Monday, December 03, 2012

You can't nerf the world.

At a forum I frequent, one commenter suggested
They should focus on making sure that football players are getting the right assistance and lower triggers for intervention to help them get the counseling, treatment, and mental/emotional help they actually needed. In fact, we need that for the rest of society, while I am thinking about it.
Indeed. If your friends and neighbors see you acting sketchy, or suspect that you might be depressed, there should be a number they could call to see that you get the help you need; get you a counselor and some meds, and get your guns taken away until your mental health team believes the crisis has passed. We could call the new agency the "Societal Tranquility Agency for Special Intervention".

At the risk of sounding callous, freedom and dignity are going to cost some dead bodies every year. As long as people have guns, some folks are going to get shot with them; that's just the way it is. As long as people have cars, folks are going to get liquored up and wrap them around trees. As long as there are train tracks, hobos are going to pass out on them. We aren't going to put Nerf padding on the corners of the world, and I wouldn't want to live in the Minority Report-meets-Demolition Man world where they had.

35 comments:

Laughingdog said...

STASI...well played. ;)

DanH said...

I seen what you did thar ;p

Woodman said...

If you want to focus on fixing something, I think time would be better spent on Penn & Teller's pink gun idea.

As far as mental help. I can walk into half a dozen places in Indy and say I need help and get it. Possibly hundreds if I include churches. And I'm not a millionaire football player. If I don't say I need it, then all the help in the world won't actually help. Step one is a biggie.

Boat Guy said...

The world needs more sharp edges...

staghounds said...

You can't nerf the world.

But you CAN create a phoney-baloney career studying, agitating, and lobbying for the nerfing of one small part of it.

global village idiot said...

Nicely done. I've said it until I feel like Cassandra, but tyranny in America won't look like 1935 Germany. It'll look like Barney & Friends.

The prisons will look like a huge McDonald's Playplace. With a mall in it.

gvi

p.s. You're close but not quite right: "Love of Mamet is the root of all evil."

Woodman said...

I happen to like Marmets.

Borepatch said...

The Soviets knew what to do with mental health facilities.

John Anderson said...

I have a friend who thought she was doing the right thing by having herself committed voluntarily. She was having dark thoughts, etc., and thought it would be best to remove herself from society before she hurt herself or others.

Bad move.

Apparently, if you recognize that you may be a danger to yourself or others, that's worse than someone else deciding that you may be a danger to yourself or others. Consequently, you have to stay under lock and key for much longer.

Anonymous said...

Bullcrap!
Forget counseling.
How much performance enhancing "medications" has he taken in his life?
Were they in his system at the time of the shooting?
How much of his aggression was injected or ingested?
If they do a drug test, will it be reported?

The Great and Powerful Oz said...

Personally, I have learned that there is no help for someone like me. The general response, including from the suicide hotline is that I should just go off myself. After all, being a straight white male, I'm the root cause of every bit of evil in the world and everyone would be much better off if I didn't exist.

We have destroyed the idea of community. We have destroyed the idea of family. Expecting to get any help from the government is an exercise in futility, at least if you aren't a member of a group that can be pitied.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tam,

As a former LEO, I can attest that everyone says there is help but God help you if you really need it. By the way, a truly agonizing book on this subject is Clayton Cramer's book, "My Brother Ron".

In the case of Virginia Tech, the shooter was judged insane & directed to seek treatment but there was no followup and the court "lost" the paperwork; so the NICS didn't have a clue.

In the case of the Giffords massacre, his parents hid the shooter's progressively deteriorating mental state as they were prominent local politicians; Democrats no less.

Even the Aurora theater Theater shooting had a number of people who stumbled over the shooter's deteriorating mental state but looked the other way because there was really no one to report this to.

In fact, one might even make the case that each of these shooters were obtaining mental help in the only way that works.

While the very last thing I would suggest is setting up some federal agency, STASI indeed, we also need to get over the idea that crazy people have a right to their insanity; especially when they become a hazard to the community. We have to undo the excesses of the ACLU and their campaign to deinstitutionalize the mentally ill. Whatever is proposed must be discreet, have very strict limits as well as serious penalties for false reporting. In short, it's damned impossible for any federal program to effectively accomplish this. The effort has to begin at the state level.

Jay Dee

Ed Foster said...

There was a book out two or three years ago, written about the fact that a majority of NFL players have criminal records. Mostly nasty physical deeds involving serious damage to other human beings.

Comparatively few players on a football team need an IQ larger than their belt size. Add in that most of the gorillas come from violent cultures, Inner city or rural redneck Georgia, it doesn't matter much.

We're not looking at Tom Brady here, we're looking at often mildly retarded refrigerators with heads.

Add sociopathy to physical size and stupidity. Throw in discrete 'roid rage and a sense of entitlement, and you end up with something that wouldn't have been welcome in a Roman arena.

aczarnowski said...

Statements that start with "They should" are a pretty clear signal for me to go somewhere else.

We humans could do more to help our fellow humans, including simply listening to how people's days really went. But that has to be at an individual level or we'll end up at exactly the destination you mapped out.

Woodman said...

"We're not looking at Tom Brady here, we're looking at often mildly retarded refrigerators with heads.

Add sociopathy to physical size and stupidity. Throw in discrete 'roid rage and a sense of entitlement, and you end up with something that wouldn't have been welcome in a Roman arena."

From all accounts this doesn't describe Jovan. Undersized, undrafted, early graduate, member of athletes against violence, full of heart and great with kids.

Now, did he need a bit of extra help to make it to the next level? Did his trainer decide to juice his gatorade a bit? Is this the reaction to recent steroid use? Was it just to make it through contract time and then he would come off?

Is there someone out there that knows this was their doing? That they loaded and cocked a weapon and sent it out there?

rick said...

Register NFL players (and provide an NFL player web-tracking service to the public so that they can be avoided). They should be locked in restraints when not playing football.

Steve C said...

Humanoid by Jack Williamson should be required reading for those who want a "safe" world.

Kristophr said...

Woodman: I prefer punting Marmots.

Woodman said...

Man, can you imagine the return game in that league?

"Wow, another booming Marmot from McAffee, ohh, and it looks like he's got the spin timed right for a full claws to face return attempt."

LCB said...

The NFL stereotype that Ed Foster mentions is...well...an old sterotype. Players may not be educated well because the NCAA doesn't require college players to, you know, actually get a degree. But it takes a high level of intelligence to learn the modern NFL playbook...even the "gorillas" on the line! Low intellegnce players just don't make it more than a year or too, no matter how awesome they're physical skills are.

In this case, I don't know what happened. Could have been steriods...could have been pain meds (percocet makes me hear voices)...could have been one too many blows to the head...could have been mental illness (which most of us crazy people know how to keep hidden from the rest of yah).

LCB said...

Oh...and I'm not making excuses. No matter what the reason, he should have taken steps to deal with it before it got to the point that it did.

LCB said...

Oh good lord...I should proof read these before I post...two instead of too...their instead of they're...

Windy Wilson said...

Jay Dee is right, but currently things are so Orwellian that federal agencies can say with a straight face that opposition to their policies is a sign of mental disturbance.

Joe in PNG said...

The "Something Must Be Done Right Now!" mindset is how we got WWII internment camps and the TSA.

Joe in PNG said...

GVI- Basically,less Orwell, more Huxley.
After all, isn't "A Brave New World" the ultimate American Progressive paradise? One can have all the seks and drugs, everybody looks good and lives a long life, and you don't have to mingle with those nasty lower caste people. In fact, those nasty lower cast people know their place and stay there.

Rob said...

"The Soviets knew what to do with mental health facilities."

What, fill them full of political dissidents? I think it'd get awfully lonely around here if we followed that model...

Jim Dunmyer said...

JayDee has a great comment about Clayton Cramer's "My Brother Ron", it is a great history of how we treated and failed to treat mental illness in this country. It's amazing to me that we did a better job 100 years ago than we do now.

Anonymous said...

New Americans for Zero Infringement of Safety
-- Lyle

Kristophr said...

Football is an unmanly sport.

It encourages brute force instead of intelligence and skill.

We need to replace these gladiatorial spectacles with proper shooting competitions.

Maybe something with falling plates, so a large audience can see what is happening.

Brad K. said...

Perhaps the proper response to advocates of "stop law abiding people from having guns, so that no one gets hurt", might be to hum a few bars of Beatles songs. "Bang, Bang Maxwell", perhaps?

Justthisguy said...

Heh. I used to know a guy who fell asleep/passed out on train tracks while stinkin' drunk. He had a leg over one of the rails. Sliced it right off, the next train did.

It was a shame; Harry was a sweety when (rarely) sober, but when he'd been drinking, everybody who knew him was trying to think up ways to kill him and not get caught. When they had him in prison and he was perforce sober, they had him teaching Algebra and Geometry.

Thank God, I seem to be just the opposite; people tell me I'm easier to get along with when I have a couple or three in me. The problem is, my liver disagrees with them.

global village idiot said...

Joe,

Close, and I thought about Brave New World when writing the post (not the first time I've expressed the idea, just the first here).

The trouble with the model is that in the book, mindlessness is engineered into the system, and it was in fact competently and expertly run. This is just not so. Mindlessness is a default, not engineered. And unless you want to wind up a modern-day Diogenes, you can give up looking for comprehensive thinking and competent leadership.

Lastly, there's the aesthetics of it. In my mind's eye I pictured Huxley's World as very sanitary and well-manicured. Hard to look at Detroit and make that case.

gvi

Ed Foster said...

LCB: It's difficult to quantify smarts in some sports, and I suspect the gray matter might be a tad higher in football than in basketball, but I suspect the specialist teams today, with interchangeable modems for every eventuality, might mitigate against the need for a whole bunch of smarts by anybody who wasn't throwing or catching.

Basketball is as big here in
Connecticut as football is in most of the country. Back when a perfect SAT was 1600, UConn had a wonderful player who couldn't play, because he couldn't make the NCAA minimum score of 800. You got the first 400 points just for showing up and writing your name.

They spent tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours trying to coach this kid to an 800, but finally gave up after a year.

I believe he finally ended up working in a carwash.

If football and basketball had to maintain the same kind of minor league system baseball and hockey do, rather than have the taxpayers fund it as a "school" expense, that kid would have had a career doing something he was good at.

For reference, every 'away" game UConn plays costs the school almost $150,000. If they take the band and cheerleaders.

Ed Foster said...

And Kristophr wins.

Tam said...

I had no idea that ice soccer had a farm system.