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Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:39 AM

No matter which side of the gun debate, can you understand why this is degrading to MI patients?

Current gun permit laws require a background check of potential buyers under some circumstances. As a rule, these checks are designed to screen out people adjudicated "mental defectives" and those involuntarily committed. Please note that both of these actions against a person with mental illness require due process through a probate court of jurisdiction, and are done through official court orders upon a finding of legal incapacity or an order of commitment. These are relatively rare procedures. Also, please note, this is VERY different from just being diagnosed with a mental illness or mental health issue by a physician or psychologist.

Some states have tighter restrictions on issuance of gun permits, but many just mirror the Federal Firearms Act of 1968 and the Brady Acts, which adhere to the standards of incompetency or involuntary commitment under court order as the standard to deny a gun permit to a "prohibited person". Also, please note these laws already put the names of persons afflicted with mental illness AND under court order in the same database as convicted felons. I personally find this in and of itself degrading and demeaning, even if it hasn't happened to me. It suggests to me that, should my bipolar/PTSD condition worsen, I could end up there lumped with pedophiles and rapists, and I have never been so much as significantly disrespectful to a woman or child, I consider myself to be "quietly a gentleman", to borrow a snippet of lyrics from a favorite song if mine by the band OAR.

I personally find the term mental defective extremely derogatory as well, but that was the terminology in use in 1968. They could at least update it to the more contemporary "legally incapacitated individual".

I strongly suspect in the current witch hunt atmosphere that seems to exist post-Newtown that very ugly things targeting the mentally ill are coming down the pipe from DC and many state capitols.

I don't support ownership in general except in limited circumstances, such as for hunting or recreational or competitive target sports. Hunting doesn't bother me, in fact it can be good, my neighborhood is overrun with deer, in fact a herd of about a dozen crossed the road ahead of me about five am this morning. No hunting here because of the suburban nature.

But, I do feel that as long as the 2nd is the law of the land, it, like all laws, should be applicable to everyone across the board who has not had their rights restricted under court adjudication.

It seems grossly unfair to take a right away based on class membership - if the same proposal were made to restrict African American males between 18 and 35 , a class population arguably statistically more likely to be involved in gun crimes either as perpetrators or victims than are people with mental health issues, it would never fly. The outrage would be tremendous, rightfully so.

But i feel those of us with a mental ilness/mental health diagnosis will be thrown under the bus, we will be pre-judged without due process, we will be lumped together in databases with sex offenders, common felons and drug dealers, and those databases will be open or at least vulnerable to improper access without adequate safeguards, IMHO. That leads to the potential for abusive discrimination in many areas, jobs, housing, access to benefits. I for one do NOT want to end up under a bus, to quote the character of Mysterion aka Kenny from my favorite episode of South Park (yes, I am 47 and still watch cartoons), "It fucking hurts".

And then, there is the question of how this information will be gathered. Will we be required to register with local, state, or federal law enforcement like sex offenders? Or worse, so will our medical records, health insurance records, and pharmacy records be required to be turned over, in violation of our cuurent privacy and HIPPA rights, and in violation of the trust we place in our our healthcare providers? Will we be required to go to the post office or appear before a local board to register, as I had to do in 1983 with Selective Service?

So, I ask this one question - do you understand why these proposals hurt like Hell and terrify me to the core of my soul? Because I for one do not want to be a second class citizen or worse just because I have a treatable chronic medical condition which I contracted through no fault of my own.

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Reply No matter which side of the gun debate, can you understand why this is degrading to MI patients? (Original post)
Denninmi Jan 2013 OP
Scuba Jan 2013 #1
spanone Jan 2013 #14
2naSalit Jan 2013 #17
Agnosticsherbet Jan 2013 #2
Denninmi Jan 2013 #4
Agnosticsherbet Jan 2013 #7
Denninmi Jan 2013 #11
Agnosticsherbet Jan 2013 #15
obamanut2012 Jan 2013 #6
Agnosticsherbet Jan 2013 #12
Denninmi Jan 2013 #19
Agnosticsherbet Jan 2013 #21
Denninmi Jan 2013 #22
Eleanors38 Jan 2013 #3
slackmaster Jan 2013 #5
ecstatic Jan 2013 #8
Denninmi Jan 2013 #23
ecstatic Jan 2013 #31
jody Jan 2013 #9
Brickbat Jan 2013 #10
FedUpWithIt All Jan 2013 #28
Hoyt Jan 2013 #13
rrneck Jan 2013 #16
jody Jan 2013 #24
sarisataka Jan 2013 #18
DogPawsBiscuitsNGrav Jan 2013 #20
Denninmi Jan 2013 #26
regjoe Jan 2013 #25
Denninmi Jan 2013 #29
FedUpWithIt All Jan 2013 #27
Denninmi Jan 2013 #30
Fire Walk With Me Jan 2013 #32

Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:45 AM

1. The mentally ill are being used as a scapegoat by the gun industry.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:31 PM

14. exactly....

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Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:40 PM

17. And another point

to be made is that some gun crimes are committed by people on drugs, like meth or alcohol for instance. I'm not in favor of mandatory drug tests but this is a consideration not included in the conversation yet. Not all drug users are crazy or want/have guns but more of those do than folks with mental illness I would guess. Guns in the drug network make a lot of money for the industry so they certainly aren't going to make that a component in their list of faux facts.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:48 AM

2. Keeping public lists of Sex Offenders is no doubt degrading to those who have served their time...

and paid their debt to society. Many of them do not go back to former habits.

But as a matter of public safety, it seems a fair trade off.

There is no perfect system.

I'm 60 and still watch cartoons. I don't think that is in the DSM IV, yet.

What surprises me is that no one is really suggesting that mental health be nationalized. Provide free, mental health checkups and care to all Americans as part of a comprehensive health system along with sensible and reasonable gun control laws.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:56 AM

4. So, this is fine with you?

And the stigmatization that goes with it?

All in the name of "public safety"?

When have I been a threat to "public safety" or, to use the more precise legal terminology, "danger to self or others"?

??????

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:06 PM

7. It is fine to me that we look at this as part of an answer to the problem of gun violence.

Controls on guns need to be center stage, but we also need to look at Public mental health in America. Nobody normal walks into a school full of children, goes to a movie, or attends a Congressman's speech with the intent of blowing everybody away. These people ha mental health issues and should not have access to guns.

Along with having more guns per person than any other country in the world, we also have a mental health crises. If most of these perps had comprehensive mental health care, the body count would have been lower.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:20 PM

11. Well, thank you for an honest opinion.

Our mental health system is a public disgrace, as is our total public health system, as is our private health system.

And I'm sure you're right, proper care if individuals with MI/MH issues would probably help a lot, as would better gun laws AND better useage and enforcement of the current laws.

But all tangential to my basic question - I am not " these people" so why should I be punished for their crimes?

How would you like being in my position?

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:32 PM

15. Your welcome... but the issue isn't to punish you or anyone else with MH or MI issues

Which includes me.

The issue at hand is what can be done to deal with mass murder in theaters, schools, museums, Congressional speeches, and other places. The NRA are saying we have a mental health problem. Since guns can not have mental issues, their guns are sacred. That is bullshit by batshit crazy NRA'rs. We have a big gun problem. Part of the answer to that problem, however, is addressing mental health issues. If we don't look at all aspects of the problem we won't solve it.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:58 AM

6. You are comparing law-abiding mentally ill with convicted sex offenders?!

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:23 PM

12. No, I am saying that we have a mental crises as well as a gun crises. We need to do something

The answer to the mental health crises, in my opinion, is to have comprehensive national mental health care, and require those under care to surrender their guns if they are deemed a threat to themselves or others.

A man walks into a Psychiatrists office and say, "Doc, I'm feeling suicidal," or "Doc, I am mad as hell and I'm going to kill someone," doctors are required to contact authorities. But these same people can have all the guns in the world. Every gun is sacred.

We don't have to put everyone who has ever taken an anti-depressant or seen a psychologist, or even been in a mental care facility on a watch list.

We do need to make sure that there is mental health care available, and that a competent authority that believes patients who are risks to themselves or anyone else, can take their guns as a matter of public safety.

And, within our legal system, a convicted sex offender has paid his or her debt, but some lists are legal. As I recall, the Supreme Court decided that lists of sex offenders are a legal and Constitutional for public safety. They have also struck down laws that went too far in limiting the rights of sex offenders who served their debt.

As adults, we need to think about what can and can not be done to protect those who need it. So, along with passing sensible gun control laws, we need to look at mental health.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 01:16 PM

19. I've got no problem with the standard of "danger to self and others".

It's the current standard, if it were used in gun permit screening more, via state cooperation, I say great.

And fine, "take their guns" if so adjudicated.

But, I have never been in probate court in the role of proposed LII. Been there hundreds of times for my job.

Is it fair to sex offenders? To many, maybe not. But one rational basis for these decisions are recidivism rates, which statistically are very high. I guess there is no direct comparison between this group and people who have chronic long term conditions, but I know relapse us possible, but with good medical management it should be controllable.

I still stick to my position, I have done nothing wrong, I've never hurt or threatened to hurt anyone. Therefore, I fall into your wider category of people who don't deserve to be on any list. So, in any proposed legislation, I would like the issue of protecting the civil rights of people such as myself very carefully considered and given the highest priority.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #19)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 01:52 PM

21. Danger to self and others already legally requires heath professionals to act.

Now, those people are just hospitalized. Their guns are sacred.

I don't advocate all people with a history of mental health to be on a list. My stand is that the mental health issues aspect of the crises must be dealt with. If there are issues that make some types of mental health a greater risk, then perhaps they should be on a list, if not publicly than at least available to those who handle gun registration. I, too, feel that a public list of people with Mental Health issues is way to open for abuse.

It is really easy to leave that stuff on a gun registration, which itself must be required for all gun sales, especially between private individuals who "resell" their weapons.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #21)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 01:57 PM

22. Fine.

I've got no problem whatsoever with anything you said in this response.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:51 AM

3. Thankyou for a fine post. Both 2A & 5A are prime targets in this debate.

Given psychology is used more as a weapon of stigmata than than as a therapy to help others in these discussions, there is a real danger of abuse. Perhaps this is the intent.

BTW, you may be subject to the scarlet letter "NRA talking point."

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 11:57 AM

5. People who have not been adjudicated as incompetent, or committed involuntarily, have the full...

 

...spectrum of civil rights.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:07 PM

8. Whoa.

Your class membership argument fails on multiple levels. I'm not going to bother explaining why but hopefully you can figure it out.

I do not want people who are schizophrenic, psychopaths, sociopaths, or even bipolar handling a gun. I'm sorry if that offends certain people but public safety comes first. I'm sure there are ways to improve record keeping so that the process is fair to everyone involved.

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 01:59 PM

23. I don't see how it fails on any level.

Too delusional to get it, or am I just too stupid?

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #23)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 03:26 PM

31. You mixed apples and oranges

Assessing someone's mental stability with respect to responsible gun ownership is important, regardless of the person's race.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:09 PM

9. Excellent OP but it raises an interesting question, if mental health experts can't predict WHO will

 

commit mass-murder, how can those who believe firearms create crime predict WHAT will commit mass-murder?

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:11 PM

10. The problem with "mental health" proposals is that we have such a poor understanding of mental

health and treatment. We lump autism, mental retardation, schizophrenia, depression, dementia, bipolar, ADD and everything else under "mental health" -- which, obviously, makes sense. But all of those problems get conflated with each other in a way that heart disease, kidney failure, leukemia, the flu and Crohn's disease do not. Our culture needs to learn how to talk about mental health if we want to go down this road.

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Response to Brickbat (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:30 PM

28. ++++++++++

Exactly right.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:28 PM

13. Avoid all that. Restrict guns severely, without regard to whether mental illness is an issue.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:38 PM

16. As I understand it

you have to be adjudicated mentally incompetent. Court proceedings are public record for obvious reasons. HIPPA laws are designed to protect your privacy.

As far as social stigma and lumping people who have done nothing wrong in with people who have committed moral failures goes I don't know what to tell you. People who have been adjudicated mentally incompetent probably can't do a lot of things like have a security clearance, fly a commercial airliner or anything that puts them in in a position where they can harm others. The difference with guns is that they can be used for self defense so their practical and symbolic utility holds true for anybody. I guess the injustice is that society is quick to tell people they are not competent to defend themselves, but slow to help them do so.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:03 PM

24. Excellent point, "society is quick to tell people they are not competent to defend themselves, but

 

slow to help them do so."

And SCOTUS says government is not obligated to protect an individual unless she/he is in custody.

If a person has been adjudicated mentally incompetent and not authorized RKBA but not in government custody, would not government then have an obligation to protect that person?

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 12:54 PM

18. People naturally seek a simple solution

to a complex problem. Labeling all people with a mental medical condition and stigmatizing them is as useless and unfair as doing so to gun owners.

We are starting to get beyond our bigotry based on skin color- we have a VERY long way to go- but we are still willing to be bigots to other groups when it gives a simple answer to a problem.

While some demographics are statistically higher to cause or be victims of violence, ostracizing any will not solve the issue, just move it. It is going to take a society-wise positive change to end violence of all sorts.

Many are asking how many mass murders are enough. We should also ask how many individual murders, assaults, rapes, hate crimes, child abuses... are enough. Our society as a whole needs to drop the 'tudes and become more civilized.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 01:38 PM

20. I can't have a gun in my home by choice because my daughter is

 

bipolar, but I live in a state where open carry is legal and popular. I don't feel any less safe because my neighbors have guns. I have no problem with the constitution or the people's right to have guns to protect themselves from what ever they feel they might need to.

In my state there's a meth problem and people on meth do some very violent things, The police can't get there until 10 to 20 minutes after these folks have done something violent so I guess in some way, I might feel safer knowing my neighbor is armed if he were to hear one of my girls or myself scream.

It's a sad thing all the way around. A couple of whack jobs go on a killing spree and all gun owners are targeted and judged as possible whack jobs, when we all know 99 percent of them will never even fire their guns unless forced to in fear for their life.

Also sad, is the fact that whack jobs did infarct commit these crimes, and only a real whack job would commit a crime like this, so if gun owners are going to be targeted with tougher legislation, then the whack jobs should be weeded out also at the same time. There are ways to do this in a way to protect their privacy. But true most people who are mentally ill aren't nut jobs and would never consider shooting anyone and they too will feel targeted.

I don't have all the answers. it's a sad situation all the way around that a few nut jobs can have such an effect on so many lives. Maybe as a community we could have stopped this before it got out of hand. The Sandy Hook shooter was rumored to have had no internet presence and no social life, rarely seen for three years by anyone. There's obviously something very wrong with this man. Where was the concern from his neighbors and family members to get him the help he needed, or at the very least not give him easy access to guns.

If he was getting good mental health care, then yes, there should be a way that his DR could have notified the authorities that he should not be allowed access to a weapon, that includes living with someone who does. You should not be allowed to purchase a gun if someone living in your home is a nut job, including yourself. That doesn't seem like a bad law to me. Not some one who suffers mental illness, I'm talking a nut job. The signs were there.

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Response to DogPawsBiscuitsNGrav (Reply #20)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:08 PM

26. As I told you before, I sympathize with the personal circumstances in your family.

It sounds hard to deal with at times.

Questions for you - how would you feel about your daughter having to register her name with law enforcement and/or have her name entered in a criminal database? How about if treating physicians, psychologists, and dispensing pharmacists were required to turn over her confidential medical records?

And, most important question, how would she feel about all of that?

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:06 PM

25. And yet, this is exactly how some people wish to treat gun owners.

 

"But i feel those of us with a mental ilness/mental health diagnosis will be thrown under the bus, we will be pre-judged without due process, we will be lumped together in databases with sex offenders, common felons and drug dealers, and those databases will be open or at least vulnerable to improper access without adequate safeguards, IMHO. That leads to the potential for abusive discrimination in many areas, jobs, housing, access to benefits."

"And then, there is the question of how this information will be gathered. Will we be required to register with local, state, or federal law enforcement like sex offenders? Or worse, so will our medical records, health insurance records, and pharmacy records be required to be turned over, in violation of our cuurent privacy and HIPPA rights, and in violation of the trust we place in our our healthcare providers?"

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Response to regjoe (Reply #25)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 03:08 PM

29. So, other than quoting me, do you have a position on this?

My position is that two wrongs don't make a right, so to speak.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:18 PM

27. I have Complex PTSD and i have also been diagnosed Bipolar

and i do not share your take on this. I come from a family with a vast array of mental illness ranging from non-specified paranoid delusions, paranoid schizophrenia, varied personality disorders and varied Bipolar diagnoses. Although i deeply love and support my family members and their individual psychological burdens i am very clear that, at times, several of these people have the potential to become very confused and occasionally very violent. It would be DANGEROUS for me, and for them, not to consider this potential.

Suggesting that SOME people are more prone to violence due to their mental illness IN NO WAY suggests that all people with mental illness are violent. It is offensive to me when some try and paint ALL categories of mental illness with a broad brush.

I have no idea what the details of your own diagnosis are (there are a great many variables in both PTSD and Bipolar disorders) but perhaps you're feeling offended because YOU would never become confused and cause harm. But your particular MI is not representative of ALL forms of MI and to assume it is in NOT helpful to those really battling against forms of MI that can cause aggression or confusion. These people need real help, with the actual conditions they are dealing with, and that help will only come once we are very honest about what they are actually dealing with.

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Response to FedUpWithIt All (Reply #27)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 03:18 PM

30. I can certainly respect both your position and situation.

But, I still ask the same question, would you like your family members registered in a criminal database without due process?

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 03:51 PM

32. Countries which ended up as fascist/police states followed the trend we are currently experiencing.

 

Neocons "Project for a new American century" even were so bold as to state the need for a "Pearl Harbor" like event through which to actualize their plans. However 9/11 came about, we've since seen the "patriot act" (oxymoron), TSA, DHS, HR347 anti-protesting law, NDAA signed two years in a row featuring indefinite detention of US citizens without trial or representation, the recent renewal of the FISA warrantless wiretapping bill, the sale of drones to US law enforcement agencies, items such as Los Angeles Special Order 11 which makes LAPD a tentacle of the DHS (see my related story here in GD or Occupy Underground, with links), with TSA said to be expanding operations onto buses and trains, with the FBI lying about having spied on Occupy, then ransacking activists' apartments for "literature", offering bomb-making materials and creating terrorists, with Federal agents watching Occupy at the recent Rose Parade (again, see my recent post in GD and OU with cop quotes regarding Occupy as a terrorist potential)...with representatives voting for things such as the NDAA because they received a quarter-million dollar lobby bribe from a night-vision equipment company (who of course later received a massive government contract), with Cheney, owing Halliburton stock, giving them no-bid contracts not only for personal profit but to expand privatization of services to the military, etc...with militarized police attacking peaceful protests, and Oakland mayor Quan letting slip on audio that 18 mayors conference-called to discuss how to deal with Occupy camps (Quan's dogs nearly killed two Veterans in the process; where is the outrage)...

These countries sometimes required an "Other" through which to focus upset and dislike, upon whom they could place the blame for their problems, but it was merely an obvious power grab. This "Other" needs to be depicted as less-than-human, as a threat to the greater whole, to justify less-than-human actions against them. They're different and scary! They're dangerous! We don't want them in our community! Make them go away! Of course, the NRA say exactly nothing about over 400 gun deaths since Sandy Hook, because those are obviously "normal". In the end, their plan worked, and the result was more guns, but in the hands of their workers, not the citizens. (Look at that ass Arpaio in AZ sending armed "posses" to patrol schools...are you so afraid that you'd let such an obvious jackass send armed "posses" (!?!?) around children? How can this possibly go wrong? When the "posses" begin giving orders.).

As both dual-diagnosis and an Occupier, I witness these Trends with Alarm.

It is not just that Veterans suffer "mental illness" through varied experiences; lump them into a demonized group to boot. Their suffering is not yet enough

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