Sense and sensibilities

Mental health policy underlies Navy Yard shooting, not gun laws

  • Follow Editorials

The default position of liberals after every mass shooting tragedy – gun control – makes less sense than ever in the case of the Washington Navy Yard massacre.

We know it’s an easy, feel-good knee-jerk reaction. Fact is, the blood hadn’t stopped running in D.C. by the time actor Henry Winkler sent out a sarcastic tweet about the need for gun control.

But what amount of gun control would have prevented an episode by an inarguably deranged man with approved access to a secure military installation where guns are – guess what – already banned? And in a city that Guns and Ammo magazine ranks as the strictest in the nation on guns?

It may feel good to seek gun control after such tragedies. But it actually would do nothing to prevent such calamities, and would only disarm sane, law-abiding Americans.

Meanwhile, this blame-the-implement mentality tends to let real culpability slide out the back door.

The Navy Yard shooter, Aaron Alexis, had serious mental illness issues, including reported paranoia and hearing voices. Reports indicate he’d been treated by the Veterans Administration for mental illness.

That’s one thing: Even after multiple mass shootings in Newtown and Aurora and elsewhere by people with easily discernible mental illness problems, this country has done next to nothing to reform its mental health system and laws.

But in addition, it’s inconceivable to us that after the massacre at Fort Hood by a raving radical Muslim that the Pentagon and defense industries wouldn’t have done a better job of
policing their ranks and screening out the lunatics.

As noted above, Alexis wore red flags like a sash. How could this guy have maintained a security clearance? If the VA and defense industry aren’t allowed to compare notes on potential threats, the law needs to change – not only to allow it, but to mandate it!

Far from taking guns away from people, this government actually needs to re-examine whether it’s smart to disarm members of the military on bases. Of all places, our men and women in uniform, and those civilians who work side by side with them, should not be forced to be sitting ducks to lone gunmen. How many lives might have been saved if Alexis’ victims had been armed?

As some have wryly noted in social media, it’s interesting – if not blatantly hypocritical – that the Obama administration is arming the rebels in Syria while promoting the disarming of law-abiding Americans.

To put a finer point on that: By definition, gun laws disarm only the law-abiding.

We can have that debate yet again, ad nauseam. But it misses the point. And all the while, our mental health laws are antiquated and our mental health infrastructure is more neglected than our crumbling bridges.

Guns aren’t the issue. The issue is dealing with the small fraction of the mentally ill who pose a danger to others.

It’s an indelicate matter that must be dealt with delicately. But it must be dealt with.

As soon as we start worrying more about sense than sensibilities.

Comments (117) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 10:00 am
1
3
HA @ 10:09

"So who decides what mental illness would disqualify you from excercising this particular right? What other rights shall we deny based on mental illness?....voting?"

HA, I know you MUST have a Constitution copy hanging on your wall!! BUT, this issue HAS GOT to go agains the Constitution.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 10:00 am
4
2
So those who took down the
Unpublished

So those who took down the WTC in NY were freedom fighters?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 10:02 am
4
2
"HA, I know you MUST have a
Unpublished

"HA, I know you MUST have a Constitution copy hanging on your wall!! BUT, this issue HAS GOT to go agains the Constitution."

You are right...the Constitution says the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. It does not say the right of the people that we think meet the fashonable definition of mentally stable, to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 10:03 am
1
4
myfather15 @ 10:59

""The US is trying to level "the playing field" for the freedom fighters."

Are you sure they are freedom fighters?"

You are very correct. All liberals like Obama just see people trying to get out from under a dictator's rule.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 10:06 am
1
3
HA @ 11:02

"It does not say the right of the people that we think meet the fashonable definition of mentally stable, to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"

YOU SHOULD want this law, because it might take some of the heat off of "regular people"!! REALLY.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 10:06 am
4
2
So if Al Qaeda tried to
Unpublished

So if Al Qaeda tried to overthrow OUR government, who has been known to kill their own citizens without due process...would you call them freedom fighters just trying to get out from under a dictator's rule?

itsanotherday1
48437
Points
itsanotherday1 09/18/13 - 10:09 am
3
0
Thorny

As has been brought up by some above, establishing who is mentally competent and who isn't is a Barrell of worms, not a can. Talk about invasion of privacy!! Our medical records are the most private of all personal info, and some would have that info in an accessible database?? Really? A government worker bee could have medical info on you that your own spouse doesn't have access to?

Do I have the answer? Absolutely not! But I'm not willing to give up more personal freedom/privacy just to find it out.

I can see it now. I go to buy a gun and the report comes back DENIED. "Records show that Mr. White had a prescription for Prozac in 2005; he has mental issues". It doesn't matter that Mr. White was tending to the love of his life for the past 40 years, who suffered a slow and painful death from cancer; and the doctor prescribed it for a few months to help him through the grief.

Yes, those medical records would be tool the gov would use to strip as many people as possible of the right to own a weapon.

nocnoc
49787
Points
nocnoc 09/18/13 - 10:10 am
3
0
Types of Mental Illness according to WebMD.com

So let us say we do increase the Types of Mental Illness background checks.

If we allowed congress to deny people the right to own a firearm based on Mental Illness, they could use the following and expand the legal definitions to mean anything.

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-types-illness

* Anxiety disorders: People with anxiety disorders respond to certain objects or situations with fear and dread.

Scared of spiders you have an Anxiety disorder no firearm allowed.

* Mood disorders: These disorders, also called affective disorders, involve persistent feelings of sadness or periods of feeling overly happy.

Get mad or can be happy no firearm allowed.

* Psychotic disorders: Psychotic disorders involve distorted awareness and thinking. Imagine the test they could develop to say no firearm allowed.

* Eating disorders: Eating disorders involve extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors involving weight and food.
Overweight then Ms. Obama will say no firearm allowed.

*Impulse control and addiction disorders: People with impulse control disorders are unable to resist urges, or impulses, to perform acts that could be harmful to themselves or others.

No more Youtubes of "HEY Bubba Watch This....." or no firearm allowed.

* Personality disorders: People with personality disorders have extreme and inflexible personality traits that are distressing to the person and/or cause problems in work, school, or social relationships.

Have solid beliefs in GOD, morals or marriage ... no firearm allowed

* Adjustment disorder: Adjustment disorder occurs when a person develops emotional or behavioral symptoms in response to a stressful event or situation.

Can't adjust to Socialism no firearm allowed.

* Dissociative disorders: People with these disorders suffer severe disturbances or changes in memory, consciousness, identity, and general awareness of themselves and their surroundings.

If the wife says that's not how it happened.... no firearm allowed.

* Factitious disorders: Factitious disorders are conditions in which physical and/or emotional symptoms are created in order to place the individual in the role of a patient or a person in need of help.

See a doctor and he can't do the right test, because of Obama Care to find out what ails you? ..... no firearm allowed.

* Sexual and gender disorders: These include disorders that affect sexual desire, performance, and behavior.

Born a Male but trapped in A Female body or the verse, Are you GAY? ......then no firearm allowed.

* Somatoform disorders: A person with a somatoform disorder, formerly known as psychosomatic disorder, experiences physical symptoms of an illness, even though a doctor can find no medical cause for the symptoms.

So if a doc can't figure it out your crazy and no firearm allowed.

* Tic disorders: People with tic disorders make sounds or display body movements that are repeated, quick, sudden, and/or uncontrollable.

No more booty swings and chess shakes or else no firearm allowed.

Yes these example are absurd NOW.
But went was the last time congress passed a LAW that they did not expand in scope or, move the guideposts to include more.

So when was the last time we trusted congress to protect our rights and they actually did?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 10:10 am
4
2
"YOU SHOULD want this law,
Unpublished

"YOU SHOULD want this law, because it might take some of the heat off of "regular people"!! REALLY."

Really....our government has already stated that people who are returning vets, and groups with "patriot" in their name should get more scrutiny because of the risk to national security. How does this help "regular people?"

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 10:11 am
1
3
HA @ 10:18

"And again....who decides what mental illnesses would disqualify you for gun ownership? You are talking about a constitutional right, so you better be really sure before you go denying it to people"

BELIEVE ME, this gut was the poster guy for WAY MORE than he needed to disqualfy him for a gun!!

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 10:15 am
1
4
Controvercial and other liberals

Was it me that asked for something WAY controvercial to debate?? And where are the rest OF MY KIND to help me??!!

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 10:24 am
1
4
HA @ 8:32

"More people driving cars leads to more car violence. Better ban them"

I still don't agree with your being OK with mentaly ill people being able to legally buy guns.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 10:32 am
1
2
harley_52 @ 8:56

"Being politically correct ...is the true villain here.

The Naval Yard shooter was a known problem, but nobody was willing to do anything about it for fear of being labeled a "racist.

I agree with this statement, BUT to go one step further, being negative toward the mentaly ill is anti-PC also!!

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 10:37 am
1
3
CobaltGeorge @ 9:04

"I WILL kill protecting my Family and Property.
I WILL kill fighting any government (Foreign and Domestic) who tries to Destroy America and our U.S. Constitution. Period"

I don't believe making gun ownership MORE safe, is breaking The Constitution. Is there NO ONE that agrees with me??!!

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 10:41 am
1
2
HA @ 9:04

"Political correctness is one of the most vile and dangerous forms of dishonesty I know."

myfather15 has accused me of saying things that I don't really mean. Are you SURE that this statement is TRUE IN EVERY situation??

myfather15
57307
Points
myfather15 09/18/13 - 10:44 am
4
1
t3bledsoe

"All liberals like Obama just see people trying to get out from under a dictator's rule."

The problems with Islamic Countries is they ALWAYS replace the currect dictatorship with another form of fascism!! It's always Sharia law or some other radical form of Islam that everyone must abide by!! Yes, replace Assad and get the Muslic Brotherhood, sounds wonderful!!

myfather15
57307
Points
myfather15 09/18/13 - 10:47 am
4
1
t3bledsoe

How have I accused you of saying things you don't really mean? I haven't accused you of saying anything; I simply ask a couple questions about "Freedom Fighters".

BUT; ""Political correctness is one of the most vile and dangerous forms of dishonesty I know."

Yes, I believe this is true in every situation!!

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 10:53 am
1
4
HA @ 10:38

""Sorry sir, you were diagnosed with OCD, we can't allow you to vote.""

OCD, the first one that had, probably shouldn't qualify for "no gun and no vote", BUT many others MUST!!

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 10:58 am
1
2
Conservatives

Does the term "survivalests" mean anything??

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 11:04 am
1
3
HA @ 10:30

"These are all mental illnesses that could disqualify someone. Be specific as to who is to have their constitutional rights denied"

AND YET, all of the illnesses this shooter had is the cause of his fatal actions!

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 11:11 am
4
2
"I still don't agree with
Unpublished

"I still don't agree with your being OK with mentaly ill people being able to legally buy guns."

I thought I and others made it very clear that the problem is that we don't trust the government to decide who is and who isn't mentally ill.

"AND YET, all of the illnesses this shooter had is the cause of his fatal actions!"

Really. What mental illnesses did he have. List them all.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 11:11 am
1
4
nofanofobama @ 10:55

"there is a difference in laws passed by congress and the rights in the constitution"

These congression laws are EXACTLY what the mentaly ill people need to have working against them to keep from buying guns!!

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 11:13 am
4
2
"myfather15 has accused me of
Unpublished

"myfather15 has accused me of saying things that I don't really mean. Are you SURE that this statement is TRUE IN EVERY situation??"

Absolutely.....If you won't call something what it is, you are being patently dishonest.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 11:15 am
4
2
T3...who is mentally ill and
Unpublished

T3...who is mentally ill and who isn't?

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 11:15 am
1
3
HA @ 12:11

"Really. What mental illnesses did he have. List them all"

Paranoia and I don't know the rest. But believe me, this guy DID NOT need to be able to buy a gun!

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 11:19 am
4
3
"Paranoia and I don't know
Unpublished

"Paranoia and I don't know the rest. But believe me, this guy DID NOT need to be able to buy a gun!"

What mental illness did he have that you think should disqualify him? How do you know he had that mental illness? What doctor's report did you see?

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 11:19 am
1
2
HA @ 12:14

"I suppose it DOESN'T mean anything, because I can't find it anywhere in the dictionary"

Again with the spelling! I think you could find a deffinition(spl).

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 11:20 am
3
3
deffinition
Unpublished

It's just to easy to pass up. :-)

dahreese
4914
Points
dahreese 09/18/13 - 11:23 am
3
3
This editorial starts out
Unpublished

This editorial starts out fine.

There is the discussion of the danger of guns in the hands of some mentally ill people (but not those who commit the same crimes who are not mentally ill) the response of anti-gun folks and gun owners.

So far, so good.

But then, the writer just 'had' to include that the shooter in the Ft. Hood tragedy is a Muslim. Oh, no, he just couldn't leave the 'Muslim' part out.

"The Navy Yard shooter, Aaron Alexis, had serious mental illness issues, including reported paranoia and hearing voices. Reports indicate he’d been treated by the Veterans Administration for mental illness."

Unfortunately, for the editorial writer, and those who think we have a "Muslim problem", but fortunate for the more open minded here, Aaron Alexis was not a Muslim; and can we wonder if he had been a 'white Southern Baptist/Methodist, etc., would the editorial writer have included that?

(Nor have our racist critics let it go by that Aaron Alexis is/was black and implies that he had special favors because of that).

If this tragedy points out anything, it's the tragedy of our lack of on-going treatment for the mentally ill; giv'em a pill, no follow-up, and send'em back out onto the streets.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 11:22 am
3
3
Remember, when you say that
Unpublished

Remember, when you say that someone is too mentally ill to own a gun, you are denying them their constitutional right to protect themselves, so you better be darn sure you know what you are talking about.

You know that great damage can come from voting incorrectly, so would you agree that some mentally ill should be barred from voting?

Back to Top
loading...
Search Augusta jobs