Guns and Mental Health

This is a discussion on Guns and Mental Health within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; This does not seem to advance the cause very much at all http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/us/03guns.html I know it will be hard for many, but PLEASE, ignore the ...

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    Senior Member Array DoctorBob's Avatar
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    Guns and Mental Health

    This does not seem to advance the cause very much at all

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/us/03guns.html

    I know it will be hard for many, but PLEASE, ignore the source and comment on the issue. Should people with a potentially dangerous mental health history own guns? Does your state restrict gun ownership if there is a histry of hospitalization for mental health issues?

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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Yes. Because that is the stick the antis will use to further restrict ownership/possession of firearms. As it stands now, returning vets are not seeking help the probably need for fear they will be lumped in with the "mentally ill"...and going through the headache of dealing with the courts for talking to someone about PTSD.

    Also, as you see the ever expanding DSM, everyone will eventually have some form of "mental illness": like to carry a gun? You must be paranoid; prefer to keep to yourself and mind your own business? You must have an anti-social disorder; not
    embracing the "go green movement"? Then you probably hate the earth, your parents, and you're getting ready to kick the dog...thus, you're a ticking time bomb....see how silly this can turn?

    No...if there is a mechanism to take away rights, there must be a way in certain circumstances to restore rights, especially if the circumstances have changed.
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    Senior Member Array Maverickx50's Avatar
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    Hmmmmm. Problem is we and life are not black or white. Governments by the necessity of operation need to make rules that totally eliminate common sense decisions. H*** who there has any?. So if you were ever depressed. Maybe your whole family died in a fire or something equally traumatic, now you can never own a gun. My point is where ever government or other directives in law are in place some un-justices will take place. Don't think decisions by doctors would be any more reliable either. Can always fine one that disagrees with the next. So who decides what is potentially dangerous. Who draws the line. Guess I'd rather have a crazy guy that never broke the law carrying a gun then a bad guy that can't get a permit anyway. I'll vote with the background check into bad past behavior as opposed to what pills you have been prescribed.
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    I carry to protect myself and my loved ones from the BG's. Not to solve societies problems. That said: if more carried the deterrent would only have a positive overall effect on those problems.

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    Senior Member Array DoctorBob's Avatar
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    What about the person who is clearly schizophrenic (hearing voices, chatting with people who aren't there, hallucinating, saying that he's been given a mission from god to kill taxi drivers, etc.), like the guy who shot Rep. Giffords?
    What if they are taking medication that supresses the symptoms?
    What if they stop taking the medication?
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    Senior Member Array Maverickx50's Avatar
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    Again where is the line drawn. I agree if someone with a brain could make the decision he/she wouldn't have a gun. Where is that government worker with a brain to make good decisions?
    I carry to protect myself and my loved ones from the BG's. Not to solve societies problems. That said: if more carried the deterrent would only have a positive overall effect on those problems.

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    Senior Member Array Maverickx50's Avatar
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    Let me give you a personal (but unrelated) example of government seemingly good intentioned regulations. I was born without any fingers on my left hand. I've been driving sense i was 10 (on the farm). I had a Minnesota class C class B class A license and a motorcycle endorsement as well. Only restriction was I have to wear glasses, at 64 who doesn't. I just moved to Wisconsin. Had to take and pay for all new driving test just because I'm missing 5 fingers. after the test found out I have to take it again in a stick shift car or i can only drive an automatic. They are just following Government rules designed to protect us and eliminating the need for or ability to exercise common sense. When ever possible I vote to keep bureaucrats and others out of our lives
    I carry to protect myself and my loved ones from the BG's. Not to solve societies problems. That said: if more carried the deterrent would only have a positive overall effect on those problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorBob View Post
    What about the person who is clearly schizophrenic (hearing voices, chatting with people who aren't there, hallucinating, saying that he's been given a mission from god to kill taxi drivers, etc.), like the guy who shot Rep. Giffords?
    What if they are taking medication that supresses the symptoms?
    What if they stop taking the medication?
    While I agree with someone like that should be denied the ability to own firearms or even sharp objects there should be a means to restore ones rights. Someone whose spouse has filled for divorce and threatened to commit suicide and been involuntarily committed should be evaluated and their rights restored on a case-by-case basis. A rubber stamp policy like the zero tolerance policies simply does not fit every situation.
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    While anyone who is a threat to themselves or the general public should not have guns available to them, how long do we keep them in that category? 30 days, 6 months, 1 year, the rest of their life? Just because someone was involuntarily committed for a problem, they shouldn't lose their rights for life. If they have been judged competent to be released, they should have a way available to regain the rights they lost.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorBob View Post
    What about the person who is clearly schizophrenic (hearing voices, chatting with people who aren't there, hallucinating, saying that he's been given a mission from god to kill taxi drivers, etc.), like the guy who shot Rep. Giffords?
    What if they are taking medication that supresses the symptoms?
    What if they stop taking the medication?
    What about a person who have an infectious disease? If a person is diagnosed with TB should they be held in isolation for the rest of their life? It's the same principal, treat the person, once they are treated and no longer a threat to the general public allow them to return to a normal life. If it is determined they can't function in the normal outside world, then don't return them to it.
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    Senior Member Array Maverickx50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    While anyone who is a threat to themselves or the general public should not have guns available to them, how long do we keep them in that category? 30 days, 6 months, 1 year, the rest of their life? Just because someone was involuntarily committed for a problem, they shouldn't lose their rights for life. If they have been judged competent to be released, they should have a way available to regain the rights they lost.
    I agree but then HOW? Wouldn't that still require a civil servant some place making a judgment call? Who would that be? Who would you trust to be the authority and have the intelligence to make good decisions?
    I carry to protect myself and my loved ones from the BG's. Not to solve societies problems. That said: if more carried the deterrent would only have a positive overall effect on those problems.

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    Senior Member Array SFury's Avatar
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    Life isn't fair, nor easy. People have up and down moments in life.

    I find it amusing in the article that many liberals, who are far more believing in redemption than conservative minded folks (like myself and my family), think that redemption is impossible simply because the people owned a specific object. Even the gun hating Sarah Brady admitted that people can overcome difficult mental anguish and can be fine once again.

    If you are involuntarily committed (which can happen for spite) and found to be a danger by an admitting Doctor I can see having gun rights (and other rights) being suspended. I also see how any re-issuance hearings for ones rights should involve a mental health professional's testimony stating in no uncertain terms that you are fine should restore one's suspended rights. To not hear from someone who has been helping you makes no sense.

    On a personal note, my cousin served in Iraq and did IED sweeps which led to some problems. He saw, and dealt with, some bad things. When he came back to the states he had mild PTSD. He had been prone to outbursts of anger at times. During one if his outbursts, he got into a fight with his ex-GF and was charged with domestic assault. He had his hunting privileges and gun rights revoked for four years. Over time, he has gotten much better. He has learned to control the anger and deal with it responsibly. After getting help, being deemed no longer a threat, and with a letter from the ex-GF he had his rights restored just over two years later.

    That's how society should deal with certain rights.

    Having dealt with people who are bi-polar, or have other serious mental issues that require medication, I am hesitant to outright endorse any measure to allow them to have gun rights. Some people are good and take their medication, and there are some that fall off of the wagon regularly. Medicated individuals have to be handled on an individual basis with routine hearings to make certain they remain on their medications. Now, that's just my $.02 on the medicated side of the argument.

    Also, it depends why, and what, medication is being taken. I know many people who have take medication to deal with depression that have been fine without the meds. Mostly fine at any rate. The medication just helped smooth things out to help them get through the rough time. Then there are others who should have had any dangerous objects taken away until they got help and were taken off their meds. Sure, they could work, but those of us working with them were very concerned about them outside of work hours.

    It just goes to show you that mental health issues are varied and difficult to deal with. There will never be set answer for them, just like there will never be one caliber round that is perfect for everything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverickx50 View Post
    I agree but then HOW? Wouldn't that still require a civil servant some place making a judgment call? Who would that be? Who would you trust to be the authority and have the intelligence to make good decisions?
    I don't think any 1 person should have the power to approve or deny it. Perhaps a board of 3-5 people, 1 of which would be elected, the others picked at random, much like jury selection. Let them meet quarterly or every 6 months, as needed, to review and decide whether a persons rights be restored.
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    Senior Member Array Maverickx50's Avatar
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    lets see. you, Nancy Pelosi, and who else? Sorry it's just another political committee subject to the whims of our (leaders) I use that term sparingly. your all correct there are lots of good people (on paper) with mental issues that should never own a gun given their current condition. I just personally get very nervous over potential political controls solutions by either party at any time.
    Chaplain Scott likes this.
    I carry to protect myself and my loved ones from the BG's. Not to solve societies problems. That said: if more carried the deterrent would only have a positive overall effect on those problems.

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    Good comments SFury. There is a clear delineation between the ups and downs of life and serious, chronic mental illness such as Schizophrenia or severe Bipolar. Serious Mental Illness does not come and go nor does it heal over time. It almost always require medication and stopping meds, which is very common, can lead to not so great of things. So in the case of serious illness then OK maybe no restoration of gun ownership. On the other hand, PTSD, most depressions, and anxiety are more common and can be triggered by life events. They should not be disqualifiers. They just need to be treated so the person can heal and return to a more normal life. If they do then why not be allowed your rights to return. I think it is important for those who will easily strip rights of US Citizens then how about also considering stripping rights of severely stupid people to vote and talk???

    It is a scary thing when government and politically charged people get involved with this type of thing and use it for a political agenda like so many things are these days. It only hurts those who need treatment, driving them further away from it and thus actually leading to more of exactly what we do not want. I do think it is different if you are involuntarily hospitalized for a severe and chronic mental illness due to violence or personal harm but there is also a bigger concern. How will all this info get spread around to non Physicians? Isn't that what the HIPPA thing is all about. If we share for just those with mental illness and buying guns where does it stop? What if I want a fast car? Should my health be shared with car dealers? How about ordering a Whopper, and up on the screen pops my family history of heart disease first. Do they then substitute a salad.....better not!

    So I jumped off topic but with respect to a few predetermined serious mental issues, which could be determined by those who treat this population regularly and would mostly agree, there are a few types of patients that are never safe to themselves or others unless well treated and even then, because of the risk of serious relapse, should not carry any type of weapon. I will state some trust will need to be given to some experts in the mental health field for the safety of many but it might help if it was a true bipartisan panel to include Psychiatrists and maybe a few judges who work together to make this decision. (If that is even possible anymore)

    I do not know what the full answer is other than keep government out of things 99.9% of the time. Either way, no matter what rules are in place, if you are sick or criminally bent and do not answer the questions right at the LGS then you will get a firearm unless our health records are now going to be open to anyone the Gov. thinks is OK. Even if there were no guns (Horrible thought), a sick mind will find a sharp stick, a heavy rock, a car, a hammer, or their bare hands. You can not stop a person bent on doing harm. But again, a limited government is always best as is a society open to treating mental illness just as they are to a broken finger. Just my .02 cents. Sorry for length of post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    What about a person who have an infectious disease? If a person is diagnosed with TB should they be held in isolation for the rest of their life? It's the same principal, treat the person, once they are treated and no longer a threat to the general public allow them to return to a normal life. If it is determined they can't function in the normal outside world, then don't return them to it.
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