residual side effects. If there is no active suicidal or homicidal ideation, then it would only be handled between doctor and patient.

However, the danger today is the electronic health record where this side effect would be documented and perhaps available to a NICS type of system in the future. That is a real risk, but let's not jump all over all docs out of unreasonable fear.

Folks, we have an incredible medical system with tens of thousands of dedicate people who make great sacrifices to bring health care to our communities. While there are trends in the medical profession that is worrisome, do we really want to castigate this great resource out of irrational fears. Come on, we are better than that at THR.

4season
February 7, 2013, 06:52 PM
What prompted me to write this thread was talking with a physician who stated that "no rational person should feel the NEED to own a gun", adding that in his opinion, "most gun owners appear to be irrational in their fears" and that in his opinion, "owning several guns, or keeping an arsenal of guns and ammunition is clearly a sign of serious mental illness". I told this individual that his ignorance was appalling and that maybe his statements were an indication of mental illness. Needless to say he now considers me another gun "nut". He asked me if I voted for Obama (I'm serious) and when I answered that normally I would respond that how I voted is none of his or anyone's business besides my own, but in this case I would state that I absolutely would never vote for Obama, considering him probably the worst president in American history. He then said "now I know you are really disturbed and should get help".
He is a doctor and he supports Obama? You are defiantly dealing with someone with a mental illness. Obama has destroyed the healthcare system in this country. If my doctor ever said anything like that I would be out of that office in a heartbeat. I don't need my doctor to agree with me on guns, parenting, entertainment, or most other issues. But if your doctor believes in Obama then he does not believe in his own judgement and thinks your health care should be turned over to government. This is one sick doctor.

dab102999
February 7, 2013, 07:03 PM
Alaska444... thanks for that info. I was unaware that side affects do not need to be reported. And now that you say that Chantex sounds correct. All I really remember is he was ahead of the curve with that medication. He took it before the side effects became so previlant.

gossamer
February 7, 2013, 07:15 PM
I was talking in terms of broadening the depth, scope, and particulars of whatever mechanisms are in place now. That is certainly what Obama has been talking about, and given the invasiveness of Obamacare on U.S. health care, one can only shudder to think how they might try to impact firearm ownership from a "public health" standpoint.


.
Yeah. I suppose.

I can choose to live my life in fear and shudder of hypotheticals, but I don't. I just try to keep my own cowpat together as best I can, guard against the bad and focus on the good.

As a man said, "Life is a slippery slope." -- George Will.

Alaska444
February 7, 2013, 09:27 PM
Alaska444... thanks for that info. I was unaware that side affects do not need to be reported. And now that you say that Chantex sounds correct. All I really remember is he was ahead of the curve with that medication. He took it before the side effects became so previlant.
Not for commonly known side effects. There is a system for adverse reactions not known. For usual side effects, no need to report to anyone, but you must document that in the records. Now that they are electronic, who has privacy any longer.

Twiki357
February 8, 2013, 03:34 AM
Every time the subject of mental illness comes up, the first thing in a definition is " Is a danger to himself or to others" and the "to others" part always makes me think of bloomberg and I wonder why he isn't in a loony bin. Oh, that's right. He's rich.

beatledog7
February 8, 2013, 10:26 AM
Government wants to enhance scrutiny of allowing gun sales to the mentally ill, and we seem to want to join in. The trouble is, once government gets that passed it will seize control of the definition of "mentally ill" and use it to deny gun rights to anyone it fears.

That's most of us.

I have fallen into this myself, sort if. I've stated on THR that we need to make sure the potentially dangerous mentally ill are kept under constant supervision so that they can't go to places where a gun could be had, and I still support that. But unless we keep the definitions under control, nothing will stop anti-gun people with a political agenda--and I will include the courts in that category--from deciding that any civilian who wants to own and/or carry an evil nasty gun must be potentially dangerously mentally deficient and must therefore be disarmed.

In short, the desire to own a gun could be enough to make one ineligible to own a gun. That's all it would take for the antis to be able to achieve their ultimate goal, an all-out ban of firearms in private hands.

What do you think they'd decide to ban next?

TheDaywalkersDad
February 9, 2013, 11:02 AM
Forgive me if this has already been covered.
It's worth considering that once you get on the "List" it may be impossible to get off. This isn't necessarily for the reason that you might think. It's not because of a lack of funding for whatever board would find you competent/incompetent. It's not even because of a physician's politics.
It's because of human nature and our CYA culture. Once you are found to be too mentally incompetent to own firearms it will be almost impossible to find a doctor willing to certify you as sane, competent, whatever. You have to remember that this doctor will be betting his practice, reputation, and wealth on you for the rest of his life.
If you shoot your ex wife, or an office full of people 10 years from the date of being recertified as stable, this doctor may find himself under investigation. He will definitely find himself in civil court.
How many physicians would be willing to risk losing everything that they've worked for just to give you back your gun rights? I think the answer is... not many.

JRWhit
February 9, 2013, 12:54 PM
The fine line is in rather we allow the regulation of what is yet to come. We cannot restrict someone based on an act they have not committed. There is however sealed record on those who have demonstrated irrational violence but may not have any criminal record. These are the records that should be used to decide if someone should be denied the purchase of firearms. Not based on assumption, based on reality.
Just as if a person is convicted of a violent felony, If there is medical record of someone who has displayed violent act toward other people, that is pertinent information and should be available through checks.
In absolutely no way, should we be o.k. with or allow the regulation of the individual based on assumption, when no proving incident has occurred. As much as it can possibly seam necessary for immediate safety, that is far more dangerous than any criminal out there.
The change we need is in privacy laws. If someone is documented as violent, or display a desire to kill at random, then the threat to other citizenry, out weighs that persons right to privacy.

Coop45
February 9, 2013, 02:06 PM
Isn't mental health somewhat like figure skating? There is no definite way to score it like football, it's based on someone's opinion.

barnbwt
February 9, 2013, 02:39 PM
Yeah, but supposedly felons can be rehabilitated into productive members of society, and have their rights restored. Mentally ill--even more reluctance for others to ever trust that person again, regardless of how effectively they were treated. Are they the exact same issue, is one just as suspect as the other? Who knows. But right now, the mindset is that felons can be (supposedly) rehabilitated, and the previously mentally ill are (perhaps) wrongly prejudged.

A felon, no matter how violent, is deemed in control of his faculties, so his logic will always carry as much weight as any other person's. Those deemed mentally defficient have no voice; their logic is suspect, their opinion carries no weight.

There is no definite way to score it like football, it's based on someone's opinion.
Yes, much of it is subjective. But the bias introduced by that is diluted by consensus; diagnoses are based on the work of countless others, and it is difficult to have someone adjuducated. Many mentally ill people walk free because not enough people were convinced they were a threat, and their opinions could not override the person's rights. That is the way the system should work, just as the justice system required consensus from a jury to convict. The notion being floated that we should be restricting the rights of others at the first sign of suspicious behavior is nothing short of Orwellian Totalitarianism.

TCB

pickett1
February 10, 2013, 01:41 AM
I'm going to connect a few dots...Guns/Driving and endangerment.

Guns? We endanger each other with cars....without much consequence. Why worry about bearing guns? I Worry about other cars...and Ice on roads. I worry about random break-in's to a semi-commercially located home.

In the overall scheme of things, mental illness and guns is not much of an endangerment compared to cars. Should we ban driving when a bus runs off a cliff? We should not all have to pay for the sins of one. To do so is called collective redemption...and it's not at all christian. It's very clear in our society...we do not pay for the sins of others...we pay for our own sins. Same with most christian churches...we must come to terms with God on our own.

Regarding Mental illness...It should not be a curse. There is already so much stigma I never let on. I have lots of education and have a good job with significant responsibilities....but things didn't seem right. It took me about 5 doctors/psychologists and 40 years to get a diagnosis. I was shocked...and relieved. Then I became afraid someone would use the diagnosis against me if I did something they didn't like. I asked and then left my guns with the doctor...during a divorce. She was schitzophrenic...the doctor recommended it. Her meds didn't work. I've always taken my meds...they work...I do well with them...but sometimes I get irritable. It's a sleep thing...and a light thing...this time of year, and a consequence of poor planning...and maybe the meds. I can see how folks could "snap" due to extreme fatigue and isolation. That's what my doctor said. It makes sense.

Well, I applied for a FOID card to be legal. The card asked me to confess to a mental disorder. I did. The card was not issued. My doctor told me I was being too honest...that I had not been adjudicated, was under care...had no history of hospitalization and he wrote me a note. I got the card. But with Obamacare? Sheesh. Who knows? But I don't have the guns and the FOID card lapsed. The rules where I live are so strict guns are not very useful for home defense. I got ADT, some body armor, shields and some decent personal protection blades. Maybe I'll get my dad's old guns one day. I'm more interested in other things though...black powder, metal detectecting, fiddling etc.

As to home defense...my wife and I run a home day care...we try to avoid problems but I'd sure be upset if something happened and I hadn't even tried to take precautions. I have some defenses...but if they don't work...OK...we tried...it's in God's hands...if you will. Maybe we'll sleep easier if there is a problem. Like buying nice snow tires for a 4-wd vehicle.

JohnBT
February 10, 2013, 09:33 AM
"Isn't mental health somewhat like figure skating? There is no definite way to score it like football, it's based on someone's opinion."

What happens when a figure skating competitor falls down during a routine? They flunk.

What happens when a gun owner is declared incompetent by a court or judicial authority for not managing their own personal business affairs/finances (paying rent, buying food, keeping the lights on, etc) due to mental illness? They flunk.

Both decisions are based on the extremes of the behavior, not the judges opinion. They simply didn't demonstrate the ability to get the job done at all.

John

P.S. - The biggest problem in mental health discussions appears to be that some folks say "mental illness" and are referring to all of the people with all types of mental health problems and some folks say "mental illness" and are only talking about the extreme cases of folks that see things, hear voices, etc.

BSA1
February 10, 2013, 12:07 PM
We all agree, and probably this is almost universal, that seriously mentally ill people should not be permitted to purchase a firearm.

First of all mental illness is a medical problem not a criminal one. There are no criminal laws against simply having a mental illness. Involuntary commitments are usually a civil court issue. In fact the only time I can think of when a criminal court can order a mental health evaluation, not treatment, is determining if a defendant who has been charged with committing a crime is competent to stand trial. There is debate whether the accused/patient can be forcably medicated so he can stand trial.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrative (SAMHSA) released a report recently on mental health statistics for our country. They found that in the past year, 45.9 million Americans above the age of 18 years, or 20% of American adults, experienced mental illness. The Center for Disease Control agrees with those statistics.

http://www.treatmentsolutions.com/mental-illness-statistics/

With a adult population as of September 7, 2012, is approximately 314,325,838. So 20% of that number is 62,865,167.

Second; this part of the report is very interesting;

“Mental illness is not an isolated public health problem. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity often co-exist with mental illness and treatment of the mental illness can reduce the effects of these disorders.”

So now medical evidence supports that people who have heart disease, diabetes and are overweight directly contributes to mental illness.

The CDC estimates that every year 935,000 Americans have a heart attack

http://www.cdc.gov/HeartDisease/facts.htm

The American Diabetes Association estimates that 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes.

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/

Our friends at the CDC estimates that the percent of adults age 20 years and over who are obese: 35.9%

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/overwt.htm

Third is the pesky 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Amendments of the Bill of Rights getting in the way again.

If mental illness is to be judged as a crime instead of medical issue then we have;

Fifth Amendment - Rights of Persons

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


Sixth Amendment - Rights of Accused in Criminal Prosecutions

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

On the other hand if it is to be tried as a civil case then we have;

Seventh Amendment - Civil Trials

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

And what about posting bail?

Eighth Amendment - Further Guarantees in Criminal Cases

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Is someone who is accused of being "mentally ill" going to be denied bail before trial. If so why even have a trial?

Once you let the nose of the camel under the tent...well you get the point.

JohnBT
February 10, 2013, 12:58 PM
"So now medical evidence supports that people who have heart disease, diabetes and are overweight directly contributes to mental illness."

I think everyone in the medical field has known for many, many decades that being physically sick can bring on a bout of depression and/or other problems. I'd find a new doctor if mine suggested that it wasn't all related.

I'll add that becoming depressed when illness turns your life upside down seems perfectly normal to me. You get sick, you lose your job, you lose your house, you get depressed. It can bring out the worst in people sometimes.

John

Akita1
February 10, 2013, 01:04 PM
WHERE were you talking to this doc? If it was in an examining room and you were the patient, you should report him to the clinic and to the state medical board. If it was in a bar (or Sunday school class), he is entitled to his goofy opinions just like the rest of us.
+1 zxcvbob

easyg
February 10, 2013, 01:36 PM
Psychiatry and psychology are pseudo sciences at best, and outright quackery at worse.
By seeking help from one of these "professionals" you are actually just volunteering to be a guinea pig for more "research".

MDW GUNS
February 10, 2013, 02:04 PM
Obama already stated on more then one occasion, that if you don't agree with his politics you obviously don't have the necessary intellect to do so.
It's a small step from to extend this to:
If you can't follow the basics, you must have a metal problem!
Matter a fact people are already called "gun nuts".

Bikewer
February 10, 2013, 02:45 PM
I've pointed out on other forums that many (likely most) of the individuals who "go postal" and engage in rage or spree killings are perfectly normal up until the time they "snap".
They display no outward signs of impending crisis and would not normally seek mental-health care.
If they are in possession of firearms, it is normally quite legally.

No mental-health requirement would do anything to prevent such persons from doing what they do.
As well.... In regards to individuals who are actually under the care of a psychiatrist or psychologist... What of doctor/patient confidentiality? The Federal government has imposed very strict privacy regulations on the medical care sector already.
Would this just go out the window? What effect would being judged "potentially dangerous" have on the person's job, family life, and whatever?
Would family service representatives feel compelled to take the children?
Could he ever be hired?

No one seems to be addressing these things.

beatledog7
February 10, 2013, 02:58 PM
We know precious little about the human mind--probably we're closer to uncovering the origin of existence or nailing down the Grand Unified Theory than we are to understanding what goes on inside our own heads.

Sadly, some judge may well be the final arbiter of who's mentally competent to own a firearm and who's not--a judge, we must note, who has little or no training in a field where even the "experts" can't be certain.

Judges in America = too much power.

JRH6856
February 10, 2013, 06:54 PM
Currently, mentally ill persons are prohibited from owning firearms but they must be adjudicated to be mentally ill, or found to be insane in a criminal case. Both of these findings are the result due process of law.

Due process applies to persons. Individuals. OTOH, administrative polices apply to people in general, or specific groups of people. What we must guard against is allowing the determination of mental state to become an administrative decision.


I used the following to start another thread that didn't go over too well. I'm reposting here because I think it is on point.

This is what could happen if we allow the determination of mental illness to become an administrative question rather than a judicial one:

Assume we're going to get UBCs. These will come with an expanded and detailed NICS database. The expansion will focus on newly required mental health information

This mental health information could come from mental health evaluations to be mandated under an amendment to Obamacare. OR it could come from expanded access to electronic patient records. There is currently a big push in the medical community to make all patient records available electronically with online access (http://e-patients.net/).

This mandate will come because the CDC has been tasked by Obama with studying gun violence and could easily identify irrational fear and paranoia as a causative factor in gun violence. The diagnostic indicators for this irrational fear might be a need to own firearms for self defense, a preference for military style weapons and high capacity magazines. owning several of these weapons, stockpiling ammunition,

Any physician or mental health professional who observes these indicators (minimum number to be determined by CDC)could be required to note them in the patient's record and/or report them to the FBI for inclusion the NICS database. Such an entry in the database would result in non approval.

And because there are already a lot of these irrational paranoids out there with firearms, we will have to have a national registry to find them and get them out of dangerous hands.

Think about it. This could easily happen if we are not careful. The laws may eventually fail under SCOTUS scrutiny, but that would depend a lot on the make up of the court when the cases reach it. In the meantime, think of the damage that could be done to those firearms owners affected (and that could well be all of us).

beatledog7
February 10, 2013, 07:47 PM
...determination of mental illness to become an administrative question rather than a judicial one:

It should be neither administrative or judicial. The diagnosis of mental illness is not for administrators or judges, as they have no training in the field.

An anti-gun, activist judge might readily declare that anyone who would want to own many firearms or design-capacity magazines or whatever he doesn't like can only be mentally disturbed since no normal person would see any reason to own such things. An anti-gun administrator would be very prone to erring on the side of declaring a person ineligible to cover his own backside should said person ever crack.

If we must decide who among us is not mentally fit to own a firearm, then let that decision fall to gun-owning, 2A-supporting professionals in the mental health field, people who will be the least prone to strip away a person's RKBA without truly knowing that said person is a danger and understanding why.

JRH6856
February 10, 2013, 09:06 PM
If the finding is judicial, one would hope (perhaps in vain) that the finding would come after the testimony of expert witnesses such as those gun-owning, 2A-supporting professionals in the mental health field.

There would be little hope of that in an administrative ruling.

But your point is well taken, and the truth is that mental illness is a poor criteria for denying a protected right. It isn't the illness, but the behavior that results that should be the criteria.

Voyager
February 10, 2013, 10:08 PM
We all agree, and probably this is almost universal, that seriously mentally ill people should not be permitted to purchase a firearm. How to define mentally ill is the big problem. Most mental illness symptoms are exaggerations of normal behavior, and in some case inappropriate behavior. It's easy to identify the extremes, but there is an awful lot of middle ground where the label of mentally ill may or may not truly apply. And then there are those who think that anyone who thinks differently than themselves must be mentally ill. What prompted me to write this thread was talking with a physician who stated that "no rational person should feel the NEED to own a gun", adding that in his opinion, "most gun owners appear to be irrational in their fears" and that in his opinion, "owning several guns, or keeping an arsenal of guns and ammunition is clearly a sign of serious mental illness". I told this individual that his ignorance was appalling and that maybe his statements were an indication of mental illness. Needless to say he now considers me another gun "nut". He asked me if I voted for Obama (I'm serious) and when I answered that normally I would respond that how I voted is none of his or anyone's business besides my own, but in this case I would state that I absolutely would never vote for Obama, considering him probably the worst president in American history. He then said "now I know you are really disturbed and should get help". This is why I fear a move to broadly define mental illness that would ensnare many of us for nothing more than owning guns and believing in the 2nd Amendment.
I can't produce the actual data, but I seem to recall that a study was done relatively recently, in which they determined that almost 90% of all licensed psychiatrists, and psychologists self identify as solidly left of the political center.

miamivicedade
February 10, 2013, 10:36 PM
The problem with denying ANY person the right to own a gun, who falls within a prohibited group, is that it is unconstitutional based on the original meaning. The Constitution is continually chipped away at out of necessity. Yelling fire in a crowded theater, banning felons from owning firearms, etc. We need to be tireless in our defense of the Constitution because our country is very, very young.

Our society could eventually have a largely anti-gun mindset. The anti-gunners lie, constantly, because they are trying to sway public opinion. If that happens, more judges will be appointed to reflect the will of the uninformed majority, and then we are in big trouble. You think stare decisis means anything to a group of liberal judges? Think again.

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