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 (120) 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.
harley_52
23159
Points
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.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 06:30 pm
1
4
HA @ 12:28

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

Who decides which ones?"

I have had time to think about this, and you are right. Who will deside who is mentaly ill, because they are probably not going to advertize it! I still think that it should be done, BUT the Dr. / patient confidentially, in my opinion, will never be out-lawed.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 06:35 pm
2
1
harley_52 @ 12:45

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

IF ONLY mental illness was that easy and simple!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 06:41 pm
3
1
KSL @ 2:11

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

Every now and again, reading is worth it!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 06:47 pm
1
2
HA @ 2:23

"It seems awful to deny Constitutional rights based on what it is fashionable to call a mental illness."

I am sure, that in 2013, the rights of the many out weigh the rights of the mentaly ill! Last time I checked, we are in the greatest of minorities.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 06:51 pm
1
2
KSL @ 2:24

"Potentially a POTUS could be mentally ill and not be allowed to own a gun"

It has been said that Lincoln had one or two mental illnesses.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 07:00 pm
2
1
David Parker @ 3:24

"The gun advocates are making the point that if they had been allowed to carry, there would be less bodies"

This logic must have some merit. There was much talk about encouraging princpals and teachers to carry.

KSL
128774
Points
KSL 09/18/13 - 07:02 pm
2
2
bledsoe

And observatiion leads one to believe our current POTUS has issues.

Darby
25496
Points
Darby 09/18/13 - 07:05 pm
4
1
"It has been said that Lincoln had one or

two mental illnesses."

.
Not gonna call you on that bledsoe, but I'm pretty certain that Old Abe was never considered (or called) mentally ill except by his Democrat detractors.

They also refereed to him as an idiot and said he resembled a monkey, among other things.

On the other hand, his wife Mary did certainly have mental issues and was treated for them on more than one occasion.

That is a matter of official record.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 07:06 pm
1
2
David Parker @ 3:33

"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?"

Someone earlier, and I happen to agree, said that it is not PC nor is it a "live and let live" mentality that caused this shooter to be able to do what he did.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 07:09 pm
1
2
KSL @ 7:02

"And observatiion leads one to believe our current POTUS has issues"

Well he is most certainly tall like Lincoln.

KSL
128774
Points
KSL 09/18/13 - 07:19 pm
2
2
Bledsoe

Well yeah. Tall and unattractive.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 07:27 pm
2
1
KSL @ 7:19

"Well yeah. Tall and unattractive"

The tallness I can comment on. The attractiveness is not in my ball park to comment on!!

KSL
128774
Points
KSL 09/18/13 - 07:28 pm
2
2
That is good to know.

That is good to know.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 09/18/13 - 07:32 pm
2
1
KSL @ 7:28

"That is good to know"

I guess I am going to have to follow CobaltGeorge's move and say

CU hopefully tomorrow

KSL
128774
Points
KSL 09/18/13 - 07:38 pm
2
2
I am pretty sure Lincoln was

I am pretty sure Lincoln was totally reared in America, per se, not an island procured by America or a foreign area, like Indonesia. I am pretty sure he was not exposed to Marxists while growing up.

I am pretty sure he was a true American.

dahreese
4717
Points
dahreese 09/18/13 - 09:37 pm
1
2
"Liberalism is hell-bent on
Unpublished

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

Tell us a few ways conservatism has "advanced" this country.

The very word itself means "a political or theological orientation advocating the preservation of the best in society and opposing radical changes."

If it weren't for "radical changes" you couldn't vote. (political).

If it weren't for "radical changes" you couldn't get a divorce. (religion)

If it weren't for "radical changes" you couldn't work outside of the home. (religion and political)

If it weren't for "radical changes" we would still have child labor.

If it weren't for "radical changes" the mentally ill would get no help at all. (political).

If it weren't for "radical changes"....

An intelligent person gets the picture.
---------------------------------------------------
"A person with acrophobia is, by definition, mentally ill."

It takes a conservative to believe it.

KSL
128774
Points
KSL 09/18/13 - 10:39 pm
1
2
You don't say! Please provide

You don't say! Please provide your sources, and the year printed.

KSL
128774
Points
KSL 09/19/13 - 12:08 am
1
2
Well, it takes a liberal who

Well, it takes a liberal who thinks all mentally ill people and all people in general to be denied their right to own a weapon for defense. Seems like this perso needs that second amendment first since he/she is not leaving home. Makes them sitting ducks to criminals.

I think the criminals are getting America to think like they want.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 09/19/13 - 05:23 am
1
3
owenjef

Obviously, Harley's comment was NOT the dumbest ever, hence the thumbs reactions to your comment.

I personally believe Harley's comment was the absolute TRUTH!! I've seen this NUMEROUS times in life, with my own two eyes.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 09/19/13 - 05:39 am
1
3
Typical liberal NON-SENSE

Typical liberal NON-SENSE from dahreese!!! Take credit for EVERYTHING positive which has occurred in this Country and deny ANY involvement or responsibility for anything bad.

Liberal's are 100% absolutely perfect and we should all acknowledge this, right? Let's make a list of the things liberal's has mess up; ooh, I suppose dahreese would say there wouldn't be a single sentence on the paper!!

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 09/19/13 - 06:56 am
1
2
Correct, myfather...he even
Unpublished

Correct, myfather...he even seems to deny that a known you have to be a conservative to believe that a known phobia is a mental illness. I'm sure he would say that "homophobia" must be a mental illness though.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 09/19/13 - 09:55 am
1
0
At times, and it's hard for

At times, and it's hard for certain generations to accept, it's better to let an individual come to their own realization and understanding of an idea/event. Seeding the conversation with unconfirmed theories regarding why the shooter did what they did and who is at fault directly and/or indirectly, dilutes the overall impression and leads to false positives. If you disagree, you're the spinner.

Shooter walks into a gun-free zone and opens fire. That's it.

Suggesting there is a "pc" issue b/c someone didn't foresee the future is not the medicine. Why should we concern ourselves with micro-managing each individual task by each individual personel? If someone didn't do their job, they may be fired, but I'm not going to put the burden of blame on them. It lies squarely on the shooter. Jeez, take some responsibility for yourself and stop expecting big brother to take care of you. It's much better to be self-reliant and will serve you better than trying to put the responsibility on the USGov. There is a job for the government to do and that job is not to investigate each and every cog in the machine.

How to prevent it? Since we are engaging in speculative "in-depth" discussion, I'd say an equal opposing force would have limited the death toll. It's a guess but somebody could have been in a position to put the perp down. Another observation is that the gun-free zone was not gun-free b/c someone didn't adhere to the ban and now people are dead. Draw your own conclusions as to the remedy.

If you still have reservations, then follow the path of the folks that skewed the perceptions during Sandy Hook and initiated new gun restrictions to prevent another mass killing. That is another way to run with it I suppose.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs