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Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:40 PM

So if mental illness is the cause of gun violence,

does the NRA support passing a mental health screen before being allowed to purchase a gun?

46 replies, 2534 views

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Reply So if mental illness is the cause of gun violence, (Original post)
mykpart Jan 2013 OP
GeorgeGist Jan 2013 #1
liberal N proud Jan 2013 #2
AnotherMcIntosh Jan 2013 #29
liberal N proud Jan 2013 #34
jody Jan 2013 #3
Care Acutely Jan 2013 #6
jody Jan 2013 #8
spanone Jan 2013 #10
jody Jan 2013 #11
Undismayed Jan 2013 #44
loyalsister Jan 2013 #31
jody Jan 2013 #36
Lizzie Poppet Jan 2013 #4
jody Jan 2013 #5
Lizzie Poppet Jan 2013 #7
Denninmi Jan 2013 #9
Lizzie Poppet Jan 2013 #12
Last Stand Jan 2013 #13
Lizzie Poppet Jan 2013 #15
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #33
jody Jan 2013 #37
Honeycombe8 Jan 2013 #14
AnotherMcIntosh Jan 2013 #26
Honeycombe8 Jan 2013 #41
mykpart Jan 2013 #16
Hekate Jan 2013 #17
Recursion Jan 2013 #24
B Calm Jan 2013 #18
AnotherMcIntosh Jan 2013 #28
B Calm Jan 2013 #43
Undismayed Jan 2013 #45
B Calm Jan 2013 #46
Fire Walk With Me Jan 2013 #19
Iggo Jan 2013 #32
tama Jan 2013 #20
undergroundpanther Jan 2013 #21
Recursion Jan 2013 #23
gollygee Jan 2013 #35
Zoeisright Jan 2013 #38
Recursion Jan 2013 #22
green for victory Jan 2013 #25
AnotherMcIntosh Jan 2013 #27
Thinkingabout Jan 2013 #30
HereSince1628 Jan 2013 #39
Thinkingabout Jan 2013 #40
Fire Walk With Me Jan 2013 #42

Response to mykpart (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:50 PM

1. The answer is ...

more guns!

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:52 PM

2. That is the standard NRA answer.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:10 PM

29. Really? Another respected DU poster said "yet the NRA are utterly silent." Please see #19.

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #29)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 07:41 AM

34. Utterly SILENT?

What was that news conference the asshole from the NRA gave where he said to ARM THE TEACHERS?

MORE GUNS was the answer!

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Response to mykpart (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:56 PM

3. Interesting, do you have a link to a "mental health screen" that experts agree is a credible

 

predictor of mental health problems that mass-murderers have and the triggers that cause them to commit horrible crimes?

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Response to jody (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:40 PM

6. The NRA must believe that all of them are credible

Since they want everyone with this health issue to be entered into a public database. I think they should also add an erectile dysfunction database as well.

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Response to Care Acutely (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:13 PM

8. Include Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston and Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, cochairmen

 

of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, along with 750 other Mayors want Obama to create a central data base that will include mental-health data on people.

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Response to jody (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:21 PM

10. right after we start a national gun database...

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Response to spanone (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:23 PM

11. We already have NICS. What additional data do you propose be added to it? nt

 

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Response to spanone (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:54 PM

44. What would that do other than waste money?

 

Explain how a national gun database would have prevented the shooting.

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Response to jody (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:44 PM

31. Is it going to take an increase in suicide rates to convince people this is a bad idea?

The more isolated and stigmatized people with some mental illnesses are the more likely they are to act on suicidal tendencies.
Are they going to include people who attend AA meetings? Murder rates among alcoholics are pretty high.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #31)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:13 AM

36. loyalsister agree 100%. Too much hysteria and little intelligent thought given toward preventing

 

another Sandy Hook Tragedy.

Old saying relevant today, "When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream, and shout" on both sides of the issue.

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Response to mykpart (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:05 PM

4. Can't speak for the NRA, but...

...this gun owner would like to see the NICS background check system somewhat expanded to include certain very specific diagnoses, and not just the involuntary commitments and adjudications it currently contains (along with criminal records, of course). Not every mental health diagnosis...not by a long shot. But those that a reasonable consensus of experts in the field agree indicate a significant risk.

Of course, only a rather small portion of gun violence is likely to be mental health related. Spree killers and such account for only a tiny fraction of the gun violence problem. Looking for a major cause? Look no further than the idiotic War on Drugs.

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:30 PM

5. Agree people who commit traditional-murder are different from mass-murderers. I oppose grouping all

 

who have mental-health problems with the perhaps very few who are at risk of committing mass-murder.

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Response to jody (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:41 PM

7. I concur.

My idea is that only certain very specific (and rare) diagnoses would be added to the database.

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:20 PM

9. Such as?

Which ones?

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:24 PM

12. Not my field.

It's my layperson's understanding that certain psychoses are commonly associated with violent behavior with sufficient frequency that possession of weapons would be counterindicated...but this isn't my field. If the professional consensus is that there are no diagnoses with sufficiently reliable correlations, I'd certainly accept that judgement.

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:37 PM

13. It's generally not psychosis that does it. More likely a personality disorder.

Jail is full of them. Anti-social, etc. People who lack empathy, enjoy others' pain, reject society's rules.

Psychosis, like paranoia or false beliefs that one may be receiving special messages, can lead to this behavior as well.

Seems like the Conn Killer had a neither, however.


Bottom line, it would be impossible to create a diagnostic profile that could be applied for gun applicants. You can certainly guess who may be at higher risk, but it would be very subjective and unenforceable.

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Response to Last Stand (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:09 PM

15. Thank you for the information.

Definitely making me reconsider my position. Much appreciated...

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Response to Last Stand (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:08 AM

33. Precisely, and the NRA members might be surprised how many among them

who believe themselves to be perfectly sane are, in fact, anti-social, lacking in empathy, prone to enjoying others' pain and quite willing to reject society's rule.

In fact there was an example in today's news, a young, clean-cut man who stated quite openly that if society imposed a rule requiring him to register his weapon, he would proudly reject and disobey it.

NRA members need to be careful about what they wish for. We all believe that we are far more sane than our neighbors. But it's not that simple.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #33)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:23 AM

37. Does "willing to reject society's rule" includes those who want to ban all firearms when society's

 

rule acknowledges an individual's right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.

You say "young, clean-cut man who stated quite openly that if society imposed a rule requiring him to register his weapon, he would proudly reject and disobey it."

What authority does a simple majority of society have to abolish an individual's natural, inherent, inalienable/unalienable right that preexists our Constitution and does not depend upon it as SCOTUS said in United States v. Cruikshank (1876)?

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Response to mykpart (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:39 PM

14. Who says mental illness is the cause of gun violence? LaPierre? nt

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:00 PM

26. Michael Moore, for one.

 



He thinks that pharmaceuticals manufactured by Big Pharma is a factor.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #26)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:17 PM

41. Interesting. But did you know one thing the boys did that one of their moms mentioned?

Mom said they were good boys (and I have no reason to doubt that), and as Moore says, they had no history of violence (at least one of them...not sure about the other), but....

one thing the boys did do was stay in their rooms for hours on end playing video games.

So why not look into that, as well as looking into meds, or instead of, if there's no evidence they were taking meds? It's an obvious thing to look into it. Eric was particularly bright. Good grades. But then he'd spend entire days in his room playing video games. And his Mom thought that was normal? Did she even know what those games were?

Something to think about and look into.

I don't know if Lanza played video games, though. But he was probably on meds. Maybe it's a combination of the two things.

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Response to mykpart (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:10 PM

16. LaPierre believes it is mental illness.

I'm sure everyone here knows that my question was facetious. I don't know of a link to a credible "screening" but I'm pretty sure that nobody is going to do the screen for free. So should it be covered by Obamacare? Or added into the cost of the firearm purchased? Or (God forbid!) paid for by taxes? Just my way of ridiculing the whole notion that it is possible to identify everyone who is mentally ill. And of course there's the gun show loophole. I don't want to take everyone's guns away; I just want to make it a little more difficult to be shot. And I want to be able to know who has guns and where they live. And if you have to pee in a cup to get food stamps, why not to buy a gun?

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Response to mykpart (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:12 PM

17. No idea, but it is not by any means the sole cause

Some people are just evil, for one thing.
Some have testosterone poisoning, for another thing.
Some people have anger issues and poor impulse control, but are not clinically nuts.

I'm sure you get the picture.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #17)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 09:02 PM

24. Evil is not in DSM-IV

Maybe it should be. But there's legit evil out there that is not a recognized mental illness. Not sure what to do about that.

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Response to mykpart (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:22 AM

18. If owning a gun makes you safe,

then why isn't the United States the safest country in the world?

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Response to B Calm (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:07 PM

28. If banning gun ownership makes people safe, why isn't Chicago the safest city in the nation?

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #28)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:51 PM

43. Because Chicago residents don't

have to travel far to buy a gun legally!

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Response to B Calm (Reply #43)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:55 PM

45. Do criminals care whether they buy something legally or illegally?

 

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Response to Undismayed (Reply #45)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 10:53 PM

46. Back to my original post,

if guns makes us safe, then why aren't we the safest country in the world? Can you answer that?

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Response to mykpart (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:57 PM

19. U.S. gun deaths since Dec. 14 Newtown shooting: 409

 

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022130995

400+, yet the NRA are utterly silent. It's apparently perfectly okay for "normal" people to kill each other by the hundreds.

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #19)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:13 PM

32. Those must have been "traditional murder."

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Response to mykpart (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 06:06 PM

20. Then wouldn't

 

most American politicians President including, and many others responsible for wars, belong inside looney house?

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Response to mykpart (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:58 PM

21. More homocides are committed by hammers and clubs than guns BTW

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Response to undergroundpanther (Reply #21)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 09:01 PM

23. Rifles, not "guns" in general

For a bunch of people who want to debunk a trope, DUers at large seem never to read it.

Rifle shootings kill fewer people than blunt force trauma. This is not disputable. Neither kill very many people at all, in the long run, and the more we look at any instrument of death besides handguns the more we're wasting our time.

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Response to undergroundpanther (Reply #21)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 07:45 AM

35. Total murders: 12k, total firearm murders, 8k. 8k is more than half of 12k

Go figure.

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Response to undergroundpanther (Reply #21)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:29 AM

38. Didn't major in math, did you?

Christ on a crutch.

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Response to mykpart (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:59 PM

22. Well, just as a factual point, yes, the NRA does support that

Or at least they support making sure that you haven't failed a mental health screen before you buy one. That's rather different, I know, but in principle it's something we could work on.

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Response to mykpart (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 09:52 PM

25. it's the drugs not the guns or the teenagers mental state

 

the drugs are the cause of the mental illness. It's clear, looking at the evidence, and the very warnings on the bottle of pills. It's called a "black box warning" for a reason.

Isn't this the most compassionate way to look at the entire nightmare anyway?

Of course it is. SSRI's are evil. At least as believable as "Adam was evil". What a bunch of backwoods bs.


youtube DOT com/watch?v=WAO5_Hk06Mc

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Response to green for victory (Reply #25)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:04 PM

27. Michael Moore also thinks that pharmaceuticals are a factor. Please see #26.

 

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Response to mykpart (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:43 PM

30. Before putting guns in schools let us get the mental health issue handled

The NRA claims the mass shootings are caused by mental illness, start treating those with issues and leave the guns out of the schools. It is really a combination problem, it the guns was not available with the ability to fire round after round without reloading and then reloading is completed very fast is an problem.

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Response to Thinkingabout (Reply #30)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:09 AM

39. I wouldn't subject anyone to treatment based on diagnosic recommendations by the NRA

Even if one accepts that ALL the mass-shootings in 2012 were committed by mentally ill persons (30 years of data on mass homicide suggests about 90% had some indication of MI), that's 6 mentally ill mass shooters out of an estimated 63 million mentally ill people.

The mass shooters represent 0.00001% of the subpopulation of mentally ill in the country.

Any system intended to detect mass-shooters among the mentally ill would have to have an exquisitely sensitive ability to detect this vanishingly small signal. In virtually all monitoring systems, increasing sensitivity is usually accompanied by detecting false positives. Police reaction to the false positives has costs. Large proportions of false alarms would be expensive and divert pubic safety resources in a manner not unlike the costs of false alarms for fire departments. We all want protection but there are ceilings on the amount of resources available to secure it.

Between 60% and 80% of the mentally ill in the US are not diagnosed and are not in professional treatment.
Any system relying on surveillance based on mental health or pharmaceutical records would miss about 2/3's of those who are risky. And mental illness can have onsets at ANY age (although gun suicide and gun violence are most common in those aged 15-45) so one screening at say age 20, isn't going to be enough. Even if this screening is only focused on gun purchasers and gun owners, regular, at least annual mental health screening, would be required to detect changes in mental health status, which can be triggered by things like job loss, relationship failures, foreclosure, physical injury and organic illness. That means roughly an additional 80 million mental health screenings for legal gun owners per year.

And that ignores the problem that the system wouldn't be 100% effective. Accuracy of written personality assessments is hardly perfect their error rates are way above 0.00001. Accuracy of clinician assessment from single visits is likely worse than the personality tests and it tends to be applied "with an excess of caution" iow bias toward detection of those previously mentioned costly false positives.

As it is, if a system of reporting had been 100% effective on existing mental health records for the 25-30% of the mentally ill for whom such records exist, it may have reduced last years mass shooting by 1 or 2 (yes, those lives lost were precious, those reductions would be welcome), but it would have left 4 or 5.

But prevention systems are nothing like 100% effective. John Holmes received mental health treatment in a state that required psychiatric staff to report to police the identity of a person deemed dangerous. It didn't happen. The shooter of the volunteer fireman outside Rochester was assisted by an acquaintance in obtaining guns although he was banned from their purchase. Lanza, the Newtown murderer stole his mother's weapons.

These are examples of the type of failures that occur in the existing system that is associated with less than a 0.00001% annual chance of a mentally ill person committing a mass-shooting. It's pretty clear that substantially lowering the number of mass shootings is as dependent on addressing failure rates within the existing gun regulation/control system, as it is expanding and maintaining surveillance on the mental health of every legal gun owner. Preventing failures is going to be VERY tough for government agencies.

The system is going to find it very hard (as it already does) to prevent a friend, or criminal accomplice, from purchasing a gun for either an ex-con or a person with a mental illness. Moreover the system is going to find it very hard to invent socially acceptable policing actions that would prevent the theft or unauthorized use of an otherwise legally owned weapon.

The level of detailed awareness that is required to extinguish these events is something that only public participation can provide...not as vigilantes, or Stazi-like neighborhood spys...but as responsible citizens with the discipline to act properly when presented with situations like a change in mood of a family member, or when asked to make a straw purchase on a gun, or when storing weapons in the home, or when a patient who seems risky drops out of treatment.

I'm all for keeping guns out of the hands of people made dangerous by mental illness and/or criminal motive.
I'm all for increasing awareness of signs of mental illness and the availability of mental health care.

I don't expect increased surveillance on the mentally ill or new mental health surveillance on gun-owners to much reduce the number of these events per year. They are, thankfully rare.




Limiting capacity of weapons seems like it could limit the number of bullets fired, the number of wounds created, and perhaps the number of dead in each of these incidents. It seems like the most common sense







































What system for detecting mentally ill that has the capacity to detect 0.00001%



Reducing the number of mass-shootings with such an



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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #39)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:55 PM

40. I agree it would not be the NRA suggestion or control, before money is spent

On placing armed guards I would rather see it applied to treatment of those with mental illness issued. I do have compassion for mental illness, treatment is very expensive and many shun those when we could help. It would be money well spent on mental illness but a waste on expanding the gun game. There have been police stations where someone has gone in and opened fire so again LaPierre doesn't have a clue to reality. Thank you for your input.

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Response to mykpart (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:19 PM

42. Considering that over 400 Americans have died from gun violence since Sandy Hook

 

it is possible something is very, very wrong with this society, albeit mental illness is not it.

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