Will Gun Laws Hurt the Mentally Ill?

Discussion in 'Mental Health' started by skycanvas, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. skycanvas

    skycanvas Member

    Great corroboration to the parallel thread I started in Mental Health named, 'Fed & State Check - Bipolar? Can't buy a Gun.' I was surprised to see this just now, though it was written in March, let's me know there are thinking people out there second guessing these scapegoating laws that cost billions, hassle & harm the innocent & usually beget zero results. —Give comments a read.

    28 March 2013 Last updated at 22:39 ET

    By Paul Adams
    BBC News, Westchester, New York

    New York is in the process of introducing some of the toughest gun laws in the US, but in one crucial aspect might they do more harm than good? Paul Adams reports on the consequences of mental health laws.

    When Governor Andrew Cuomo put his name to the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (Safe) Act, just a month after the mass shooting at Newtown, Connecticut, he told supporters that the bill's mental health provisions lay at the core of the legislation.

    The act includes, among its various controls on gun ownership, something called a "mental health alert", which requires mental health professionals to report patients who they believe pose a threat to themselves or others.
    "People who are mentally ill should not have access to guns," Gov Cuomo said. "That's common sense."

    Hard to argue with that. Mental illness has clearly been at the centre of some of the country's most notorious mass shootings. But could the new law have an unintended consequence: making it harder for the mentally ill to seek help?

    Governor Cuomo signed the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act into law shortly after the Newtown shootings Anneliese, a native of Westchester county who agreed to speak to the BBC on condition of anonymity, has battled mental illness since she was a teenager. She never thought about doing harm to anyone, except herself. She's conquered her demons for now, but says the new law would have made it hard to seek help in the first place.

    "If I was in the condition I was in when I was first diagnosed, I might not have gone back to treatment," she says.

    The key to successful treatment, for Anneliese, was a relationship of trust with her therapist. Anything that threatened that relationship might have undermined the whole exercise.

    "If I had that fear that it would go to the police, I would feel violated," she says. "Like big brother is watching me."

    Mental health professionals and advocates fear that as a result of the new law, those who need treatment will stay away from the very people who ought to be able to help them.

    "It has set back stigma a trillion years," says Sharon McCarthy, programme director for the Westchester branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

    "In developing this law, you brought in the mentally ill people," says Ms McCarthy, whose daughter is bipolar. "You didn't bring in the gangs. You pinpointed that group."

    42-year-old Michael Andersson from the Bronx believes society needs to be educated about how rarely mentally ill people commit violent acts against others. :dupe:

    Mr Andersson, who now supports others with mental illness, has previously been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. In the early stages of his illness, he had thoughts of harming himself.

    "It feels horrible, really horrible when you hear people equating guns with the mentally ill," he says. "But people will start doing it because it's now in the language of this legislation." :dupe:

    (More on This Story...) :iamwithstupid:

  2. skycanvas

    skycanvas Member

    Ok, there was like, one mass shooting every day this week in the news. It's getting to be the norm.

    My point is that these are so-called 'normal' people who are so compressed that they go insane & go into a mall or a school or the town council or their former job & start killing everybody.

    I'd like to see the stats. Why are State governments falsely targeting somebody who is merely bipolar? Or someone indigent living on the street enduring nightly threats? These are potential victims being harassed.

    The other people are ex-cops & military & people experienced with guns, terrorists, etc. Why are they trying to empty the ocean with a tea spoon or catch whales in a cup with one-size fits all laws singling out people who have actually had mental counseling & treatment & ARE on Meds & have an outlet for their grief or handicap or depression by talking to a psychiatrist.

    They are people who have faced their problems; are interfacing with the mental health community & they have a source of listening.

    The people who commit these atrocious crimes seem to largely be pent-up achievers or stressed-out failures, not people who could never make it & are getting meds & a check.

    My former doctor always said: If people never blow off steam, never let it out in small ways; then they go crazy & shoot people.
  3. kokujin

    kokujin Senior Member

    didn't read the OP but totally think we should not give guns to the mentally ill. sorry. (I'm not a big fan of guns anyways.)
  4. skycanvas

    skycanvas Member

    Yes, but who should determine who is mentally ill? This is an 'ad hoc' syndrome that seems to pop up every time some stressed out collar worker is fed up after a lifetime of conformity & wants vengeance on his cohorts, not someone who is a little bit shy, under psychiatric care & can't fit into the job routine.
  5. skycanvas

    skycanvas Member

    You take away guns from no one but: Criminals, ex-criminals, people with family criminal historical DNA (ie.: The wild & Wonderful Whites of West Virginia) & lastly to the Violent & Only the Violent mentally ill; which are few in number, —those who are sworn to harm others. You can't stop some robo-cop from popping a cap into his gfriend & his own head after a bad fight.

    Why do they always get this wrong? Why don't they just give every law-abiding citizen a goddamn gun & then there would be no massacres. People would all defend themselves & others. Why is the government trying to take away our inalienable rights thinking the forefathers were wrong?
  6. skycanvas

    skycanvas Member

    Why don't you data junkies just cross reference all the personal data of all the people who have actually committed massacres over the last 100 years & go with those common tendencies. Those must be the most erratic anomalies known & also the acutely accurate.

    And go fuck yourselves afterwards for your ineptness!
  7. skycanvas

    skycanvas Member

    And while you're at it, we'd like to know the actual blood/alcohol level of people who have caused accidents & we can lower the bar to that sociable, livable level.

    And we disagree that 'buzzed driving is drunk driving' because we've never seen the stats on that.

    And while you bring your 'laboratory' trailer around to test so-called DUI's & ruin their lives why not just put them in a simulator seat with a wall TV screen & let them see if they can maneuver a demonstrative course without knocking any objects down & then we'll believe they can't handle their booze! Like a video game DUI course. If they lose, they go to jail. If not, they go free.

    PS: And I disagree hitting someone driving around on a bike with no lights at night is a genuine crime. Why were they driving around in the dark on a bike in the street without lights? Were they suicidal? Why don't they just go play in traffic next time if there is one.

  8. DrummingJoey

    DrummingJoey Member

    I have bipolar and if I had any suspicion that I would ever act unsafely with a firearm, I would let my doctor know and gladly relinquish my right to a gun for the sake of safety. It's called responsibility, and believe it or not, people with mental illnesses still have it. Besides that, mental health professionals are already obligated to report an imminent danger to the patient or others.

    I also want to point out that not every mental disorder presents risks to firearm owners. My bipolar II is not a violent threat to anyone, nor are the myriad anxiety disorders present in both sides of my family. Alcoholism, however, is a serious danger when firearms are present. For example, if you are the type of person who believes that driving drunk and killing a cyclist is not your fault, you might not be a safe person to own a gun. I trust a doctor to make that decision far more than I trust someone whose mental integrity is compromised, by natural or artificial means.

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