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In YOUR OPINION, should the mentally challenged be allowed to own firearms?

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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:43 PM
Original message
Poll question: In YOUR OPINION, should the mentally challenged be allowed to own firearms?
This poll has nothing to do with the law of the land.

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. define 'mentally challenged' n/t
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Legally retarded.
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. legally retarded as having a court document involved?
I know a few gun owners I myself would call legally retarded, but I'm not a professional judge. And I know some folks who might be considered 'legally retarded' by some who I would trust MORE with a firearm than some of the gun owners I know. :shrug:
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Legally retarded as in a medical professional has formally declared the person mentally retarded.
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 11:17 PM by ZombieHorde
I don't know about court documents.

edit to add the word 'know'.
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #11
28. Anyone adjudicated mentally incompetent in the United States is ALREADY barred from gun ownership.
Edited on Tue Dec-09-08 10:44 AM by benEzra
Anyone adjudicated mentally incompetent in the United States is already barred from so much as touching a gun.

Your problem appears to be a misperception of the oft-abused word "retarded." It used to mean "developmentally delayed" (which is what "retarded" meant, from the verb "retard," to hold back, before people made it an insult). It is not a synonym for "mentally incompetent."

There is no such thing as a legal declaration of being "retarded." And if the revocation of civil rights were involved, it would need to be done via a court hearing, not merely the decree of a "medical professional."
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #28
34. is already barred from so much as touching a gun
My poll was about your opinion, not the law.
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #34
40. I believe that it is reasonable to bar those _adjudicated mentally incompetent_ from gun ownership.
Edited on Tue Dec-09-08 08:47 PM by benEzra
I do NOT believe it is reasonable to invoke that prohibition based merely on a medical diagnosis of mild to moderate cognitive delay, if said delay does not render the person mentally incompetent.

One can be severely challenged in mathematics, spatial reasoning, or reading and still have good judgement.
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #34
41. they have a hard time with that concept down here

If it's the law, it's good. Except when they don't like it. Otherwise, no questioning the law.

Question how someone with a felony criminal conviction can be precluded by law from possessing a firearm to defend him/herself -- after all, that's one of those inalienable natural god-given inherent constitutional rights -- and you get "it's the law".

The point -- that some blanket restrictions on the exercise of this particular right seem to be acceptable to them, placing the onus on them to engage in good faith discussion of other possible blanket restrictions, i.e. "RKBA!!!" is not a reply -- is just lost on them.

My favourite is "don't you know that possession machine guns is already severely restricted by some law passed 70-something years ago??" The only thing I would say to that is: So? How come it's okay to do that with machine guns but not with handguns? Hm?

Because it's the law!!! comes the answer ...



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Wickerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. Define legally "retarded"
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 11:02 PM by Wickerman
If you're going to make such a post its a good idea to get the nomenclature correct and know what the target population is actually defined as.


edit - hint, "retarded" ain't the correct terminology and is language that progressives, by definition, should avoid using.
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. When I worked in the mental health field, mentally retarded was written on
some of my clients official medical records. This was a few years ago (around 2002), in Portland, Oregon. I don't know about the rest of the country, but in Oregon, retarded is the word medical professionals use on official medical documents. I saw this diagnosis often.
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Wickerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. er, mentally retarded is antiquated term that some may still use
Retarded typically isn't. At any rate, it shouldn't, with your vast experience, be a problem then to offer a legal definition to the term as requested.
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. A developmental disability in which the person suffers from suppressed cognition.
I am not a 100% sure the above definition is completely accurate, but I believe it to be close.

I am not a medical professional, but you are right about me having vast experience in the field. After 10 years of experience, my wife and I fostered a child with severe autism and cognitive delay. I was asked by the state to take care of this teenager because of my experience with handling extremely violent people. He is an adult now, so we no longer live with him, but we did have him over for Thanksgiving.

I originally used the phrase, 'mentally challenged', but then used the word 'retarded' because I foolishly thought people would understand that word.
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Wickerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #18
26. and what level of developmental disability would you assign
before one should or shouldn't be allowed to possess a handgun?

One who has moderate mental retardation functions much differently than one who is diagnosed with mild mental retardation or severe or profound.

Good job on raising the child with autism. :thumbsup: Hope he is doing well - glad he is living independently. Is he in a group home environment?
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #26
35. what level of developmental disability
If a person does not the cognitive ability, as opposed the physical ability, to preform basic hygiene, such as brushing their teeth or taking a shower, then I think they probably should not own or use a firearm.
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sir pball Donating Member (425 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #26
43. Competence.
Or "fitness to plead". In the specific legal sense.

If a person of..."dubious" mental capacity is adjudicated to be capable of understanding criminal charges brought against them, and by extension the difference between "right" and "wrong", I have no problem with them owning a firearm (provided they also understand what said firearm DOES). I also have no problem with this being an affirmative situation, i.e. if there's any doubt, some sort of legal process (hearing or outright court decision) should be initiated to *allow* the purchase and absent that, NICS should return a No.
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #18
29. You are speaking of an extreme case as if he were the middle of the bell curve.
My 9-year-old son has mild cognitive delay, primarily expressed as a difficulty with mathematics and abstract geometry, due to 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. It would be bigoted in the extreme to say that because he has trouble with math and geometry, he should be denied the right to own a gun when he is of age, if he is otherwise responsible.



If he or anyone else someday becomes mentally incompetent, they can be adjudicated mentally incompetent by a court of law. But otherwise keep your civil rights restrictions off our family, please.

"Cognitive delay" does NOT equal "mentally incompetent."
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #29
36. Alber Einstien had extreme difficulties with math and college.
My only concern I would have with your son owning a firearm would be his age. I am not sure which age is best for firearm ownership, but 9 seems young to me.
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #36
42. I wasn't saying that 9-year-olds should be able to buy guns.
Edited on Tue Dec-09-08 09:01 PM by benEzra
But his delay is the way he's wired; he'll probably struggle with those areas all his life. And it would be extremely unjust to deny him the right to own a gun on that basis when he is 25 or 35 or whatever.

Adjudicated mentally incompetent, yes, I have no problem with denial on that basis. A diagnosis of cognitive delay or impaired performance on IQ tests, no way.
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. that word has been used to cover all sorts of things, hasn't it?
From schoolyard jibes to people who are defined as 'below average intelligence'. It's so confusing I don't think any legal ideas should be put forth with that label.

That's why I asked for a definition. Personally, I'd be aghast if a medical professional used it in medical documents today.
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Wickerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Persons with developmental disabilities
is the broad term. Mental retardation when defining level of disability which is what I think we were trying to get the OP to define. Retardation? Never.
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. Yes, mental retardation is more appropriate than retardation.
I didn't mean to offend anyone with my error. I have volunteered my time both consulting group homes and directly helping those with this DD. I, more than most, should not have made that mistake. I apologize.
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Wickerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #19
27. fair enough
Edited on Tue Dec-09-08 09:22 AM by Wickerman
I appreciate your dedication - we need more folks like you. It is amazing the way terminology has shifted over the years, but as we better understand and listen to persons with developmental disabilities we learn how better to define their disability. Persons with... is a much better descriptor than a label such as Retarded.

Not that it is an apt comparison in any manner, but after my chastising in this thread I would much prefer to be known as a person with assholish tendencies than as an asshole.

edit, I couldn't get the right smilie so I quit.
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Voice for Peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. define "to own firearms"
:dilemma:
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:46 PM
Response to Original message
3. It depends
!
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economicgeography Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:46 PM
Response to Original message
4. re:
Not at all. See Virginia Tech.
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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #4
33. There are many different forms.
That guy was not, by any usage I understand 'mentally retarded'. Incompetent, yes, and a few things besides, but not 'mentally retarded'.

I like Washington State's definition/policy. It's been recently beefed up, in light of the Virginia Tech shootings. http://www.atg.wa.gov/pressrelease.aspx?&id=18552
It's going to vary wildly from state to state. It seems there's a federal statute seems to be 'involuntarily committed for more than 14 days'.


I know some people who have had mental health issues, to the point they were perscribed therapy and medication to control fear, spiraling depression, etc. As far as I know, each of them has made a full recovery, so I like to see that we have a process where anyone who is ever 'sick' by the definition of a law, has a method to regain any rights that may have been lost.

(I take a somewhat more dim view of substance abuse/DUI, even though it is in many cases, an illness, but that's another discussion)
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DJ13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:46 PM
Response to Original message
5. I voted "no", but wouldnt that prevent Bush voters from owning guns?
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nc4bo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Took the words right out of my mouth. nm.
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TygrBright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
9. Dunno. I thought Bush had guns, but maybe it's only Cheney?
Anyway, better guns than nuclear launch codes.

ironically,
Bright
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OffWithTheirHeads Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
12. Hell, I'm mentally challenged!
I don't think a lefty, Atheist, Socialist could go through the last 8 years and not be at least a little crazy by now and no, you can't have my guns.
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. I don't want your guns.
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OffWithTheirHeads Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #14
20. Good cause yer not gettin em.
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OffWithTheirHeads Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 01:32 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Actually, if you knew what guns I have
you would want them.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #12
24. My ex-wife is left-handed too
She doesn't care for guns, but didn't mind me having them as long as they were locked up.
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Howzit Donating Member (918 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 04:25 AM
Response to Original message
22. What you really meant, was, should Republicans be allowed to own guns?
If a person is quick witted enough to wield a two ton deadly weapon on the road, then they can probably handle a gun; if they are properly trained and their attitude is right - with the wrong attitude and no training high IQ doesn't help. Smart people can be stubborn and may be more willfully dangerous than slow witted ones - it all depends on their intent.

Now if you meant, should a person who had previously been committed be allowed to own a gun, then that is what you should have asked. On that subject, who is to judge what constitutes a mental problem and how many of a person's freedoms may be taken away for the "public good": http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
23. Other - The question was poorly thought out and written badly
I think the federal laws excluding certain people from owning a firearm are correct as presently written. To that I would add anyone who doesn't want to have a gun.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec...
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gorfle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 09:08 AM
Response to Original message
25. I voted no, but.
I voted no, but there would have to be some fairly vigorous debate over what constitutes "mentally challenged" or "mentally retarded".

Firearm ownership is an awesome responsibility and requires good faculties in order to execute. You have to be able to understand firearm safety and responsibility.

That said, I don't want to get into some kind of "poll test" scenario where you have to pass some kind of test in order to exercise your Constitutional right. For example, we don't have mental or literacy tests to determine the extent of your right to free speech.

Nonetheless, firearms are deadly tools.

Interesting question.
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
30. If a person is mentally INCOMPETENT, they can be adjudicated mentally INCOMPETENT by a court of law
and Federal law already bars those adjudicated mentally incompetent from so much as touching a gun. I believe violating that 1968 law is a 10-year Federal felony.

As I mentioned upthread, having a mild to moderate cognitive delay is NOT synonymous with mental incompetence, and the two concepts should not be conflated.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
31. Please list the illnesses and syndromes you define as making one mentally challenged.
Autism? CVA? What IQ level, tested at what age? Dyslexia? Depression? Epilepsy?

David
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #31
37. People who have cognitive difficulties, as opposed to physical difficulties,
performing basic everyday tasks, such as making ramen noodles. If I did not trust someone with a pot of boiling water, for cognitive reasons, then I would not trust them with a firearm.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. I grew up with a young man who was considered moderately retarded, back then anyway.
I'd say he could cook ramen noodles, he works at a fast food restaurant. He can follow directions well and is pleasant to be around and has been a good friend over 25 years, he was an usher in my wedding. His ride didn't show up for work one day and he called a cab, told them where to go and paid for the cab. He can't drive well enough to get a license though. I wouldn't feel comfortable with him owning firearms, although he was around my families guns all the time and was told not to touch them and never did, which is more than I can say for a lot of people with higher IQ's. I also have a niece the is profoundly mentally disabled. I just wanted to understand what kind of disabilities you were talking about thanks for clearing it up.

David
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #37
44. My girlfriend in college couldn't boil a pot of water without burning it
But I would trust her with a firearm.
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #44
48. I wouldn't trust her with a firearm.
People who can not attend to a pot of boiling water can not clean a firearm.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
32. IMO your post was in jest but you should know we pro-RKBA Dems who defend our 2nd amendment are
among the most serious progressives who fight for all rights.

For us, defending the natural, inherent, inalienable/unalienable right to keep and bear arms for self-defense is not a laughing matter.

Perhaps you should have read current federal law before you posted your poll.
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-09-08 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #32
38. Actually, my poll was serious.
you should have read current federal law before you posted your poll

My poll was about your opinion on the subject, not the law. I stated this clearly in my OP.

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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #38
45. OK you were serious. Then others have pointed out how you could have improved it and I agree. n/t
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tburnsten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
46. What do you mean "mentally challenged"?
That is some broad territory if I've ever seen any, what exactly do you mean?




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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-10-08 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. See above posts.
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