A frightened fellow or female will happily adopt a policy or a pistol to relieve apprehension. Perhaps, that it why after the events of September 11, 2001, Americans, panicked and the power elite prospered. As the Twin Towers fell, the people cried out for protection. Congress gleefully approved the Patriot Act; and as a nation, we pursued a course of action that was and is contrary to Constitutional principles. Even early on, Americans said, "Farewell to privacy. Hello to arms."
...Continue reading Farewell To Privacy. Hello To Arms. by Bcgntn (Jul. 14, 2008). [my bold]
Join us below the fold to discuss the nexus of privacy and the right to keep and bear arms. What are your biggest concerns about medical privacy in this context? This is an open thread.
The government contractor who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard last week was driven by delusions that he was being controlled by low-frequency radio waves and scratched the words “End the torment!” on the barrel of the shotgun he used, the FBI said Wednesday, offering new, chilling details of the attack.
Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, said that Aaron Alexis, 34, began the shooting knowing he would be killed. A search of Alexis’s electronic devices, she said, indicated that he was “prepared to die during the attack and that he accepted death as the inevitable consequence of his actions.”
…Continue reading Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis driven by delusions
When I was searching through Daily Kos for the articles about the DC v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010) Supreme Court decisions I found this interesting diary by an author who had her finger on the pulse of our country five years ago. Bcgntn highlights the tension between privacy rights and the right to keep and bear arms as articulated in Heller.
President Obama Speaks at a Memorial for Victims of the Navy Yard
President Obama also spoke about the need to prevent future tragedies like the one at the Navy Yard, reiterating that we cannot become complacent. “We can’t accept this,” he stated.I do not accept that we cannot find a common-sense way to preserve our traditions, including our basic Second Amendment freedoms and the rights of law-abiding gun owners, while at the same time reducing the gun violence that unleashes so much mayhem on a regular basis. And it may not happen tomorrow and it may not happen next week, it may not happen next month -- but it will happen. Because it's the change that we need, and it's a change overwhelmingly supported by the majority of Americans....Continue reading Remarks by the President at the Memorial Service for Victims of the Navy Yard Shooting
By now, though, it should be clear that the change we need will not come from Washington, even when tragedy strikes Washington. Change will come the only way it ever has come, and that’s from the American people. So the question now is not whether, as Americans, we care in moments of tragedy. Clearly, we care. Our hearts are broken -- again. And we care so deeply about these families. But the question is, do we care enough?
Another tragic suicide-massacre last week, at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C., adds to our national trauma, and reveals again, one of our biggest challenges. How do we honor the confidentiality we value in the patient-doctor relationship?
The shooter, Aaron Alexis was known to have violent behavior, had been discharged from the Navy in 2011, and had recently sought mental health services. The Washington Post reported on Thursday some evidence and images released by the FBI. There appears to be abundant evidence suggesting that the treatment Alexis was receiving was inadequate. At best it was only partially effective to relieve his delusions and paranoia.
The clues about Alexis’s mental state and motivations come from inscriptions found on his Remington 870 shotgun and documents found on his electronic devices. In one document, he wrote: “An ultra low frequency attack is what I’ve been subject to for the last three months, and to be perfectly honest, that is what has driven me to this."Our concerns about keeping guns out of the hands of "high risk individuals" runs straight up against our cherished notions of doctor-patient confidentiality. Calls for mandatory reporting of mental health treatment will likely intensify as part of efforts to prevent "the mentally ill" from having access to firearms. Such arguments may appeal to "common sense," even though the vast majority of people who seek mental health services are not violent. The risk is already evident; people who need mental health services may forego treatment when they perceive that they could stand to lose their job, their career, and/or their right to keep and bear arms when they seek mental health services. We must be cautious about unintended consequences of mandatory reporting, that would discourage people from accessing healthcare services or foregoing treatment that they need.
…Continue reading Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis driven by delusions
One of the questions that echos through my mind when I think about Aaron Alexis is What if he had started treatment years ago? I imagine he would have lost his security clearance and would probably have had to change careers. In addition, with the stigma that still surrounds mental illness, it's easy to understand that someone might try to cope with symptoms on their own rather than tell their doctor.
As calls grow louder to "do something" about gun violence, do we care enough, as a civil society, to carefully balance the civil rights of all involved?
by Bcgntn (Jul. 14, 2008)
The Courts and Congress have come to believe there is reason for fear. Enemies are everywhere. Those who wish to do us harm are in our homes. They talk to us on our telephones. Some sashay in through our computers. "Evil doers" are ubiquitous in the United States. Our open society places the public at risk. We, the people, must defend ourselves. Thus, the Supreme Court and Congress have given the government and us the means. The highest judicial body in the nation has made it possible for the common man to protect himself with a pistol; Legislators provided the President ethereal firearms. Indeed, individuals and the Commander-In-Chief were bequeathed more than either had asked for. In 2008, we have entered the Summer of Separation. In the United States we say, "Farewell to privacy. Hello to arms."
Absorbed in fear, Americans have detached themselves from the original intent of the United States Constitution. We the people have embraced weaponry and rejected our right to privacy. The populace, with assistance from Congress willingly chose to forfeit the Fourth Amendment. authentic freedoms were disemboweled. If the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) stands, and there is no reason to think a Bill signed into law by the President of the United States and each House of Congress would not be fully implemented, the press and the people will no longer have unfettered access to information. Nor can they disseminate data without intense scrutiny. Chris Hedges, a twenty year veteran Foreign Correspondent for The New York Times, speaks to a truth that he lived and now fears will die.The new FISA Amendments Act nearly eviscerates oversight of government surveillance. It allows the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to review only general procedures for spying rather than individual warrants. The court will not be told specifics about who will be wiretapped, which means the law provides woefully inadequate safeguards to protect innocent people whose communications are caught up in the government's dragnet surveillance program.Trepidation has long been a tool for intimidation. A frightened fellow or female will happily adopt a policy or a pistol to relieve apprehension. Perhaps, that it why after the events of September 11, 2001, Americans, panicked and the power elite prospered. As the Twin Towers fell, the people cried out for protection. Congress gleefully approved the Patriot Act; and as a nation, we pursued a course of action that was and is contrary to Constitutional principles. Even early on, Americans said, "Farewell to privacy. Hello to arms."
The law, passed under the guise of national security, ostensibly targets people outside the country. There is no question, however, that it will ensnare many communications between Americans and those overseas. Those communications can be stored indefinitely and disseminated, not just to the U.S. government but to other governments.
This law will cripple the work of those of us who as reporters communicate regularly with people overseas, especially those in the Middle East. It will intimidate dissidents, human rights activists, and courageous officials who seek to expose the lies of our government or governments allied with ours. It will hang like the sword of Damocles over all who dare to defy the official versions of events. It leaves open the possibility of retribution and invites the potential for abuse by those whose concern is not with national security but with the consolidation of their own power.
...Continue reading Farewell To Privacy. Hello To Arms.
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