Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Problems with mental health checks

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by MuleRyder, Dec 31, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. MuleRyder

    MuleRyder Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    Taxachusetts
    Many people are suggesting mental health checks as part background checking for purchasing firearms. One of the problems with that some do not realize is the the HIPPA law. This is the privacy act to protect an individuals medical records and information. Mental health is included in the HIPPA act. Laws would have to be changed to allow this info to be shared. I think this would open up a whole nother can o worms. Who would decide what level of mental health problems would disqualify someone. Also, I think some mental health problems could classified as a disability, which would bring forth trouble with Americans with Disability Act.
     
  2. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,982
    Location:
    Northwest IL--the other 'Downstate'
    There are exemptions for this sort of reporting in HIPPA ~ not really an issue. In many places the mechansim by practitioners is in place; the Fed Gov threw the states money on this a few years ago to mesh their system with the Fed Gov. Watch; EVERYONE with a mental hyccup will be on the 'no guns' list VERY soon; here in IL, practitioners are absolved by law from civil liability for reporting patients with issues they deem a problem. The climate is such, they'll be faxing everyone on prozac or vallium to Uncle Sugar.
     
  3. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,369
    I agree it is ripe with obstacles to figure out, but I'd personally rather see them tackle those obstacles (even if they fail) then simply take the knee-jerk reaction of banning evil black rifles and "hi-cap" magazines that shoot a type of bullet "that is only use is for killing people, not hunting or target shooting" etc.

    Literally that quote I read in an online message board. Ugh.

    As far as HIPPA, if a flag was just added to the NICS check such that no one knew what it was, it just flagged you, it would still protect privacy I think. The dealer would just say "you've been denied, sorry" and would not know it was for bipolar disorder or extreme schizophrenia. Just like now, they don't know if you get denied due to homicide or domestic abuse or drugs, AFAIK.

    I also agree, there could be a problem being "where do you draw the line?" For instance, I have known a lot of people who have taken or considered taking drugs for depression. Sometimes it is temporary because of a hardship, but sometimes it is just the way people's hormones and internal chemicals are. They are never quite right without medication, but seem totally fine with them. So there would have to be some kind of law that makes it a crime to go off your mandated drugs...but that (as you say) is a whole other can o' worms. I don't believe you should be able to legislate what people do to their body. However I also definitely don't think someone who took depression meds in high school and is now 30 years old living a totally normal lifestyle, should be denied the RKBA.

    It is a tough situation all around.
     
  4. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    47,616
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    You misunderstand the limits and exceptions to HIPPA. There is no real barrier to government looking for this information. The problem is finding it.
     
  5. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    13,232
    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    "the Fed Gov threw the states money on this a few years ago to mesh their system with the Fed Gov. Watch; EVERYONE with a mental hyccup will be on the 'no guns' list VERY soon"

    Some states are still reporting NO mental health info to NICS. Quite a few report very little mental health info - less than 100 people.

    Here's one of many articles on the subject - it turned up on the first page of a google search. The sources seem to all be using the same numbers from a government report.

    www.npr.org/2012/08/16/158932528/states-arent-submitting-records-to-gun-database

    "Since the shooting, Virginia has become a model, submitting more than 170,000 records of people with mental illnesses. But the Mayors Against Illegal Guns report shows 21 other states have reported fewer than 100 records."

    John
     
  6. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,982
    Location:
    Northwest IL--the other 'Downstate'
    JohnBT: Well, I mostly know the details of the IL system ~ which was only inpatient mental (for most/all) loss of FOID card for 5 years AND reporting to Fed Gov. Now, since the 'new' system of reporting to Fed Gov was updated, ANY practitioner can send the paperwork off with basically no justification needed and no worry of civil liability. Hence, loss of gun rights pretty easily AND it is unclear if even after five years if the potential NCIS falg will come down. ANyway, this is JUST IL. The problem is larger and, in the broader sense, is (to me) aimed at adding more and more people to the 'no guns' list. So the best advice is to be careful and stay mentally healthy ~ whatever THAT might mean! Happy New Year!
     
  7. 9MMare

    9MMare Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,085
    Location:
    Outside Seattle, WA
    I think the only way to do it....and there's no comprehensive way...is for people to learn the signs and develop more awareness around identifying people at risk.

    Students, parents, counselors, co-workers, teachers, any of us. We all need to learn what to look for. And I'm not sure there are 'lists' out there but they could be developed. We had guidelines when I worked in an HR dept.
     
  8. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    3,703
    Location:
    Arlington, Republic of Texas
    I think the real problem is that by tying a bunch of negative things to whether one has sought mental health, you're just giving people on the fence a huge reason NOT to seek help.

    If you truly want those with mental issues to seek out treatment, connecting it with things that could permanently ruin their lives is not a good way to go about it.
     
  9. Jorg Nysgerrig

    Jorg Nysgerrig Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    7,823
    It's pretty much impossible to take any discussion of HIPAA seriously when no one in the thread has spelled it right. The privacy rule of Title II of HIPAA (like the rest of it) is a pretty convoluted thing to navigate and it is hard to make sweeping generalizations about what can and can't be done. The actual requirements are fairly short, but the documentation discussing their implementation goes on and on and on.
     
  10. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    13,232
    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    I had yearly training on it at work compliments of the state, the privacy part anyway. I have no idea why they didn't write the regs in simple, clear English.

    1. Don't gossip about patients.
    2. Keep files locked up.
    3. Shred everything when you are finished with it.
     
  11. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Messages:
    5,884
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    While I agree the mental health system needs to be fixed, we cannot have the Illinois system where any physician can simply file a report and have someone's rights yanked, possibly for life. There should be a system where a doctor must make a diagnosis that can then be legally challenged, including with second opinions from other doctors. One person's word should never be binding. A person MUST have the ability to get something like this overturned, and doctors performing these second opinions need to be held to a legal standard that they MUST recommend rights be restored if they cannot find valid reason to withhold them, thereby limiting the influence from a doctor's personal opinions on the matter.
     
  12. ultramag44

    ultramag44 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Messages:
    290
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Jorg said:
    " The privacy rule of Title II of HIPAA (like the rest of it) is a pretty convoluted thing to navigate and it is hard to make sweeping generalizations about what can and can't be done. The actual requirements are fairly short, but the documentation discussing their implementation goes on and on and on."

    I'm the HIPPA Coordinator in a Hospital. Jorg is right, there are so many exceptions on both the Federal and State level, it's mind boggling! Just few fast examples, in my state of Texas, The state health department, Adult Protective Services and State Parole get a blanket exemption to ALL HIPAA requirements. They can just call and say, "Send this." The client's only option is to hire an attorney to appear before a judge and and attempt a quash of the request (demand) of the agency, that is if the client even knows what the agency is up to. In over 10 years of doing this, I recall only 2 successful quashes. One woman was it tears begging us to ignore an agency request.

    Despite what the law says in black & white, there are so many grey areas and each case is really quite individual. Everyday I have to make judgement calls. I apply the law as best I know how. Now I have managed to protect
    and advocate for some folks. That's usually in ugly divorce cases where a spouse was trying to railroad the other person. If it's the government going after the information, they need a good lawyer!

    Bottom line: Anything you tell your doctor or case worker, any tests you do, are not private. Electronic records, with requirements for on-line file sharing, being pushed by Obama, will be the nighmare of all record custodians!
     
  13. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Messages:
    3,426
    Location:
    IA
    There are about a million problems with involving mental health checks with a background checks, IMO.
     
  14. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    374
    Ding - Ding - Ding - Ding!!!!

    We have a winner!!!!

    There has been a push within the mental health community for parity in treatment coverage. Without it the whole problem is tougher.

    This is partly why I keep advocating that those of us who are NRA members need to be hammering them to approach NIH, NIMH, the APA, and the APNA and offer to solicit funding. We want that medical community on our side searching for viable solutions that work for us as well as the patients.

    Right now those organizations are either working against us or at best willing to let us drown without throwing us a lifeline.

    If we become a source of funding for them we'll be a sparkle in their eye. And they'll find solutions.

    MB
     
  15. denton

    denton Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    1,045
    Once we establish acceptable mental health as a condition to possess a firearm, just think of the other places we could apply the same requirement:

    Voting

    Holding public office

    Serving on a jury

    Writing for a newspaper

    Peacefully assembling

    Speaking in a public place

    Keeping and bearing arms is no less a protected right than any other. The Constitution sets boundaries in how far we can go to solve our problems. As Scalia noted in Heller, certain options are off the table. We have to find ways to solve problems within the bounds that are constitutionally set. If we want to apply a mental health standard to possessing a firearm, then we have to equally consider the same requirement for other rights.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  16. gulogulo1970

    gulogulo1970 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Messages:
    841
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    The problem is that it is much easier to ban guns than to know if someone is mentally unfit to own guns. It is a problem, I don't have an answer.
     
  17. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Messages:
    1,277
    Location:
    Kansas
    Until this week, I have been a practicing mental health professional since 1973. I retired from a career as a psychologist and licensed clinical psychotherapist that spanned nearly 40 years of work in hospitals, community mental health facilities and jails in 2 states, Kansas and Missouri. So I can tell you from a wealth of experience that the only predictor of future violence is a past history of violence, regardless of reported or perceived mental health problems. Profiling people with reported or perceived mental health problems would be no more effective than profiling vets, republicans, or gun owners.
     
  18. Manco

    Manco Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,988
    That's right, for example there is no telling how many physicians have the developmental disorder known as hoplophobia, which can cause severe bouts of irrationality that may negatively impact their job performance in this area.

    The answer is to do nothing (that we aren't already doing). Seriously. Sometimes stuff happens, and taking people's rights away won't change that (we should first try to actually enforce the laws that are already in the books). If human beings can cope with the knowledge that we're all going to die someday, then we can cope with the fact that some of us will get killed early. Adults who cannot should seek professional counseling for their inability to cope with these basic facts of life.

    The only way to improve our chances without destroying our freedom is to develop the ability to defend ourselves (on a voluntary basis), and firearms are the most effective tool for this purpose. Even then, there are no guarantees, but such is life.
     
  19. 9MMare

    9MMare Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Messages:
    1,085
    Location:
    Outside Seattle, WA
    Thank you for sharing this.
     
  20. Manco

    Manco Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,988
    That's what I've always heard from other psychologists, as well as law enforcement, so there's a pretty good chance that there's something to it. Then once in a while we'll get blindsided by somebody's first act of violence, which is generally unpredictable. Oh well, that sort of thing will happen.

    By the way, perhaps I was being a bit extreme earlier about doing or changing nothing. We could, for example, address the real heart of the issue, which is of course how the media provides incentives for people to commit mass murder instead of mere suicide. Potential mass murderers feed off of the intensely melodramatic and omnipresent media coverage of mass murders, as well as the exaggerated outpouring of grief by the public and politicians. Hundreds of children are killed every year in other ways without presidents squeezing out tears on television, but for some reason mass murder incidents are given special treatment.

    As with terrorism, modern media provides much of the incentive for committing acts of increasingly spectacular violence. Then of course the media blames everything and everybody else, including, of all things, inanimate tools. Mass murders are definitely not tragedies for their ratings, I can tell you that. Politicians find them useful, too, because they offer so much opportunity for the manipulation of the public.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  21. TurboFC3S

    TurboFC3S Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    289
    Location:
    St Louis, MO
    The biggest problem is that it would still in all cases be a human judgement decision. Do you or anybody else entrust another person, likely a bureaucrat, with safeguarding your 2nd ammendment rights?
     
  22. gbran

    gbran Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Messages:
    2,967
    Location:
    california
    The gov't. at their whim.
     
  23. Zardaia

    Zardaia Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Messages:
    222
    My biggest concern is what becomes the determining factor for denying a purchase or taking what's already owned. Troops could easily find themselves prohibited for a ptsd diagnoses even if they're no threat to themselves or others. Alot of people that could use some help in early stages before they get worse may be/already are hesitant to talk for fear of loosing there firearms. Story awhile back a vet calls hotline, tells operator he has gun in the house and a SWAT team storms the house. Yes mental health is important, but if the antis write the legislation youre 2A'll be gone at the first HINT.
     
  24. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2005
    Messages:
    11,287
    Location:
    TN
    It would be the equivalent to "Just Say No" approach. That would be a good start, but there would have to be mechanisms in place to deal with the identified mental issue (like cost) and at what point is this information given to the government.

    That all goes out the door with ObamaCare. Everything will be given to the government which is one of my biggest objections to the program other than essentially forced use and compliance.

    John BT... the shred everything approach is good except that the information is already provided electronically to the health insurance companies and eventually to ObamaCare. There won't be much relevant information to "shred".
     
  25. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    13,232
    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    "There should be a system where a doctor must make a diagnosis"

    A doctor? A plain old doctor? Oh god no. An M.D. - a doctor - has had little or no specialized training in psychology or psychiatry.

    To be a psychiatrist, first you finish medical school and become an M.D. THEN you do at least 4 more years of psychiatric training.

    And I don't want foot doctors, eye doctors and allergists and making psychiatric diagnoses for some government system.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page