Skip to main content

View Diary: Police: Rochester-area gunman appears to have used assault rifle to kill firefighters (25 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Even one of those, close up, would be too many. (4+ / 0-)

    Sorry you were involved, yet I hope that your work helped bring some comfort.

    I must say, however--and this is truly IMHO, not coming from someone with any special training in mental health--that what you describe as "end of the roaders" doesn't seem like a matter of mental illness. Not unless simply being a mean, cruel and selfish SOB qualifies one for that diagnosis. Maybe it falls under sociopathy, not caring enough about other human beings to consider that they might have an interest in living. But in that case, it seems to me that there are a lot more people who are hostile and angry, but not "crazy," than we are prepared to acknowledge, let alone deal with.

    IOW, we are a long way from coming to a consensus about the mental health of mass murderers in general. I suspect it would be a lot more disturbing for us to have to accommodate the notion that some of these killers are sane, and to come up with another reason to explain their behavior (and perhaps, if there's time, to come up with successful interventions.)

    Again, FWIW, IMHO that's even more reason to restrict gun ownership and limit or end production of certain kinds of guns, because a screening for MH issues isn't going to catch them all.

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 07:18:28 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  And that ain't all (6+ / 0-)

      I won't bore you with the details, because it just sounds implausible when written down. Its so implausible that I find my life hard to believe myself, but there ya' go, and I've come through fairly intact, so far.

      But to your point about sanity v. insanity, the fact is we do not live in an either/or world despite the theological theorists who have worked so hard for so long to convince us we do. I am both crazy and not, ask anyone who knows me, and so are we all. Its really a question of balance, not of sin or purity. This is why compassion is the operative principle the NRA absolutists seek to obscure. Compassion sells no guns, but it can defuse the isolation so common to these perpetrators.

      If I am good and they are bad, what's the point of giving a shit about 'them'? If there but for the Grace of Slick go I, then we have a basis for changing the situation. Morality needs to come to grips with quantum reality; any system is composed of multiple overlapping states, good and bad, sweet and sour, light and dark all at once. That's the way the world works and the theosophists are still trying to distract us and themselves from that reality. It is so much easier to preach good and evil.

      Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

      by Old Lefty on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 08:53:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for expanding on your thought, (4+ / 0-)

        because (in part) it reveals how flip my own response was. When you mentioned "compassion" in the first place I took that to mean sympathy for someone impaired, in a sense. But now I see you meant something far more subtle and generous.

        This topic could indeed be the basis for a long and complex dialogue involving many people, many people, and perhaps it should and will here and elsewhere. I think to address it most fully it will be necessary to bring in multiple core principles. Here I'll mention two: not only the concept that you allude to here, of understanding that any one of us could be the "madman with the gun" under certain circumstances--and, importantly, understanding why some of us are FAR more likely to become one than others--but also the importance of really creating and honoring community, so that it becomes rare, if not completely impossible, for someone to become so isolated that it no longer matters what anyone else thinks or feels.

        I don't think that sanity/insanity as a continuum or a polarity is an adequate replacement for concepts of good and evil, however. Instead, while I do agree that as you write here that these are not really mutually exclusive states, I think that the images and associations for both of these constructs still have something to offer. Understanding (approximately) the fluidity of them all, for all of us, at any moment, is vital to our always-imperfect effort to get what it is that we are all about.

        Meanwhile--I come down on the side of fewer guns, and less powerful ones, along with a less militarized culture overall. Going the way we are is clearly not working out very well.  But it's a long struggle, several hundred years old on this ground, and it's not one to be resolved quickly now.

        Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

        by peregrine kate on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 10:35:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site