Screen Shot 2012-04-11 at 10.07.11 PMIf you had a chance to read my Analysis of the 23 Executive Actions that Obama said he was taking during a Press Conference earlier this week, or if you have been watching the News, you know some of the Presidents plan focuses on the mental health issue.  I am worried that there will be too much “gray area” and these actions will be extremely overreaching – stomping on the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans who would never cause another harm unjustly.  
Today a reader of this humble blog sent me some of his thoughts on the mental health actions the President is taking.  Let us know what you think about this very complicated issue.

I read your article about Obama’s executive orders. I have heard many gun people talk about the mental health issue in gun control. The president seems to be focusing on this. I think we should be vigilant about this and not fooled by something that sounds like common sense.

Google “mental illnesses listed in DSM” (DSM = “diagnostics and statistics manual of psychiatric disorders” the handbook used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental illness.) I think you will be surprised by what you find. Such things as “male erectile disorder”,”nightmare disorder”,”premature ejaculation”, “caffeine-induced sleep disorder”, “night eating syndrome” and “primary insomnia” are listed as psychiatric disorders. If mental illness is used to exclude people from owning guns, then 90% of the population could possibly be excluded.

About seven percent of adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. This alone could exclude a large segment of our population. I am not for arming the mentally unstable but mental illness is a catch-all phrase that puts a stigma on people who function normally, but may have a problem or condition that does not pose a threat to themselves or others but requires therapy or medication.

I think to exclude people who see doctors or take medications for minor things such as generalized anxiety or mild depression is a mistake and uses twisted statistics and overly broad definitions to disarm a few more people. The next argument they will use is that certain over the counter and/or prescribed medications cause diminished capacity and poor judgement therefore if you use these you cannot own a firearm.

Also, doctors, in the interest of keeping their licenses and avoiding lawsuits, will tend to be less forgiving and more aggressive in diagnosing and reporting those who might in the absence of the new executive orders would otherwise not be of concern and not be reported. Err on the side of caution has always been their motto. This is good when diagnosing cancer but when depriving a person of their liberties, a different and higher standard should be used.

I know most mass murderers in the U.S. had mental illness. Does that mean anything? Is it statistically significant? What percentage of people with mental illness commit violent crimes or mass murder specifically. Think of how many people in the U.S, take antidepressants or something to help stop smoking who have never committed a violent crime. I think this is just a device to begin excluding people from gun ownership. For that matter what percentage of law abiding gun owners commit violent crime? Also,what percentage of each gender, or each religion, or each ethnicity commits violent crimes? Should the government determine who has what rights based on these?

While I am ranting, as far as the “if it saves even one child” issue/war cry used by gun grabbers to justify more erosion of our rights; this also is a strategy designed to elicit sympathy and also sounds like common sense. This is the biggest lie used by these people. They (elitist government) don’t care about our children except that our children will provide future cannon fodder for their wars or wage slaves to enrich corporations that they own part of. If they really meant “if it saves even one child” then they would require crash helmets to be worn in cars, sprinkler systems installed in every home, and annual full body MRI’s for everybody. I mean, these things will save more than just one life. Better yet, if they care so much for children then ban abortion, as this will save more than one child’s life.

I think “mentally unstable” would be a better term to use when referring to those who shouldn’t own guns due to mental illness and a better definition to exclude people from gun ownership. Since six of the twenty three executive orders proposed for gun control have something to do with mental hearth either directly or indirectly it seems that “the mentally ill should not own guns argument” will be a large part of this latest gun grab attempt. It sounds good, but mental illness is based on a doctor’s or social worker’s opinion and interpretation of a manual that is based on opinion and statistics. In my opinion anyone who is crazy should not own a motor vehicle therefore no gun grabber or second amendment opponent should own a motor vehicle because one has to be crazy to think that by making more laws stating that criminals can’t have guns will keep criminals from owning guns and make people safe from these criminals.  Again, I don’t think that the mentally unstable should be allowed to own guns, but we better be wary of the road on which we allow our government to travel. In depriving us of our liberties they will start from the outer edges and peel away layers of citizens and rights citing various references and studies until they finally reach the center which is where they see themselves to be.

~ A concerned citizen



4 Replies to “Guest Post: Say “Mentally Unstable” not “Mentally Ill” when talking about gun control”

  1. Some interesting symptoms of some of the more serious mental illnesses directly violate human rights in their fundamental secular assumptions due to the fact that the field of psychiatry operates from a secular scientific perspective. For example, “magical thinking” and “religious delusions” are key symptoms of several psychotic disorders. These are defined as any belief in the supernatural that manifests itself in a person’s behavior, i.e. faith that translates into action. While we can all see that there are extremes of this example that are indeed evidence of mental instability (a religiously motivated suicide bomber, someone who believes God told them to drown their babies in the bath tub), other examples I have seen cited in psych evaluations done by the federal government as part of selection and security clearance screenings (BACKGROUND CHECKS) include simply answering “yes” to a question on an MMPI that says, “I believe that God can heal the sick.” In fact, I’ve seen people hauled in to the Special Security Office and grilled about the results of their psych evals due to nothing but the way they answered the religious/faith oriented questions on these types of tests. I know at least one Navy SEAL who was initially rejected for SEAL Team 6 because the psychiatrist said he was “too religious,” but the commander overrode that recommendation based on the overall record of this Naval Officer. He turned out to be one of the finest senior officers to ever serve in the elite counter-terrorism unit. Religious persecution is but ONE problem in this regard.

    What happens when you run squarely into the Americans with Disabilities Act? This law made ANY act of discrimination against a person with a recognized disability a federal civil rights violation, which is a felony, punishable by long terms of imprisonment and very stiff fines running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars per violation. The law explicitly states that no government entity is exempt from the ADA. Guess what? Most of the most severe mental illnesses are recognized as disabilities under the ADA! Can you imagine the floodgate of lawsuits and criminal complaints against high government officials that will begin if law-abiding gun owners with psychological and developmental disabilities are deprived of their rights protected by the 2nd Amendment, 4th Amendment, 5th Amendment, and 10th Amendment based on an invasion of their medical records, Social Security files, VA health records, military health and/or security records, and so forth? The DOJ prosecutes civil rights crimes, but the DOJ enforces gun control laws. What happens when the DOJ violates the civil rights of every disabled gun owner in America with a mental or developmental disability and then engages in retaliation (as defined by the ADA) when they file criminal complaints for retaliation (Fed Whistleblowers Act AND ADA)? Now are we to expect the AG to investigate and prosecute HIMSELF? This is preposterous!

    Folks, we are talking about adults AND CHILDREN with mental and developmental disabilities that do NOT…I repeat…DO NOT…automatically make them unsafe to keep or bear weapons. Who among us is in greater need of an adequate means of self defense than someone with a comparatively diminished physical capacity who most often spends most of their time ALONE in relative isolation? Do we truly want to take the right to carry a handgun away from a disabled veteran in a wheelchair with 3 Purple Hearts and a Silver Star just because he also has a PTSD diagnosis in his file, or because some idiot social worker acting as a psychiatrist in the military (happens all the time) “diagnosed” him as too religious to be trusted (a form of schizophrenia)? Do we really want to strip away for life the inalienable right to an adequate self-defense of every child growing up in America with a label of ADHD, Asburgers (a form of Autism…a developmental disability), mild bipolar disorder (a mood disorder), or mental retardation (guys like Albert Einstein would have been in real trouble!)? That is EXACTLY what we are talking about here.

    For your information, 1 in 3 Americans is diagnosed with a disability according to the US Dept. of Health and Human Services. 1 in 5 has a serious disability. Of that 1 in 3 Americans with some form of disability, DHHS tells us that over half are mental and/or developmental disabilities. Do the math, folks. They are moving against about 1/2 of all legal gun owners in this country, and most gun owners will cheer for them as they do it because they don’t consider themselves “mentally unstable.” Guess what, gang? YOU DON’T GET TO DECIDE! THEY DO!

    Then again, I’m just some paranoid disabled combat veteran with a PTSD+TBI diagnosis who carried such a sensitive security clearance I can’t even talk about it (passed a few pretty stiff background checks over the years) who carries legally and has never had a negligent discharge of a firearm in 36 years of extensive use, personally and professionally. I’ve been shot requiring medical attention 3 times and grazed a few more than that, and I have returned small arms fire at another human being ONCE. I have been a certified range safety and small arms instructor and taught scores of people to shoot various types of handguns, rifles, and shotguns over the years from kids to senior citizens. But I face a very real threat to my most basic human right – the right to defend myself effectively – these days. And I’ll tell you this: If the gov’t ever tells me I cannot possess a firearm of my choosing, I will immediately request a full-time caregiver paid for by the taxpayers (which I am entitled to by law) to provide for my self-defense. I will demand that this care-giver be an armed and well-trained personal security professional…probably a former US military special operator. Those guys go for about $300k to $500k/year these days…plus expenses. I AM JUST ONE.

    Think. Educate yourselves. Be FREE!

  2. Each of the Working Group members has a scary trove of databases that the AG might want to see. This includes the DOD’s AAFES gun sales records, Military Star Card ammo purchases, the health records of all active duty and their family members. TRICARE provides the medical insurance for body and brain. Tricare also has a list of every med ever taken by a covered person.

    The VA can contribute med records on every living military veteran, whether that veteran served one day or an entire career. VA general doctors are in the habit of deferring treatment for sleeplesness and minor stress to the shrinks. A search of VA records for “Modafinil” or “sleep aid” will reveal regular citizens that are getting mental health care….

    OPM is part of the WG. OPM performs the background checks on civilian employees – including knocking on your neighbor’s door to ask what kind of person you are. These records are stored infefinitely.

    OMB provides or denies ex branch funding to the Agencies/Departments according to how well the A/D complies with Law. OMB also produces the machine-readable government standard forms, such as the brand new firearms transfer record that every FFL shall use. Doc includes serial number of gun, and serial number of buyer (plus name and phone, of course). This doc was formerly stored as a paper file at the FFL’s place of business. Now that the form is machine readable, the records become searchable (like Google).

    I predict that military, retirees, and their families will avoid seeking appropriate medical care. It’s already begun, and service members are the targets.

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