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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. d-dogg

    d-dogg Member

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    And the solution is?

    First of all, let me say I think I found a great forum here. Lot's of well thought out responses to varying ideas, without the thread turning into a WWF smackdown.

    So what is the solution?

    Is this a mental health issue? A proliferation of guns issue? A lack of enough police issue? I'll get to my 2 cents worth of opinion in a minute.

    It is very true we have a homeless problem, higher drug use, more crime, more "syndromes", etc. since our mental hospitals basically opened the gates up. To show my age, I did not go to school with kids with ADD, ADHD, Aspergers, or any of the modern "syndromes". If all the current goings on are the result of mentally ill walking loose and unchecked, and the solution is to fund mental institutions and lock them up, how many here will that affect personally? ADD, ADHD, Aspergers, OCD, depressives, binge drinkers, sex addicts, homosexuals, the paranoid, etc.? Remember that any of these syndromes were at one time grounds to have someone committed to an asylum. You know, most of the people with the symptoms I mentioned are highly functioning aside from their "quirks".

    Are there too many guns, and do they call to us in the middle of the night to climb a water tower and go nuts? Some of mine do call to me, but they are saying "clean me, I'm rusting". Will gun control stop a murderer? Or knife control? Or baseball bat control? How about martial arts control? I wonder what would happen if someone were to mix a gallon of bleach with a gallon of ammonia close to an HVAC return? Guess we need cleaning supply control too. No, there isn't really a way to stop a person intent on doing another harm, is there?

    Are our video games and movies making our young people crazy and violent? Do we need to restrict games, movies and TV? Is Call of Duty any worse than Have Gun Will Travel, Bonanza, The Rifleman, or any of the 9 dozen WWII movies guys my age watched as a kid when there were 3 channels of television? Well, we used to walk around the neighborhood with loaded guns at 10 and 12, and if we had an altercation with another boy we carefully placed our loaded guns down before having our fist fight or wrestling match. Today's youth probably wouldn't put the gun down and solve it with a fist fight would they? Wonder what changed?

    More cops / armed guards? That must be the solution, right? Well, what if there had been an armed security person on site at any of these recent headline events? What if he or she were using the restroom when the crazy persons arrived on the scene? What if he or she were the first thing the crazy persons looked for and dispatched? So we need two or thre, or a dozen at each school in the nation? No, that's not enough. Each and every one of us needs 3 personal policemen/security guards - one to walk ahead, one to watch behind, and one for a wingman. No, I guess more cops/guards is not feasible, nor the solution.

    Over 500 Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brownies and Cub Scouts participated in a community service project near me last year. We got a half paragraph on page 12 of the C section of the local newspaper. A teenage girl swam out and rescued a drowning guy 3 times her size. IIRC, she got a whole paragraph somewhere in section C. Yet a single crazy walks into a school with a gun, and we as a nation cannot escape the constant publicity it receives. Sure the guy probably knew he would die, but he was absolutely certain he would be famous. Heck, I have things I need to be doing, but here I am posting on a forum as a result of it. Maybe we are rewarding the wrong behavior? Hey, we could call it the media's fault couldn't we? Start regulating the news? I think another country did that already - didn't work too well.

    But we have to do something! Spend some money, pass some laws, post an ad, have a mini-series. Something!

    What can each and every one of us do? In my opinion, it is easy, and we just need politicians and the media to step out of the way and let us do it.

    We could all take responsibility for our own security. We could stop the vilification of weapons and those fond of them, and encourage more people to learn to defend themselves.

    (I realize the next paragraph is a bit indelicate, and I mean no disrespect to anyone, but sometimes you just have to say some things plainly).

    We heard of the heroic teacher who gathered her kids up, locked a door and died trying to protect them. I should not speak ill of the dead, but I would suggest to you, she, like so many of my children's teachers, may have thought all guns are evil. Suppose instead, she had been brought up with marksmanship a part of her life just as ballet, and piano lessons. Suppose she lived in a society which did not fear law abiding citizens being armed? Would she have walked out of that classroom blowing the smoke off the end of the barrel of her .357 with the pink grips, yelling behind her "somebody grab the kickball, it's recess time". Well, that sounds a bit like a Clint Eastwood movie, but you get my point. Of course in a fantasy world like this one, the crazy probably wouldn't have made it past the Betty White looking grandma who was standing in the lobby with a tray of brownies for her granddaughter's kindergarten class.

    Anyway, long story short (too late), in my opinion the way to curb craziness is to enable and encourage people to be able to defend themselves and their loved ones.
     
  2. JN01

    JN01 Member

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    They are changing because peoples views have changed. Morals are not just about prohibiting things. Approving of using mind altering substances for recreation is a moral judgement. Sex education that promotes safe sex is a moral issue for some (often from a religious perspective) as abstinence is for others.

    Slavery is an extreme example. It was once legal and widespread. Now it is not because society came to view it as abhorrent and outlawed it.

    The same could be said about many blue laws. When enacted the majority probably thought they were sensible. Over time, attitudes changed, the laws were ignored and no longer enforced. They, for all practical purposes, were no longer laws.

    People seem to have a knee jerk negative reaction to religious peoples views on political issues as "forcing their morality on everyone else" while failing to recognize that the opposition is no less trying to promote THEIR particular morality as correct.

    Societal values change. Sometimes those changes are good, sometimes they are destructive.
     
  3. JN01

    JN01 Member

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    Sorry for the tangent.

    Back to the original topic, I do have a few questions.

    I know people that work in schools, and there seems to be a large number of students with various developmental/mental health issues. I don't recall this being the case much when I was in school. Am I wrong in thinking it is much more prevalent now, or is it just more likely to be diagnosed now?

    If it is more prevalent now, why is it?

    The pharmaceutical industry has exploded in the last few decades, people are on all kinds of medications for just about everything. Do we really know what side effects these chemical cocktails might be having on kids in the womb?

    These days, kids with issues are "mainstreamed" with all the other students. "Inclusiveness" and political correctness aside, is this the best course of action for everyone involved? Would separate classes be better suited for those with problems, allowing them to be addressed without disrupting a regular classroom while at the same time reducing the potential for ridicule and bullying (which could be a factor in later violent behavior) of the troubled student?

    Lastly, I wonder about the cost factor. The current trend in corrections is downsizing- stepping up paroles, replacing prison time with dubious or untested "programs" in order to cut costs. If the public is unwilling to pay to keep criminals locked up, will they be willing to fund new or expanded mental health facilities?
     
  4. 9MMare

    9MMare Member

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    Agreed, values change, for better or for worse.

    I just dont see anyone else promoting 'values' & morality in political issues much (not completely but I cant think of an example) except the religious.
     
  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    That is a very tough question to answer. I know I am not qualified to answer it with fact, but I have come to believe a few things about that subject.

    1) There MAY indeed be more of certain kinds of mental illness and/or maladjustment than in previous eras. Many things could be claimed to account for that, but it is hard to prove that it IS true, or if so, WHY.

    2) As the field of mental health has grown with the rest of science, medicine, technology, etc., experts in the field find more and more depth of understanding and nuance and variation to describe and diagnose. If we can say we understand vastly more completely how cells, and genes, and cancers, and viruses, and all manner of physical health work now than we did 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, etc. years ago -- surely it stands to reason that we understand how the brain works at least a little better as well. And as a result we've managed to catalog and describe a long list of mental aberrations that deviate from what we hope to consider "normal" psychological function. So, if we can identify several hundred distinct mental quirks, then we're going to diagnose those at a much higher rate, collectively, than in the past we diagnosed a much more binary concept of "sane" and "insane." We wouldn't call a person who's moody around Christmas "insane," but now we can say he or she suffers from "Seasonal Affective Disorder." And so forth.

    2a) There have been large numbers of people throughout history who were unhappy, socially awkward, maladjusted, "slow," mean, sadistic, fearful, spiteful, hurtful, outcast, and many other variations on "not quite right." Now we might have the descriptive structure established to be able to say that a person is delusional, hyperactive, paranoid, psychotic, sociopathic, autistic, obsessive, dyslexic, or has Asperger's, etc., etc. It was simpler when we could just say the dyslexic kids were "slow" and the sufferer or paranoia was just a recluse, and the obsessive or delusional was just "eccentric" or "creepy." But we tend to want to help ourselves and help each other, so we continue to try and understand things better, and that means we start by describing them more precisely.

    3) People with problems have a vastly better chance of getting help -- or at least being able to find someone who will OFFER them assistance -- than in previous eras. For much of history the vast masses have lived lives that were "nasty, brutish, and short" to quote Hobbes, and seeking a whole lot of self-awareness and self-improvement was not likely considering how much effort went into simple survival -- working hard enough, long enough not to get tossed out of your job slaving away in a coal mine 12 hours a day, or what have you, so you could afford a bit of bread and ale at the end of the day so you'd have strength to do it again tomorrow. That sort of existence, or various equally barbarous alternates, has been the lot of more humans in history than not. Spending a lot of relatively idle time contemplating whether you're ever going to be a success in life, or whether you're fully actualized, or whether you'll ever be TRULY happy is a luxury afforded to relatively few privileged folks, historically. (And, historically speaking, many of those who became noteworthy for their contemplations were well off into territory most of us would consider quite odd, if not raving mad.) Now, such is the life of a teenager, and of a young adult just doing "ok" with some entry level job that only takes up about 40 hours of their week and leaves the other 128 hours pretty much free for feeling kinda sucky. And of the 40-something guy who doesn't get along well with his wife and kids and wonders why he can't seem to get up the energy to have a mid-life crisis.

    All that to say, I truly believe that modern human society has always been host to at least 95% of all these maladies, from the annoying to the incredibly scary and lethal.

    Remember, the world's folklore is full of tales like Hansel and Gretl, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, vampires, witches, snatchers and ghouls and monsters of many kinds which it seems likely were largely retellings and embellishments of ghastly deeds perpetrated by deviant and/or dangerously maladjusted people.

    I don't think there's much new under the sun. Just lots of new ways to try and describe and understand it all.
     
  6. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "To show my age, I did not go to school with kids with ADD, ADHD, Aspergers, or any of the modern "syndromes"."

    Sure you did, we all did, they just didn't have all of those diagnoses available back then.


    I can think back to elementary school in the '50s and make solid educated guesses on a lot of the students based on what I learned in grad school in the '70s and during 37 years of working with individuals with disabilities (and having access to all of their records, etc.)

    At work 30 years ago I'd have to code a recent high school grad with Minimal Brain Dysfunction in order to provide vocational services because there was no listing at all for Learning Disability. That's just one example.

    One client, again in retrospect, was closer to the Autism end of the Asperger's-Autism spectrum. The diagnosis he eventually received back then was Childhood Schizophrenia, so that's what I had to use on the paperwork if I wanted to assist in a job hunt. He couldn't drive or ride the bus alone, but he could play the piano and tune pianos, although he could not learn to repair them.)

    Many things are in play when it comes to the increased numbers of diagnosed students.
    In no order: schools get extra money for special ed students; if a student wants an accommodation (like extra time on tests) they need a diagnosis in order to get the paperwork approved; helicopter parents that sign up for everything (can't blame them much); insurance requires a diagnosis if you want meds/therapy/group counseling/whatever.

    Want to skip that college math requirement? Get somebody qualified to give you a diagnosis of Math Disorder. Of course, the free route may takes many months or you can pay a psychologist many hundreds of dollars for 2 days worth of testing and report writing. On and on it goes.

    I need a memory wipe on a lot of this stuff - I retired a couple of months ago.

    John
     
  7. JN01

    JN01 Member

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    Employers with certain religious values do not want to provide abortion or contraceptive health care services. Those who see those services as a right seek to force them to pay for it. Both sides are attempting to force their values on the other. It remains to be seen which will prevail.

    A recently passed California law prohibiting minors from being counseled away from homosexuality is being challenged in court. Those in favor of the law are attempting to force their view that if any child is confused about his/her sexuality, it should always default to gay.

    For some, gun control is a moral issue. They think that guns are only for killing people and that there is something wrong with anyone who owns them. They want to hold their need to "feel" safe over your right to self defense.
     
  8. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    As a Minister, School Teacher and LEO Chaplin and a life long gun owner and TX CCW man I tell you we need to do both. We need to expand Fed State and Local spending on Mental health plus we need to allow educators and retired LEO and Military to be armed at School. I told my Super that I would carry at work when He got the School Board to allow it since they can here in TX with no state interferance.
     
  9. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Actually self defense is a moral issue supported by the Bible. Even Gandhi decried the taking of guns from Indians as a moral abrogation of basic rights.

    Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest ...

    Even the Dalai Lama said:

    If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun. Not at the head, where a fatal wound might result. But at some other body part, such as a leg.

    Gun control is a very immoral act that leaves guns in the hands of criminals and the government. Both are dangerous characters when the lawful citizens are deprived of the basic right of self defense.
     
  10. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    I would further add that a company that acts upon the owners moral values is acting within their constitution rights. The employees have the right to work some where else if they disagree with that decision. Sorry, that is NOT forcing their values on someone else, they are simply exercising their rights of self determination.

    In fact you have it backwards, the Obama administration is now forcing their moral values on the company to go against their religious convictions and offer contraception. In this case, their only recourse is to either go against their religious convictions or to face prosecution with possible fines and prison time as the consequence. That is direct coercion.

    The employee on the other hand has the recourse of working somewhere else and not lose anything. The employers have all of their assets at risk to lose. Very different situation.
     
  11. JN01

    JN01 Member

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    That is true, they do not have to work there. Perhaps not "force" exactly, but the employers expect that in this instance, their morality should prevail. I, incidentally, agree with them.

    Agreed. I was questioning the assertions that 1) morality can't be legislated, and 2) if it is, it is usually religious people that attempt to do so.
     
  12. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Looking for and securing a job is a voluntary decision. As long as all prospective employees understand the insurance guidelines at the time of coming on board the company, then it is their choice to do so or to decline. Obama is not allowing free choice to the employers. That is a much different situation.
     
  13. tpaw

    tpaw Member

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    9MMare states:[QUOTE] And by your thinking, then since we already have armed guards in many schools, we're good then? Perhaps examine where more might be truly needed, and left up to the school? [/QUOTE]

    Please, for heavens sake, don't think for me. You have neither the capasity or knowledge to acquire that ability. Form your own opinion on the subject and put it to rest.

    Happy New Year!
     
  14. 9MMare

    9MMare Member

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    I asked only clarification on this statement:

    And I thank you for your response.

    Happy New Year.
     
  15. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Putting armed guards in each school would be hugely expensive, no doubt, but it would be a drop in the bucket compared to getting everyone the mental health treatment they need. So I think the financial argument is without merit.

    However, that isn't to say we don't need to get people mental healt care. We do, but it will be an amazingly horrific expense.

    Then there are issues like this...
    Lots of violence is committed by folks who haven't even considered seeing a mental health care professional.

    Mental health may be the issue, but how do you fix those people with mental health issues that appear normal or maybe just slightly abnormal, say, high-strung?

    As for the shooter who killed high grandmother, did time, was release, killed firemen and tried to burn down the neighborhood, why was he released? Simple. He did his time and me the qualifications for relase.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/12/2...ion-with-murder-2-firefighters/#ixzz2GdWEXJvX

    Of course, 2010 was when he started getting guns.
     
  16. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. It might be the only method that's even partially accurate.

    "denied him parole, worried that bludgeoning his 92-year-old grandmother with a hammer showed a violent streak that could explode again."

    Ya think? Maybe they needed the bed for someone else. Space was very limited before the past few years of budget cuts.

    John
     
  17. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    I highly doubt Spengler was released on parole because they needed bed space. However, it would not have mattered for the current crime. He would have been out of prison since the most time he could receive is 25 years, which would have put him out in 2006, which is when his parole ended. So by 2012, he would have been out, parole or not.
     
  18. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    Some states have regs to keep such creatures out of circulation even after they do their time. A life sentence would have been simpler.

    But they turned him loose, so they can try to live with it and claim that it wasn't their problem.
     
  19. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Just how do states keep people out of circulation AFTER they have fulfilled their incarceration requirements? How would that even be legal?

    He was sentenced to 25 years and the attack on the firefighters et al. and arson came well after his sentence was up. They would have had to release him. He didn't get a life sentence. Don't blame the state for following the rules, LOL.
     
  20. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    These recent disscusions prove to me that there are many more questions than answers to this mentel health problem and they need to be dealt with before the gov takes anymore knee jerk actions against guns or their accessories.
     
  21. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    +1 DNS, good to hear from you again. The answer in the issue at hand is to charge the woman who bought this known felon the guns with accessory to murder in addition to all of the other gun charges.
     
  22. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "Just how do states keep people out of circulation AFTER they have fulfilled their incarceration requirements? How would that even be legal?"


    Here's one example, from a federal prison in NC in 2010. Five of the prisoners were challenging it in the Supreme Court.

    www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122452485

    "Currently, 84 such prisoners are indefinitely confined for treatment at a federal prison in North Carolina. Five of them are challenging the law under which they have been detained with no end in sight. "

    www.nytimes.com/2010/05/18/us/politics/18offenders.html?_r=0

    "Extended Civil Commitment of Sex Offenders Is Upheld"
     
  23. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Different subject, the man that killed his grandmother was not a sex offender. You are talking apples and oranges. For repeat, serial sex offenders who are likely to offend again, protect society at all costs. That is a societal value to argue about. Indefinite confinement for everyone that has committed a crime, good grief. Maybe we could get China to give us some advice on how to do that.
     
  24. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    Excellent post, I agree on all your points. As for finding the money to pay for putting police officers in every school, simply take the funds spent on foreign aid. Our tax dollars would be better spent protecting our children than being spent supporting countries that hate us.
     
  25. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "Different subject, the man that killed his grandmother was not a sex offender. You are talking apples and oranges"

    Not at all. The question asked was how it could be done. I simply pointed out how it has been done. You pass a law, implement it and wait and see what the Supreme Court says. They agreed that it was okay to extend sentences for one group. Now it could just be a matter of expanding it to other groups.

    John
     
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