Guilty of Mental Illness

This is a discussion on Guilty of Mental Illness within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I do not make light of folks who suffer from any mental problems but to add a smidgeon of levity to an otherwise serious subject ...

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Thread: Guilty of Mental Illness

  1. #16
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    I do not make light of folks who suffer from any mental problems but to add a smidgeon of levity to an otherwise serious subject - here is a cartoon which if viewed as intended is worth a chuckle.


    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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  3. #17
    Senior Member Array INTJ's Avatar
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    Intriguing...

    To what extent should a DSM IV diagnosis of mental illness prevent firearm ownership and is the diagnosis in itself enough to prohibit possession of firearms and/or a carry permit?

    Past performance is an indicator of future functioning. Obviously, someone with suicidal ideations, paranoia, etc.. should not have access to weapons. But in our altruistic haste let’s not "throw out the baby with the bath water." The woman who is suffering the trauma of abuse and experiencing severe depression should not be forced to relinquish all means of defending herself from her abuser simply because of a DSM IV diagnosis.

    Current estimates are that 10% of the US population experience depression. I am not a bleeding heart liberal, but we should consider the inherent moral/ethical obligation to provide safety for those individuals denied 2A rights recognition based on a DSM IV diagnosis.
    "Beware of the man who only owns one gun. He probably knows how to use it."

  4. #18
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    INTJ,

    In MA any and all mental issues that require 'treatment' be it medication or psychiatric (e.g. AA) are disqualifiers toward securing ability to posses muchless carry a firearm. If one may present a letterfrom their attending doctor stating that they are "cured" then they may be let off the hook at the further discretion of the applicants community issuing authority.


    Mass. General Laws

    PART I. ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT

    TITLE XX. PUBLIC SAFETY AND GOOD ORDER

    CHAPTER 140. LICENSES

    SALE OF FIREARMS

    Chapter 140: Section 131. Licenses to carry firearms; Class A and B; conditions and restrictions

    Section 131. All licenses to carry firearms shall be designated Class A or Class B, and the issuance and possession of any such license shall be subject to the following conditions and restrictions:

    ...

    (ii) has been confined to any hospital or institution for mental illness, unless the applicant submits with his application an affidavit of a registered physician attesting that such physician is familiar with the applicant’s mental illness and that in such physician’s opinion the applicant is not disabled by such an illness in a manner that should prevent such applicant from possessing a firearm;

    (iii) is or has been under treatment for or confinement for drug addiction or habitual drunkenness, unless such applicant is deemed to be cured of such condition by a licensed physician, and such applicant may make application for such license after the expiration of five years from the date of such confinement or treatment and upon presentment of an affidavit issued by such physician stating that such physician knows the applicant’s history of treatment and that in such physician’s opinion the applicant is deemed cured;...

    Source - http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/140-131.htm
    The point of this thread is not about denying or allowing otherwise law abiding citizens the ability to possess or carry firearms.
    It is toward recognizing that a not insignificant portion of our criminal population are mentally ill and their actions are based in same from misdemeanors to major crimes including murder.
    it is to _everyones_ ultimate benefit that we begin taking mental illness more seriously in so far as identification, treatment, and community support.
    This is not a liberal position or issue, it is a community and citizen position and issue. We have an obligation to address this more seriously if ony for the benefit of ourselves, our children, and our community at large.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  5. #19
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJ View Post
    To what extent should a DSM IV diagnosis of mental illness prevent firearm ownership and is the diagnosis in itself enough to prohibit possession of firearms and/or a carry permit?

    Current estimates are that 10% of the US population experience depression. I am not a bleeding heart liberal, but we should consider the inherent moral/ethical obligation to provide safety for those individuals denied 2A rights recognition based on a DSM IV diagnosis.
    IMHO, this is an institutionalized Catch 22 that the American Psychiatric Assn. has no intention of alleviating. There are assessment models that would let one seperate wheat from chaff, so to speak, but it would be extremely unlikely to get the APA to recognize them as tools specific to a need.

    Bear in mind that as long as "counselling and therapy" are system mandated, and can be socially driven for those outside the institutional system, the therapists do not have to justify their existence with results. IIRC, in 2003-2004 the APA quietly published a study that long-term therapy was actually detrimental to readjustment after a traumatic incident (a longitudinal study of OKC bombing survivors and responders). IOW, they sell a lot of BS for negative results. Evaluation needs common-sense application, something we won't get from the academics.

  6. #20
    Senior Member Array INTJ's Avatar
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    Jang,

    Sorry, the thread only stated Guilty of Mental Illness. My earlier statements were in reference to persons diagnosed with a mental illness, no criminal convictions, yet treated like they had committed or might commit a criminal act (denial of the access of weapons for self defense.)

    I do take mental illness seriously in so far as identification, treatment, and community support to the extent I have worked as an outpatient mental health case worker. I am currently employed in a psychiatric residential treatment facility at an acute psychiatric hospital.


    I agree a disproportionate segment of any prison population could warrant a DSM IV diagnosis. I do not believe criminal convictions resulting from the actions of this group can be solely attributed to and/or based on a mental health issue. I would fault the societal attitudes and perceptions of mental illness resulting in a stigma that has prevented adequate treatment and early interventions. And yes, even though I consider myself quite the conservative I would say this is somewhat of a liberal view.
    Last edited by INTJ; April 25th, 2007 at 01:34 PM.
    "Beware of the man who only owns one gun. He probably knows how to use it."

  7. #21
    Senior Member Array INTJ's Avatar
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    Bottom line, I do take issue with the denial of 2A rights based on a DSM IV diagnosis, and not a criminal conviction.
    Last edited by INTJ; April 25th, 2007 at 02:04 PM. Reason: to remove some stuff
    "Beware of the man who only owns one gun. He probably knows how to use it."

  8. #22
    Senior Member Array INTJ's Avatar
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    Rob72,

    Sometimes less is more.

    Therapy is probably not the best venue to bring up the need to arm oneself. With HIPPA it is practically impossible to attempt to combat the contradictions and disinformation taken as "law" by both the legislative bodies and medical communities. Yet, we should reasonably expect counseling professionals to take a more agressive approach to correlating and disseminating the relationship of mental heath issues and criminal activity.
    "Beware of the man who only owns one gun. He probably knows how to use it."

  9. #23
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    INTJ,

    The thread title is copeid directly from the title of tfirst of three articles posted to start things out.
    The intent and focus I thought would be apparent as per the subject matter of the three articles which all have different titles or even the content & subject matter of the first article, assuming folk did not read the second and third.

    Anyway agreed crime and criminality is not 'solely" based on mental health issues. The articles are not saying that though. A not small portion of as much is though attributable to mental illness and amongst that we should be making more serious efforts to tackle the problem for the ebenfit of us and scoiety as well as that of would be criminals past and future.

    This is not a matter of liberalsim or conservativeness.
    It's a matter of public health and well being, akin to flouridating our drinking water and offering flu shots to the most suceptible of our community being the youngest and oldest amongst us.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  10. #24
    Member Array mmwb's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    As someone who makes a living as a mental health/substance abuse therapist, I suppose I would be remiss if I did not make a few comments. A couple of comments here are right on the mark, some others show a clear propensity to “lump” all MH professionals into the same group—similar to the tendency the anti gunners have regarding those of us who are pro gun.

    Mental Illness is a legal definition, not a MH definition. In the MH field, the correct terminology is MH disorder (not illness). I could argue against the inappropriateness of the term of “disorder” as well. In Wyoming a person is considered mentally ill if he presents a “substantial probability” of harm to self or others (or presents a failure to thrive) do to a mental disorder. The courts indicate that the “substantial probability” is in reference to the fairly immediate future and not what might be the case weeks or months down the road. A pervasive pattern of mental illness (Remember: per the ‘legal’ definition) may extend the amount of time for which the court will consider the probability.

    the DSMV IV is very much a tool to keep practioners in practice
    There is no valid foundation for that statement. The DSM IV is nothing more than a tool. A diagnosis is simply a term that represents a cluster of signs and symptoms. It serves a valid purpose when the diagnosis offers a common language among professionals. If one wants to get paid, then he has to submit a diagnosis to the funding source. On occasion services are provided for which there is no reimbursement for lack of a “disorder.” As with all tools, the DSM IV can be used constructively or it can be misused and abused.

    A competent MH professional will discuss the diagnosis with the client, explain what it means, and asserts what it is not. This is particularly vital with those who identify them selves by—or as—the disorder, or who would use their mental health condition as an excuse to avoid responsibility for their thoughts and actions.

    The current model of psychotherapy denies all personal responsibility, and holds that all social deviations are manifestations of "illness".
    Again, patently false. Most models of treatment are completely based on the internalization of responsibility and control in one’s life. I agree that there are some incompetent individuals out there who have presented alternative “excuses” for poor behavior and who have suggested that the responsibility for misbehavior lies outside of the individual. Most of those individuals have misinterpreted the systems theories, spend more time theorizing than they do working with real people, or have not been clinicians long enough to differentiate between theory as a guideline to practical application and theory as irrevocable fact. I also realize that some of the statements in other posts are in reference to the American Psyhiatric Association, an organization whose membership is composed of psychiatrists—ie, physicians. Theirs is a medical model. A model that works well for the treatment of medical conditions, but that alone is poor for long term improvements in MH problems.

    Grossman is a good starting point (and there are several others retrospectively looking at social models), recognizing that, historically, "excessively" violent behavior had a short-lived duration. Keep in mind, what would be a good bar fight, circa 1750, would be considered major mayhem today.
    The over protection in our society is truly a serious problem. When I was a kid, we learned to work things out amongst ourselves, had the odd brawl, and learned how to deal with the nature of relationships in a mini-society (school). Now there is no opportunity for it to happen. I worked in a couple of elementary schools for a couple of years until the bureaucracy convinced me to get back full time in the community setting. One year there was a huge third grader that was always giving them a handful. One day he tries to initiate an altercation with a fifth grader. To the credit of his self control, the fifth grader did not engage. The principle asked, “What needs to happen to get this kid to straighten up.” I told him every one needed to turn their back every once in awhile and let a couple of those kids clean this twerps clock a few times and he’d straighten himself out. I appreciate the principal’s position and why he couldn’t allow that, but our culture was teaching this kid misbehavior without meaningful consequences.

    Mental illness" can be a distracting, misleading, way of describing violators, today… Violent behavior can be reliably predicted, and indicators of an assault can be recognized.”
    Nothing is a 100%, but overall that is very true. What most people think of as the mentally ill, are not nearly so dangerous as those that are not seen as such. In people like Cho’s case, they have both clear indicators of significant MH problems, AND the perceptual and thinking patterns congruent with dangerous criminals. The true severe mental health problems are easy to see. The personality problems, which are truly dangerous: Narcissim, sociopathic thinking, etc… are not generally recognized by most—including many professionals. The personality/thinking-errored individuals would be better not to be conceptualized as mentally ill. They have serious problems, but are cognitively founded and not generally connected to chemistry.

    Personal defense is not simply having a weapon, and being competent in its use. It should encompass some understanding of how the BGs view the world, what scenarios they try to construct to favor themselves, and what features they look for in targets. This thinking is what seperates us from the proverbial "bi-pedal cheeseburger."
    I believe that the understanding of the BG is as important as competency with your weapon. While I believe the publicity of Cho’s video may be detrimental, it did give a lot of people a real look into the criminal mind—if they can but differentiate the MH problems from the actual criminal thinking.

    If anyone wants a realistic look into the criminal mind, as well as how to recognize precursors in children and strategies to nip them in the bud, you should look at some of Stanton Samenow’s stuff. http://members.cox.net/samenow/book.html

    “To what extent should a DSM IV diagnosis of mental illness prevent firearm ownership and is the diagnosis in itself enough to prohibit possession of firearms and/or a carry permit?"
    A diagnosis in of itself probably should not be used alone. I guarantee I could diagnosis about anyone with a DSM IV diagnosis at some time in their life. It doesn’t mean that it would be appropriate, or that they had a serious problem, but that “criteria” were met.

    There are assessment models that would let one seperate wheat from chaff, so to speak…Evaluation needs common-sense application, something we won't get from the academics
    Absolutely. It will take assessment from professionals who are trained in criminal thinking and in MH risk assessment. Even then there are no guarantees. I will pick the tendencies for risk with most in less than five minutes, the very best will fool us all. Then how do we measure the degree of risk? Do we deny any with anti-social or narcissitic bents the right to carry (that would eliminate a lot of common people), or do we determine a degree? Do we make an issue of a fact that someone was guilty of a domestic dispute or made a suicide attempt 25 years ago, or is there an appreciable amount of time of shown stability that allows them to exercise their 2nd Ammendment rights?

  11. #25
    Senior Member Array INTJ's Avatar
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    Janq,

    If I understand you correctly a sizable portion of criminal activity is due to mental illness/MH disorder . The current approach is not benefiting the public health and well being of criminals, us or society.

    I don't fully agree. I think you are trying to prove a relationship between mental illness/ MH disorder and criminal acts resulting in criminal activity. I offer that lack of community supports result in criminalization of mental illness/MH disorder . I postulate lack of mental health illness/MH disorder education such as public awareness programs contribute significantly to an insanely over worked judicial system. Early detection and treatment of mental illness/MH disorder would go along way in providing the benefits you reference.
    Last edited by INTJ; April 25th, 2007 at 02:44 PM. Reason: to add MH disorder as appropriate
    "Beware of the man who only owns one gun. He probably knows how to use it."

  12. #26
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    mmwb,
    Quote Originally Posted by mmwb View Post
    A diagnosis in of itself probably should not be used alone.
    Rhetorical question to myself. I say it should not be.
    "Beware of the man who only owns one gun. He probably knows how to use it."

  13. #27
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    INTJ,

    Have you read any one of the three articles I posted to start this thread out?

    Please read just one of them...pick any one of the three.
    Then I suspect you'll understand the point, position and intent.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  14. #28
    Senior Member Array INTJ's Avatar
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    Janq,

    Yeppir. The articles are very fact filled. They comment on reality as I frequently experience it. I was not commenting on the articles. I responded to your post.

    De-institutionalism started much earlier than the 80’s. Kennedy had a lot to do with emptying psychiatric hospitals. Little known fact, his impetus to do so could have been based in the fact that his sister was institutionalized.
    Last edited by INTJ; April 25th, 2007 at 04:01 PM. Reason: spellin'
    "Beware of the man who only owns one gun. He probably knows how to use it."

  15. #29
    Senior Member Array INTJ's Avatar
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    I'm not sure where this discussion is going, but public awareness, early detection plus adequate funding equals superior mental health outcomes. Even though I work in a facility, I feel institutions are not the answer and better results are achieved by retaining the service consumers in a community environment.

    Boy I sound like a PSA.
    Last edited by INTJ; April 25th, 2007 at 04:13 PM.
    "Beware of the man who only owns one gun. He probably knows how to use it."

  16. #30
    Senior Member Array INTJ's Avatar
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    Well gotta go. To be continued...
    "Beware of the man who only owns one gun. He probably knows how to use it."

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