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Mental Health is the Issue, Not Guns and Armed Guards in Schools is not the Solution

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Jeff White, Dec 26, 2012.

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  1. drcook

    drcook Well-Known Member

    I respectfully disagree.

    Our wonderful media has taught the terrorists of the world how to bring the U.S. to its knees. 2 or 3 coordinated attacks on schools and the U.S. would just go bonkers, worse than what we just saw, worse than the 9/11 attack.

    Do not for a moment think that the reaction in our country has gone unnoticed. The media inflamed the public to a fever pitch.

    Whether or not the incident was mental illness, domestic or foreign terrorism the only way that the next one is going to be stopped, is to have someone there to physically stop it.

    Whether it be dedicated LEO's, armed staff, etc, schools are one of the last areas that there is a bunch of unprotected people left. As long as the closest responder is still X amount of minutes away, there will always be that window of time where children will be in harms way.
  2. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

    Exactly the point. Get rid of gun free zones and we reduce the risk of this occurring, but that risk will never be zero.
  3. readyeddy

    readyeddy Well-Known Member

    With all due respect, we are not mental health experts. We do not know the science, law, politics or financial impacts of institutionalizing the mentally ill. We know guns and the 2A and that's why we argue against gun restrictions.

    But if you really want to pursue the sanatorium option, then do a quick calculation of the number of mentally ill and multiply that by the cost of instutionalizing a single patient. A quick search on the net comes up with an article that puts the numbers at 760,000 at $40,000 per day. That comes out to $30.4 billion a day. Now factor in that the numbers are inflated and round it down to $3.4 billion a day. That comes out to $1.2 trillion a year. Factor in the fiscal cliff and the reality becomes clearer.
  4. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Well-Known Member

    Trying to fix the mental health system is not the answer either.

    The hard truth is that there will be x number of mass shootings, no matter what "cures" are attempted. All these remedies, whether they be gun control, more armed guards, or better mental health, are just things to make us feel better in our own minds that we are trying to do something about the problem.

    The bottom line is that a free society has to accept the possibility of incidents like this, as the price of keeping its freedom. The alternative is a totalitarian, police state, and even that is no guarantee.
  5. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

    I don't believe we have to settle for that price at all. Violence is not necessarily the price of freedom, just the opposite really. What we have is regulations that prevent self defense, these mass shootings are not the product of a free society at all, but an over regulated and a "me" society where they look to the government for their provision instead of hard work, virtue and building a free society. No, this is not what freedom looks like my friend.
  6. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

    And how much do you we spend every day in this country to incarcerate and run through the legal system those who are so dysfunctional that they end up in the system because they can't care for themselves?

    We are probably spending close to that nationwide now. And while they are in jail they get little, if any treatment because your average county jail is not staffed and funded to provide it.

    I would estimate 40% of the people in jails today are in need of some kind of mental health care which for the most part they aren't getting. If you figure an average cost of $80.00 per day just to house them and then add in the cost of the police manpower to arrest them, prosecutors, public defenders, court clerks, probation officers and all the other ancillary costs of running them through the system, I would bet the cost is just as staggering.

    We need to decide what the proper role of government is. When we closed the mental hospitals and sanitariums we simply transferred transferred the cost from one department of government to another. And we endangered the public by doing so.
  7. ilbob

    ilbob Well-Known Member

    The biggest problem with the whole mental health idea is that the so called professionals have shown they are completely incapable of separating out the dangerous to others from the merely kooky.

    As for the cost, I think it may well be in the $40,000/year range rather than $40,000/day.

    One of the things that is rarely touched on is that one of the reasons that the ACLU went after the warehousing of the "insane" was that a lot of them just were not dangerous, at least when they went in.
  8. Derek Zeanah

    Derek Zeanah System Administrator Staff Member

    What Bob said. $40,000 per year is much more reasonable than $40,000 per day. $40k/day translates into $14,600,000 per year, and I can't imagine many treatments that run that much.

    It's important to use the proper units here.
  9. Millwright

    Millwright Well-Known Member

    Mr. White, I humbly submit you are "part of the problem"; as you admit. Our justice system is broken ! We're turning loose dangerous individuals in plea deals every day. And, thanks to "feel good legislation", we're not - as you admit - not restraining dangerous individuals with serious mental health issues. All will find a way to inflict their delusions/animus upon someone, somewhere, sometime.

    The "upside" is historically, these incidents are decreasing. And with increasing levels of CCW these deranged individuals are increasingly thwarted in their goals. The "downside" is recent events may bring about some temporary restrictions in how Joe Citizen protects himself and others. But I suspect this is a debate the "pros" will win.

    And, FWIW, due to my employment I'm also a "part of the problem", too. >MW
  10. 9MMare

    9MMare Well-Known Member


    And in this one.
  11. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Well-Known Member

    Here I go with another half-baked opinion. While the mental health aspect of this is surely not to be overlooked, it is a battle that is almost unwinnable due to the nature of the enemy. The enemy isn't the criminally insane guy, yet, it's the very establishment that would be responsible for "warehousing" or keeping the violently unstable out of society. They have no will or desire to do it and the law tells us the mentally unbalanced have a right to be ill. They cannot be forced to get treatment. Unless, of course, they've already committed a crime and it's court mandated. But then it's a little late.

    In a perfect world, we'd be able to help these people to some extent, either getting effective treatment or segregating them from the rest of society as much for their safety as ours. But it's not going to happen. It should, but it won't.

    So we're left with the blunt instrument of stopping them, rather than the preferred instrument of prevention. And then we're right back to square one in this argument.

    In theory, Jeff, I agree with you 100 percent. But having a mother that retired from a hospital that dealt with physical and mental health issues, as well as having one friend who's a psychologist and two friends who have a socially dysfunctional child apiece (one violently so, the other just a little strange), I see the determination of the "system" to force these people, sometimes against their own wills and usually against the will of family, to be mainstreamed.
  12. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Well-Known Member

    If your argument that mentally ill shooters in schools are too rare to justify securing all schools is accepted, may we not also argue that such shootings are too rare to justify the expense of tracking or incarcerating all America's mentally ill? The same logic applies to both; if you make the two mutually exclusive or accept one but reject the other, your proposal fails on logical grounds.

    Your argument against armed security also depends logically on acceptance of your premise of excessive expense. I would make two points here: one, that merely allowing teachers and administrative staff to exercise a legal right to carry creates no added public expense; two, that the idea of "excessive" expense is not a fact but a value judgement on your part. You have effectively decided how much monetary value a child's life should carry to society.

    The idea of stripping any citizen of civil rights or physical liberty on the basis of what they might or might not do in the future is an absolute violation of the 5A; our justice system is predicated on the assumption of innocence and the requirement of due process of law.

    These arguments for "better" mental health care merely trade one sort of police state for another. Further, penalizing voluntary seekers of treatment and then coercively institutionalizing people who don't voluntarily seek help is both logically unsound and (in my purely subjective opinion) very poor public policy.

    It is time to dust off "Freedom isn't free" and take a hard look at it... sometimes the price of our freedom is enduring others' abuse of theirs. Freedom isn't free; freedom isn't even entirely SAFE. The problem is, tyranny is a lot less free, and no matter what a sweetly spoken would-be tyrant tells you, it isn't any safer, either.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  13. 9MMare

    9MMare Well-Known Member

    I think the CO theater shooter was in treatment at the time. So probably was the CT shooter.

    I think it's more about awareness and identification, as others have said. There are programs where kids have learned enough to identify other dangerous kids. I think parents are probably more blind to it in their families, if anything. We need to develop more awareness, networks, and support organizations. Develop legitimate ways to address the people that we are 'losing' to mental illness or social exclusion.

    I dont support further restrictions on guns, I dont support unfair taxation when those with kids could turn to private funding, I dont support invasions into people's rights to privacy.

    Please see my signature, the 2nd one.

    Edit: and for anyone who didnt know it, I'm a Democrat and liberal....liberal by most of the people's opinions on this forum anyway :)
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  14. 9MMare

    9MMare Well-Known Member

    In all those sources, including many mass shooters (who plan and plot, as evidence by diaries, letters, blogs)....they do a great deal of planning. A few armed guards will not stop an attack. The attack will just shift as necessary.

    C'mon, even with my tinfoil hat on, I dont believe that a real coordinated attack would not include forward recon and genuine planning & strategy.
  15. 9MMare

    9MMare Well-Known Member

    Exactly. We need to be more responsible for our own safety, by whatever (legal) means necessary. If we need to change laws re: cc and gun-free zones, great.

    If parents need to protect their kids by proxy...hiring armed security...so be it.

    Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own safety as much as it is possible for each of us. To think of our own solutions, get our own training, develop our own awareness...extending that to family.....use our own methods, choose our own places to pray, shop, drive, learn.

    If schools are really that dangerous, why do parents even send their kids there? (Someone else here on the forum had a very good post on this elsewhere). If they really believed it, would they still send their kids to public school everyday? Or make the lifestyle changes that would enable something else?
  16. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    From the mid 19th century until the 1970's it was routine for the barking insane to be housed for life in asylums. The great experiment in deinstitutionalization has returned them to our streets. Most are harmless enough. But some aren't. The ones who are dangerous are usually well known by their providers, so this isn't some great mystery. It's exceptionally difficult to put people away even when they're screaming insane and biting people. They're more likely to be put in jail, and that doesn't really work for anyone.

    Waiting until they threaten someone and then killing them isn't really a solution either. Ever received one of those letters telling you a psych's patient is dreaming of torturing you or someone you love? The dude who was going to come to our office and kill at least one of us per his own psych's report was going to get shot dead by me if I ever saw the guy and he so much as twitched. That's not really a solution to the problem. Someone like that should be in a rubber room for life. He was following a co-worker around for many months, waiting for an opportunity to kidnap, torture and murder her. Such a person should never be at liberty. And there's nothing unconstitutional about putting them away. Their brains are just wrong, and that sort of illness is incurable. So we either do something about reinstitutionalizing them or just keep waiting till they kill someone or are killed before they can.

    And the problem is MUCH bigger than a few high-profile shootings. These folks are involved in a lot of smaller scale killings. The dude who axed his family to death, stole a handgun and went on a shooting rampage through Anchorage a few years ago is a good example. Or the nutcase in Hoonah who was given a break after assaulting a cop and rewarded the kidness by murdering most of the police force on the island. These people were well known as violently insane, but there's no procedure for locking them up long-term on that basis. They're supposed to be treated and released instead. That doesn't work when your illness causes you to murder people. Releasing them is like rolling grenades around.

    None of this applies to the much broader category of those who have depression, PTSD, or whatever. These weren't even considered psychological conditions until recently. I'm talking about people who hear voices in their head or have fits of homicidal rage so severe they can't be allowed near knives.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  17. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Well-Known Member

    It's true, Mental Health is the issue.
    The guy that set up and murdered the firemen was in jail for 17 years for killing his 92 year old Grandmother with a HAMMER.
    Obviously a mental incapasitate, WHY was he released?
    Also if the Left wanted to they could call anyone who took so much as a depressant drug a mental case.
    What's the answer?
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  18. 9MMare

    9MMare Well-Known Member

    Not really, they would make the case that you were infringing on their civil liberties...that they had paid their debt to society. That there was no further legal grounds to keep them incarcerated. That you cant keep people locked up based on 'what they might do' without very strong medical and evidential precedent.

    This thread is starting to sound like people want to just throw some civil liberties out the window just to be a bit safer. Hmmm.
  19. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    They have to be released because we made the policy choice to toss out the insanity plea or render it almost impossible to use. What we forgot is that when you convict someone for a crime they must be released after the imprisonment is finished. The murderous insane should never be released. So part of the solution is to rework our penal codes to permit for true lifelong confinement for insane criminals.

    As far as gun ownership, if you reinstitutionalize the violently mad, you solve the problem in the process. If they're in the asylum they can't buy firearms.
  20. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Well-Known Member

    And to begin worrying about "We can't lock them up before they do something" is a red herring. Send a very polite letter to your congressperson about how you'd like to stalk and murder them. See how fast you get a knock on the door, then use the "But I didn't DO anything yet" line. Let me know how that works for you. I'll send you birthday cards while you're cooling your heels in the joint. Most of these truly whacko people have made similar threats or statements.

    To be clear, most of the mentally ill fall into the "crazy cat lady" category. They're very eccentric but harmless. They live in their own little world and want the population to be exactly one.

    The small minority, however, are the criminally insane. They are a little odd, to be sure, but coupled with that is a bent on harming others. Sometimes out of paranoia, sometimes out of nothing but malice toward every other person on planet earth.
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