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View Diary: Beware Gun Advocates in Mental Health Advocates Clothing (45 comments)

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  •  I hunt violence and violent people. (13+ / 0-)

    It is what I do.

    This is an issue I am confronted with on almost a daily basis. Untreated mental health issues are one of the prime reasons for violent behavior in our society. The mental health system is broken. We now have a corporate mental health center system, and if a paranoid schizophrenic can even get admitted to a psychiatric hospital for homicidal/suicidal thoughts, they are unlikely to stay for more than three to five days. They get pills, not therapy, and are sent home, where they quit taking the pills.

    I have seen every imaginable weapon used in murders. One of the two messiest ones were when a psychotic young man beat his father to death with a cast iron patio chair. The other was when two guys got into an argument in a pool hall and one of them took the pool cue by the small end and hit the other one in the head with the big end, after taking a full swing like a golf club.

    This is a truly serious mental health issue, and instead of arguing about the weapons used let’s address the root cause: the dysfunctional mental health system in this country.

    People do not just “snap” one day and decide to go on a killing spree. The Columbine killers planned their massacre for more than a year, just as an example. It is damn near impossible to get an appointment with a psychiatrist unless you have insurance. Same with psychologists. And mental health is the red-headed stepchild of the insurance industry. For the longest time, they would only pay at 50% what they reimbursed other health care, and that was only after a 20% deductible. Then managed care determined that any mental health problem could be fixed in six visits, and limited the patient to six visits a year. Now, the insurance panels are limiting the number of providers in a given area. “There are too many psychologists, so we will not approve you on our coverage panel.”

    I had a discussion with a clinical psychologist this afternoon. She is an Army vet and knows more about PTSD than any adult has a right to know. She observed that blaming guns for what happened today is like blaming the pencil when you fail the math test.

    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

    by Otteray Scribe on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 03:45:57 PM PST

    •  Yet it is both. (10+ / 0-)

      Whether mentally ill, or not, a person with a gun do far more damage to far more people, and with greater ease, in one episode than can a person with a patio chair or a pool cue.

      "...you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

      by Catte Nappe on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 04:20:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  SERIOUSLY? (7+ / 0-)
      She observed that blaming guns for what happened today is like blaming the pencil when you fail the math test.
      Hogwash.

      The story from China today where 22 children were WOUNDED belies her so-called expertise. Tell me, are you or she a gun owner?

      I have a great boss who is also an avid hunter with a concealed carry permit. He, one of the sanest men I know, decided to NOT have a handgun in his car. While the mildest manner guy at work, he is apparently subject to bouts of road rage and he has made an excellent judgement that he himself could not be trusted with a gun nearby should he happen to get cut off too sharply after a bad day at work.

      I have worked at suicide hotlines and the first question we ask people is "How were you planning on killing yourself?" If they say gun we get the police to them immediately. Pills? Pencils? We keep talking to them to try to determine how serious they are.

      So I say your comment is a crock, if it is even true at all and not exactly what the diarist is writing about.

      •  To quote eltee "Seriously", the mentally ill (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        devis1, artebella

        are easy to determine...they are the CEO's of the gun manufacturers who provide the hundreds of millions of dollars to the mentally ill leaders and lobbyists of the NRA and the politicians who are so afraid of them and refuse to reign in the insanity.  Why don't we know their names?  Why aren't their pictures on Post Office walls?

    •  No.... not mutally exclusive (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      devis1, RockyMtnLib, elginblt

      I've been sick at heart all day about this tragedy.  In fact, some of what you said is exactly what I said to my coworker this afternoon.  But I DO disagree with you... guns ARE the problem.  Anything can be used as a weapon, but only guns and other military tools are designed purposely and exlusively for only ONE purpose... to kill -- quickly, efficiently, and in the highest numbers possible.  

      And your statement fails completely per any element of realism when the NRA just defeated an attempted common-sense rule to keep guns out of the hands of service members - or anyone else - who has been judged by a doctor as a threat to himself or others due to PTSD or other mental health issues, and is under treatment -- until such time he is no longer deemed to be a threat.  Egads!  The NRA sued because they HAVE to ensure these people have every opportunity to do exactly what was done today!!!

      Republicans as a whole, as well as greedy politicians and corporatists stripping public funding of mental health clinics and institutions in favor of for-profit "care centers" are a part of the problem.  

      Health insurance that still attaches a stigma, riders, and limits mental health care is part of the problem.

      The greed, avarice, and selfishness rampant in a country that would let 2% rob the rest of the country - and indeed - the world - blind  --- that's a part of the problem.

      But when problems are THIS large, the very first thing an intelligent individual does is put a stop to the  biggest emergency.   In this case, that means getting these military tools out of the hands of civilians.  It won't stop all the killing, but it will slow it down while we work to "fix" the rest of it.

      And frankly, AFAIC, a person's right to carry a gun (concealed or not) ends when it infringes on MY right to walk down the street without constantly wondering who's "carrying" and who isn't... and who shouldn't be but is.

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