HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Is having the conversatio...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:56 PM

Is having the conversation about mental illness and horrendous violent crime stigmatizing?

I hang around tumblr a lot, which is notorious for being full of the type of liberal activist that only cares about LGBT/race/discrimination issues and no other important issues, and in a way that is obnoxious such as denying the science that proves being obese is unhealthy, and defending people who say they identify as animals, hobbits, elves, and Navi'i and tossing around words like "oppression", "privilege" and "erasure" out of context and applied to every little thing. Fortunately not everyone there is like that and people are working to restore "sanity" there, but still a lot of things spread there are kinda...very questionable but don't sound as outrageous as a PETA vegan so are still agreed upon by thousands.

One of those things is the idea that talking about mental illness in relation to recent mass shootings is stigmatizing and "hurtful", even if it means not talking about the role it has played in the recent cases.

There’s something I want to say about the Connecticut shooting that hasn’t been sitting well with me and it’s how a lot of people talking about this shooter are quantifying his motivations as being due to mental illness

I know a lot of people who follow me don’t really seem to buy social theories about white privilege and ableism (to be frank, I don’t know why you’d be here if you don’t, but that’s another discussion altogether) but here’s why doing that is kind of hurtful

Very few, if any of these sorts of tragedies are caused by mental illness when the killers are professionally evaluated and that’s because more often than not, these are not regrettably avoidable instances where proper psychiatric care would prevent them - they’re the power fantasies of privileged white males who grow up in a culture of fetishized violence

This is important to note for two reasons

If the killer wasn’t white, the media would have absolutely no problem calling it terrorism or levying allegations of gang connections
People with mental illnesses are not ticking timebombs and there are huge differences between mental illness and mental disturbances and people who suffer from mental illnesses severe enough to push them to do something like this show extremely troubling warning signs long before they have the chance to do something, if they’re not already incarcerated for lesser crimes
I know you guys think you’re contributing to a positive and accepting discourse by saying one of the ways we can learn from this horrific event is to provide better care for people with mental illnesses but what you are doing is implicitly adding an “or else…” to the end of that sentence and that’s very hurtful to a lot of people, some of whom I bet you care about

http://confusedtannenbaum.tumblr.com/post/38066464468/theres-something-i-want-to-say-about-the

And then there's this article which is not hosted on tumblr but has been spread around tumblr, which criticizes the "I am Adam Lanza's Mother" article as "objectifying" and suggests misogyny as an alternate source of preventing mass shootings.

I think they do have a point, that we should be very careful about how we discuss mental illness in the context of violent crime. However I don't think we should ignore the role it has played in previous mass shootings(not to mention Cho in the Virginia Tech chooting was not white) nor in other cases like Tarasoff and Andrea Yates and Hinkley. This is something that needs to be talked about among professionals and policymakers, even though it may be twisted by ignorant members of the general public. Lets not forget that Seng-Hui Cho, James Holmes, and Jared Loughner were all simply booted out and not given additional help.

Just because of stigma does not mean we should shut our mouths about it when it has some real basis on reality, especially when a death toll is involved.

Mass shootings are rare events statistically, but that does not remove how devastating they are and their death toll.

I say this as someone who has been though a shitty American, state-run community mental health care system myself.

49 replies, 1967 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 49 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is having the conversation about mental illness and horrendous violent crime stigmatizing? (Original post)
Arcana Dec 2012 OP
randome Dec 2012 #1
pipoman Dec 2012 #2
BainsBane Dec 2012 #12
Arcana Dec 2012 #13
BainsBane Dec 2012 #17
hack89 Dec 2012 #27
BainsBane Dec 2012 #29
hack89 Dec 2012 #30
BainsBane Dec 2012 #31
hack89 Dec 2012 #32
BainsBane Dec 2012 #34
hack89 Dec 2012 #35
BainsBane Dec 2012 #36
hack89 Dec 2012 #37
pipoman Dec 2012 #14
BainsBane Dec 2012 #16
pipoman Dec 2012 #25
BainsBane Dec 2012 #18
pipoman Dec 2012 #26
Fire Walk With Me Dec 2012 #3
tama Dec 2012 #4
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #6
FarCenter Dec 2012 #11
Fire Walk With Me Dec 2012 #42
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #5
H2O Man Dec 2012 #7
pipoman Dec 2012 #9
H2O Man Dec 2012 #10
pipoman Dec 2012 #15
H2O Man Dec 2012 #28
Arcana Dec 2012 #38
pipoman Dec 2012 #40
H2O Man Dec 2012 #41
Fire Walk With Me Dec 2012 #43
pipoman Dec 2012 #49
Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #8
Denninmi Dec 2012 #19
fizzgig Dec 2012 #21
Denninmi Dec 2012 #22
Arcana Dec 2012 #23
Denninmi Dec 2012 #24
Arcana Dec 2012 #39
fizzgig Dec 2012 #20
el_bryanto Dec 2012 #33
Fire Walk With Me Dec 2012 #44
HereSince1628 Dec 2012 #45
loyalsister Dec 2012 #46
Fire Walk With Me Dec 2012 #48
Spider Jerusalem Dec 2012 #47

Response to Arcana (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:01 PM

1. The snippet you posted is wrong.

"People with mental illnesses are not ticking timebombs". Sometimes they ARE ticking timebombs. That doesn't mean we should think of everyone that way but it's a denial of reality to simply say no one is that way.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Arcana (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:01 PM

2. Maybe would be if a good share of rampage shooters didn't turn out

to have mental health issues..I haven't heard anyone claiming all mental health care patients are dangerous.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to pipoman (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:28 PM

12. 70% of murders are by guns

4.6% of all violent crimes are attributed to mental illness, and the vast majority of those are suicides.

Maybe if mass murders didn't always end up using guns; maybe if twice as an preschool children as police on active duty didn't die from guns, we wouldn't be concerned with gun proliferation. Widespread access to guns is the true insanity, and the reason behind violence in this country.

Scapegoating the mentally ill is a transparent attempt to justify our murderous gun culture. Yeah, there is nothing people love more than to dump on an underrepresented group, particularly when it buttresses their own privilege. The research on this issues is clear. Claiming mental illness s the reason for our having the highest rates of violent crime in the industrialized word is malicious, transparent bigotry.

If you want to keep guns away from the most dangerous segment of the population, prevent men who drink or use drugs or who are under are 40 from owning them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BainsBane (Reply #12)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 12:24 AM

13. Why not both?

We're not talking about statistically all violent crimes across the board, but ones of this horrendous nature.

Why does it have to be one or the other? Why can't we discuss the importance of both dealing with the dangerous mentally ill and gun control?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Arcana (Reply #13)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 01:46 AM

17. I'm fine with that

As long as it doesn't result in scapegoating a part of the population who have been proven far more likely to be victims of violent crimes than perpetrators. As long as solutions are evidence based rather than the product of stereotype, I'm all for anything that can reduce violence, and that includes video games and other media influences.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BainsBane (Reply #17)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:59 AM

27. But scapegoating legal gun owners is perfectly acceptable

even though they are far more likely to never be perpetrators of violent crimes? OK.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hack89 (Reply #27)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:31 AM

29. no one is scapegoating gun owners

the fact is guns result in 70% of murders. We have the highest child murder rate and homicide rates in the industrialized world. But apparently that means nothing as long as you can play with your toys.

Also when some (a tiny fraction) of gun owners resist reasonable gun reform, you do bear responsibility in preventable homicides. 75% of NRA members believe in expanded background checks. But you feel a need to be more reactionary than 75% of a Republican organization. I just don't understand the kind of selfishness that leaves some so intransigent in the face of continued mass murders. That I blame you for.

The statistical link between murder, other homicides, and guns is clear. But you prefer to ignore the 14th amendment by pretending mental illness is the culprit, as long as you get to continue stockpiling your WMD. One has to wonder why you feel you need weapons that put 11 bullets into a body of a six year old in a matter of seconds. There is no lawful purpose for such guns.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BainsBane (Reply #29)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:35 AM

30. So all those OPs equating gun ownership with mental illness

or stating that we have blood on our hands because we want to keep our weapons are a figment of my imagination? Don't think so.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hack89 (Reply #30)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:43 AM

31. Did I write them?


So you don't think it's acceptable to blame gun owners for the actions of others, but you are going to blame me for what other people have written? Is that supposed to pass as logical?

I'm sorry you feel that you're so oppressed. Poor you. However will you defend yourself. Oh, I guess you feel you need assault weapons to do that. I manage just fine with a keyboard.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BainsBane (Reply #31)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:48 AM

32. Just pointing out the mood of DU

not you specifically.

It is ok here to scapegoat gun owners. There is moral outrage when other groups are scapegoated.

I am not oppressed - I give as good as I take. I just wanted to comment on the hypocrisy that is common here.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hack89 (Reply #32)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:53 AM

34. . . .

Scapegoating the mentally ill is the way you distract attention away from the fact that guns are at issue. Frankly, I don't understand why you all are here. I thought this was a Democratic site, but I guess I'm starting to learn that glorification of violence is the norm in these supremely fucked up world we have, regardless of party. Ours is truly the most diseased culture on the planet.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BainsBane (Reply #34)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:56 AM

35. Democrats own guns

hate to break it to you but there it is.

I also support the following civil liberties besides RKBA:

Marriage equality
abortion rights
unions
gay rights


Btw - thanks for making my point for me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hack89 (Reply #35)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 12:05 PM

36. what point was that?

and I have nothing against gun owners. I have something against self-entitled gun zealots who refuse to consider any reforms because their hobby is more important than human life.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BainsBane (Reply #36)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 12:09 PM

37. I am certainly will to consider reforms

but I expect them to be rational and effective.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BainsBane (Reply #12)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 12:30 AM

14. So the majority of these rampage killings aren't also

perpetrated by people who are mentally ill? 100 million plus gun owners with 300 million guns and this happens 5 or 10 times per year usually by a person who others have described as having mental problems. It may be a combination of things, but mental illness and lack of adequate resources to treat people who can't afford it is obviously part of the equation on these mass killings.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to pipoman (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 01:43 AM

16. A fraction of murders

We assume they are disturbed because we can't imagine why anyone would do such a thing. But people do horrendous things, and many do not have diagnoses of a mental illness. You can be sure that if this boy had survived, an insanity defense would not have succeeded. We've heard all kids of things about this gun man and his family, most of which have been false, as was the case in the Columbine shootings. Naturally one assumes there must be something seriously wrong with anyone who could do something like this, but some are just psychopaths. I myself wonder what kind of paranoid delusions prompt some to believe they need to be armed at all times. I tend to think they are mentally disturbed (particularly when they engage on discussion boards of elaborate fantasies of pubic shoot outs), but absent a psychiatric exam one cannot know that. I've been part of a number of therapy groups over the years, and I never heard anyone talk about shooting others as some Gun fanatics do. And these are people least likely to seek treatment, which could potentially make them far more dangerous than those working to heal their illness.

Moreover, mass murders are a fraction of the killings that take place every year. Are you suggesting high numbers of child gun deaths don't count if they aren't on TV? Are you concerned with preventing violence or finding excuses not to do anything about guns? How do you suppose mass murders would get a hold of guns if they weren't so Readily available, if the NRA had not refuse to allow background checks for online and private sales?

Yes, better treatment of mental illness is important. But ignoring actual crime statistics in an effort to justify refusing to consider gun control is not only ineffective, it is immoral bigotry. Furthermore, it s counterproductive because increasing the stigma--Which s already tremendous--associated with mental illness will only keep people from seeking treatment. People who are a danger to themselves or others should not gave access to weapons, but to create a second class citizenship of 25% of the population-- mostly women--with mental illness not only violates equal protection, it ignores the key issue. A small percentage of murderers (about 2%) are mentally ill but 70% use guns. One's focus tells clearly if they are about curbing violence or are devoted to finding a scapegoat to justify their fetish for guns.

Better mental health care is part of the solution, but evidence clearly shows that easy access to highly dangerous weapons is the central component of high homicide rates.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BainsBane (Reply #16)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:24 AM

25. ...

I agree that mass/spree/rampage killing is rare. Most firearms related murders are committed by people who legally aren't allowed to possess firearms..convicted felons. Nobody is suggesting that all people with mental illness are mass killers, just that the majority of mass killers have mental illness. Elimination of guns (as if that is even a reasonable expectation) wouldn't make those who plan mass killings not plan mass killings. Guns don't cause mass killings, sick minds do.

According to the CDC (http://webapp.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate10_sy.html), there are were 625 gun related deaths of children 0-15 in 2007 (the most recent info on CDC). That is a lot of kids. OTOH, there were 832 who drown (usually in backyard pools) and 2,344 in motor vehicles, many in sporting accidents.. The point is that while each child death is a tragedy, there are many things which result in child deaths and always will.

I don't know where you got the idea that online sales of firearms are not subject to background checks. They are if they are interstate transactions. If I want to sell a gun on gunbroker.com, and I sell the gun to someone in another state, I am required to mail the gun to a federal firearms licensee in the buyers state, then the buyer has to complete a background check through NICS to take possession. If it is a handgun, I have to take the gun to a FFL in my state who has to mail it to a FFL in the buyers state and the buyer has to complete an NICS check before taking possession. Anyone mailing a gun to a private individual in another state is violating federal law. If I send a gun back to the manufacturer for repair, they will mail it to a FFL in my state and I have to pass an NICS check before I can pick up my own gun.

As for the private sale notion that the NRA has anything to do with...not. The "commerce clause" of the US constitution doesn't allow for federal regulation of intrastate commerce of legal products. This has no connection to the NRA. The feds are prohibited from regulating intrastate commerce. States can (and a few do) require background checks for private intrastate sales. The only way there will ever be a requirement for background checks on private intrastate sales will be if the states enact the requirement. Further, even if I want to use the NICS system to transfer a gun to a buyer within my state, I can't access it. I have ideas about how to make this system better, but alas, most in favor of gun control don't really want to make it better, they want to eliminate the commerce clause...an impossibility...and won't hear anything else..

I would think mental health advocates would embrace an opportunity to re-fund mental health services to a level prior to Raygun administration's defunding.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to pipoman (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 02:19 AM

18. Another point

If this gunman suffered from a personality disorder, such as anti-social personality disorder, he might have a psychiatric diagnoses but--from what I know--would not be eligible for psychiatric treatment under insurance plans. When dealing with such cases, psychiatrists often list an Axis I diagnosis (mood and thought disorders), most commonly depression, even if that is not the patient's actual problem. The reason for this is that psychiatrists have assumed personality disorders are not treatable--they are instead the nature of the personality, characteristics that makes him or her maladaptive, but cannot be characterized as treatable mood or thought disorders. Borderline Personality Disorder has proven to be responsive to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and even curable. Therefore it is not expected to be categorized as a personality disorder in the new DSM coming out later this year. Better insurance coverage for personality disorders and development of targeted, effective therapies might an important step in curbing violence. Prisons are full of sociopaths who meet the criteria for anti-social personality disorders, but so is the corporate world. Moreover, sociopathy can actually be an advantage in some professions like the military or firefighters because their inability to feel much emotion enables them to avoid the fear that would paralyze many of us. Sociopathic tendencies exist on a continuum, so people experience different degrees of inability to feel empathy or otherwise access emotions. And only a small percentage of sociopaths become criminals.

It's also possible that psychiatrists should not so readily prescribe anti-depressants for non-depressives. But I don't have the medical background to speak authoritatively on this. Still, I do wonder.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BainsBane (Reply #18)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:31 AM

26. I agree with all of this..

and also wonder if at least some violence perpetrated by people with mental illness isn't a reaction to pharmaceuticals and not a symptom of their disorder at all.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Arcana (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:18 PM

3. That mass murder of people of color is utterly ignored

 

is a subject I've been hoping would come up. I believe there were just several shooting deaths in Chicago this week alone. And few if any are contesting the death by drones of well over 100 children in Pakistan alone (an "ally"!). Who knows if anyone "mentally ill" has been involved because you won't be hearing about it on the mainstream media, which tends to reflect the interests of the color of its owners.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:35 PM

4. The constant war

 

drones against people, fracking nat gas against planet and future generations, etc... we are all members of collectively insane society so who of us can claim sanity?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:42 PM

6. Some of us have

This ran on my local progressive online paper

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022033343

Feel free to distribute. I mean it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:10 PM

11. Some black Connecticut residents question media attention on Newtown shootings

NEW HAVEN — Emotions are running high throughout the state in the wake of Friday’s shooting spree at a Newtown elementary school, but some city residents are frustrated over all the national media attention and the pouring outcry, while urban America has a tendency to be hammered by gun violence all the time.

With President Barack Obama’s visit to the state Sunday and hundreds of media outlets focused on the incidents in Newtown, some members of the black community believe that this type of attraction would not garner the same intensity if it were to happen in the inner city.

“We share in the grief with the families of the lives lost last week and we know all to well about gun violence, because African American families go through this all the time,” said Carroll E. Brown, president of the West Haven Black Coalition.

“When doing an interfaith vigil we should never eliminate the black church, because our clergy can share their stories and experiences with others in these difficult times,” Brown said, a reference to the event Obama attended Sunday.

http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2012/12/18/news/doc50d11aaa893bf183688882.txt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to FarCenter (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:25 PM

42. It's a problem "white america" may not be interested in addressing, much less solving.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Arcana (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:40 PM

5. Nope, not one bit

I offer this I wrote for one of my local papers.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022033343

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Arcana (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:43 PM

7. Yes, of course it is.

There is only one major mental illness that has any significant correlation with violence, and most people who incorrectly identify mental illness with violence couldn't identify it.

The fact is that mentally ill people are far more likely to be the victim of a violent crime, than to commit one.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:45 PM

9. So the majority of these guys aren't mentally ill?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to pipoman (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:01 PM

10. Which guys?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 12:32 AM

15. Rampage killers.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to pipoman (Reply #15)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:29 AM

28. "Rampage killers" is a

an interesting name for the phenomenon of very public mass murders from recent times. It is highly descriptive, and actually might help cut right through some of the misunderstandings that many people have. Let's see if I can make use of its implications.

I'll start by saying that I'll generally try to answer this, in a manner similar to when I worked at the local county mental health services. Part of my duties included doing the trainings for state, county (sheriff's dept), and municipal (city,town, village) police departments, for responding to community-based crises. It was as part of a program provided by the NYS Mental Health Services and the Department of CriminalJustices. A co-worker and I were selected to doing this in Central New York; my wife did it for corrections officers in county jails and "lock-up."

The major mental illness most closely associated with violence is, of course, paranoid schizophrenia. And certainly a number of troubling cases -- including mass murders and the infamous Una-Bomber -- fit that definition like a glove. But let's look closer.

While paranoid schizophrenia is the "most common" type of schizophrenia that is diagnosed around the world, that might be due to a number of factors. In the USA, there are numerous other delusional disorders; quite often, when a "new" one is recognized, and service providers are exposed to a training about it, there will be a spurt of clients being diagnosed with that "new" label. ("New" means new to the provider, not necessarily brand new.) More, other types of major illnesses fit into more traditional, less high-tech cultures than paranoid schizophrenia. As a simple example, an artist may be bi-polar, but may be recognized much more for his/her art, than cycles --although a number of great artists are also known for extreme variations in mood, productivity, and for substance abuse (Irish poets, for example).

Paranoid schizophrenia, in my opinion, is the most cruel of all mental illnesses. Treated or untreated, it robs the individual of their life's potental. That individual is, of course, paranoid. They are also likely to have periods when they have tremendous difficulty in perception of the world around them: hallucinate, including visual and especially auditory. Here's a question I would ask the police: What do you think the difference between hearing a voice -- particularly a command -- that is inside of your head, and one that is perceived outside your head? Both can happen, and I always wanted to know an individual's self-reporting (if possible) before going out on a crisis call.

Now, there are various ideas on the "cause" of paranoid schizophrenia. They are fascinating to consider. But, in order to make one of my long and tedious posts a bit shorter, I'll just say this: genetics and environment are the blue and yellow that make humans green. Thus, while as a group, those that suffer from paranoid schizophrenia may be associated with an increased risk for violence, it's only a very few that engage in rampage killing. Why? One can consider a number of related factors: age (including age at onset); substance abuse; compliance with treatment, including medication; and family/social systems.

Thus far, the vast majority of rampage killers tend to be young white men. This includes those who are young, white males with paranoid schizophrenia. If it were as simple as "paranoid schizophrenics are at high-risk for rampage killings," one would find a distribution that includes females as well as males, and black, brown, red, yellow, and white folks doing it.

It's time for an old, rambling man to go on a tangent. Black people -- male and female -- are incarcerated at disproportionate rates in the US. Military-type weapons are also associated with drug cartels around the Mexican border. That's not a genetic predisposition. And among the Lakota population, the rates for incarceration for violent crime is disproportionately high. A Newt Gingrich might believe that black, brown, and red folks are genetically predisposed to violent crime ..... and even to think that their environment is their fault, as it is "just the way they are." But if a Newt publicly advocated different rules for licensing a gun for all black, brown, and red people, everyone would recognize it as not only wrong, but downright insulting.

In response to the OP, I was simply making the point that labeling a group such as the mentally ill as high-risk rampage killers is likewise an insult to the vast majority of good and decent human beings.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Reply #28)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 02:53 PM

38. In the case of Jared Loughner, James Holmes, and Seung-Hui Cho, weren't they just expelled and

tossed aside for their troublesome behavior instead of receiving help?

The message I am hearing from mental health advocates isn't one of stigma but one of being more aware of this kind of thing and the people that may slip through the cracks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to H2O Man (Reply #28)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:04 PM

40. Don't you understand...

I have heard nobody saying that all or most people with mental illness issues are dangerous. I and others I have heard are simply saying that the majority of these people who do mass/rampage/spree (what ever you want to call it) killings have a history of mental illness. These things are very rare in the whole scheme of things, it is hard to deny the connection between mental illness and these types of incidents.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to pipoman (Reply #40)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:20 PM

41. I understand.

And I understand what you are saying, and what you are basing it upon. It doesn't cover most mass murderers. however. Some are mentally ill, many are not.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to pipoman (Reply #40)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:34 PM

43. There has been borderline conceptual discussion of it here in GD, in poll form etc.

 

There is a poster in another forum arguing for no "mentally ill" persons to be allowed to have guns, without providing any evidence of an education regarding the huge variety of factors and forms involving mental illness.

If people are implying "only those who have the possibility of violence and not the majority of others who do not" it may need to be more strongly implied, if you know what I mean.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #43)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:23 PM

49. I think that would be ridiculous

"mentally ill" includes many conditions which are extremely common. Depression for example...who hasn't suffered depression at some time or other? No, throughout history we have dealt with various serious mental conditions in different ways..many arcane treatments have come and gone no doubt. But since the defunding of mental health services by Raygun, it has been the first time in a very long time we (society) haven't housed some people who simply cannot function with the rest of the population. I would be curious the mental health commitment stats for countries who don't experience as many of these horrific acts as the US...betting they have better mental health services accommodations than the US..

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Arcana (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:44 PM

8. You lost me at "PETA vegan is outrageous." Didn't bother to read the rest. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Arcana (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 02:26 AM

19. How could anyone possibly think this creates stigma?



Let's review for a moment. In the past 5 days, here on DU, I have either read in threads or been told directly in posts to me that:

All mentally ill people should have to wear a scarlet letter.

That the name of anyone taking any kind of psychotropic medication should have to register and have their name entered into the FBI's National Crime Information Center database in the same way convicted sex offenders do.

Spree killers are predominantly affluent white males, therefore, affluent white males have a sense of privilege that is a "mental disorder" and which predisposes them to the type of violence.

The mentally ill should be locked away for the good of society.

No one who is mentally ill should be allowed to own a gun.

I should be forced to register with local law enforcement, and possibly be forced to move from my bought and paid for home for the good of society should I live too close to a school, etc. Just like a sex offender.

That the mentally ill should get jobs and pay for their own health insurance.

That the mentally ill are responsible for all of the spree killings.

That psychotropic drugs don't help anyone.

All mentally ill are violent.


I'm sure there are others, these are the ones that come to my privileged mentally ill bipolar sick violent dangerous mind at this time.

Not that I'm bitter about any of this, mind you. No, not one tiny bit.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Denninmi (Reply #19)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 03:08 AM

21. there's some big brother shit being suggested

the having to register because i take meds is one spooky thought. nice way to make it easy for them to come round us up.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to fizzgig (Reply #21)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 03:42 AM

22. Yup, my exact thought.

Very creepy. That's what the Nazis did, collected names of the disabled, mentally or physically, then put them into facilities to "care for" them. Then gassed them. Many mentally ill were among the very first holocaust victims in the late 1930s.

http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/focus/disabilities/

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Denninmi (Reply #19)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 03:51 AM

23. When advocates and activists say "Let's have the conversation" I think they prefer more level-headed

discussion.

On both sides of course.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Arcana (Reply #23)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:00 AM

24. It's a little hard not to take it personally

When some gun crazed crank tells me my name belongs in a criminal database because I take lamictal and my existence is a threat to his 2nd amendment rights.

Welcome to DU, it gets ugly at times. Like now.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Denninmi (Reply #24)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 03:12 PM

39. I understand

They sound more like the emotionally-charged rants from a Yahoo! news or Youtube comment. I also take SSRIs and psychological disorders run in my family. None of them are dangerous, but I do know someone who is prone to bouts of anger and has borderline but fortunately he has never done any harm to anyone while having them and isn't totally out of control, though they are scary to witness.

But seriously, that's not what I am hearing from mental health advocates on the news and like from the one who wrote that "I am Adam Lanza's Mother" article, instead the message I am getting from them is the reduction of stigma, and the need to reform our mental health care system, and mentions of how thankful they are that "Obamacare" covers such a thing. There is also talk of tighter background checks that include people with severe mental illness but that couldn't prevent some cases where people like Adam Lanza stole their guns.

To be fair though, it's something that needs to be talked about regardless in light of many other issues surrounding mental health such as the schizophrenic homeless and the high price of mental health care.

It's a horrible, but statistically rare event. However people still win the lottery, people still get struck by lightning multiple times, and people still get bitten by sharks. Beaches still warn people about sharks, people are still taught how to avoid lightning, and people are warned about the pros and cons of winning the lottery.

Experts can debate until the end of the world about what to do in regards to issues that cross psychology, violence, and gun control, questions that extend to those not diagnosed with a psychological disorder like what does it mean to be competent, what is consent, what does it mean to even be in one's right mind, and if free will even exists. However, the law cannot operate under such debates and uncertainties and must have strict criteria for defining who is "competent", who is "in their right mind", and other things. Personally I favor a rehabilitative approach for all criminals, and in my honest opinion I would equate being under the influence of drugs as something akin to legal insanity depending on the strength of that drug.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Arcana (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 03:06 AM

20. it does when it calls for a broadbrush abrogation of our rights

mental illness is not the only determining factor in these situations. the conditions that fall under the umbrella of 'mental illness' is so varying that you can not judge all by the actions of one.

if the shooter had been muslim, do you think we'd be having the conversation about whether or not muslims should own guns? when dr. tiller was gunned down in his church, did we have the conversation that anti-abortionists should not have guns?

we are not all violent, we are not ticking time bombs. we are people with chronic conditions bumping along as best we can in this world, just like everyone else.

i'm sick of the abelist garbage i'm seeing here.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Arcana (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:52 AM

33. I am opposed to mentally ill people with potentially violent tendencies having firearms

I am also opposed to be blind people being issued driver's licenses.

Not all mentally ill people have potentially violent tendencies, but some do.

I don't understand why this is a controversial opinion.

Bryant

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to el_bryanto (Reply #33)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:41 PM

44. Perhaps because such is being stated in broad brush strokes without real knowledge of mental illness

 

around these forums. Some of those who do actual work in the field have provided some excellent posts on the subject; there are one or two in this thread. And please be aware of how this looks and feels to the "mentally ill" here who are not violent. Peace.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to el_bryanto (Reply #33)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 04:51 PM

45. There's nothing controversial about that, but that's not REALLY the nature of the concern.

I don't want guns in the hands of dangerous people either. I'm totally in agreement with that sentiment.

But there is more than one twist in the mobius strip of these threads on guns, mental illness and violence.

And when you cut it down the middle you end up with two loops.

Please look at the OTHER loop, the one that has nothing to do with wanting a gun.

It might seem strange but most people familiar with mental illness are not really too very hot about the right to own guns.

We ARE very hot about unreasonably getting our names placed on some national registry that says we are untrustworthy and dangerous because a database program flagged a billing code, or because some pharmacy database says we filled a prescription.

We are afraid of getting our names on lists of untrustworthy and dangerous people. We already face real discrimination. We've got legitimate concerns about facile trampling of constitutional rights, but we are downright terrified about having innocent, unrisky peoples' names on databases of shunned people, because we know how expansion of access and misuse of databases proceeds in the US.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to el_bryanto (Reply #33)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 05:03 PM

46. "mentally ill people with violent tendencies"

What about people with violent tendencies who are not mentally ill? How could they be identified? Maybe an average Joe wanting to own weapons that serve only to kill several people at once would be a clue.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to loyalsister (Reply #46)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 05:44 PM

48. Spot on!

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Arcana (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 05:08 PM

47. Yes, it's stigmatising

as the vast majority of people with psychiatric and mental health issues, or developmental disorders, DON'T COMMIT VIOLENT CRIMES. And the vast majority of violent crimes are not committed by people with mental health issues. And saying "well we need to look at our treatment of mental illness" is more or less a way of avoiding having any actual discussion on the real root of the problem (which is the easy availability of guns). Not to mention that it presumes some sort of ability to magically detect mental health issues, and to force people who may have them to submit to medication of therapy or involuntary commitment (none of the recent mass shooting suspects, as far as I know, was receiving psychiatric treatment).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread