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Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:09 PM

Anybody think screening more carefully for crazies will reduce the incidence of mass killings?

The problem with this whole approach is that the base rate of bizarre behavior is much, MUCH higher than the base rate of mass/serial homicide.

Suppose there are 100 mass killings a year in the US, and about 5 in 100 people exhibit worrisome symptoms.

Further suppose that, eliminating women and young children as potential killers, you end up with a total pool of 150 million potential killers (males in the right age groups).

If 5% of those 150 million people are screened in for further attention based on their worrisome symptoms, you have a pool of 6 million potential killers, of whom 100 will actually commit hienous crimes. What are you going to do--treat/confine 6 million in order to stop 100? And that's assuming that your net doesn't let any slip through. It would be remarkable if your net were good enough to identify half of the potential killers (the others not having shown sufficient overt signs to warrant inclusion). So now you are confining or otherwise majorly interfering with 6 million people in order to stop 50 of them. In order to stop one mass murder, you will need to somehow intervene on 120,000 non-killers who "look dangerous" but in fact aren't.

And all of this is a best-case scenario.

About 3% of the population is psychotic (schizophrenic, severely bipolar, etc.), and would surely be among the ones netted up. Yet the incidence of homicide among schizophrenics is about the same as in the general population. You will have spent a whole helluva lot of money & resources rounding up a very large number of people who are at no greater risk of doing horrific things than is the general population.

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Reply Anybody think screening more carefully for crazies will reduce the incidence of mass killings? (Original post)
Jackpine Radical Feb 2013 OP
quinnox Feb 2013 #1
hack89 Feb 2013 #9
quinnox Feb 2013 #10
hack89 Feb 2013 #12
quinnox Feb 2013 #15
hack89 Feb 2013 #20
Katashi_itto Feb 2013 #33
hack89 Feb 2013 #35
Katashi_itto Feb 2013 #36
hack89 Feb 2013 #38
Katashi_itto Feb 2013 #41
hack89 Feb 2013 #44
beevul Feb 2013 #59
Sunlei Feb 2013 #51
one_voice Feb 2013 #11
Archae Feb 2013 #14
one_voice Feb 2013 #18
quinnox Feb 2013 #16
one_voice Feb 2013 #19
1-Old-Man Feb 2013 #26
grasswire Feb 2013 #32
Progressive dog Feb 2013 #37
Archae Feb 2013 #2
stevenleser Feb 2013 #3
onehandle Feb 2013 #4
hack89 Feb 2013 #7
one_voice Feb 2013 #17
Matariki Feb 2013 #5
Jackpine Radical Feb 2013 #6
Matariki Feb 2013 #21
Jackpine Radical Feb 2013 #31
Matariki Feb 2013 #58
Frustratedlady Feb 2013 #8
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #13
Sunlei Feb 2013 #22
Duckhunter935 Feb 2013 #23
hack89 Feb 2013 #24
Sunlei Feb 2013 #27
hack89 Feb 2013 #29
Sunlei Feb 2013 #39
hack89 Feb 2013 #40
Sunlei Feb 2013 #43
hack89 Feb 2013 #45
Sunlei Feb 2013 #47
hack89 Feb 2013 #48
Politicalboi Feb 2013 #25
Hoyt Feb 2013 #28
Recursion Feb 2013 #50
reformist2 Feb 2013 #30
Jackpine Radical Feb 2013 #34
upaloopa Feb 2013 #42
Jackpine Radical Feb 2013 #56
DirkGently Feb 2013 #46
SoCalDem Feb 2013 #49
stillcool Feb 2013 #52
bhikkhu Feb 2013 #53
Jackpine Radical Feb 2013 #57
sibelian Feb 2013 #54
JVS Feb 2013 #55

Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:13 PM

1. nope, going after the guns is the best way

 

Too many of these disturbed individuals fly under the radar. I'm an old fashioned "gun-grabber", and I'm not afraid to say it. Let's get most of these ridiculous weapons off the streets.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:25 PM

9. What weapons would you leave on the streets?

handguns ok?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:28 PM

10. sure, but ammo would be regulated

 

and every gun would require both a license and insurance to own. It would be quite a bit more expensive to own a gun than it is now, and quite a bit more of a hassle and going through lots of paperwork to get approval as well.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:31 PM

12. How do you regulate ammo to reduce crime?

license would be ok if it is treated like a drivers license (same cost). Insurance would be dirt cheap if you can actually get insurance companies to sell the policies.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #12)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:34 PM

15. you could only buy ammo that would fit your licensed guns for instance

 

and ammo that is special like armor piercing or the ones that are more powerful than regular ammo, well, normal folks couldn't buy that in my scenario, unless they had a very good reason such as being part of law enforcement.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #15)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:41 PM

20. Criminals don't own registered guns so it will not have an impact on crime

Last edited Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:41 PM - Edit history (1)

armor piercing rounds are illegal for private use already. "More powerful then regular ammo" is a meaningless term - ammo is ammo and if you want more power you just use a bigger bullet. Besides - it is the "regular" ammo that is doing all the killing now.

And none of your ideas would have prevented Sandy Hook or Va Tech.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #20)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:29 PM

33. Boldfaced lie. "Criminals don't own registered guns"

VA TECH Shooter. The one you use as an example:

During February and March 2007, Cho began purchasing the weapons that he later used during the killings. On February 9, 2007, Cho purchased his first handgun, a .22 caliber Walther P22 semi-automatic pistol, from TGSCOM Inc., a federally licensed firearms dealer based in Green Bay, Wisconsin and the operator of the website through which Cho ordered the gun. TGSCOM Inc. shipped the Walther P22 to JND Pawnbrokers in Blacksburg, Virginia, where Cho completed the legally required background check for the purchase transaction and took possession of the handgun. Cho bought a second handgun, a 9mm Glock 19 semiautomatic pistol, on March 13, 2007 from Roanoke Firearms, a licensed gun dealer located in Roanoke, Virginia.

He had severe mental health issues that had we better had processes may have stopped him from getting weapons.
During the investigation, the matter of Cho's court-ordered mental health treatment was also examined to determine its outcome. Virginia investigators learned after a review of Cho's medical records that he never complied with the order for the mandated mental health treatment as an outpatient

The investigators also found that neither the court nor New River Valley Community Services Board exercised oversight of his case to determine his compliance with the order. In response to questions about Cho's case, New River Valley Community Services Board maintained that its facility was never named in the court order as the provider for his mental health treatment, and its responsibility ended once he was discharged from its care after the court order.

In addition, Christopher Flynn, director of the Cook Counseling Center at Virginia Tech, mentioned that the court did not notify his office to report that Cho was required to seek outpatient mental health treatment. Flynn added that, "When a court gives a mandatory order that someone get outpatient treatment, that order is to the individual, not an agency ... The one responsible for ensuring that the mentally ill person receives help in these sort of cases ... is the mentally ill person.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seung-Hui_Cho

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Response to Katashi_itto (Reply #33)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:45 PM

35. Lets distinguish between criminal illegal gun owners and nut case mass shooters.

all those gang bangers jacking up Chicago's murder rate will never register their guns. Few of them can legally own guns - either because they are too young or because of their criminal records.

People like Cho show why registering guns does not stop mass killers.

In either case, restrictions on ammo would have no impact on either group.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #35)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:47 PM

36. Your sidestepping. This thread was about mental health screenings.

Suffice it to say you'll grab at anything to promote your argument.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Reply #36)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:51 PM

38. This side conversation is about regulating ammunition

looks like you will ignore anything to promote your argument.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #38)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:54 PM

41. Hmmm Gee look: Anybody think screening more carefully for crazies will reduce the incidence of mass

mass killings?" You post false information. I responded. And you want to pursue a tangent.

Whatever Bub.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Reply #41)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 04:09 PM

44. So you support a national mental health database?

because how else do you keep crazies from buying guns and ammo?

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Response to Katashi_itto (Reply #33)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 09:09 PM

59. Where does it say his gun was registered there?

AFAIK, the state of VA does not have "gun registration".

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Response to quinnox (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 04:28 PM

51. probably add guns to home or car insurance policies . I wouldn't mind that.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:31 PM

11. What is an old fashioned 'gun grabber'?

I honestly don't know.

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Response to one_voice (Reply #11)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:32 PM

14. A fictional creation of the NRA...

Like the "Welfare Queen" or "Friends of Hamas," fictional creations for the purposes of scaring the gullible.

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Response to Archae (Reply #14)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:38 PM

18. Gotcha!

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Response to one_voice (Reply #11)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:35 PM

16. a big and bad liberal who is strong on gun control

 

Kind of like the gun nuts worst nightmare.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #16)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:39 PM

19. I see...so someone that's for ...

good solid regulation?

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Response to quinnox (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:04 PM

26. The only way I can agree with that is if all police are disarmed at the same rate

After all if the people have been disarmed there should be no reason for the police to continue to be armed either. And that means no more tanks for local police forces, no more of the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense arming them either, in any way what so ever. I say that because I fear the police much more than I fear my neighbors.

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Response to 1-Old-Man (Reply #26)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:29 PM

32. ^^

the hoodwinking of the taxpayers by the industries that have weaponized public safety is as rapacious as the War On Some Drugs has been.

Disarmament. Is anyone talking about that?

Those who are stockpiling weapons right now are doing so because they want to be as well-armed as any tyrannical government.

So how about a move for mutual disarming.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:48 PM

37. The only way is to go after the guns

If by "gun-grabber", you mean gun regulation that includes the banning of some guns, I am one too.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:16 PM

2. Reduce the number the shootings, but not eliminate them.

I'm afraid we will have mass shootings, no matter what laws are on the books, until the last human dies off.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:16 PM

3. Newtown shooters guns werent owned by a 'crazy' but a 'crazy' lived in the house. How are we going

to not only screen out the 'crazies' but screen to make sure no 'crazies' live in the same domicile as someone else applying for a gun permit.

That is an impossible situation to try and deal with.

If the only kinds of guns available were single shot rifles, for instance, none of the children would have died. The shooter would not have been able to enter the school. Entering required taking out several adults.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:18 PM

4. Ban the tools of the trade. Nobody needs a 33 round clip...

...except guys like this.

And if anyone says they need assault clips, then they are suspect.







And of course the poster boy of gun rights...



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Response to onehandle (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:24 PM

7. I notice you left Cho off your list. Smart move

wouldn't want to undermine you own argument.

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Response to onehandle (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:35 PM

17. I agree with this...

Nobody needs a 33 round clip...
And if anyone says they need assault clips, then they are suspect.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:19 PM

5. What do you mean by 'screening'?

Forcing every citizen to get regular psychiatric tests?

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Response to Matariki (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:22 PM

6. That's an interesting question.

So far, the proposals offered seem to revolve around teachers, cops & other authorities turning in people who scare them. I could see that expanding to the point where anybody can turn in anybody else for being "odd."

BTW, what's a "psychiatric test?"

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:41 PM

21. A "psychiatric test" was just the word I used for your imagined screening.

Which, if thought through, is obviously very problematic. You can surely see how 'turning people in' for being 'odd' or 'scary' would turn our society into something not particularly fun to live in?

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Response to Matariki (Reply #21)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:29 PM

31. Are you of the opinion that I'm supporting the idea of all this screening?

I was attempting to point out, from a risk analysis perspective, that it would be impossible to do effectively, and would result in huge intrusions on people's lives for no good reason. I'm sorry if that didn't come across.

As for "psychiatric tests," psychiatrists are not trained in psychometric procedures, and know neither how to create nor how to interpret psychometric instruments. That is actually a specialized area of psychology, although some psychiatrists who don't know a standard deviation from a standard error sometimes presume to dabble in testing. Forgive me for indulging in a pet peeve here.

Conventional personality tests (e.g. MMPI, PAI, NEO-PI) are not useful for predicting risk. Certain specialized actuarial instruments do predict violence at an above-chance rate, but with the base rate of multiple-murderers being as low as it (fortunately!) is, even these devices would return so many false-positives that they would be essentially useless.

I'm all for increasing mental health spending, for de-stigmatizing receiving mental health services, for screening school kids to identify potential problems and treating them for those problems, etc., but I do not for a moment imagine that our legislators would put sufficient resources into these efforts to make a perceptible difference in our murderous culture.

An interesting tidbit on the side--About 1/4 of the general public seeks counseling at some point in their lives. About 3/4 of therapists do. I guess there are 2 ways of taking this--either the therapists themselves believe in the benefits of therapy, or maybe therapists are just generally crazier than the population as a whole.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #31)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:51 PM

58. Sorry, yes. I misunderstood your post.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:25 PM

8. It wouldn't cover those who are already well-stocked

and have their plans in the works.

Although background checks are necessary, those with problems know of ways to get by the rules. I think it is more in the line of appearing to be doing something to correct the problem than actually being effective.

Stopping these insane "rumors" or "planted ideas" to incite gun owners that the government is going to invade and take away your guns would stop/slow down a lot of the gun/ammunition sales. Those who are stockpiling seem to be of the mentality that the big, bad government men are in that car down the street, recording your every move and preparing to break down your door! Their solution? Sneak out and buy more and more and more weapons.

That is where the insanity is. The likes of the clowns on radio/TV, for instance: Beck, Hannity, Rush, Coulter and many others I have never had the misfortune to run across are the dangers, as they are so good at inciting without getting blood on their hands. Freedom of speech is one thing, but I thought inciting was against the law?

We're getting deeper and deeper into that nasty web and, until attitudes change, what can really help?

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:32 PM

13. Not to mention the privacy issues

Requiring treatment providers to report their patients based on diagnosis alone? Yeah, that'll be popular in the professional mental health community, lol.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:48 PM

22. no screening will help. Bring back the expired assualt weapon ban as a less expensive better start.


Americas federal and state funds can afford such a mass screening program of every American turned into 'police' by whoever? when state politicans say we can't even afford to feed our school kids a free lunch.

What will the police do with a schizophrenic or psychotic person? taz them into submission?

Police aren't a hospital and should not be treated like a schools dumping ground for students either.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #22)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:54 PM

23. And

then the Sandy hook shooters gun would be legal since it was not an Assault weapon as defined by law. The larger magazines were also legal as they were grandfathered.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #22)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:58 PM

24. Handguns are the killers

and let's not forget the weapons used at Sandy Hook would be been legal under the old AWB. CT has a stronger AWB and that rifle was still legal.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #24)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:16 PM

27. so add to the old expired law everything above handgun/shotgun.

no need to take away anyones 'banned from future sales weapons'..make them pay insurance to cover any future costs caused by them or their weapons. require the insurance companies inspect gun safes and home security systems to protect from stealing. Oh and make straw selling a major felony.

who's running this country? the NRA gunsellers or we the people?

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #27)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:25 PM

29. We the people

your mistake is assuming that "we the people" thinks like you do.

Look around the country - there is no strong support for an AWB. Dems in Congress have no plans to introduce one. AWBs were killed in Oregon and Minnesota - both blue states. Even Joe Biden has stated that there will be no AWB.

I am constantly amused by how out of touch many gun control advocates are with American social and political reality.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #29)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:51 PM

39. I don't find it amusing at all that more Americans die from guns than all the wars combined!

I don't care if there is no ban, fine tax the hell out of any owners, make them carry mega-insurance, make them register each gun with their local police. Make it a felony with life in prison for straw sellers. A felony to not report a stolen gun. A felony to not have a locked gun safe in every house not occupied by only the gun owner.

Give Mexico what they demand, the names, seller/buyer on every gun they track to an American buyer and send the people to Mexico for Mexican court.

I have a Texas carry permit but no need for assault weapons.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #39)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:54 PM

40. Facing reality is a perquisite for life

I can understand your frustration but none of what you want is remotely possible.

And what you need is irrelevant to what I want.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #40)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 04:08 PM

43. if congress and bush can whip in those anti-terror laws in 10 days, I bet they can do something fast

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #43)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 04:10 PM

45. There was political and popular support for those laws

not so much for drastic gun control.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #45)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 04:17 PM

47. we'll have to see what Biden suggests when he's done. Biden helped craft the expired law.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #47)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 04:20 PM

48. We pretty much know what he will propose

he has already backed away from an AWB - limits on magazine size is as radical as they will go. The rest will be a bunch of executive orders that the President can order without Congress - but none of them will do things like ban assault weapons, register guns, require licenses or insurance or any of the other things gun control advocates want.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:00 PM

25. Maybe with new guns

They can make ID's of each bullet. ONLY those bullets fit the guns. If for home protection, you are ISSUED only the amount of bullets to fill your gun. Each year, register your gun and bullets. If you used a bullet, it will be recorded. You MUST have the SAME bullets that were given to you in order to get new ones if needed.

If you go to a firing range, they supply ALL the bullets, but your gun better be empty when you get there.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:24 PM

28. Simple -- if someone wants an "assault" style rifle or pistol, they are too "crazy" to own one.


Apologies to gun cultists, but I really think it is that simple.

I suppose you could hook electrodes to someone drooling over these weapons to measure how excited they get at seeing/touching a weapons designed to kill people, but why go to the trouble.

To head off inane responses, I realize it's a Catch 22.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #28)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 04:26 PM

50. Obviously not

It would be much easier if that fantasy were true, but it's not.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:28 PM

30. I don't know about screening, but we need to expand mental hospitals and commit more patients.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #30)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:35 PM

34. I don't disagree, but neither do I see this as a solution to the problem of violence

in our society as a whole.

What standards would you suggest for involuntary commitment?

Most states currently have some variant on a rule that states the person to be committed 1) pose an imminent danger to themself or others, AND 2) be reasonably likely to be treatable.

The first commitment typically runs for 6 months, at which time a re-evaluation is done, and subsequent commitments are for 1 year at a time.

Those who meet only Criterion 1) and are not likely to respond to treatment (e.g. due to brain damage, developmental disabilities, etc.) are generally handled under a different set of laws, in which they are protectively placed to their county mental health agency and assigned a guardian to look after their interests.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:58 PM

42. This kind of a waste isn't it. You post something

you get from some gun promoting site which you know damn well many here will disagree with. You post talking points and others respond with original thoughts and you belittle them.
Isn't it time you gunners get some new ideas.
Also the term is mental illness not crazies.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #42)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 07:30 PM

56. I have been misunderstood before, but seldom so thoroughly.

This post was actually prompted as a response to proposed legislation that would require teachers & others to report "odd" people.

My purpose was to show how impractical, useless--indeed, impossible--it would be to actually try to implement the kind of plans the NRA is suggesting.

I don't hang out on gun-promoting sites and have no problem with reasonable gun control legislation.

And I was in essence putting the word "crazies" in the mouths of the gun nuts. (I presume you have no objection to that term.)

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 04:16 PM

46. Too bad we can't screen for gun fetish-ism instead.


The mass shooters are just picking up the vibe the "guns make you omnipotent" NRA culture lays down. "Don't need no stinkin' po-lice. Don't need no gov'ment. Going to the compound with some MREs and a stack of sexy black rifles, me."

If we can cure the culture of "freedom through firepower," we'll be in a better place. We'll never cure all mental illness, nor regulate the NRA brand of "crazy" out of existence. We need a better national attitude toward self-sufficiency, crime prevention, and community.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 04:22 PM

49. Nope..

People often mask their intentions, and only after they have "done their evil deed", are others mindful of the warning signs. Foamy members do not want there to be anything wrong, so they can easily rationalize odd behavior, and most of these people are described as loners, so they keep their plans to themselves.

For the ones who are often marginally employed, mental health care is sketchy at best, and for poor people it's unaffordable.

Job applications often have sections that ask if you have ever sought mental health care, and job offers come with drug testing that might discover drugs given by a shrink. There are many ways to disqualify an applicant without being obvious.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 04:30 PM

52. I'd like to know.

what percentage of gun owners have been diagnosed. Would be great if you had to see a shrink before getting a weapon.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 04:33 PM

53. Screening as in mental health history checked before gun purchases approved? Of course!

Is there some other kind of invasive screening you're worried about? The only push I'm aware of lately is that mentally ill people in many states have had their records locked up and unavailable to those doing the background checks for gun purchases. Which is stupid.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #53)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 07:31 PM

57. That's a very different matter from the broad-gauge "reporting"

that is being proposed.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 04:50 PM

54. The whole premise is screwy anyway. Why do people have to be "insane" to kill?


I think it's a total misunderstanding of mass homicide. I don't see what mental illness has to do with it at all.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 05:48 PM

55. There is no quick fix. A better mental health system is necessary, but it can't be accomplished...

by informing on people. Instead you need to make mental health care confidential, available, and not stigmatized. By doing that you create an environment in which such events are less likely. But that takes time, money, effort and does not confront the issue directly. There's no way in hell that our policy makers will go for it.

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