The mentally ill should not own guns, right?

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It is well known that diabetes can lead to aberrant behavior.

Thus we have a terrible threat as:

Ages 20 years or older 25.6 million, or 11.3 percent, of all people in this age group

Ages 65 years or older 10.9 million, or 26.9 percent, of all people in this age group

Thus, gun purchasing and ownership by folks with diabetes should be banned.

- Oh, does the OP buy into that?

As a psychologist, the mind boggled at the OP and the implications for civil liberties.
"It's already illegal for the mentally ill to own guns."

No it isn't. Where do these rumors start? Please use the search engine to educate yourself. Use a word such as adjudicated to search. A diagnosis means nothing at all in the context of gun ownership.

And look up the hundreds of mental health diagnoses in the DSM-5 with ICD codes. Here, I'll start it off with an alphabetical list provided by dr-bob.

"DSM-5 Diagnoses and ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM Codes, Alphabetical Listing"

Check out: Binge-eating disorder, Body dysmorphic disorder, Caffeine withdrawal, Childhood-onset fluency disorder (stuttering), Delayed ejaculation, Enuresis, Extreme poverty, etc.

Every single one of them is a mental health diagnosis. And it surely isn't unlawful for a bedwetter to own a gun. That's a form of Enuresis.
Welbutrin is a drug used to help people stop smoking. It's also used to treat major depression.

Prozac is a drug that has been used to help young women with pms. It's also used to treat depression.

So... is any overseeing agency going to look too closely at why John is taking Welbutrin and Mary is on Prozac? I don't see that as very likely. So John and Mary get labeled "mentally in" because they take antidepressants.

God help John and Mary.
Whatever, you can take any idea to its most radical possible conclusion. Then you are back to the status quo of do nothing. And since we are governed by a constitution, and there is a method to change it, the inability to have any discussion will eventually lead to us losing.

I would prefer doing nothing. Sometimes doing nothing is the proper course. Are you suggesting that the constitution is preventing society from being safe from mentally ill people with guns?

The most radical possible conclusion that you are expressing frustration over is precisely what government intervention would take us to. Please show me where this has not been the case. The ACA was passed to insure the uninsured. There are now far more uninsured.

There are some problems that the government can not solve, and in their attempts to do so, they simply deprive the rest of us of the right to protect ourselves from the ones they seek to make us safe from.
It's already illegal for the mentally ill to own guns. There WILL be stronger laws to ensure it does not happen. As there should be. Instead of burying our heads in the sand and pretending the problem does not exist this is an opportunity for the pro gun side to pass laws that prevent the mentally ill from getting guns, and getting them out of their hands if they become mentally ill after they legally purchased them. And at the same time ensuring that the law is not abused as you claim.

If we sit on our hands and continue to let anti-gunners control the debate and propose all of the laws written the way they want them we WILL get laws we don't want.

I will assume that your views are well meant and honest.

Do you then believe that some new laws that further restrict citizens' rights to keep and bear arms based on new mental health standards will appease those who do not believe guns should be in the hands of private citizens, at all?

Because those who are most in favor of gun control will not be satisfied until private citizens may not possess guns. And the upset, uptight suburban women most vocal in supporting new laws to keep guns out of the hands of "the mentally ill" have no idea what they are talking about and whether it will be effective. They are scared. They don't want their babies killed in school. And they are being exploited by people who are well aware that "assault weapon" bans, universal background checks and new "mental health restrictions" on gun ownership will not stop public place shootings. In fact, the exploiters are pleased that this is so. Because when new laws are adopted and they don't work, there will be grounds to demand even more new restrictions.

You seem to imagine that gun control advocates are capable of compromise. They are capable only of the tactical advance. Take ground as and when possible. Consolidate. Soften up the opposition again. Advance. They do not compromise. They rest and reinforce.

As you note, the law already bars those who have been adjudicated mentally ill from owning firearms. So what you are advocating is that the grounds for adjudication of mental illness must be expanded and that it must be made easier to adjudicate someone as dangerously mentally ill. And yet several posters above have made well communicated cases that doing so can only be done at the certain risk of many who present no risk to society being stripped of their rights. Why do you ignore this? Why do you believe that housands of innocent people should be stripped of their rights in an ineffective effort to save the lives of the fewer than 100 people per year that are killed in mass shootings?

If the saving of lives by stripping innocents of their rights is just in your view, would you also support laws banning ownership of firearms by African-American males under 40? I would not, but given that almost half of gun homicides are committed by this demographic, it would meet your criteria of saving lives, a goal greater than protecting individual rights. If saving lives justifies almost any laws, then would you also support banning anyone who has ever used alcohol from owning or operating a motor vehicle? After all, drunk driving homicide and manslaughter are the leading preventable cause of deaths among under 14 year olds in America. And far more children are killed in this manner every year than are killed in mass shootings.

So you see, it appears on further consideration that those who are demanding more laws to stop that which is already forbidden are in fact burying their heads in the sand and ignoring the fact that the laws being proposed will not solve the alleged problem, that the problem does not justify the measures being proposed, and that those proposing new tougher laws are being exploited by those for whom abolition of private gun ownership is the only "solution", and are unaware or prepared to ignore the consequences of such "new, tougher laws".

You are not wrong to be angry about and indeed afraid of mass shootings. You are reasonable to want "something" done about it. But if you are a responsible person, you must consider what that "something" means and how it will impact others. Can you possibly imagine that a government program to expand mental health screening and determine new, expanded thresholds for using "mental health" to strip people of their rights (because if you think the government labeling someone "mentally unfit to own firearms" will only impact their Second Amendment rights, you are mistaken) will not be subject to abuse, will not mis-label and ruin the lives of thousands of innocent people each year and will not be ineffective in stopping people who want to kill others for fame and bizarre personal agendas? Are you familiar with the criminal justice system? Are you familiar with the foster care system? Have you been to the Dept of Motor Vehicles since 1955? Can you possibly imagine that this government run program to screen and convict the "mentally ill" will work? That its failings, excesses, abuses and costs will be offset by its ability to save some of the fewer than 100 people a year that are killed in mass shootings? I cannot.
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When one comes up with diagnostic methods that work and without a tremendous number of false positives, we might return to such a debate.

Since the professional literature is crystal clear than no such technology exists, gun folks should not become victims of a moral panic to do 'something' and violate the gun rights of millions.

Cliches about the mentally ill or a vivid instance that causes an overestimation of the problem are not useful.
jim243 said:
If you have been forcibly committed you are no longer a threat, I doubt that they allow firearms into the hospital.

If you have been discharged, you are no longer a threat, since you have been cured, unless you have been discharged because of no insurance, in which case the doctors are the ones that should have been committed for acting in a manor against public safety.

Nice thought, except it does not work that way. We no longsr commit people long term, except to prison. Mental illness ia rarely cured, it is more often controlled by medicaiton. Patients are committed, medicated to control their symptoms, and then released because they are fine as long as they take their meds. The problem is, many stop taking their meds.

AlexanderA said:
The basic problem is the knee-jerk urge to legislate, whenever a problem is identified. No thought is given to the effectiveness of the proposed solutions, or to their collateral effects.

The real problem is the Rahm Emanuel doctrine: "Never let a crisis go to waste." It isn't a kneww-jerk action to legislate to resolve the crisis, it is the knee-jerk attempt to direct public opinon regarding the crisis into support for pet legislation, regardless of relevancy.

That is why we are constantly saying, "X law won't stop Y action." X does not need to stop Y if Y can be used to pass X.

TRX said:
Sure, carving up women in Whitechapel is easy to diagnose as a problem, but the DSM-V's brush spreads remarkably wide; chances are most of the people reading this thread show symptoms described there.

If everyone would read DSM-V before talking about mental illness, there would be less talk about legislation restricting the rights of the mentally ill.

ohbythebay said:
I think the term mentally ill is used too broadly

Healthcare professionals believe it is being used too narrowly. The new favored term is behavioral health which includes habitual behavior and self-destructive behavior such as substance abuse. Because food is a substance, obesity in a behavioral health problem. Many behavior disorders are already listed in DSM-V. Under the new guidelines being promoted by progressive behavioral health professionals, any behavior deemed unacceptable (there is as yet, no established criteria for defining unacceptability) can be considered a behavioral (mental) illness.

That slippery slope we keep talking about is just the track for the handbasket we are riding in.
" Patients are committed, medicated to control their symptoms, and then released because they are fine as long as they take their meds."

Many are fine and many aren't. The problem is you never know which is which until the problems arise. It is simply not predictable.

I worked with individuals with serious mental illness for 35 years and had access to their hospital and clinic records, some going back 20 to 25 years. So-called normal people have good times and bad, but mental illness can make the mood and behavior swings much, much wider. I'm specifically referring to schizophrenia, bipolar, major depression and such. And borderline personality disorder which mimics many of those at one time or another.

But just being diagnosed doesn't keep them from owning a gun.

"Behavioral health" - bunch of meddlers. Well meaning meddlers, but they've found a way increase their billings.

This is a difficult issue.

A bud at work, his Pastor, on the steps of his Church, was shot and murdered by his wife. Wife's Physician says she suffers from Bi Polar disease (I think that is what I heard) and the court let her go free. No time in jail, free to shoot someone else.

I am of the opinion that if you suffer from a mental illness that allows you to kill without penalty, then maybe you, and everyone in your house, should have your firearms taken away.
There's a certain structural flaw to the whole discussion.

On the one hand, as people have noted, the DSM is full of diagnoses that have no relationship to violence at all (gun or otherwise).

On the other hand, our society is so devoted to the notion that healthy minds do not commit crimes that it's pretty much obligatory for defense teams, the media, families of perpetrators, or whoever else to trot out an expert to apply an after the fact diagnosis to "explain" why some idiot did something horrible to other human beings. Whether it's gang members with childhood PTSD, or spree shooters with schizophrenia, or psychosis brought on by too many twinkies, the ultimate narrative is that violent persons, especially killers, have to have mental illness because our culture doesn't accept that a person can be simply bad or evil.

So the argument that "mentally ill people should not have handguns" becomes meaningless when, outside of very isolated cases, pre-crime flagging of mental illness carries no predictive value and after the fact we label every violent criminal as possessing some sort of mental illness. Those very isolated cases would, of course, be where there were grounds for someone to be adjudicated mentally defective or should have been were there more law enforcement and legal resources to bring to bear -- and we already recognize this as a no go for firearms.
This is a difficult issue.

I am of the opinion that if you suffer from a mental illness that allows you to kill without penalty, then maybe you, and everyone in your house, should have your firearms taken away.

With or without penalty, I can't imagine anyone who would disagree with your sentiment. And?

Who determines that someone has this mental illness? How is it determined? What recourse does the "convicted" have? What else happens to he or she whom is convicted of "dangerous mental illness"? Driver's license revoked? All edged weapons removed from premises? Monitored? By whom? Incarcerated? For how long? Treated? By whom at what cost?
Who determines that someone has this mental illness?

That's my concern also. Their still arguing about whether or not Freud is right on raising children. The top minds in Psychology can't even come together on that. How will they ever come together to dictate whether or not we're eligible for our own civil rights?

I agree if someone has rage issues they shouldn't be allowed to have guns. Those laws are already in place now and they only work under very obvious circumstances and it's always after an incident occurs that the person has been determined to be mentally ill. You would have to be mentally ill to participate in a school shooting and no one is red flagging these people now.

This tells me that no one yet is competent to make that determination in the first place.

How would any of these proposed new rules have changed anything in the school shootings? Someone else would have to start pointing fingers and turning these people in before anyone would even do a psych eval on them.

That can be done right now with no new rules or laws and it's doesn't work.

Those Mentally Ill kids were never flagged as being a threat until after the shootings occurred. So how can a system like this ever work? The people in charge of a system like this would/could punish everyone for them not being capable or competent to make these determinations.

That's not a slippery slope, that's a cliff.
The mental health issue is a very slippery slope relative to firearm use or ownership. The details are very important. Our president keeps saying he is going to do what he can as the President from an Executive point of view to reduce access to firearms. This is one area he could take the lead as long as he does this through legislative channels rather than though administrative means because his view is not the only view. Unfortunately, he leans toward the Executive approach and as a result, I generally oppose anything he might try to implement on his own.
A bud at work, his Pastor, on the steps of his Church, was shot and murdered by his wife. Wife's Physician says she suffers from Bi Polar disease (I think that is what I heard) and the court let her go free. No time in jail, free to shoot someone else.

I have not found anything on the web to corroborate his story. It could have occurred back in the 80’s, 70’s, prior to the World Wide Web, or my Bud could have confused Mary’s Winkler’s murder of her Pastor Husband. Mrs Winkler shot gunned her husband in the back, claimed she was justified on the grounds of “emotional abuse”, and only had to serve 210 days in prison.
Our president keeps saying he is going to do what he can as the President from an Executive point of view to reduce access to firearms. This is one area he could take the lead as long as he does this through legislative channels rather than though administrative means because his view is not the only view

This is the most important point of this discussion IMO. An imperial president will take what many in the "mainstream" pro-gun crowd would define as appropriately narrow "mental health" protections, a drive an executive order truck through it. He has shown this propensity on countless other fronts.

We already have laws that enable the state to request from a judge public safety remedies for the gun-owning mentally dangerous.
We have already lost Doctor-Patient Confidentiality, which was once highly protected by the Courts, when it comes to mental health. We are losing it when it comes to our medical history in general.
This was discussed a couple of weeks ago, and I lost the argument that Doctor Patient Confidentiality meant anything, and that the 4th Amendment protected us against search and seizure without a search warrant. It was the general consensus by a couple of the moderators and some others that the 4th Amendment was not to inconvenience Law Enforcement, such as in the case of the search for the Boston Marathon bomber, where police ordered people out of their houses at gun point to be searched with out warrants.

And Yes, diabetics already are barred from certain jobs and occupations, why should they be allowed to have guns?:rolleyes:
So the real problem is who is going to decide you or I are mentally ill.

I know I'm fine. I'm not so sure about YOU.

Think about that for a minute or two.
Learned this many decades ago:

“All the world is queer save thee and me, and even thou art a little queer.”

― Robert Owen

Can you imagine?
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