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Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:25 AM

We have a society that makes it easier for mentally disturbed people to get guns than get help.

That is the crux of the problem here. I've seen some people blame violence in the media for this, but I don't think so. The problem is our lack of access to mental health care and far too easy access to weapons. We make it nearly impossible for a mentally disturbed person to get help, but make it so easy to get guns. I personally like the idea of bio-locking guns if that technology ever becomes feasible it should be a requirement. Most importantly though we need to address the problem with access to mental healthcare in this country.

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Reply We have a society that makes it easier for mentally disturbed people to get guns than get help. (Original post)
white_wolf Dec 2012 OP
Atman Dec 2012 #1
flamingdem Dec 2012 #10
Azathoth Dec 2012 #2
area51 Dec 2012 #23
TheMastersNemesis Dec 2012 #3
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 #4
kestrel91316 Dec 2012 #5
napi21 Dec 2012 #6
napoleon_in_rags Dec 2012 #22
Warpy Dec 2012 #7
bettyellen Dec 2012 #17
Separation Dec 2012 #8
Cha Dec 2012 #9
bettyellen Dec 2012 #13
DaniDubois Dec 2012 #11
SheilaT Dec 2012 #12
bettyellen Dec 2012 #14
SheilaT Dec 2012 #19
bettyellen Dec 2012 #20
white_wolf Dec 2012 #21
SheilaT Dec 2012 #30
white_wolf Dec 2012 #32
SheilaT Dec 2012 #34
white_wolf Dec 2012 #15
Cleita Dec 2012 #16
white_wolf Dec 2012 #18
SheilaT Dec 2012 #33
white_wolf Dec 2012 #35
BainsBane Dec 2012 #24
white_wolf Dec 2012 #25
BainsBane Dec 2012 #26
white_wolf Dec 2012 #28
BainsBane Dec 2012 #29
white_wolf Dec 2012 #31
AnotherMcIntosh Dec 2012 #27
Fire Walk With Me Dec 2012 #36

Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:29 AM

1. Thank you, Ronald Reagan!

He made it popular to hate.

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Response to Atman (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:15 AM

10. Yes, others have mentioned him here today

the founder of me me me! Life was better before 1980

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:29 AM

2. I agree. Universal healthcare and a sweeping overhaul of our mental health delivery system

would go a long way toward preventing this kind of violence.

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Response to Azathoth (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:14 AM

23. +1 n/t

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:29 AM

3. I Would Not Hold My Breath - Conservatives, the GOP, Business And Billionaires ---

want to take away even basic health care and domestic programs. They look at the mentally ill as just another moocher. We are not even in the 'dark ages" when it comes to mental health when casting out devils or burning witches was in fashion. We don't have any kind effective of mental health care system in this country.,

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:34 AM

4. Good point.

Terrifying.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:37 AM

5. Our puritanically "christian" society considers mental illness to

be a character defect and/or the work of Satan.

THAT'S why it hasn't and won't be addressed.

We dress and look like people of the 21st century but our hearts and minds are stuck back in the 17th century.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:45 AM

6. You could be right.

Most of the shooters in the mass killings in the US over the pase years have been determined to be mentally disturbed. My husband and sone all have loved guns & huntung for many years and their ancestors before them. I asked my husband and one son tonight just what kind of background check is now done. They both said it's not much more than a computer check on your crominal background. If you do't have a crominal arrest record, you get your gun.

I'm not sure, but I think there's some laws preserving the privacy of mental health patients. As in not being able to notify anyone. That has to change to be able to release information to the database accessed in gun background checks. I think that would go a long way to eliminating the mass shooter problem.

The other problem is much more difficult to resolve. We need to change our gun culture. AS has bee said on several radio shows, MAD has managed to reduce the number of dsrunk drivers by making it "a bad thing to do", and the people against smoking have changed our culture to make smoking unacceptable,

I have no idea how, using a similar plan as they did, we could make mass shootings, or any shootings of human beings, simply unacceptable.

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Response to napi21 (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:50 AM

22. Thanks for that.

When I heard the possibility that the shooter may be mentally disabled, my already broken heart was just ripped out. I've worked with mentally disabled/mentally ill for many years, and there's really no reason they should be involved in anything like this with proper supports.

As far as the mental health angle, if you look at the mall shooter the other day, you have a guy who sold everything to get to Hawaii, but missed the plane. Penniless, desperate, etc. but most importantly mentally ill. What's needed is a big, open door, support program for people who need any kind of help. Triage on the inside to direct them. Certain rights (booze, drugs, weapons) forfeited for support. (this is key for the privacy mental health deal: trade support for no weapons) Everything targeted toward getting the individual independent with minimal aid... which isn't only sound fiscally, it happens to be the best support possible... And once independent and mentally stable, the booze/weapons rights come back.

If done smart it doesn't have to be madly expensive, but my opinion is this is the real problem here. Don't forget the parallel Chinese attack today with a knife. Its not all about guns, its about people with mental problems.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:49 AM

7. And makes it impossible for their families to get them help

The only way Lanza would have been involuntarily committed is if the police had intercepted him on his way from shooting his mother to shooting a classroom full of children, a matter of pure luck.

The law is defined far too narrowly. Whether a looser definition of "danger to oneself" would have made a difference in this case, nobody knows. However, it could help in other cases.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:28 AM

17. I've often heard of parents exagerrating their kids behaviour because it has to be off the charts

a very scary threat, before the state will step in and help. the system has been broken for a very long time.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:57 AM

8. I made a thread asking about games.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021987168

When you are dealing with a kid with mental issues, all bets are off. The most violent thing shown in our house while my son is awake is sponge bob. We have to monitor what he sees from the time he awakes till he goes to sleep. He cannot diffientriate the differance. We had a very long talk today.

We were watching Rudolph the red nose reindeer tonight. The mountain man, his name slips my mind has a pistol in his belt and a rifle on his sled. He was immediately fixated on this and we had to pause the show and talk why this wasn't a good thing.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:05 AM

9. Adam Lanza's parents could certainly have afforded to

Last edited Sat Dec 15, 2012, 04:57 AM - Edit history (1)

try and get help for their son. It's a real freaking shame that his mom had guns in the house but I haven't read anything about seeking help for his being "deeply troubled".

But, of course, not everyone can afford it and it should be available for those who could be helped from it.

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Response to Cha (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:25 AM

13. that's not certain, but also- once he is past 18 they cannot force him to.

that is the sad thing for many.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:43 AM

11. +100 What I've been trying to say all night. The real issue is mental health and lack of resources.

 

I'm not a gun nut, not an NRA member. What happened is a tragedy but sadly it'll happen again in some form or another until we get to the root of the problem.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:18 AM

12. I am sorry but trying to blame all of the things like

what happened today on mentally ill people TOTALLY misses the point that anybody and everybody can get a gun. Crazy, sane, ill, mentally ill, a little off balance. That does not in any way make our collective love affair with guns just fine.

No other country in the world has our kind of death by guns. Even those countries which have similar rates of gun ownership.

Fuck the mental health crap. It's the guns, stupid.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:26 AM

14. fuck this "fuck the mental health" crap. you obviously have no clue how many families suffer.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #14)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:36 AM

19. I know that families suffer because of mental health issues.

I have seen it any number of times. That does not in any way excuse or make acceptable what this man did today. Mental health bullshit. NOTHING gives you license to take guns, go into an elementary school, and start killing. NOTHING.

Oh, and it's also been posted that he was upset over his parents' divorce. Again, that's not a license to do what he did.

I will reword myself. Fuck the mental health excuse crap.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #19)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:39 AM

20. it;s not an excuse. Sadly, it IS an explanation. You might want to ignore it and do nothing

about it. But that's how things stay this fucked up. I'm in favor of strict gun control, but that's only half of the equation. Ignore the other half at everyone;s peril.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #19)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:43 AM

21. It's not an excuse, it's an explanation!

By increasing access to mental healthcare we can reduce incidents like this. That is the most effective course of action we can take.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #21)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:40 AM

30. Here's my problem.

Every time something like this happens everyone says, Oh, gosh, the shooter had mental health problems.

As if that absolves him.

I simply don't go along with that. Our problem is that we've deified guns and the gun culture. We also say, every time something like this happens, Oh no, who could have possibly predicted this? Well, the guns are there. It's highly predictable. I care an awful lot more about the dead children and their families than I do about the shooter. I'm sorry, but always saying that there are mental health issues do not cut it for me.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #30)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:44 AM

32. It does not absolve him...

but it explains his actions more. Yes, we need strict gun control laws, but if we made access to mental healthcare as easy as we made access to guns then I think a lot of these things could be prevented. The point of this thread wasn't to oppose stricter gun control, but to point out the completely messed up priorities in our society. It should be much much harder to get a gun than it is to get healthcare, but instead I can drive over to Wal-Mart and buy a shotgun. And that is a problem.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #32)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:52 AM

34. It feels to me as if all over this board

people are saying he was depressed, he had a mental illness, his parents were divorced as if all of those things give him an excuse, a rationale, for doing what he did. I'm saying that NOTHING gives him a pass. People must be responsible for their choices. Too bad the coward took his own life. If I had my way, he'd still be alive and on Monday morning he'd be in a small room with the parents of those twenty children he murdered. Too bad he wouldn't suffer as long as they will.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:28 AM

15. You do realize I addressed the issue of guns in my OP.

We do need to restrict the access to guns, however the vast vast majority of shooting like this are done by people who are mentally disturbed and that's a fact.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:28 AM

16. I think you missed the point. The point is not blame but that our laws

make it hard for people to get health care but so easy to get guns. I believe the poster was pointing out the irony and what our priorities are. We should be able to get health care without question when we need it but it should take a lot of paper work and waiting periods to get a gun of any kind.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:34 AM

18. Thank you.

To elaborate on this issue. I used to suffer from depression and had to see a psychiatrist. It was very expensive and I always had to fill out a lot of paper work, but if I wanted to go buy a gun I could do it with no questions asked. I could probably drive down to Wal-Mart and buy a shotgun fairly easily.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #18)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:45 AM

33. And did you?

And if you did, and then went off and shot ten or twenty or more people, are you not responsible because of the depression?

I'm saying you are responsible. Depression be damned. You are responsible for what you do. Should all of the parents of those dead children -- who by the way are going to stay in that school until at least Sunday morning -- should all of those parents give you (the shooter) a pass because you're depressed? Really???

We are all responsible for the choices we make. Depressed or not. I am so fucking tired of these things being explained away. Oh, he was depressed. Oh, he had a fight with his girlfriend. Oh, he was upset by her politics. As if ANY of those excuses make killing people okay.

Well, killing people is NOT okay. Got that?

I am now in favor of absolute gun control. Licensing, background checks, high taxes on ammunition, and outright confiscation. I do not want ever again to here these apologies for these kinds of killings.

You can be depressed. You CANNOT murder innocents.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #33)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:54 AM

35. No one is saying he isn't responsible!

No one is saying that. We are trying to discuss how we can prevent these actions from occurring in the future. If we had a decent mental healthcare system in place the guy might be in a hospital right now and no one would have been harmed. Instead we pretty much hand him guns for some stupid reason.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:18 AM

24. the problem is guns, period

The overwhelming majority of people with mental illness are not violent at all. The mother bought the guns. Not the son. Locking up every American with depression, or whatever excuse guns rights people are pointing to in order to deflect from their complicity in policies that result in mass murder, will do nothing to stop mass murder. As long as men have access to guns, they will use them. Period. Anything else is an excuse.

And yeah, focusing gun bans on people who take anti-depressants is really clever Those who seek treatment for illness should be pariahs, while those who do nothing about it can have their own personal arsenal. That makes a lot of sense.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #24)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:19 AM

25. I swear did you even read my post?

Did you miss the part where I mentioned more restrictions on guns including locking them to a single owner? I swear it should be clear from the title of my post that I support stronger gun laws. I you completely missed the point. Here's the relevant portion of the OP:

"The problem is our lack of access to mental health care and far too easy access to weapons. We make it nearly impossible for a mentally disturbed person to get help, but make it so easy to get guns." Did you notice where I talked about access to weapons?

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #25)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:25 AM

26. I saw that

and my response wasn't meant toward you exclusively. The boards are full of threads blaming this whole issue on mental illness. The problem is how do you define someone who is "mentally disturbed"? Obviously we know they are disturbed after they shoot up a school. But before then? Dozens of members here gave Michael Savage accolades for suggesting people on anti-depressants be kept from owning guns, as though depression were the problem. Depression is sleeping all day, not getting stuff done, mental anguish, isolating: it isn't shooting people up. That happens because of easy access to guns. The guy who killed the kid for playing loud music may not have had a history of mental illness. The man who mistook his own daughter for an intruder and killed her this week had no mental health issues, but both had guns and used them.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:31 AM

28. Of course mental illness isn't the whole problem.

But I do think it is a component. We need to discuss stronger gun control and better access to mental healthcare. The story you mentioned about the dad shooting his daughter is a prime example of why we need stricter gun laws, but I do think better mental healthcare would go a long way toward preventing mass shootings like that. In this instance I really doubt that the shooter was simply depressed, there had to be something more going on, but yes he should not have had access to those guns. No one needs an assault rifle.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #28)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:38 AM

29. no, he was psychotic

and possibly schizophrenic. Psychosis can occur in very extreme cases of depression, but its not common. But Michael Savage's remark was about keeping people who take anti-depressants from owning guns. And I could care less what that right wing nut job says, except for the fact so many on DU thought that was a great idea. It's an INSANE idea. The notion that someone seeking help for a very common illness should be denied any rights is not only wrong, but counterproductive. Then people who have mental health problems but want to own guns simply won't seek treatment.

I'm all for better mental health treatment across the board. But these mass shootings aren't going to stop until we do something about easy access to guns. At least limit them to guns that shoot one bullet per pull of the trigger. Surely we can do that much?

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #29)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:41 AM

31. I agree completely.

Why does anyone need an assault rifle? Seriously if you think you need that for self-defense then you have to be in with organized crime or something, because I cannot imagine any scenario where a simple handgun wouldn't be enough to defend yourself if someone tries to break into you home.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #25)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:31 AM

27. Good question. n/t

 

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 04:12 AM

36. Republicans and the rich cut mental health care but invest in for-profit prisons

 

and support big pharma, etc. They slash social programs and the "safety net" and that sets up a portion of the population for inclusion in their for-profit schemes. Am I being too anti-capitalist? Or does this indeed have a whiff of someone(s) getting rich from the suffering of others?

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