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Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:01 AM

Mental illness isn't the cause of mass shootings, let's just make that clear

People without mental illness commit mass shootings.

People without mental illness engage in domestic violence against their family members and also murder their family members.

Some mass killings or shootings are committed by people who have mental illnesses.

But mental illness is so common and so broad, it's like saying that people with skin commit murders --it's meaningless. Mental illness is as common as depression or other problems and challenges.

The discussion in the media and even here of late, suggests that if we can just identify those with mental illnesses, we'll simply know who is a danger to us. But we won't.

Identifying and treating those who deal with mental illness is a wonderful and humane idea, unless the aim is simply some fishing expedition aimed at institutionalizing or imprisoning such people in order to avoid any restrictions on guns --the "mentally ill" will be the scapegoats in such a scenario).

If one identifies *all* those with mental illnesses, you'll simply get a huge list of people, but that list won't tell you anything about who is safer with a gun and who isn't.

We need to make sure, especially in this community (where it should be known better) that we are not scapegoating, nor allowing the broad category of "mentally ill" to be blamed for murderous things and tendencies and especially not allow them to be used by special interest groups to divert restrictions on guns.

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Reply Mental illness isn't the cause of mass shootings, let's just make that clear (Original post)
CreekDog Dec 2012 OP
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #1
ProgressiveProfessor Dec 2012 #4
Baitball Blogger Dec 2012 #14
ProgressiveProfessor Dec 2012 #2
loli phabay Dec 2012 #3
Neoma Dec 2012 #5
DapperDon Dec 2012 #7
Neoma Dec 2012 #8
DapperDon Dec 2012 #10
Confusious Dec 2012 #20
DapperDon Dec 2012 #40
_Liann_ Dec 2012 #12
Neoma Dec 2012 #15
CreekDog Dec 2012 #19
UnrepentantLiberal Dec 2012 #28
ProgressiveProfessor Dec 2012 #22
DapperDon Dec 2012 #6
_Liann_ Dec 2012 #9
CreekDog Dec 2012 #11
_Liann_ Dec 2012 #13
CreekDog Dec 2012 #16
Lordquinton Dec 2012 #30
NashvilleLefty Dec 2012 #32
Lordquinton Dec 2012 #34
davidthegnome Dec 2012 #33
Fire Walk With Me Dec 2012 #36
WinkyDink Dec 2012 #41
Baitball Blogger Dec 2012 #17
ProgressiveProfessor Dec 2012 #23
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #24
Lone_Star_Dem Dec 2012 #26
cbrer Dec 2012 #18
avaistheone1 Dec 2012 #21
Jenoch Dec 2012 #25
napoleon_in_rags Dec 2012 #27
yewberry Dec 2012 #29
Lordquinton Dec 2012 #31
davidthegnome Dec 2012 #35
Fire Walk With Me Dec 2012 #37
renie408 Dec 2012 #38
Denninmi Dec 2012 #39
99Forever Dec 2012 #42

Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:11 AM

1. If you are a person of color, especially a Muslim and you shoot someone, you are a terrorist

and you need to be imprisoned for life without a trial.

If you are white, especially a Republican and a Christian and you shoot someone, you are mentally ill and need help.

It's not quite that simple, but in the minds of many, those are the rules.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:24 AM

4. Try being a black man who carries a gun much of the time

My credentials get me through any static, but the initial reactions are never fun.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 01:02 AM

14. We are obviously talking about prejudice.

It's important to point out these perceptions, because public perceptions often drive public policy.

Another good example: If you're poor and can't find the will to get yourself off the couch to get to work, you're lazy. But if you're rich and can't find the will to get yourself off the couch you're suffering from clinical depression.

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Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:22 AM

2. The flip side of that is

If you commit mass murder you must be crackers (as in crazy) or have something else seriously wrong with you. A position that has some merit in the community at large

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:24 AM

3. i agree with this. one must have something wrong in ones head to do stuff like this

 

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:38 AM

5. So all people with mental illness is to blame?

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Response to Neoma (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:42 AM

7. Because that is what he said??

 

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Response to DapperDon (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:48 AM

8. Put it this way.

From one persons actions, that no one truly knows was from a result from mental illness, everyone right now is trying to pin people with mental illness as the demons who do these crimes. Because apparently everyone who is violent is mentally ill. Which is complete bullshit.

I am not going to become a mass murderer for skipping my pills and having a gun. It is a huge insult to be even talking about mental illness from this incident. It's bigoted and ill-informed.

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Response to Neoma (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:54 AM

10. I don't think that is the point.

 

How many people are mentally ill? Millions at the least. Just because someone who is mentally ill does something disgusting doesn't mean all who are mentally ill are equal. I don't think most think that. However, when someone commits such atrocious acts, it would appear (at least to many) that they aren't well in their minds. That doesn't mean that ALL who are sick fucks are mentally ill. I would bet that most are, though. I don't take that as an insult to mentally ill people. I, myself, have dealt with depression and anxiety, and I certainly don't take offense to calling someone like Adam Lanza mentally ill.

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Response to DapperDon (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 01:48 AM

20. Did you miss the posts calling for mentally ill people

to be registered with the government?

Or the post about how people who are on medication should be locked up until it's determined that they are no danger to society?

People willing to take away others freedom and right to privacy just so they can keep their "hobby?"

That's why the poster is reacting the way he/she did.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 10:07 AM

40. I did miss those posts.

 

Wow!

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Response to Neoma (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:59 AM

12. Stop this right now!

There are crazy violent people in the world.

Courts deal with it all the time.

Most extreme violent criminals get a mental competency examination to see if they are even fit for trial.

Innocent by reason of insanity is one legal defense in this world.

GUN OWNERSHIP IS RESTRICTED. Nobody ever hospitalized for mental incapacity, or a judge has ever ruled incompetent is allowed to own firearms for life.

This whole area of discussion is undermining the best means we have for self-defense, sanity testing as a means of gun control stopping evil and twisted people from having powerful weapons in their hands.

There are crazy evil people and sane evil people in the world and society knows that. Why don't you?

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Response to _Liann_ (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 01:02 AM

15. Because apparently I'm one of those, "crazy evil people."

And you're severely stereotyping me.

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Response to Neoma (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 01:32 AM

19. you're not and that poster doesn't know what she's talking about

and most of us recognize her ignorance.

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Response to Neoma (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 02:01 AM

22. Not in my opinion, but the concept gives comfort to many

We see that here on DU as well unfortunately

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Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:41 AM

6. I agree to an extent.

 

I also have no doubt that the Sandy Hook killer was mentally ill. Does that change the situation? No it doesn't. What it means to me is that mental illness should not be looked down upon. Help should be more readily available. It shouldn't be such a stigma. So many people can identify, in one way or another, with mental illness. Depression, anxiety, bipolar, multiple personalities, etc. Does having one or more of those conditions make one a mass murderer? Of course not. Is one who has one of those conditions left untreated more prone to erratic behavior? Yes.

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Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:51 AM

9. Simply NOT TRUE.

Psychiatry uses a very thick volume to describe various illnesses severe or mild, disabling or merely a little quirky.

The book is called the DSM-IV.

There are at least three categories at high risk for extreme violence.

(1) Paranoid Schizophrenics -- "there's a conspiracy out to get me". Nancy Lanza was a survivalist who stockpiled weapons to use for murder after the fall of civilization any minute now, and the starving city folks come to ravage her rural sanctuary. She had human-hunting weapons because she had visions of hunting humans, as many survivalists have those same fantasies.

(2) Sociopaths, called in the DSM as "ANTI-SOCIAL PERSONALITY DISORDER", are practically another breed of human being, a species without conscience which preys on victims of opportunity and also hunts targeted victims. Adam Lanza showed more than the usual amount of symptoms of this.

(3) Narcissistic Personality Disorder is perhaps the leading cause of familicides and murder-suicides. They also do a lot of the disgruntled-worker going-postal shoot-ups. Basically they have a story they are living with themselves as the central hero, and some forces jolts their world and they can't see themselves as the central figure any longer. They may kill their girlfriend or wife, or family, then finish it with themselves, or they may go to the scene of the place where their world broke and shoot randomly, and suicide by cop or by self.

There are definitions and symptoms lists to learn to recognize the danger signs early enough to get help or get away to safety.

Early recognition of signs and symptoms can save a lot of grief. Not only are the wounded and maimed survivors who could be avoided, but there are extended families of loved ones whom are grieved by the losses and damages.

Some of these people do a very deliberate job of concealing themselves. Sociopaths are very common. In a neighborhood with two adults per household, there is one sociopath ticking timebomb for every thirteen homes. Sociopaths usually know they are evil and know that society doesn't like them if they showed who they really are. They are not "mentally ill" in the Hollywood movie version of a crazy person, but it is a form of defined abnormal psychology which is very dangerous. Sociopaths are extreme liars, which often trips them up as they lie even when they know than are likely to get caught telling lies, but they feel no remorse so they don't really care if they get caught. Because of their skills at lying sociopaths carry on for a long time. The BTK killer held a steady job, raised his family, gave generously to his church and led a boy scout troop while from time to time going out and killing victims in their homes over a time span of decades.

There really are crazy people who kill, and you can learn what you need to know so that you can help defang them.

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Response to _Liann_ (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:54 AM

11. Thank you Dr Frist for diagnosing Mrs. Lanza, how many visits did you have with her?

or are you clairvoyant and can diagnose via your wild guess?

oh yeah, and she didn't kill anybody in the shooting.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 01:02 AM

13. Evolution is an intelligence test. Losers don't leave their genes to carry on.

If you don't want to learn to see what the world is showing you, by all means continue.

Nancy Lanza was a criminal accessory to all 28 murders including her own and her son's. She made it all possible.

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Response to _Liann_ (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 01:05 AM

16. so you are saying you did diagnose Nancy Lanza but w/o any knowledge of her?

even though it's irresponsible, you should be proud that you are able to do this.

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Response to _Liann_ (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:10 AM

30. You seriously misunderstand evolution

Please just stop.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #30)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:15 AM

32. And you seriously misunderstand Mental Illness.

Shame, shame on you. You are trying to single-highhandedly trying to send decades of research backwards.

You - Please, just stop.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Reply #32)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:22 AM

34. Me? Or the poster I was responding to?

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Response to _Liann_ (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:19 AM

33. Is that so?

Please explain to us mentally ill losers what the hell intelligence has to do with evolution. Have you studied the history of eugenics? If you have, you should be ashamed yourself. If you haven't - I would suggest that you do.

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Response to _Liann_ (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:03 AM

36. "Losers". I believe this word and the words and philosophy hidded behind it speak volumes.

 

Compassion, inclusion, brotherly love, support, courage, love, nurturing, honesty...all signs of a decent person and society...have no meaning to you?

That's rhetorical.

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Response to _Liann_ (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 10:10 AM

41. Oh, there have been PLENTY of "losers" who've procreated. You are being absurd.

I'm thinking of the Bushes, Cheneys, Rumsfelds, ........

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 01:06 AM

17. What degree do you have to make the diagnosis that began this thread?

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Response to _Liann_ (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 02:04 AM

23. Much of what you have posted is "Simply NOT TRUE"

(1) Paranoid Schizophrenics -- "there's a conspiracy out to get me". Nancy Lanza was a survivalist who stockpiled weapons to use for murder after the fall of civilization any minute now, and the starving city folks come to ravage her rural sanctuary. She had human-hunting weapons because she had visions of hunting humans, as many survivalists have those same fantasies.


That alone is totally without support, even in the most salacious media reports and contradicted by other known facts.

Your spin is so extreme it diminishes the efforts to get changes made

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Response to _Liann_ (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 02:06 AM

24. oh, for god's sake. yeah, and homosexuality used to be in that book, and now pre-menstrual

 

cramps are.

besides which, *you* are no psychiatrist, and *you* never spent a moment with the person you're diagnosing, just read media accounts which were about half-wrong and half-sensationalized.

you don't know *anything* verifiable about those people's psyches or habits, nothing, and neither do any of us.

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Response to _Liann_ (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 02:35 AM

26. You do realize your hypothesis is based on rumor and speculation.

Which is then supported by anecdotal theory.

Which makes it basically ten steps below useless. I've seen better from the gossip rags at the checkout counters.

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Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 01:12 AM

18. Thank you- This thread is helping

 

Me understand more about the distinctions between illness, psychopathy, sociopathy, and evil.

Obviously a layman like myself lacks the background to pinpoint different mental conditions, as well as the shades of gray between them. This thread is clarifying that a little for me.

So thanks.

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Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 01:57 AM

21. k&r

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Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 02:14 AM

25. While it is true that not all people

that have committed mass shootings have been mentally ill, a significant number of them were (are) mentally ill. Just because there are many people with mental illness that do not committ horrific crimes does not mean it is right to ignore the matter.

Lanza, Holmes, Loughner, and Cho were all mentally ill. Harris was a psychopath and Klebold suffered from depression.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/assessment/2004/04/the_depressive_and_the_psychopath.html

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #25)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 02:36 AM

27. +100 nt

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #25)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 02:54 AM

29. This post is sort of disgusting.

Let's try this:

"While it is true that not all people that have committed mass shootings have been white men, a significant number of them were (are) white men. Just because there are many white men that do not committ horrific crimes does not mean it is right to ignore the matter."

Or how about this:

"While it is true that not all people that have committed mass shootings have had chicken pox, a significant number of them have. Just because there are many people who have had chicken pox that do not committ horrific crimes does not mean it is right to ignore the matter."

Can we please talk about reality now, please? Pretending that guns have no part in gun violence is pretty fucking dumb, and trying to scapegoat mentally ill people is pretty heinous.

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Response to yewberry (Reply #29)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:13 AM

31. Another one


"While it is true that not all people that have committed mass shootings used guns, a significant number of them used guns. Just because there are many guns that are not used to commit horrific crimes does not mean it is right to ignore the matter."

waitaminute....

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Response to yewberry (Reply #29)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:44 AM

35. More than sort of disgusting.

It seems that a number of people here have precious little understanding of what mental illness actually is. Depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, obsessive compulsive disorder... all of these can be classified as mental illness as can very mild forms of all of them. As someone with PTSD, I consider myself mentally ill - but there is a huge difference between being mentally ill and being crazy and/or crazy and violent.

Should I be a scapegoat? I've struggled with depression and panic attacks for most of my life, would these 100% sane, rational, entirely and completely logical and perfectly normal individuals care to undergo psychological analysis themselves I wonder?

No, it's more than sort of disgusting. It's absolutely despicable and I can't believe some of the stuff I'm reading here. I AM MENTALLY ILL. I am also a decent human being, just like most who are. We are no more likely to be violent than anyone else - a good deal LESS likely than some.

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #25)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:04 AM

37. Mass shootings would not happen as much if guns were better regulated. Also note that

 

there have been over 100 shootings since Sandy Hook, yet we accept them as "part of the plan".

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Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:13 AM

38. I think the phrase "mental illness" covers a lot of ground.

I would imagine that ALL mass murderers have something going on mentally that ain't quite right. The fact that they choose to kill mass numbers of presumably innocent people illustrates that.

This is like a logic question: "If all mass murderers are mentally ill, are all mentally ill people destined to become mass murderers?"

Of course not. The vast majority of mentally ill people hurt nobody at all. They are not hurting others, they are too busy trying to navigate life to bother with killing other people.

SOME mental disorders, however, have a greater chance of disintegrating into mass murder. I think we need to get a little more specific about which conditions pose a greater degree of threat. While it is disingenuous to propose that mental illness plays NO factor in these occurrences, it is also incorrect to assume it is the ONLY factor.

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Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:41 AM

39. It's getting tedious to reiterate, so "What This Guy Said":

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Response to CreekDog (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 10:12 AM

42. There is one element common to every mass shooting. Every one of them.

There are all done with guns.

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