On the front line of mental illness and violence

 

Moments after I entered the room where the patients locked in the secure area tend to hang out, a young man asked me for enough meds to “put him to sleep” until the day of his commitment hearing.

“If I’m asleep, I won’t say anything that they can use against me,” he said calmly, indicating that he wasn’t completely out of his mind and that the methamphetamines he’d taken had worn off.

Someone in the community had found him incoherent and uncooperative and notified the authorities that he needed help. Then his car was found on the interstate with loaded guns inside. On a previous occasion, when he was brought to the emergency room, jacked up on meth, he wore a pistol strapped to his ankle.

Still convinced that people were after him, he told me there that he had a “right to carry a sidearm into any public place except a school.” Many things about his delusions and violent statements were downright scary, but even more terrifying was this: Here was someone who thought he had a constitutional right to come to a hospital armed.

I work as a psychiatric nurse on a unit where we routinely treat patients who have guns at home, including assault weapons. Many of those patients have been previously committed, which means they have a documented record of mental illness. Yet it is not uncommon to hear these patients brag about the ease with which they can purchase guns without “hassle” (background checks). How is it possible for mentally ill people, especially those with a history of violence, to obtain guns?

One chronically mentally ill patient in his 50s, who lives with his mother, told me he walked into Walmart and bought a rifle because it was “cheap.” His frequent stays in the state hospital were no obstacle to the purchase. During a casual conversation shortly before he was discharged, he told me he bought the gun for just over a hundred dollars, a purchase he made with his disability check.

When medicated, this man is easygoing and docile. He doesn’t believe he has a mental illness, or that he needs medication. When he stops taking the pills, however, the demons inside him resurface. His mother, his sole source of support, reported that she knows he’s in trouble when he aims the gun at her.

After release from whatever institution will hold them long enough for them to be stabilized, patients frequently refuse to comply with further prescribed treatment. Who wants to wash down pills that make you feel hungry all the time, or feel sluggish, or make it impossible to maintain an erection and even make you drool? Their judgment goes down the toilet along with their prescriptions.

Without the drugs that silence the voices or suppress the rage, they again begin to lose touch with reality. It’s only a matter of time before crisis workers or the police pick them up and bring them in to an emergency room. It is the ones who come in armed that give me pause.

When I read about the mass murder in Aurora, Colo., it amplified my conviction that something must be done to enact gun control -- STAT.

Whatever diagnosis this young man gets, he should never have been able to buy assault weapons powerful enough to blast through concrete walls, nor should he have been able to buy an unregulated arsenal of bullets.

One of my co-workers defended the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. Another reminded me that guns are not about to disappear from a country where people distrust the government; people feel the need to be armed in case of internal attack, she said.

I don’t win these kinds of arguments at work, and my opinion falls on deaf ears in Washington, D.C. The system is clearly broken. The National Rifle Association calls the shots, and too many elected officials have become afraid to stand up to them. Gun advocates have direct access to media and online outlets to induce fear, generate paranoia and encourage citizens to arm themselves in order to fight for their “constitutional right to bear arms.”

 

The result? A single, powerful organization promotes violence through distortion, hate-mongering and paranoia. It leaves many of us in fear for our lives, robbing us of the freedom to do something as simple as go to the movies without fear of attack from a fellow American.  If this isn’t terrorism, I don’t know what is.

Eliza Murphy is a contributor to Writers on the Range, a service of High Country News (hcn.org). She writes in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.

Deb Dedon
Deb Dedon Subscriber
Aug 07, 2012 02:25 PM
Nobody, but NOBODY, needs an assault rifle, or a magazine bigger than the grip of a pistol. Until this perpetual paranoid arms race is stopped by the consent of the governed, our only defense is to either be equally armed, and ready to fire, or swaddled in Kevlar.

The real horror I see as the failure of health practitioners. From the Tucson massacre of January 8, through Colorado and now Wisconsin, each of the perpetrators were known to be unstable, yet all of them had access to weapons of mass murder. At what point are mental health practitioners obligated to alert the police, if not the public, that a patient is dangerously unstable and should be monitored closely? At what point do we, the public at large, alert the 'authorities' when we witness a neighbor buying munitions, or displaying aggressive, delusional behavior?

WE may be the only line of defense against another Aurora, another Tucson massacre. I believe WE must keep our eyes open and be willing to speak up if and when we feel threatened. Trust your gut.

And perhaps, just perhaps, successful prosecution of a gun seller whose sale led to mass murder might encourage gun dealers to scrutinize their clients.
Timothy Wagner
Timothy Wagner
Aug 07, 2012 03:39 PM
I have to disagree with both the author and the first commenter. I guess I disagree mostly with the inflammatory rhetoric, and the extreme views both take toward an activity a large percentage of the population enjoys without incident. Throwing out terms like "mass murder" and "terrorism" are both reckless and inappropriate. But then, I guess that's what we've come to... we’re a nation of empty rhetoric and sound bytes. Professional journalism and responsible writing went away decades ago. I understand and agree that everyone has a right to their opinions, and to some degree, this venue is just a medium for those opinions to be broadcast globally, for all to read or ignore. I suppose I should choose to ignore these. I disagree with them, on many fronts. And it saddens me that to go point-by-point through them would simply result in a blogging argument instead of some valuable dialogue on the topic in which both sides of the discussion would gain insight. Instead, I'll try to focus my attention on those articles discussing issues in a more rational and less inflammatory manner.
David Olsen
David Olsen
Aug 07, 2012 03:43 PM
Something does seem to be falling through the cracks. Those
who have been committed are already Federally banned from firearms.

From the FBI regulations
"(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to
sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or
ammunition to any person knowing or
having reasonable cause to believe that
such person— --- (4) has been adjudicated as a mental
defective or has been committed to any
mental institution;"

see the Federal Firearms Regulation Reference Guide Index (pdf)
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/nics
Richard Boyden
Richard Boyden Subscriber
Aug 07, 2012 10:02 PM
I agree wholeheartedly w/ Timothy Wagner. Every line in his comment is well spoken.
Charles Fox
Charles Fox Subscriber
Aug 08, 2012 09:51 AM
So then Timothy and Richard, why is it not appropriate to call mass murder by it's real name: Mass Murder? That's what it is. And if that seems inflammatory then there's definitely something to be dealt with. The gun violence in our culture is indeed an epidemic of mass murder. And if citizens are terrorized by guns, and they are, then why is it so hard for you to accept the term "terrorism"? That's what it is. Denial of this problem, and many others, is standard behavior in a culture of lies and virtually guarantees that the problem will not be solved or even addressed, because it can't even be recognized or discussed. That is a cowardly attitude of corruption and failure and it perpetuates the mass murder and terror present in our culture.

Politicians of every stripe have to stop doing everything the NRA wants them to. And what happens if someone opposes the NRA? Do they get death threats from paranoid, heavily armed NRA members? And if they receive death threats, is it appropriate to call that terrorism? Is that too inflammatory?

Assault rifles are weapons of war, agents of mass destruction. They have no place in civil society.
Timothy Wagner
Timothy Wagner
Aug 08, 2012 10:48 AM
Charles, you obviously have your beliefs and it's doubtful my pointing to any facts would sway those beliefs. I am sure this discussion could go on for days and neither side would change their strong-held opinions. I would ask that instead of over-generalizing and grouping entire organizations and large segments of the population into inappropriate stereotypes, you do some actual research on the statistics. You could start at the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. Then, you could put that data into an overall perspective and compare to death statistics nationally, or by state/county/city. Only by taking the emotional rhetoric out of the process and actually researching real information can you begin to see the scale of the various problems our society faces. It’s easy to get emotional and throw out sweeping terms like “mass murder” and “terrorism.” That may make you feel better, but it’s inaccurate and untrue. And that makes it inappropriate, in my opinion. You seem unwilling to separate fact from generalizations and sensationalism. In my opinion, the gun violence in our culture is not an epidemic of mass murder. That statement is simply hyperbole and trying to sensationalize random events. Calling those who hold differing opinions from yours "cowards" is also inappropriate and not something those in a civil society should resort to. You, the author of the editorial, and other make unsubstantiated leaps, connecting events and general groups of people that do not necessarily connect. You misinterpret data and state your assumptions and opinions as fact. Just because you're frightened of what you saw on the television news, does not automatically deem an entire subset of the populace terrorists. You may disagree, and that's your right. But remember, you’re the one wanting a civil society. With a civil society comes responsibility to be civil and responsible. Do some real research. Do some real digging into the demographics of our society. Actually try to parse through the data and discover facts. Leave the supposition and generalizations for your dinner table.
Charles Fox
Charles Fox Subscriber
Aug 08, 2012 11:09 AM
Timothy, beliefs and emotions are not the point. The fact is that the United States has an obscenely high level of gun violence with many deaths and mutilations the result. That's real, but it's not a fact you are prepared to acknowledge. Public policy that reduces the unacceptably high number of firearm homicides seems to be the point. Of course it's mass murder. What number could possibly satisfy the term "mass" for you? More than 5, more than 50? Would 50 people shot to death in one incident satisfy your need to justify the term "mass"? That little thing in Norway last year in which 69 people were shot to death could reasonably be called mass murder, and the effect was to terrorize even larger numbers of people. Is that historical fact just too emotional for you? Or is that not what they said on the TV?

The current situation in the USA is abusive and you are part of it. Your language and the narrow, conventional thought that generates it, fail to acknowledge reality and thus perpetuate abuse. You make no constructive suggestions whatsoever, only comments intended to trivialize and marginalize. You really should at least try to do better than that.

How many days until the next mass shooting?
Stephanie Paige Ogburn
Stephanie Paige Ogburn Subscriber
Aug 08, 2012 11:19 AM
Folks, I realize this is a very sensitive subject, but let's make sure not to go down the road of attacking each other personally. Disagreeing on policies and actions is one encouraged and permitted on our site, ad hominem attacks are not. Please see our comments policy for more information
http://www.hcn.org/policies/comments-policy

Thanks,
Stephanie P Ogburn, online editor
John Travassos
John Travassos
Aug 08, 2012 02:25 PM
Unfortunately, I struggle with the hypocrisy of the author's comments in light of the thousands that die every year from alchohol related accidents. Additionally, the author uses these awful tragedies to forward her agenda for gun control when the issue is mental illness, which she makes no mention of how to deal with, depite her expertise in psychiatry.
Charles Fox
Charles Fox Subscriber
Aug 08, 2012 03:09 PM
When did bland conformity and blaming become the official agenda of the citizens of the United States? Why is complacency the accepted standard for addressing lethal problems? Accepting unnecessary violence is mental illness and it's clear that several of our members here are deeply committed to doing nothing whatsoever to even recognize what is clearly an epidemic of violence. Why the blindness? Do you actually have to see someone shot to death to realize that it's real?
John Travassos
John Travassos
Aug 08, 2012 03:37 PM
Nobody accepts unnecesary violence, at least not a sane person. Of course, I suppose Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya (and maybe Syria) were all "necessary." But a legitimate and reasonable response is called for, not with some over-reaction that imparts a sweeping feel-good response wich will hurt the whole greater, and not fix the problem. This has been tried many times before. The level of hypocrisy with failing to call out other more consequential over-arching unacceptable behaviors (e.g. drinking alchol) is noteworthy. Mentally ill people have committed these atrocious acts, not your every day person whom would be punished by unreasonable actions.
John Travassos
John Travassos
Aug 08, 2012 03:40 PM
Send me the article by the auther wherein she calls for the prohibition of alcohol and I'll shut up. Promise.
Terri Hansen
Terri Hansen
Aug 09, 2012 03:27 PM
Commentary is opinion/editorial, not news reporting. To learn more about journalism ethics visit the Society of Professional Journalists. (Full disclosure: I am a journalist, and I know the author.) What is educational is learning that these meds, that apparently do work, have such horrific side effects patients become non-complaint.

The poster grew up in a hunting family. Her father taught Hunter's Safety because, he said, no family with guns in the house should be uneducated as to their use.
Terri Hansen
Terri Hansen
Aug 09, 2012 03:29 PM
I am on deadline exhaustion: non-compliant.
Bill Gore
Bill Gore Subscriber
Aug 09, 2012 11:39 PM
This article IS inflammatory and the author IS correct: mentally ill persons should NOT have access to firearms. Nor should they be allowed to drive, own steak knives, baseball bats, drain opener or power tools....By appealing to our society's current mania for absolute, complete cradle to grave safety, we are missing the larger issues concerning firearms.
1) In a country of 300 million people, the number of annual deaths attributable to a mentally ill person (and excluding urban gangs-who will never be disarmed) are miniscule compared to the daily carnage wrought by automobiles. NOT to mention iatrogenic deaths due to the misuse and mis-prescription of prescription meds, which in case this author hasn't noticed, is presently a raging epidemic of abuse, especially pain killers. But I digress..
2) That mischevious, nasty little Second Amendment to the Constitution was inserted for one reason: to insure that a tyrannical government never has a monopoly of force over its citizens. Crazy as it sounds, history shows that 'officer friendly' in the black suit does not always have your best interests at heart. I know this is very hard for educated american liberals to comprehend. Ultimately, experience is the ONLY teacher, and I'm sure after we're all safely disarmed we'll have the exquisite luxury of re-learning every lesson dished up by socialist tyranny in the 20th century.
3) The probability of my being shot in a movie theatre is right up there with being attacked by a great white shark out here in eastern Oregon. I worry much more about lightning. Also-in my heavily armed community, where law enforcement response times are measured in hours, there is no crime. None. Go figure...
Richard Boyden
Richard Boyden Subscriber
Aug 12, 2012 02:31 PM
I still think T. Wagner's comments (see above) are the most level- headed here. It is amazing that he can be cool and dispassionate while all these accusations (terrorist epidemics, mass murder) are flying around. I don't go for the NRA persona much myself (reactionary, Tea Party, neanderthal, etc.) but I have to admit they are very good at what they do by way of protecting America's constitutional right to keep and bear arms responsibly. Personally I feel very safe in my own country (I call this my own country because my family arrived here in 1634) and I do not worry about random violence because our system is about as good as it gets anywhere. Even though our military is so powerful, they haven't staged a coup and the government hasn't instituted martial law. The police, by and large, are really out there trying to protect us (from ourselves, I guess.) If God Almighty decides it is my time, there won't be much I can do about it. Ultimately, I believe that He has the whole world in His hands, and His decision is for everyone's highest benefit. This doesn't mean I am a mindless vegetable, but once I have done my best, then I feel proper to put the result in His hands.
Ray Ring
Ray Ring Subscriber
Aug 13, 2012 11:18 AM
Some essential information isn't mentioned in the comments that say the federal background checks on gun-buyers sift out people who've been hospitalized for mental illness etc. All of us who know the gun laws (certainly including those commenters) know that many gun sales (maybe 30-50 percent) are done through gun shows and other private-party transactions (classified ads etc), and those sellers do not impose the federal background check. The NRA and other gun-rights groups lobby intensively against closing this large loophole in gun regulations, thus allowing sales to mentally ill people. -- Ray Ring, HCN senior editor
David Olsen
David Olsen
Aug 13, 2012 01:43 PM
Knowingly selling to a prohibited person is a crime, background check or not. Doesn't the writer have some duty to report?

We have an example of a place that doesn't have the "Gun show loophole" California banned transfers between individuals back in 1990,(except for long guns over 50 years old). So if the "Gun show loophole" is a problem, CA must be nearly gun crime free, right?.

According to Census.gov, CA is 14th in violent crime rate.
richard stivers
richard stivers Subscriber
Aug 15, 2012 11:11 AM
Hysteria aside I agree that we need to tighten the system up in order to prevent unstable people from purchasing any weapons of any type from any source.. In this day and with the technology we have we can surely do this and stop the hyperbole of getting rid of guns an unrealistic idea that can never be achieved.
Timothy Wagner
Timothy Wagner
Aug 15, 2012 12:14 PM
My comments do not surround whether there are loopholes in current legislation, or whether a particular person was raised in a family of gun-owners. My comments simply note that "in my opinion" it is unfair and untrue to characterize an entire subset of the population or an organization as "terrorists" simply because one disagrees with the lawful positions they believe in. To claim an organization such as the NRA "promotes violence" because they advocate for an individual's right to own and purchase firearms is an inaccurate representation and is at a minimum unfair. However, I also fully recognize (and stated this in my first post) that this is not a journalistic forum, but rather just a place for people to evidently vent and spew empty rhetoric. As such, the author should not be given any more credence than any other commenter on the page. I personally have learned a lesson here, in that I will not read the WOTR segments anymore, and will instead do my best to seek out professional writers and journalism with some sense of integrity and less bias. I don't know if I'll find it, but in my opinion, it's not here.
Richard Boyden
Richard Boyden Subscriber
Aug 15, 2012 01:27 PM
Ray is looking for a bottom line, or a country of conscientious citizens. (Good luck!) Therefore, the humble position is to point the finger at oneself when we are looking for someone to blame. Yes, this I know. I am the cause of all of my own problems. Peace begins at home.
Richard Boyden
Richard Boyden Subscriber
Aug 15, 2012 02:12 PM
Laws are there for those who follow them. Hotheads don't much care for laws. I have heard that for gun owners, the shoe is on the other foot. If I shoot somebody, even if it happens legally, I have to prove that I acted properly. Therefore, I follow the law. Like I already said, hotheads don't care for the law.
Richard Boyden
Richard Boyden Subscriber
Aug 15, 2012 02:25 PM
"Outlaws" are acting outside the clan. Those acting within the clan are protected by the clan. Go figure.....
Anne Macquarie
Anne Macquarie
Aug 17, 2012 07:37 PM

"The most recent gun-related homicide death rate for the US was 3.0 per 100,000 population, compared to a 0.3 for the rest of the NATO nations. The US rate was 10 times higher." -PolitiFact, Virgina, 1/10/2012. Mr. Wagner, no matter how many times you call black white, it's still black. Supercilious name-calling does not change the facts. I applaud the author of this piece, and anyone else who dares to speak against the NRA and its inordinate political power that it is using to make it impossible to even speak about reasonable control of gun ownership and use.
David Olsen
David Olsen
Aug 17, 2012 09:57 PM
Black and white thinking will not solve complex problems. Name
calling doesn't sway opinion (IE "terrorists" "supercilious" "coward").
Anne Macquarie
Anne Macquarie
Aug 17, 2012 10:05 PM
So do we remain silent?
Richard Boyden
Richard Boyden Subscriber
Aug 17, 2012 11:00 PM
If somehow the guns all disappeared overnight, would that solve death?
Anne Macquarie
Anne Macquarie
Aug 17, 2012 11:05 PM
There is of course no "solution" to death, but there is the avoiding of needless deaths.
David Olsen
David Olsen
Aug 18, 2012 08:46 AM
What are your solutions, Anne? The author is writes as if ignorant of guns and gun laws. How about some well reasoned
ideas, without all the hyperbole, of how to prevent violence?
Bill Gore
Bill Gore Subscriber
Aug 18, 2012 09:39 AM
Like it or not, believe it or not, something's gonna git you. Most likely it will be heart disease, car accident or cancer. This debate isn't really about guns or statistics (lies, damned lies and...) its about FEAR and POWER. Middle class people are being trained by the media to live in a state of fear, and every one of these staged shootings reinforces that message. "You are not safe. Be afraid" Classic problem (violence) reaction (media amped-up fear verging on utter hysteria) solution (strong loving big brother will take away all the bang bangs, wipe every tear)...Power: a burgeoning techno-totalitariat, with a baaad case of mission creep, strongly wishes to disarm the populace. This is ALWAYS the first step. In America, the second step will probably have something to do with domestic mobility-after it is 'proven' that terrorists are out there driving around. Maybe domestic passports (biometric of course) or computerized cars that can be remotely disabled. The immense KOAN for you 'safety Sally's', the interior conundrum if you will, is that you will never really be safe as long as you are afraid. Think about it. And while you're at it, unplug the TV and read "Mao: The Unknown Story" by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday. An intimate portrait of a socialist leader who really 'loved' his people and wished only for their safety..
Anne Macquarie
Anne Macquarie
Aug 18, 2012 08:37 PM
@ David. For example, U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and U.S. Representatives Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) have introduced legislation (S. 35 and H.R. 591) to close the gun show loophole that allows people to buy guns at gun shows in most states without passing a Brady criminal background check. One example. There is plenty that we can do, and what I object to the most about gun control opponents is that they constantly tell us there is nothing we can do, that it's just somehow human nature that so many people are killed by guns in the US: there are always going to be crazy people and criminals, right? But as Fareed Zakaria pointed out in Time magazine this week, "I doubt anyone seriously thinks we have 30 times as many crazy people as Britian and Australia (we have a thirty times higher rate of gun deaths per capita than those countries). But we do have many more guns."
I simply don't buy anymore (actually, I never did) the radical interpretation of the 2nd Amendment foisted on us by the gun lobby. I agree with (the very conservative, Nixon appointee) Chief Justice Warren Burger, who described the NRA-led interpretation of the 2nd Amendment as "one of the greatest pieces of fraud - I repeat the word fraud - foisted on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime."
Even Justice Scalia - about as conservative a man as you could find, right? - in a recent interview with Fox News, said that the 2nd Amendment "leaves open the door" for gun control legislation.
So please don't give us the defeatist attitude that there's nothing we can do to protect the lives of innocent people from gun violence, when even the most conservative among the people who really think about this, are beginning to realize what has been wrought by the NRA-led radical push to unlimited gun ownership.
I have to close with another quote by Zakaria: "So when people throw up their hands and say we can't do anything about guns, tell them they're being un-American - and unintelligent."
Kyle Mulder
Kyle Mulder
Aug 20, 2012 09:29 AM
I have a few questions for the forum:
1. The call is for gun control through more laws and regulations. How is this going to solve anything when most of the acts sparking gun control as a topic happen in places that it is already illegal to carry a gun (even if you have a carry concealed license). The theater in Aurora was “gun free”, which when posted, is enforceable by law. Guns in a high school or middle school are a felony. It is a misdemeanor to carry a gun on a college campus, and yet look here http://bullying.motivationalsmalltalk.org/[…]/ . Even though it is illegal to carry on a military base, Fort Hood happened. Just imagine if those soldiers were allowed to carry their own firearms, all they had to do was react as they were trained and it may have been a single digit tragedy instead of 13 dead and 29 wounded. Obviously the persons committing these crimes don’t care about the gun laws that are in place, why would they care about more of them? These people may also be preying on their safety in the “victim haven” that is created by eliminating people like me from attending. However, I would support the suggestion to increase punishment for crimes committed with a firearm, especially if it stopped this topic from infecting more of the ignorant masses.
2. Why do these conversations online always seem to be about one side standing up for their rights, and the other side appalled that they would want to do so? Nobody is suggesting that every person be required to go out and buy guns and ammo, in fact I would bet that most of the pro-gun rights people out there would agree with me that a gun in a household without proper respect, care, maintenance and training would only endanger those inside. Why is there need to punish the law abiding, gun respecting, caring, maintaining and trained masses? I have heard from some that the gun carrying group is an archaic means to an archaic end and we are no longer needed because of our country’s military prowess. One must not forget that our military prowess was based on our citizen’s ability to out shoot the enemy because of a solid foundation of gun handling since our inception. We, the legal gun carrying masses, are also the reason there was no world war 2 on US soil, would you really eliminate us with the possibility of world war 3 ending up in our back yards? You want to talk about terror, what if you are reduced to harvesting vegetables as a slave looking over your shoulder with your one good eye at the person who owns what used to be your house under a flag with no white or blue in it wondering “what happened, where did I go wrong?” , then you might realize what terror is.
3. Since when is the criminal not to blame? One person or group makes a decision to commit a heinous act, and our accountability structure won’t even let them be at fault? The gun didn’t do it, nor the NRA, or the government, or George W. not even El Nino. Stop blaming everything and everyone BUT the perpetrator. Obesity kills far more people a year than guns, yet you are not suggesting we outlaw teeth. Highway driving is the most treacherous thing most of us will do in our lives as well as being a health risk for our entire planet, and you do not call to abolish automobiles. When a pedophile attacks a child nobody blames the child or suggests we regulate children. Why are guns to blame? I know these comparisons sound ridiculous, and it’s because they are. Now you know how we feel when people want to take our guns away for another person’s actions.
4. A word on safety, I don’t let others decide my safety at work, why would I do it at home? Most violent confrontations including an intruder are over in seconds, police cannot arrive that fast. They can only straighten out the mess after it is done. To the 3 of 100,000 vs .3 of 100,000, how many of the 3 are the criminal being shot in a defense scenario? I would look it up, but I have dedicated enough time to this already. If 10,000 people died of gunfire this year, but they were all criminals caught in the act of murder or rape, then I think even the police would find that acceptable. I normally do not go into any establishment that will not allow me to carry my gun as I am licensed to do. Those places I do end up unarmed (like a bar once a month) I know where other weapons are and I always face the door. You may call that paranoid, I call it “anti-victimization”.
5. Lastly, where have you found a threat from the NRA?!?! I find it insulting that you would imply that my grandfather, father, brother, uncles etc. and myself are members of a gestapo style violence mongering association. If anyone should fear the NRA it is people who abuse gun rights and force us to defend them again and again for the rest. Let the NRA decide punishment the Aurora shooter if found guilty. He would be punished without violence in a way that would make any criminal think twice before picking up a gun.
Kyle Mulder
Kyle Mulder
Aug 20, 2012 08:32 PM
It also sounds to me like the author does not believe that rehabilitation is possible. If so that is a grim fate for the patients she works with. Does she believe that any soldier that has ever suffered PTSD should never own a firearm? What about police that undergo stressful situations, should they be automatically disarmed and fired? There is talk of making it illegal for anyone who has sought counseling, but people shouldn't be afraid to get help before their life gets out of control.