Tag Archive: Mental Illness


Crowd Spills Through Downtown Albuquerque Protesting APD

 

 

” A protest against the fatal foothills officer-involved shooting took place in Albuquerque Tuesday.   Protesters carried a symbolic coffin through the streets with 22 names of people killed by Albuquerque police since 2010.   The crowd was chanting and carrying signs, as well.   Some of the signs said, “Justice for James Boyd,” the man killed in the shooting. He was a homeless man with a history of mental illness illegally camping in the foothills.”

Read more at KOAT

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Via ReasonTV Comes This Discussion Of Guns And Mental Illness

 

 

Published on Nov 19, 2013

” In the wake of any mass shooting, there’s a predictable and justified burst of public outrage and sorrow followed by a series of “do something now” legislative proposals meant to prevent similar tragedies from ever occurring again.

Depending on the political leanings of the politician or media figure offering the solution, the proposal often rests upon one of these twin assumptions: We must rid the world of the wrong kinds of weapons (i.e., “assault weapons”), or, we must keep guns away from the wrong kinds of people (i.e., “crazy people”). 

“How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame from a national media machine that rewards them with wall-to-wall attention and a sense of identity that they crave, while provoking others to try to make their mark?” asked Wayne LaPierre, official lightning rod of the National Rifle Association, in the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary shooting. “A dozen more killers, a hundred more? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?”

Even the nation’s premier gun lobby believes keeping guns away from the mentally ill is a good idea. It’s a sensible-sounding proposal, a logical precaution. But some forensic psychiatrists, whose jobs include the task of identifying potentially violent individuals, say that targeting the mentally ill isn’t as simple as it sounds.

Watch the Reason TV video above, “The Truth About Mental Illness and Guns,” to hear more about flawed gun control policies and for the full story behind the Phillips’ gun confiscation experience. 

Approximately 7:30 minutes. Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Shot by Tracy Oppenheimer, Will Neff, and Weissmueller.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vain Search For Meaning In Massacre

” For those untouched by death this Christmas, someone else’s bewildering, shattering turn of fate ought to occasion a little modesty and circumspection. Instead, even by its usual execrable standards, the public discourse post-Newtown has been stupid and contemptible. The Left now seizes on every atrocity as a cudgel to beat whatever happens to be the Right’s current hottest brand: Tucson, Arizona, was something to do with Sarah Palin’s use of metaphor and other common literary devices – or “toxic rhetoric,” as Paul Krugman put it; Aurora, Colorado, was something to do with the Tea Party, according to Brian Ross of ABC News. Since the humiliations of November, the Right no longer has any hot brands, so this time round the biens pensants have fallen back on “gun culture.” Dimwit hacks bandy terms like “assault weapon,” “assault rifle,” “semi-automatic” and “automatic weapon” in endlessly interchangeable but ever more terrifying accumulations of high-tech state-of-the-art killing power. As the comedian Andy Borowitz tweeted, “When the 2nd Amendment was written the most lethal gun available was the musket.”

Actually, the semiautomatic is a 19th century technology, first produced in 1885. That’s just under half-a-century after the death of Madison, the Second Amendment’s author, and rather nearer to the Founding Fathers’ time than our own. And the founders were under fewer illusions about the fragility of society than Hollywood funnymen: on July 25, 1764, four Lenape Indians walked into a one-room schoolhouse in colonial Pennsylvania and killed Enoch Brown and ten of his pupils. One child survived, scalped and demented to the end of his days.”

If You Have Children, You Need To See This…

 

 

Pat Kelsey

 

 

 

” Is it guns? Is it mental illness? Is it a “society that has lost the understanding that decent human values are important,” as Kelsey points out? No one knows the answer, and anyone that claims to know the answer cannot possibly prove themselves to be correct. Maybe America needs to bring responsible gun owners, advocates for the betterment of mental illness, and several other different types of leaders together to talk about what we need to do to prevent these types of horrendous crimes from happening again, because simply pointing politically-postured fingers at gun owners and the NRA will not solve anything, and it certainly won’t bring the country closer together. “

A Must Read From David Kopel

 

 

 

 

” Has the rate of random mass shootings in the United States increased? Over the past 30 years, the answer is definitely yes. It is also true that the total U.S. homicide rate has fallen by over half since 1980, and the gun homicide rate has fallen along with it. Today, Americans are safer from violent crime, including gun homicide, than they have been at any time since the mid-1960s.

 

Why the increase? It cannot be because gun-control laws have become more lax. Before the 1968 Gun Control Act, there were almost no federal gun-control laws. The exception was the National Firearms Act of 1934, which set up an extremely severe registration and tax system for automatic weapons and has remained in force for 78 years.

 

Since gun controls today are far stricter than at the time when “active shooters” were rare, what can account for the increase in these shootings? One plausible answer is the media. Cable TV in the 1990s, and the Internet today, greatly magnify the instant celebrity that a mass killer can achieve. We know that many would-be mass killers obsessively study their predecessors.

 

In the mid-1960s, many of the killings would have been prevented because the severely mentally ill would have been confined and cared for in a state institution. But today, while government at most every level has bloated over the past half-century, mental-health treatment has been decimated. According to a study released in July by the Treatment Advocacy Center, the number of state hospital beds in America per capita has plummeted to 1850 levels, or 14.1 beds per 100,000 people. “

Do We Get Rid of Both?

 

 

 

 

” Not surprisingly, mass murderer Adam Lanza was a deeply disturbed kid:

Lanza’s strange behavior was well-known among his well-heeled neighbors in leafy Newtown, Conn. His antics irked several residents.

Mass murderer Adam Lanza, 20, was a ticking time bomb, people who knew him told the Daily News.

 

Apparently, his mother was often home to check on her son, despite him being 20 years old. Ann Althouse had this to say:

But why isn’t there more talk about institutionalizing the mentally ill? Adam Lanza’s mother needed to be home with him? What 20-year-old needs pervasive supervision from his mother? I suspect the mother, who is now dead, had very serious problems of her own. I can’t understand her keeping those 3 weapons — pictured at the link — in the home along with a 20-year-old man who — in her view — required her stay-at-home motherhood. ”

 

 

The Facts about Mass Shootings

 

 

 

” Until the Newtown horror, the three worst K–12 school shootings ever had taken place in either Britain or Germany.

Almost all of the public-policy discussion about Newtown has focused on a debate over the need for more gun control. In reality, gun control in a country that already has 200 million privately owned firearms is likely to do little to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals. We would be better off debating two taboo subjects — the laws that make it difficult to control people with mental illness and the growing body of evidence that “gun-free” zones, which ban the carrying of firearms by law-abiding individuals, don’t work. ”

First, the mental-health issue. A lengthy study by Mother Jones magazine found that at least 38 of the 61 mass shooters in the past three decades “displayed signs of mental health problems prior to the killings.”

Gun-free zones have been the most popular response to previous mass killings. But many law-enforcement officials say they are actually counterproductive. “Guns are already banned in schools. That is why the shootings happen in schools. A school is a ‘helpless-victim zone,’”

Lott offers a final damning statistic: “With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.” “

 

Can We Keep Guns Out of the Hands of the Mentally Ill?

 

 

 

 

” Glenn Reynolds points us to this thoughtful post by The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg that takes up the sensitive issue of the mentally ill and their access to guns:

We must find a way to make it more difficult for the non-adjudicated mentally ill to come into possession of weapons. This is crucially important, but very difficult, because it would require the cooperation of the medical community — of psychiatrists, therapists, school counselors and the like — and the privacy issues (among other issues) are enormous. But: It has to be made more difficult for sociopaths, psychopaths and the otherwise violently mentally-ill (who, in total, make up a small portion of the mentally ill population) to buy weapons.

One can immediately see the problems. There are privacy issues to consider, as well as trying to define “mentally ill.” John Grohol explains:

I don’t believe Obama was talking about anyone who’s ever had a mental disorder diagnosis — that would include over 25 percent of the population.

I think he meant to say those who fall under the Gun Control Act of 1968 — specifically people who have been involuntarily committed, found by a court to be incompetent or dangerous, or those who’ve already committed a crime but were found not guilty by reason of insanity.

According to Gostin & Record (2011), recent Supreme Court rulings generally push states to “regulate dangerous persons rather than dangerous firearms” but that existing gun restrictions pertaining to individuals with mental illnesses are ineffective.”

Four Things Guns Would Say If They Could Talk

 

” As we all know about the tragedy in Connecticut by now the White House is declaring that this isn’t the time to talk about gun control. Many liberals beg to differ.

First and foremost we should pray for the victims and their families, but because liberalism is increasingly losing its nerve with each passing year we must also not cede the debate in the name of taking the high ground…unfortunately… ”