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View Diary: Stop Blaming Newtown Tragedy On Mental Illness (301 comments)

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  •  "talking about mental illness rather than guns" (19+ / 0-)

    I've seen that argument used here on DKOS over the last week and it sickens me.  We do nothing about the real problem and instead throw the blame on the innocent - and if you're going to do that why not pick a nice, easy and defenseless target - like someone suffering from an illness that has already been stigmatized.    

    •  Argh (1+ / 0-)
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      Lapsing into into incoherency.  Can't stand much more of this.

    •  I don't think people are blaming all mentally ill (8+ / 0-)

      individuals. They are pointing out, past tense, that killers were ill or thought to be ill. It does not mean everyone needing mental health care is a killer. Just like everyone owning a gun is not a killer. It is being described as specific to a particular individual.

      •  That's a bullshit argument. Everyone (3+ / 0-)
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        PsychoSavannah, beltane, Brit

        who owns a gun does so with the intent to kill. The mentally ill, again, are no more violent than the general population.

        •  Not under the circs of this killing, ie murder. / (0+ / 0-)
        •  Those Godless Europeans and their phantom tollbo- (1+ / 0-)
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          er? What's that? I'm responding to another comment entirely? Goodness gracious, I can be such an anorak. Hold on, hold on... mentally recalibrating... splines reticulated... there we go!

          No, it's not. I know a handful of gun owners. I have made it very clear to them on no uncertain terms that I am not fond of their hobby. One or two walk around with it for self-defense; they are also Marine Infantry or Army Ranger, so I feel pretty secure in the knowledge that they do know how to use it to do something besides shoot themselves in the arse with a ricochet. The others do so as hobbyists, which displeases me more.

          The general reaction from this crowd is in favor of slightly to heavily more gun control (even from the conservatives) after Newtown, some of them are wonderful fathers, and one in fact describes himself as an anti-war and is pretty hard to shift on that sentiment; he's only starting to maybe decide Libya was NOT an excuse for an imperialist takeover.

          He is paradoxically a giant nerd about wars and history, because he thinks big guns are shiny; but he doesn't like killing people, only blowing up mountains.

        •  I think a lot of gun owners (4+ / 0-)

          have not really thought through that intent to kill part. They have some vague notion that their gun will protect them, in some magical, talismanic way.
          I often wonder how many of them have asked themselves if they could actually shoot and kill another person.

        •  You're delusional (2+ / 0-)
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          fuzzyguy, zed

          I should hide rate you for making one of the the most ignorant statements I've ever read on DKos but I won't becasue I want all to be able to read your comment and understand that it is opinions, such as yours, that there can never be any reasonable approach to gun control - look in the mirror - you'reopinion is why the NRA digs in and won't budge an inch.

          The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

          by ctexrep on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:47:19 AM PST

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        •  Not talking about all of the mentally ill (3+ / 0-)
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          poligirl, Brit, bleeding blue

          The idea behind treating the mentally is that it is a good idea all on it's own. We then get as an added benefit that we are also treating those that would go on to act violently due to their mental illness.

          BTW, we are not saying that all mental illness is a risk factor to violence, but you can not deny that it does apply to a subset of the mentally ill. For example, people who are depressed and talking about hurting people, are probably more likely to be violent. It is a good policy to target and treat that group.

        •  3 guns here. No intent to kill. (1+ / 0-)
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          bleeding blue

          So screw you.

          Deeply offensive insults aside, we're not talking about all mentally ill - we're talking expressly about people whose illness makes them a danger to themselves or others. Those people, as a group, are, in fact, more violent than the general population. That's why we call them dangerous. And our pathetic mental health system serves them - and the rest of us - very poorly.

          “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?” - Rumi

          by Jaxpagan on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 09:06:39 AM PST

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      •  I suffer from depression and a host of anxiety... (1+ / 0-)
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        ...problems, and the way most people are talking about mental illness in the wake of this tragedy feels very accusatory to me. It's enabling people to "other"-ize the problem. They're trying to make it not a problem with all of us as a whole country but instead a problem with those "other" people, and this time the Others are those with mental illnesses.

    •  How about talking about the "suicidally depressed" (2+ / 0-)
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      Reel Woman, bleeding blue

      Rachael Maddow had a wonderful piece on "Why these things keep happening" in which she interviewed Dave Cullen, author of "Columbine".  He said two government studies have pointed to "suicidally depressed" as the single most common factor in school shootings.  Others have claimed most mass murderers were already being treated for depression and were on SSRI's, like Prozac which the manufacturer now warns may cause thoughts of suicide.  I think we need to have this discussion.  Our mental health treatment practices do not appear to be helping and in fact may be part of the problem.

      I've also heard that the NRA has prevented any coordinated study as to the causes of all these mass murders.

      Even Democrats can be asses. Look at Rahm Emanuel.

      by Helpless on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:31:43 AM PST

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      •  "Others have claimed" is a variation (2+ / 0-)
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        ConfusedSkyes, poligirl

        of the ever-popular "some say".
        Among the "others" who are making this claim are Alex Jones and The Daily Paul (as in Ron) and Newsmax.

        If there are any scientific or academic studies about the supposed link between SSRIs and mass shootings, I've not seen them.  There is evidence that some young people might have increased suicidal ideation on these drugs, but that is different from the "most mass murderers" claim.

        And of course it's always hard to separate the effects of an underlying condition like severe depression from the effects of the medication used to treat it.

      •  My main problem with this argument (0+ / 0-)

        is that there is also a pretty significant difference between suicide and murder.  The shooters in question weren't just suicidal, they were homicidal.  Yes, things like Prozac may cause thoughts of suicide, and that's a problem.  But thinking "I'm so depressed I'm going to shoot myself" is not the same as thinking "I'm so depressed I'm going to shoot myself, but first I'm going to go shoot a bunch of other people."

        Arguing that suicidal depression is the cause is exactly the same as saying mental illness in general is.  It may or may not have been a contributing factor, but clearly there was more going on, so we can't really say it was the CAUSE.

    •  It's not 'instead of' but 'in additon to' (4+ / 0-)

      Gun safety and mental illness both need to be examined.

    •  no one is "picking on the mentally ill" (4+ / 0-)

      But the issue with these kinds of rampage killings is universally that the person had issues. Sane, well-adjusted people by definition do not run out to kill as many strangers as they can.
      The difference in that sense between the US and other countries is not the prevalance of guns, but the disgraceful state of our mental health infrastructure compared to countries with quality universal health care.
      Having a gun is not going to make someone a killer, and gun owners, contrary to the perceptions of some here, are not cowboys just waiting to shoot people. In the vast majority of cases where a gun is used for self-defense, it's never fired.
      This kid had problems. He should have been getting more help than he was, and he should have had no access to firearms.
      No one is saying the mentally ill, as a group, are dangerous. But it's certainly the case that some people pose a danger to themselves and others, and our mental health system - after endless budget cuts, neglect and an enduring stigma - sucks and identifying and helping those people under after blood has been shed.

      “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?” - Rumi

      by Jaxpagan on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 09:04:24 AM PST

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