Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tap dancing on a land mine...

"Instead of talking about guns, we need to be having a serious national discussion about mental health!"

Except that, in this era where "Having A Bad Day" is rumored to have a diagnosis in the forthcoming DSM-V, is that a discussion that we are really wanting to have? Right now? And on whose terms?


Library-Gryffon said...

And never minding the gun rights issues (which are huge), by naming every little mental bump and bruise with a fancy diagnosis requiring significant "treatment", it will probably mean that those who really do have an illness will find it ever harder to get the treatment they need, due to a combination of having to spread the resources farther and farther, and having more and more people not believe that any diagnoses are legit because they personally know too many people gaming the system. (There are a fair few folks who don't believe that ADHD actually exists, simply because it is significantly overdiagnosed for the convenience of parents and/or teachers.)

Mike_C said...

> on whose terms?

Exactly. You can bet there are mental health "professionals" (generously defined as people who make their living in the area, not necessarily those who adhere to the ethical standards of a "profession" -- the latter being a proper subset of the former) who would love to define LACK of hoplophobia as a mental illness. After all, a healthy response to the threat of violence would be to run away screaming, or supine surrender. Even contemplating standing up to threats, much less to actual violence, is no part of civilized society. Should you disagree, you are crazy. So no guns for you.

This sort of attitude is not true across the medical profession, of course. I have no proof but suspect gun attitudes vary by specialty, since personalities tend to vary by specialty as well. For example, with most surgeons if they can't cut it (operate), drink it or fornicate with it they aren't interested. Family practice guys and pediatricians tend to be more fuzzy and nurturing, and so forth. Even though it's tempting to dismiss the psychiatrists (MDs) as mostly nuts, the process of getting an MD tends to impart a minimal level of hardheadness and reality, but no such guarantee holds with others in the mental health area. Unfortunately it's exactly the softheaded part of the medical world that will be weighing in most heavily on the topic of mental health and firearms. The rest of us will be actually dealing with real disease.

Hmm. The 'bot screener randomly generated "MSW" just now. Exactly what (the sort of degree) I was thinking about.

M said...

We DO need to talk about the mental health issue.
Because right now? If you're not actually being held in a mental institution, we have no way to identify a Crazy Guy.

Erin Palette said...

Pardon my self-promotion, but not long ago I opined that gun owners must live within a closet of self-censorship, lest our expression of "having a bad day" be interpreted by the pants-wetting hoplophobes as "You're going to snap and kill us all."

Bubblehead Les. said...

Erin, it has already happened. A friend of mine, a Vietnam Vet, was up at the Breckesville VA Hospital near Cleveland, Ohio last month getting some Health Issues taken care of. He was overheard in the Lobby bitching and moaning about the Government with some other Patients. One of the Staffers overheard him, and when he went in to get his stuff done, he was quizzed about his "Mental Health Status," and "Did he have access to Firearms", etc. He basically told them "None of Your Business, and give me my Heart Meds," etc.

When he returned home, he had a call from the local Police to call them back. When he did, one of his Buddies on the Force (REAL Small Town) said "What did you do to piss off the Feds?"

Turns out that the VA took it upon themselves to call his Local Police to "Keep an Eye on Him, and they need to get a Warrant to remove any Firearms from his House, and the VA will GLADLY Testify to the Judge that he's a Menace to the Community due to his Agitated State, etc".

The Local Cop said "So don't Piss Us Off, or I WILL get that Colt 1911 from you that you won't sell back to me! Oh, and tell Aunt Martha that we'll be making Sunday Dinner this week, so it's your turn to come over." (I did say it was a REAL Small Town).

My Buddy has talked to his Lawyer, and Steps are being taken against the VA as we speak.

BTW, there's a news story from a couple of years ago where the same VA Hospital pulled that crap on a Female Iraq War Vet. But the town she lived inDID send in the Cops, without a Warrant, seized her Guns, and locked her up for the Weekend. When she got to the Judge Monday Morning, he nearly had a Fit, because it turns out it was a VA Counselor (MSW) who "FELT she was a Danger because she OWNED some Guns". Just Owned them.

Heard she got a nice Chunk of Change from the Lakewood, Ohio PD over that.

So yeah, let's Trust our RKBA to some "Counsellor."

Anonymous said...

I've known some genuinely crazy people in my time. And not one of em ever walked themselves into a doctors office to get help. Still, I would be wary of who gets to decide what crazy is.

mariner said...

The root cause of a lot of our country's trouble is "serious national discussions". We should have those about things like the national debt and national defense.

We should have serious state and local discussions about most other things.

Ken said...

On whose terms? Why, the same fine folks who gave us the Adorno F scale, of course.

Les: That sounds like Lakewood, all righty.

Matt said...

Like whether or not I have a gun is going to make much difference in how deadly I could be if I chose to commit violence. The so-called mental health professionals in this country are a bunch of morons who are only qualified to treat those with IQs of less than 100 and no imagination.

Yes, I have suffered from severe depression for decades. A large part of it is from living in a society that hates my very existence. I'm not alone in this, being a straight white male in today's America leads to endless condemnation from the media, from most churches and academia. I'm tired of being hated and villified. In today's world, there's not a person alive who cares if I live, while there are a bunch who wish I were dead. That is what today's world is.

Personally, I'm a fairly serious pacifist. I don't cause mayhem and death because I don't want to, not because I am incapable of it. I will admit to the occasional twinge knowing that if I was a mass murderer I would have lots of really hot girls throwing themselves at me, but I choose years of celibacy over violence.

Which brings me to another point. Who decides when someone is mentally ill and can't be allowed to own firearms? What will you do when being a Republican, or even worse a Libertarian, is grounds for taking away your freedom? What will you do when being a devout Christian is ground for being locked up? Like eugenics, the theory sounds good, but who makes the decisions?

Tam said...



To whom was all that addressed?

Blackwing1 said...

I think what bothers me the most about this as a concept is that it appear to have been taken directly from the former Soviet Union's usage of "psychology" to further stifle dissent. Anyone who professed to NOT believe in the superiority of communism was, by definition, insane.

I can guarantee that both wings of the Demo-Publican vulture would love to be able to define "disturbed" in such a way as to be able to use involuntary commitment, drugs or prison to put away people who simply disagree with the collectivist/statist authoritarianism that they promote.

perlhaqr said...

FWIW: I talked to my therapist about this whole issue (strangely enough, I found it concerning...) and he said that the vast majority of their patient files (case notes, and the like) are all paper. And they aren't sorted into any sort of searchable format or anything. The only electronic stuff they have going is billing records. And this is the case in a lot of places.

He's also the business manager of the office he works at, so, he's in a position to know.

He did tell me that while he'd like to tell me that my worries about this were mostly my putting my shit-colored glasses back on, no, really, it is in fact pretty darn crappy. So, uh, I guess it really isn't paranoia when they're out to get you. My psychologist says so. :-/

perlhaqr said...

Erin: Oh hell yes.

Matt: The so-called mental health professionals in this country are a bunch of morons who are only qualified to treat those with IQs of less than 100 and no imagination.

You may (or may not, I dunno) wish to think a bit more in the future before you make such statements; Inadvertently mortally insulting your allies is a bad way to maintain unit cohesion.

staghounds said...


The world can be full of joy, try bringing some to someone else.

Find somebody whose life is really screwed up and help them. Visit veterans in a Soldiers and Sailors home, or volunteer at a county nursing home. Go work at a homeless shelter. Teach adult reading classes.

Carrying so much anger will break your back. It almost has already. Find out that your life isn't so bad. Quit whining and make a change.

Woodman said...


Keep in mind one of the requirements of PPACA is electronic medical records. Of course, HIPAA was supposed to start that ball rolling.

I wouldn't doubt that psych records aren't included in that, but prescriptions and other records are, and sure were just one signature away from adding case notes.

Can't we reopen all those horrible state psychiatric institutions we closed 20 years ago? That would reduce prison overcrowding, the homeless population, and actually get some of these people treatment that might help them.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Thanks for the link! :)

Douglas2 said...


New Jersey has started taking advantage of their always-there ability to submit names of disqualified (on the basis of danger to themselves or others) people to the feds.

KM said...

@Les "FELT she was a Danger because she OWNED some Guns".

Well that right there is a sure sign of crazy.
Just WANTING one is. Wanting more than one ranks you right up there with Charles Manson on the loony scale.

On the bright side, I hear those psych treatments in the Gulag are really effective.

Angus McThag said...

It's like every professional psychologist and psychiatrist up and decided to become a scientologist.

Les Jones said...

I can't wait to see the diagnostic criteria for Having a Case of the Mondays.

Justthisguy said...

II dunno about you, Tam, but there is something to be said for paperless pieces if one is even the slightest bit strange.

My weird old tanker neighbor has already run into this problem. He was talking on a VA help line and the silly bint on the other end mis-interpreted something he said.

The next thing he knew, while he was still on the phone, a half-dozen cars full of deppities showed up, said deppities bulled into his house, and frog-marched him off to the local (senti)mental facility.

They let him out, of course, a day sooner than they would have had to account for holding him there, as all he had done was speak his (non-dangerous to self or others) mind to some .gov scaredy-cat.

Justthisguy said...

P.s. They used the Baker Act as their excuse. I helped him look up the Act and commentaries. IANAL, but I found, I believe, a dozen or so egregious violations the deppities did against the plain text of the Act, not to mention the violence they did to the Bill of Rights.

They brought a psychiatrist with them, too. Sometimes I think the $cientologists are right about psychiatrists. This one was a real rabbit, hiding behind the deppities.

My neighbor is a real sweety-pie and excellent company once you get to know him, but he somehow scares the dog poo out of psychiatrists.

Justthisguy said...

P.p.s. My neighbor does have rather low opinions of the bunch of folks running the .gov lately, and is a serious Roman Catholic (He gets the Host delivered to him once a week, as he is officially too feeble to get to church on his own. When he visits me, four houses away, he uses a walker.)

Old and feeble as he is, he gets a half-squad of deppities busting into his house (I saw it happen), falsely arresting and assaulting him and falsely imprisoning him and kidnapping him and nothing was done about it.

Justthisguy said...


Not only that, but they scared his kittehs; an enormous abominable hideous horrible enormous crime!