Guns--Mental Illness--Who Says So?

A movie a few years back, had a scene in a department store in which a person was having a melt down. “I need a Valium! Who has a Valium!” Nearly everyone in hearing distance began searching in their purses.


Did all those people realize that in order to get that medication, they may have had to have a psychiatric diagnosis? And, now that diagnosis follows them around in the Great Computer?


Today, the President and most officials will be trying to make sense out of the Texas shooting by suggesting mental illness as causation. Gun–mental illness is back on the front page. Besides the research on the connection between guns and mental illness as tenuous, to get ahead of the story I am rushing to raise the question “And who will be deciding who is who?


Getting quickly to the point, it was recently estimated that one in four people have a psychiatric diagnosis. How did this happen! Simple–follow the money. In order to have the insurance companies pay for medication, there has to be a “medical necessity” diagnosis.


So, back to the question–who are the mentally ill who should not have weapons?


This question is so complex I am not about ready to tackle it. But I assure you a lot of poorly informed people will--not to mention those on the left who “don’t let a crisis go by.”




Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 6, 2017 - 2:40pm
You can't determine mental illness. Nobody can look into a head. Psychology is not a science in the sense that one can disprove a hypotheses. And psycho attacks don't really tell us much. If you don't know a motive, you can't stop a mass murder. Crazy people also have motives. The weapon is irrelevant.
Don Added Nov 6, 2017 - 2:47pm
Back in 1983, psychiatrist M. Scott Peck, in People of the Lie: The Hope For Healing Human Evil Peck describes the stories of several people who came to him whom he found particularly resistant to any form of help. He came to think of them as evil and goes on to describe the characteristics of evil in psychological terms, proposing that it could become a psychiatric diagnosis.
These last two mass shootings defy anything I have ever encountered in 70 years of studying the mentally ill. If this savagery continues, the time may finally have arrived that we may have to take a second look at “People of the Lie.”
Thomas Sutrina Added Nov 6, 2017 - 2:51pm
Obama wanted retirement as a reason not to get a gun.   The success of prison parole decisions suggest that they either do not have a handle on mental or criminal thinking.  Psychological evaluation is always required.   The psychologist are as all university graduates immersed in liberalism.  So are their decisions partially effected by ideology?
Don Added Nov 6, 2017 - 3:01pm
Because both of these shootings were against gatherings of Christians, we could also finally be in the time of Rev 12:12 “But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."
Satan’s modus operandi is typically to stay hidden below the radar to keep people from knowing he is for real. However, because these last two shootings are so inexplicable by any theories I know of, he may at last be showing his hand.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 6, 2017 - 3:06pm
Frankly, I did not look into the last two cases in any detail. The media rarely gives much away these days. Things were different when we had these school shootings and the elites were happy with whatever pattern are found. Now, it is always the question whether an immigrant or a native did it. In the former case a huge cover up comes along. In the latter case, they tell very quickly that it's a white person and try to leave the topic as soon as possible. I suspect that the last two ones had some specifics: Be it drugs, be it psychopathy, be it political or whatever. We will not be informed.
Don Added Nov 6, 2017 - 3:21pm
Benjamin, you are right about professionals not at the place to do what society believes and expects. A few years back, a psychiatrist was retiring from the field. One of his patients went on a shooting rampage. The psychiatrist was sued claiming he should have been able to predict. Well he shouldn’t. He couldn’t. We have no testing instruments–no brain scans–no perfect signs. Medications work on some people and on others, the same ones they do not–and they have to stay on them. Alcohol can tip some over. We are damned if we do predict (wrongly) and damned if we don’t. I breathed a big sigh of relief when I retired.
For many years I headed the federal, state, and local Brain Disordered advocacy groups. I was always surrounded by seriously mentally ill. I loved them all. One of my favorites drew a knife on his boss one day. Any moment I could have missed it and then might not be here.
Don Added Nov 6, 2017 - 3:56pm
Benjamin, not with you on what you just wrote.  I believe the media has given us all they know.  I believe these two are inexplicable.  I know you would love an explanation, but I believe there is none.
No conspiracy.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Nov 6, 2017 - 3:57pm
I didn't speak of a conspiracy. I just observed a general trend and I didn't even say that the last two shootings were following the trend. It was just likely. As I said, I did not look into them.
Autumn Cote Added Nov 6, 2017 - 4:07pm
Please note, it's against the rules to post articles here unless you comment on the work of others. 
Don Added Nov 6, 2017 - 8:08pm
Autumn, I knew the rules.  However, I commented on a number of articles hoping it would put enough money in the comment bank, allowing me to rest a few days.
But the church shooting was headline news.  I felt I had something important to say and wanted to get out front of the story.  My purpose is because when something like this tragedy happens, uninformed people start turning on people with brain disorders.
Hope you will cut me some slack this time as I felt my post was time sensitive.  
Bill H. Added Nov 6, 2017 - 10:28pm
This article explains it well.
Donald Trump is in the awkward position of having to be in bed with both the NRA and Big Pharma at the same time.
Nothing will get done, it will only get worse.
Flying Junior Added Nov 7, 2017 - 3:37am
Obama wanted retirement as a reason not to get a gun. 
Do you seriously believe that?  It's a joke, right?
Who can really explain that an inherently evil and sociopathic individual is mentally ill?  The mentally ill people that I have met have emotional and cognitive problems that inhibit their natural development and life skills.  We used to call the behavior of the shooter criminally insane.  I don't believe that it is a sickness which can either be detected or treated.  It's just a murderous penchant for mayhem.
Please tell me that at the very least you can't support Trump in his unexamined, off-hand comment about how this isn't about guns.
It is obviously about guns despite the fact that it is probably too late to do anything to improve the current situation without violating our constitution.
He sidestepped the issue the last time around, (what was it, three weeks?) saying it was too soon.  In these two instances, he is nothing more than a schill for the NRA.
Dave Volek Added Nov 7, 2017 - 11:35am
You might be right in "one-in-four-of-us" has a psychiatric illness. But in most cases, these mental illnesses are manageable and should not constitute a restriction on firearms ownership and possession.
When that person takes the illness to a higher level, such as suicide or domestic violence, then "the great computer" should deem that such a person should not be in possession of a gun. And there should be appeal processes for that person to be lifted of those restrictions.
Thomas Sutrina Added Nov 7, 2017 - 1:09pm
Flying J. I wish it was a joke, "The Obama administration wants to keep people collecting Social Security benefits from owning guns if it is determined they are unable to manage their own affairs, the Los Angeles Times reported."
It goes on to say this Flying J., "
So the basic assumption here is that if you are a Social Security recipient (read: an old person) and someone else handles the receipt and disbursement of your benefits then you must be … what? Incompetent? On the list of disqualifiers being cited here that seems to be the only one which would come close to applying. And based on that – even if there’s never been any question raised about you and you’ve never been so much as accused of a crime – your constitutional rights would be suspended. Well, that certainly sounds fair, doesn’t it?
This sounds eerily similar to certain provisions of New York’s detestable SAFE Act, where large swaths of people are lumped together in a generalized category and then disarmed. In New York, anyone who has ever sought therapy or been issued a prescription drug for “depression” can find themselves on a similar list and are then faced with the daunting and expensive prospect of going to court to prove they are not crazy. In this case, one assumes that a senior citizen might be able to go to court and attempt to prove that they’re not incompetent, but how many Social Security recipients can afford that?
We’re not talking about a small number of people here, either. There are currently more than 4 million people in the United States who fall into that category. "
Don Added Nov 7, 2017 - 6:51pm
Dave, I did not say 1 in 4 have a psychiatric illness.  I said they have a psychiatric diagnosis—important distinction and important to my point.
Most of the people are going in for a little Valium or a little Prozac and the like, get a psychiatric diagnosis and zip, they land in the Great Computer.  
Will we see a Leftist anti gun administration one day decide any psychiatric diagnosis obviously means that person can not have a gun?  Right now that means one in four.   The anti gun people will use any thing.
Don Added Nov 7, 2017 - 6:58pm
Thanks Thomas
Don Added Nov 7, 2017 - 8:45pm
Flying Junior, I am not sure what TruMp said on guns you don’t want me to support.  The part I did like him saying was about the hero who stopped the killer.  Looks like if we want to be safe, we will have to go back to the old West with a lot of us packing.
Katharine Otto Added Nov 7, 2017 - 9:14pm
The public and the courts expect psychiatrists to be mind readers and fortune tellers.  They are neither, as you point out.
Valium is used for a lot of things, including sleep and as a muscle relaxant.  However, like alcohol, Valium dis-inhibits people and could make them more prone toward antisocial acts, including violence.  Also, many primary care doctors prescribe antidepressants like Prozac and benzodiazepines like Valium without necessarily cursing them with psychiatric diagnoses.  A prescription history can be damaging in itself, without the diagnosis.
Unfortunately, in today's environment, psychiatrists have to come up with a diagnosis in order to get paid.  As you point out, this label can follow patients around forever.  It is like a curse and can be used later as grounds for establishing incompetency, raising insurance premiums, preventing employment, and all kinds of other roadblocks.
I know next to nothing about this shooting, or about previous ones, but believe they are symptoms of a pervasive insanity and hypocrisy in our system.  There is a general sense that the individual doesn't matter.  As a psychiatrist mentor once said, "The 'identified patient' in a family is often not the sickest member."  In psychodynamic terms, the group "elects" a specific individual to "act out" repressed feelings for the whole group.  
Is our nation "electing" susceptible individuals to act out the frustration and sense of dis-empowerment so many of us feel?
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 8, 2017 - 11:24am
I notice that there has been a recent statistical study of that unique American pastime... mass shootings.
It seems that, over the years, the numbers killed in the mass shootings have been creeping up.   There are more mass shootings, but, crucially there are also more people killed in the "average" mass shooting.   It has been suggested that the increasing rate of fire available to the man on the street may be one key factor in this
It seems that people do indeed kill people... and they can kill an awful lot more people with assault rifles than they can with kitchen knives (although, of course, the guns themselves don't kill anybody)
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 8, 2017 - 11:31am
I don't think that, statistically speaking, the Wild West was a very safe place.  Yes, most people carried a gun... but a lot more people got shot.
Elsewhere that I have been in the world today, where there is a promiscuous gun culture e.g. Yemen, it can also be noted that there is a higher rate of death from violent crime generally.   (Actually when I went to Yemen they gave me an AK to put in the back window to help deter attack... luckily I did not need it... so I guess it worked...).
I also understand that armed police tend to kill more people than unarmed police.   It seems that, if they are not armed, they develop less confrontational ways of dealing with situations.   It seems that, although, as we are repeatedly told, guns do not kill people, they can help to heighten the tensions that lead to people killing people.   This probably applies to unintended "violent crimes of passion".   Of course mass shooters generally do it because they want to be famous or because they want someone to take their pathetic selves seriously...
Don Added Nov 8, 2017 - 11:50am
Thanks to all for such thoughtful responses to such a serious subject.