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View Diary: Gun "Enthusiast" In Your Life? Here, Let Me Make It Easier. (UPDATED X2) (230 comments)

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  •  I won't try to kid anybody (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lotusmaglite, riverlover

    that this country's penchant for institutionalizing the (air quote) 'mentally ill' wasn't an even more disgusting reality than we've got now with basically no institutionalization facilities for the (air quote) 'mentally ill'. Fact is, not that many of the identified (air quote) 'mentally ill' are all that dangerous to the rest of us. Existentially. Dangerous to our comfortable opinions about our extra-holy, extra-tolerant selves certainly. Maybe not so good for those who need real, live help coping with life.

    I'm not counting suicidal tendencies as particularly dangerous to the rest of us, because they're not. As a general rule, outside of suicides committed out of depression/anger when our inadequate family ties, which way too often take ex'es and children with. Most suicides die alone, which is exactly how they feel when they decide to commit suicide.

    Adam Lanza was having issues with his Mom. He was not having issues with his wife and/or baby-mama. Why the hell he felt he had to slaughter 20 first graders on his way out will forever be an unfathomable mystery to us. We like to label that as (air quote) 'mental illness' because it makes us feel better about not fathoming evil we'd rather not deal honestly with. Our cluelessness doesn't (IMO) define what qualifies as actionable (air quote) 'mental illness' before people are killed.

    •  I find that when we start (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...applying such vague concepts as "evil" liberally and with such conviction, very, very bad things follow.

      The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

      by lotusmaglite on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:36:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's true. But... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        (you knew that was coming) we do make distinctions - judgments - based on reasonable assignation of responsibility for certain crimes. Even if we don't totally grok the perp's reasoning, we do assign punishments for violation a whole lot more than we turn criminals loose again because they're so mentally fucked they can't be held responsible. ...and there's no where to put the mentally deranged anymore.

        We're a bit schizophrenic about that too, as a jury pool/society. If people really aren't mentally/spiritually responsible for their choices, then we've no business sentencing them to 'punishment' for breaking the arbitrary rules our erstwhile leadership has codified. If they are to be held responsible - as if they enjoyed a facility we call "Free Will" - then the "I snapped" defense is highly suspect. Needs something more in evidence than just the heinousness of the crime.

        Which way we choose to go as a nation on these sort of questions will determine whether or not we can tame the unacceptable level of violence endemic in our society.

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