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 (118) 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.
Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 12:22 pm
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?

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 12:23 pm
1
3
HA @ 12:17

"What mental illness did he have that you think should disqualify him? How do you know he had that mental illness"

If this had been a white......OH NO don't go there!! HA, you would have to have been living on Mars not to know this guy SHOULD NOT have had a gun.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 12:24 pm
4
3
Thanks Dahreese for proving
Unpublished

Thanks Dahreese for proving the earlier poster right by calling him a racist.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 12:26 pm
4
3
"If this had been a white?"
Unpublished

"If this had been a white?" huh? What are you talking about?

" HA, you would have to have been living on Mars not to know this guy SHOULD NOT have had a gun."

I'm simply asking you what mental illness he had that you think disqualified him, and how did you know he had that illness. Is it from the same news reports that incorrectly stated that he used an AR-15, in order to sensationalize their story, or did you see a doctor's report?

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 12:27 pm
1
4
Constitution, revesited

Is it JUST the Constitution you are afraid will get trampled on, or is it really taking up for the mentaly ill?? Certain mental illnesses MUST forbid, BY LAW, the having of guns.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 12:28 pm
4
3
"Certain mental illnesses
Unpublished

"Certain mental illnesses MUST forbid, BY LAW, the having of guns."

Who decides which ones?

harley_52
23959
Points
harley_52 09/18/13 - 12:30 pm
4
2
"Certain mental illnesses MUST forbid, BY LAW....

....the having of guns."

Would liberalism be among them?

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 12:30 pm
1
3
HA @ 12:26

"Is it from the same news reports that incorrectly stated that he used an AR-15, in order to sensationalize their story, or did you see a doctor's report?"

The white thing was my attempt at humor. It obviously did not work!! If you are refering to THE LIBERAL MEDIA, unfortunately this is all my TV can pick up.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 12:31 pm
5
3
Good point harley...there are
Unpublished

Good point harley...there are many who consider it a mental illness...what if those people are in power. As I stated before...when people's liberty is being trampled, if you allow it because it's the ones you disagree with, then you have no right to complain when it's YOUR liberty that is being taken.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 12:32 pm
4
3
"If you are refering to THE
Unpublished

"If you are refering to THE LIBERAL MEDIA, unfortunately this is all my TV can pick up."

You clearly have access to a computer. Look elsewhere for your news.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 12:33 pm
1
4
harley_52 @ 12:30

"Would liberalism be among them?"

Liberalism IS A MUST as a checks and balences to you all!

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 12:36 pm
1
4
HA @ 12:32

"You clearly have access to a computer. Look elsewhere for your news."

I hate to read! Besides, LIBERAL MEDIA is what feeds the need to be informed.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 12:37 pm
5
3
"Liberalism IS A MUST as a
Unpublished

"Liberalism IS A MUST as a checks and balences to you all!"

Yeah...better stop that run-away freedom and liberty.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 12:41 pm
1
3
HA @ 12:28

""Certain mental illnesses MUST forbid, BY LAW, the having of guns."

Who decides which ones?"

OH, believe me, there are more than one of them!

You know, if we had just had just one controvercial article yesterday, we would probably been done by now.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 12:42 pm
4
3
"Who decides which ones?" OH,
Unpublished

"Who decides which ones?"

OH, believe me, there are more than one of them!"

WHO DECIDES?

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 12:44 pm
1
3
HA @ 12:37

"Yeah...better stop that run-away freedom and liberty"

Did you figure out how to spell that word that I used earlier?

harley_52
23959
Points
harley_52 09/18/13 - 12:45 pm
5
1
"Yeah...better stop that run-away freedom and liberty."

Not even to mention the greatest economy the world has ever seen, the strongest military the world has ever known, the greatest generosity to needy people the world has ever known, the most creative, inventive minds the world has ever seen, etc...

Liberalism is hell-bent on destroying all of that. It must be a mental illness.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 12:45 pm
4
3
And while we are at it...are
Unpublished

And while we are at it...are there any other constitutionally guaranteed rights that you think we should let congress pass laws to deny the people? You know if you give congress the right once, they will want more.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 12:46 pm
1
3
HA @ 12:42

"WHO DECIDES?"

Someone SHOULD have really decided to keep this guy from buying a gun.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 12:47 pm
4
3
"Someone SHOULD have really
Unpublished

"Someone SHOULD have really decided to keep this guy from buying a gun."

Who?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 12:48 pm
4
3
I'm not badgering you by
Unpublished

I'm not badgering you by asking you who....my point is to get you to think. Who do you trust to make the decision to deny people their rights. It's an important decision, and our government has shown very poor judgment so far, and an inability to keep politics out of their decisions.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 12:49 pm
1
3
HA @ 12:45

"congress pass laws to deny the people? You know if you give congress the right once, they will want more"

WE ARE TALKING about dangerous, mentaly ill people!

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 12:50 pm
4
3
"WE ARE TALKING about
Unpublished

"WE ARE TALKING about dangerous, mentaly ill people!"

Who determines who is dangerously mentally ill?

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 12:52 pm
1
4
HA @ 12:48

"I'm not badgering you by asking you who....my point is to get you to think"

I am thinking rationally. Anyone who can not see that mentaly ill people don't need guns, is thinking irrationally.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 12:54 pm
4
3
So you propose we write a law
Unpublished

So you propose we write a law that states "anyone who is obviously a dangerous person shall be denied the right to bear arms."

Can you narrow it down a little? Laws have to be specific.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 12:54 pm
4
3
T3...tell us what made it so
Unpublished

T3...tell us what made it so obvious that this person shouldn't have been allowed to own a gun?

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 12:55 pm
1
3
HA

You KNOW I like debating you, but I am getting corple tunnel here. Guess I will go for a while. Try to get back later.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 12:57 pm
4
3
"Anyone who can not see that
Unpublished

"Anyone who can not see that mentaly ill people don't need guns, is thinking irrationally."

A person with acrophobia is, by definition, mentally ill. Why is it irrational thinking to think they should be able to own a gun?

harley_52
23959
Points
harley_52 09/18/13 - 01:07 pm
4
1
Is It Permanent?

Can one be mentally ill today, but perfectly sane tomorrow? Next week? Next year? Ever?

I think the true answer is "yes," but once on the list you'll NEVER get off it. Heck, it's hard enough to get the "no fly list" straight, let alone the list of "mentally ill" people which is in constant flux.

What kind of bureaucracy does it take to incompetently "manage" such an undertaking? Will a "mentally ill" person still be able to steal a gun? Will the person from whom he steals it be held accountable for his actions?

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 09/18/13 - 01:35 pm
3
5
Dumbest Comment ever
Unpublished

Posted by Harley_52 as if no whites have ever committed mass murder. What's wrong with this.See below he clearly has no memory of past mass murders. BTW I am not the one making race an issue.

Political Correctness...

...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." Fire him, you're a "racist." Don't hire him, you're a "racist." Write him a bad efficiency report, you're a "racist." Refuse him a security clearance, you're a "racist." Throw him in jail for previous gun violence episodes, you're a "racist." You get the picture?

This episode, like the Fort Hood shooter case, is "progressive" inspired Political Correctness at work.

In these instances, like most other societal tragedies of our time, you can thank the liberals for the damage and carnage they have caused

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs