Sense and sensibilities

Mental health policy underlies Navy Yard shooting, not gun laws

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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
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KSL
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KSL 09/18/13 - 02:11 pm
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Bledsoe

You say you don't like to read. ?? You have to read to "debate" here.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 09/18/13 - 02:10 pm
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Mental illness hasn't

Mental illness hasn't prevented the mentally ill from being president of the USA. hee,hee,hee. I don't think we can discriminate against the average citizen then.

David Parker
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David Parker 09/18/13 - 02:14 pm
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Never let a good tragedy go to waste.

Typical. The guy was a crazy and killed innocent people. Instead of calling it as you see it, the s.o.p. is to find some connection with the left/right and point the finger. Laying the blame is far more dramatic than mourning the loss and accepting that insanity sometimes sparks insane events such as this. Both sides will run with this one.

Bizkit
43678
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Bizkit 09/18/13 - 02:20 pm
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Before 1973 a gay person

Before 1973 a gay person would be called mentally ill as well as transgendered. An uncommon illness is delusional disorder where folks are able to work and function normally socially -so it isn't noticeable. It took years to protect the mentally ill from discrimination and stigma and now we are going back in time. It is really a mess because some psychiatric drugs also affect people producing violence. It's a hell of a mess.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 02:22 pm
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Owensjef, since I'm quite
Unpublished

Owensjef, since I'm quite sure harley never said anything even close to "white people never commit mass murder" it seems that it is YOU that are making the racist comments.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 02:23 pm
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Biz...you are correct....I
Unpublished

Biz...you are correct....I tried to point that out, that yesterday's mental illness is today's parade event. It seems awful to deny Constitutional rights based on what it is fashionable to call a mental illness.

KSL
171800
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KSL 09/18/13 - 02:24 pm
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Biz

Let's see. Potentially a POTUS could be mentally ill and not be allowed to own a gun. But a POTUS does not need a gun because he has armrd protction. Maybe the solution is everyone should be entitlrd to and provided body guards. Hehehe.

harley_52
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harley_52 09/18/13 - 02:32 pm
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" Laying the blame is far more dramatic....

.... than mourning the loss and accepting that insanity sometimes sparks insane events such as this.

Nobody is denying "that insanity sometimes sparks insane events such as this," at least not that I've seen.

The question is why wasn't something done to stop it? From what we've learned, many, many people had knowledge he was mentally ill and guilty of numerous prior behavioral incidents both with and without guns. These were clues and something SHOULD HAVE been done to stop it.

Why wasn't it? Was it just a coincidence, or is there something that caused all these people to see the clues and choose to ignore them even when it was often their JOB to act?

CobaltGeorge
210996
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CobaltGeorge 09/18/13 - 03:06 pm
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2
Biz,

I really loved this one. A perfect example of a human with a mental illness.

Mental illness hasn't prevented the mentally ill from being president of the USA.

So he doesn't need a CWL, He has Homeland Security or a Sec. of State to do his killing and get away with it.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 09/18/13 - 03:11 pm
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Here's a suggestion. (Tongue
Unpublished

Here's a suggestion. (Tongue in cheek) Anyone deemed unfit to own a gun MUST be provided a government supplied armed guard so that their 2nd amendment rights are not infringed upon.

David Parker
7924
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David Parker 09/18/13 - 03:16 pm
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Spinning does not equal denial

Nobody is denying "that insanity sometimes sparks insane events such as this," at least not that I've seen.

From what the posts say race, gay, transgender, gun-rights, gun-restrictions, video games, microwaves, the POTUS, Dept. of Homeland Security, all had some element of involvement and relevancy. These look to me like items from an agenda, so side-stepping the case of the man just being a nut and bringing these fringe theories into the forefront, is not denial. You are correct.

David Parker
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David Parker 09/18/13 - 03:24 pm
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The gun advocates are making

The gun advocates are making the point that if they had been allowed to carry, there would be less bodies. The gun-restricters are pointing out that another mass killing has occurred b/c of a gun, which was the logic for the last one in the school.

Other items are stretched even further to serve their purpose. Using the event to springboard a political discuss is a tired tactic. Why weren't everybody talking their ideals up BEFORE this happened is the better question?

harley_52
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harley_52 09/18/13 - 03:26 pm
3
1
" These look to me like items from an agenda....

....so side-stepping the case of the man just being a nut and bringing these fringe theories into the forefront, is not denial."

Huh? You lost me there.

Let me ask you this....is it possible something could be a valid consideration AND be "from an agenda" as well?

Or are they mutually exclusive?

David Parker
7924
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David Parker 09/18/13 - 03:33 pm
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Why wasn't it? Was it just a

Why wasn't it? Was it just a coincidence, or is there something that caused all these people to see the clues and choose to ignore them even when it was often their JOB to act?

This is conspiracy theory or suggests that forces intended this to happen. If there is blatant evidence of it, that's one thing, but throwing it in with all the other pov's isn't making the water clearer.

There were people who were legally forbidden to protect themselves to a sufficient degree and who were victimized by an unreasonable and armed person. Beyond that, it's spinning.

David Parker
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David Parker 09/18/13 - 03:34 pm
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1
yes

Let me ask you this....is it possible something could be a valid consideration AND be "from an agenda" as well?

harley_52
30918
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harley_52 09/18/13 - 03:36 pm
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"Why weren't everybody talking their ideals up....

....BEFORE this happened is the better question?"

Not being real sure what you mean by "talking their ideals up," but some of us have been saying the very same things about "gun control" for as long as I've been around here. In that regard there is NOTHING new in this case.

In every mass murder situation I can think of, one or more armed victims, or witnesses, could have saved lives. This is just one more example.

What's different about this one from some others is the race/political correctness aspect that I believe was also involved in the Fort Hood case as well.

Heck, in the Fort Hood case, people in responsible positions knew the guy was a muzzie terrorist but refused to act on that knowledge for fear of being called anti-diversity, or whatever. The Obama Administration still refuses to deal with the facts.

Political correctness is literally killing us.

harley_52
30918
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harley_52 09/18/13 - 03:37 pm
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"yes"

Good. Your comments suggest otherwise, so thanks for clearing that up.

CobaltGeorge
210996
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CobaltGeorge 09/18/13 - 04:05 pm
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2
Come To Think About It,

All Americans are Mentally Ill. Those that put this King SMNCICBHO(M), the Hammer & Sickle man in office and those of us the let it happen.

Using the murder aaron alxeis at the Navy Shipyard massacre as an example, this leader we now have has committed more killings than all the deaths committed by all the mass murders in decades.
(Gun running, Benghazi, Total support to Al-Qaeda to speak of a few)

He has a top Security Clearance-

He is Narcissistic which is a mental disorder-

He has demonstrated for 5 years and even prior, an uncontrollable Hate for America by those he has associated with that have the same ideology which should have been a red Flag of his personality-

He is a compulsive liar which is also classified as a Mental disorder-

Taken this in consideration, I believe he wouldn't have any trouble applying for a CWL.

Young Fred
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Young Fred 09/18/13 - 03:52 pm
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harley_52

I’m somewhat surprised that you had to spell that out.

Some seem to come down with a case of righteous indignation when politics are brought into a disaster.

While I can understand the anger when people are grasping at straws, and seemingly making things up in order to score a political point or two; I also understand that politics are sometimes a major underlying cause of the disaster.

David Parker
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David Parker 09/18/13 - 03:57 pm
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3
2 paths diverged in a yellow wood...

Would you agree that someone with perspective will have merit and that merit will tend to lose quality once an agenda becomes evident/vocalized?

B/c that's what's happening to all sides. The gun-banners look like idgits b/c all those souls would still be walking around had just one been carrying illegally. The gun-promoters look like the enemy but the idgit doing the shooting used a gun to commit the murders.

Choosing the right observations to post makes all the difference and in this case, it's my humble pov that checking your motives at the door would serve you better.

harley_52
30918
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harley_52 09/18/13 - 03:59 pm
2
1
"I also understand that politics are sometimes....

....a major underlying cause of the disaster."

Very true, Young Fred. As a matter of fact, I believe that excluding "acts of God," politics is THE most significant factor affecting the sum of the tragedy. Even in "acts of God" politics can contribute to (or detract from) the death and misery the original disaster wrought.

In this case (and others) I don't think there is any doubt that political decisions and an atmosphere of political correctness contributed to the death toll.

David Parker
7924
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David Parker 09/18/13 - 04:01 pm
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@CG

You and I both know it ain't this particular POTUS or the one prior. Government has killed more than anything. If you believe that all the sudden, we have this murderer in the White House, good luck with it. But keeping it real, this went on long before and will continue long after.

harley_52
30918
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harley_52 09/18/13 - 04:04 pm
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"Choosing the right observations to post...

....makes all the difference and in this case, it's my humble pov that checking your motives at the door would serve you better."

You're certainly entitled to your "pov," humble, or not.

I've got to say, however, that I have no idea what point you're trying to make.

Why would anyone choose the "wrong observations to post?"

People, understandably, pick and choose their words (and their examples) to contribute to the point they're trying to make. Some in here try so hard, in fact, that they just make things up out of thin air whenever necessary.

Maybe you could be specific about the issue that concerns you? SPECIFIC....

David Parker
7924
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David Parker 09/18/13 - 04:10 pm
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3
Politics? Really?

You think the goober doin the shooting had skin in the politics game? Or are we back to the conspiracy theory now? You know what contributed the most to the deaths. Buckshot I'm bettin.

localguy55
5477
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localguy55 09/18/13 - 04:18 pm
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Humble Angela 10:09 a.m. So

Humble Angela 10:09 a.m.

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?

Liberalism should be classified as a mental illness as it is an unstable way of thinking and the results of Liberalism always ends in some sort of disaster. Khmer Rouge, Soviet Union, North Korea, Uganda under Idi Amin Dada. All were or are collectivist regimes with a collectivist philosophy which is the essence of Liberalism. You have to be unstable to think this way.

harley_52
30918
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harley_52 09/18/13 - 04:20 pm
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1
So You Can't....

....(or won't) address a specific issue you have. At least I tried.

Yes, "buckshot" came out of the shotgun, no doubt about it.

Some in here have been attempting a slightly more in-depth analysis of "why" it might have happened, but you apparently reject such a review.

No problem at all.

CobaltGeorge
210996
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CobaltGeorge 09/18/13 - 04:52 pm
2
2
Darn,

accomplish nothing today except mow 2 acres of the main lawn. This topic has made me mentally ill.

I think I will take my safe brain carry with two 16 round mags. and go to my range an gain some type of sanity.

CU later.

Darby
34893
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Darby 09/18/13 - 04:56 pm
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1
"So yes - GUNS ARE THE ISSUE. The more

guns and bullets, the more killings, the more murders, the more home accidents, the more violence and bloodshed in our streets. The gun culture has decimated the idea of safety in this country."

.
So yes - some folks live out their lives in THEIR OWN SHELTERED AND DISTORTED VERSION OF REALITY.

Without guns in the hands of a free people, there would NOT have been an American Revolution and there would NOT have been a United States.

If the Dems were to get their way (and they won't) there would certainly be fertile ground for a second American Revolution!

I'll keep my weapons, all of them, thank you very much. But I won't be using them in anger except to defend myself and/or my family.

But if it does come to that, I won't hesitate.

David Parker
7924
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David Parker 09/18/13 - 05:03 pm
1
3
The thing is Harley52,

The thing is Harley52, pressing me suggests that you do have issue with things (or my comment). Why else do you single it out and then continue to engage? So accepting that first, I think you want me to side one way or another so you can formulate a counter point. Sorry Harley. That was the premise, not to side and just comment in an objective manner (which I have several times).

And very convenient to say it's an in-depth conversation on why this happened. Gonna need to change to something more enticing for this one to bite. Maybe a Banjo Minnow or something. All I have read here and elsewhere today is this in-depth look at why and all i get from it is most people want to hijack the event into a battle cry. To your previous point, YES, one of those cries are correct and useful, albeit agenda-driven. Think of it like this. You take a pill from the doctor, it's the right pill, does that make the compentancy of the doctor who gave it to you irrelevant?

harley_52
30918
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harley_52 09/18/13 - 05:38 pm
3
1
Once Again, David Parker...

...I have no earthly idea what you're saying.

I'm not "pressing you." You complained about the "spinning" and the "agendas" being pressed here and I simply asked you to present a specific example of what has you concerned. Not surprisingly, you chose not to present a specific, but just a general discomfort with what others (including me) have said.

Please don't feel "pressed," at all. If the scope of your analysis leads you to conclude it was "buckshot" and nothing else that contributed to this mass murder, that's fine with me.

I have my views on this incident, others have theirs as well. You don't like them and (apparently) you don't have the intention to describe what it is about them you don't like, other than that you think they may (or may not) be linked to an "agenda" you choose not to discuss, beyond simply throwing the charge around.

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