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View Diary: Homicidal mentally ill felon obtains gun permit, arsenal, in Minnesota (324 comments)

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  •  I note that you don't answer my question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    To respond to you in your vein, how much farther will we take the criminalization of mental illness?

    •  You put words in his/her mouth (10+ / 0-)

      I would assume from reading the diary that "people like these" refers to felons who are by law not permitted to be "in possession of firearms".

      •  problem is that the guy also spent time (1+ / 0-)
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        in a mental institution.  If his status as felon is meant, it should be clear that is what is meant and not his status as a former mental health pt.

        •  but both are relevant (13+ / 0-)

          he is a felon, a murderer, excused from incarceration by reason of insanity,  and has shown a distinct mental state where he wants to commit homicide, as he did in the past, with his gun, which he also did in the past.  

          This guy is going to pass all the legal tests for someone who shouldn't own a gun, as well as the tests to get prior similar occurences admitted if he kills another person with a gun.   Both his criminal behavior and his mental health diagnoses in the past put him on the list of exactly the kind of person who should be flagged when they seek to own a gun.

          •  which is precisely the question (5+ / 0-)

            if mentally ill people are to be barred from ever owning guns, which Dx would mark them as such and to what degree?
            The issue is very complex as the ATF and local law enforcement would have to access a person's health records, which is covered by other legislation.  
            I know I am rambling a bit but this is the end of my day.  
            I am also wondering how an ex felon got a gun license since he should have popped up on any criminal record search.  Why did he fly under the radar?  Was his record expunged or was it not included because it was a juvie record?  there are many questions which remain to answer if we are to fix a system which currently has flaws    

            •  The article the diarist links to (1+ / 0-)
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              says that the guy was an juvenile when he got his felony, and that under MN law once a person gets to 28 their records are usually expunged.

              For some reason the diarist didn't seem to think that important enough to mention in the diary.

              •  thank you for this information (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Catesby, kyril

                releasing mental health records involve HIPAA among other regs while juvie records are typically sealed and even expunged after a time

                We have to ask ourselves how many cans of worms we are wiling to open in trying to solve this problem.

                •  This is a very valid point. (4+ / 0-)

                  Medical records, including mental health records, are protected under HIPAA and the 5th amendment.
                  And, entlord, I would suggest that 1) someone who has committed violent acts and is judged to be mentally ill, that's obvious. no more guns for that guy,even if it was a juvenile delinquency,  2)People who exhibit hyper aggressive or sociopathic tendencies and are in the process of buying a gun should be (for the most part) weeded out by a psych test of some sort. Those two lists of people should become a no-fly list for gun purchases.
                  By tying the database to the instant background check system,   It might catch the most obvious ones. By no means will it catch all.
                  But by making it contingent on either already proving that you are too violent (criminal record) or by failing a psych screening while purchasing a gun, that works as an opt-in list as opposed to a list of everyone who's ever sought mental health care.

                  If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

                  by CwV on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:52:20 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I agree with you but present law (1+ / 0-)
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                    prevents bars to various proposals that would prevent such tragedies.  The question is if we should look again at the present laws dealing with juvenile offenses and with present laws regarding pt confidentiality or if present laws are sufficient or if changing the law would create more problems than it would solve.  After all. some here would support repealing the Second Amendment and perhaps opening the entire Bill of Rights to reconsideration.

                    •  Repeal of 2A has no bearing on other Amendments.nt (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      Join us at RASA: Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment. (Repeal will not ban guns, just help regulate them.)

                      by Sharon Wraight on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 01:54:45 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  we cannot say that with certainty (0+ / 0-)

                        There has only been one amendment repealed in history and no part of the Bill of Rights has ever been repealed.  If we do repeal one part, why not also modernize the Bill by repealing the prohibition against quartering troops in our home or any other parts which special interest groups would like to see changed, perhaps even removing the "penumbra" from privacy, since several sitting SCOTUS justices hold that no such penumbra exists?

                        •  If a groundswell of support emerges against 3A, (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          based on 30,000 deaths/year caused by troops quartered in houses  or whatever, then good luck to them.

                          I'm not losing any sleep over the thought.

                          con·serv·a·tive   kənˈsərvətiv
                          Adjective: Holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in politics or religion.
                          Noun: A person who is averse to change and holds to traditional values and attitudes, typically in politics.
                          pro·gres·sive  prəˈgresiv
                          Adjective: Happening or developing gradually or in stages; proceeding step by step.
                          Noun: A person advocating or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas.

                          Join us at RASA: Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment. (Repeal will not ban guns, just help regulate them.)

                          by Sharon Wraight on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 09:03:53 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  many people don't lose much sleep (0+ / 0-)

                            over a large variety of things, which is why the law of unintended consequences exists

                          •  Hirschman: "200 Years of Reactionary Rhetoric:" (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            ": The Case of the Perverse Effect," 1988 lecture.


                            [[R]eactionaries are not likely to launch an all-out attack on that [lofty] objective. Rather, they will endorse it, sincerely or otherwise, but then attempt to demonstrate that the action undertaken in its name is ill-conceived; indeed, they will most typically argue that this action will produce, via a series of unintended consequences, the exact contrary of the objective that is being pursued. This, then, is the thesis of the perverse effect...
                            My second “reactionary” argument is what I call the futility thesis [which] asserts that the attempt at change is abortive, that in one way or another any change is or was largely surface, facade, cosmetic, hence illusory, as the “deep” structures of society remain wholly untouched. ...
                            [In the third] argument the reactionary takes on once again the progressive’s clothes and argues as though both the new and the old progress were desirable, and then shows typically how a new reform, if carried out, would mortally endanger an older, highly prized one...  I therefore call this argument the jeopardy thesis.

                            (His 1988 lecture formed the basis of his book, The Rhetoric of Reaction: Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy, 1991.)

                            Albert Hirschman maps the diffuse and treacherous world of reactionary rhetoric in which conservative public figures, thinkers, and polemicists have been arguing against progressive agendas and reforms for the past two hundred years. Hirschman draws his examples from three successive waves of reactive thought that arose in response to the liberal ideas of the French Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man, to democratization and the drive toward universal suffrage in the nineteenth century, and to the welfare state in our own century. In each case he identifies three principal arguments invariably used: (1) the perversity thesis, whereby any action to improve some feature of the political, social, or economic order is alleged to result in the exact opposite of what was intended; (2) the futility thesis, which predicts that attempts at social transformation will produce no effects whatever--will simply be incapable of making a dent in the status quo; (3) the jeopardy thesis, holding that the cost of the proposed reform is unacceptable because it will endanger previous hard-won accomplishments.

                            If the goal of DailyKos were to elect more reactionary politicians, to implement more reactionary policies, the so-called 'law' of 'unintended consequences' might be an effective rhetorical device. Would you like a shovel?

                            Join us at RASA: Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment. (Repeal will not ban guns, just help regulate them.)

                            by Sharon Wraight on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 10:26:25 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  So permit applicants sign a consent form (0+ / 0-)

                  Part of the license application.

                  Still a few wrinkles but that ought to cover it.

                  •  question then is if the release is for all (0+ / 0-)

                    medical records?  After all this is the real world and information does get compromised.  For example, should information about STD or HIV status be included in the record?  After years of reviewing medical records, I find most records contain the most intimate details of one's life.

                    I note this as I received a letter recently from my state informing me that all state tax records with all their information dating back to 1998 have been hacked and my address, SS#, DOB and other information may be compromised

              •  Yes (3+ / 0-)

                another example of where 'enforce the current law' is inadequate. (I know, reposting from above but I think this a near perfect example of why 'current law' is inadequate.)

                47 is the new 51!

                by nickrud on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:22:06 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  So that loophole (2+ / 0-)

                makes it OK for this fellow to get guns? What is your point?

            •  quite frankly (16+ / 0-)

              we don't get to ask reasonable questions and get reasonable answers in the national dialogue because of deliberate attempts to distract or quash rational discussion by a group that benefits from no restrictions at all.

              As for what illnesses, how long, when may rights be restored,  those questions might have already been closer to good answers if the CDC could have done research for the last 20 years.   I don't have them in my hip pocket.

              My off the cuff reaction,   commit murder and serve in a mental institution because of insanity (actually a hard thing to accomplish under the law in most places) sets you up for a probably never answer.   And all the onus needs to be on the person convicted to prove they simply pose no threat.  Some mistakes society shouldn't give you an easy second chance at.   If and when mental health treatment starts to catch up with the rest of the health care system, I might change my answers.   That isn't to say we should not spend more time and money on mental health issues, given what is happening in the real world, it is way passed time for that to happen.   But the reality is, too little is known, what is known is haphazardly available to the public at large, treatment lags or is voluntary, and people relapse without therapy and drugs.  Not a scenario to set up  mental patients for success in the long run.

              •  we are in agreement it seems (6+ / 0-)

                this guy seemed to fly under the radar because his felony was committed as a juvenile and mental health records are generally not part of a background check.  The question is if we wish to open juvie records for examination and if we wish to make our health records a part of a background check

                •  sometimes it doesn't require (7+ / 0-)

                  opening private records.  The expungement question remains, but conviction averted by reason of insanity is a public record,  maybe those should never be expunged.  Guardianships created by mental incapacity are also public records, maybe those should always be added to the database.   It would mean that we miss people who have never been publicly adjudged as mentally insane or incompetent, but it strikes a balance.

                  I am not so concerned with drawing the lines at this moment, as that society gets a fair and full opportunity to hear about the science, to have studies done,to have law enforcement professionals to weigh in, as well as ordinary people,  to have recommendations based on reason on the table.

              •  "a group that benefits from no restrictions at all (0+ / 0-)

                That, in the (not very) long run, is nobody, even gun owners and manufacturers.

                The gun lobby needs to understand the wisdom of a building contractor I hired once. They took an environmental measure that went beyond what the law required. Their reasoning? "We live here too".

            •  Aren't these the sort of decisions (3+ / 0-)

              that would be made when the new law is written? After much debate among mental health professionals.

            •  I would think that not just any mental health (4+ / 0-)

              Issue would get you on the list.

              But if you commit murder, at any age, and are committed and judged criminally insane, I would think THAT would get you on the no guns ever list.

              I can see expunging the record in most cases. Even some murder cases.

              But there needs to be a serious study done on juvenile offenders who go on to be even worse criminals as adults. What is different between those who straighten up and those that don't? What can be changed to help those odds? And are there indicators that give any idea of who needs strict monitoring and who doesn't?

              Our criminal (in)justice system costs us a bloody FORTUNE. Maybe we ought to at least attempt to figure out what we can do to try to fix people rather than throw them in jail.

              And yes, I'd count looking at the drug laws as a huge part of that fixing.

          •  Well I agree that a felon and/or a person who (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Alexandra Lynch

            shows a dangerous and current mental state should be barred from owning a gun and I am also a complete supporter of gun rights and the 2A.

            A felon should not own a gun period and I think extremely stiff penalties should apply to anyone who possesses one illegally in that case.  

            I don't think that every single person who has ever had a mental condition should be barred from their constitutional rights.  Such as a woman who has postpartum depression but has since recovered, a person who might have been under medical care during a grieving period but has since recovered, a person who took anxiety medicine during grad school but has since recovered, or a person who has a condition that does not have dangerous attributes and is medically treated such as ADD or mild depression.

             I think background checks should include both a person's criminal record all the way back to birth and a medical report for mental conditions but with the should be heavily defined to only include those conditions and/or data that would make a person unable to own a gun due to exhibiting past or current dangerous signs....or could harm other people or themselves.

    •  Most certainly answered your question (1+ / 0-)
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      Why did you ignore it?

    •  How is (11+ / 0-)

      not allowing this guy who shot his mother to own or buy a gun, criminalizing 'mental illness'. This person is homicidally criminal. Even if he was declared sane he shouldn't be able to get his hands on weapons. If someone is mentally ill and homicidal to boot I don't think that they should be armed. I think your PC concern for the mentally ill is a straw man especially in this case. My brother is mentally ill and not criminal but I don't think he should be allowed to have a gun. He's not a criminal because he's mentally ill, checking his background for purchasing a gun isn't criminalization of the mentally ill.  

      •  he is a felon and a former mental pt (3+ / 0-)
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        kyril, shaharazade, Zaq

        It is helpful in the discussion to separate the two states and not treat them as if they are synonymous or concomitant

        •  He was a mental patient (10+ / 0-)

          because of his felonious behavior. In this case (and similar ones) I think we really should consider them together.

          47 is the new 51!

          by nickrud on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 12:23:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I believe this (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril, nickrud

            used to be called criminally insane. Now we don't use insane anymore but criminally mentally ill is kind of a weird term.. I do have problems with the modern medical classification/definition/degrees of what is considered mentally ill. Lots of  people are moody, some get depressed, some are compulsive, all of these conditions do not seem to me to be dangerous to society. Part of life if not debilitating,chronic or wrecking your life..

             It worries me when records/data are kept by the government of people's various problems. I guess I'm 'paranoid' but it does seem to me that it could be abused if all our mental as well as physical ailments are kept in a data base regardless of what it was used for... (you could have to pay more for insurance or other abuses could occur. But I'm sure the government would not abuse this data) snark

            But then again teh google and FB already know I'm kind of socially maladjusted and a misfit anyway. I went to a therapist for awhile when my mom died  but not the drug dispensing kind.  She was the talking and dispensing tissues to cry in kind. Really hard to sort out whose mentally ill in a society that's this nut's.      

            •  check out some of the responses (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              and it seems that people still fear people with mental illnesses, even though most never harm anyone except themselves

              •  I think that (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WakeUpNeo, tobendaro

                they mostly are afraid of mentally ill people or even angry frightened people who have big guns, which they insist they have a right to, regardless of how intimating they are to people around them. Fear and anger are related. I get angry when fear is pumped my way.

                What bothers me about is the people who's fear of mental illness and guns want to put people away or medicate them,  preemptively. Americans seem addicted to fear and if the so called medical mental health system and the government get to decide who is capable of violence it worries me. Especially with children, who they tend to over medicate if they don't fit into some preconceived social norm.

                I have a friend a psychiatrist who works for the state with the homeless. I asked her what she did to help them and she said nothing we just dispense meds. to them. I asked if that helped and she said no but it helps the pharmaceutical companies andd it's cheaper then counseling.    

                I would hope that this would not happen but personal experiences with my kids and the school system, was a nightmare. One of my kids was hyperactive, and they wanted him to be on Ritalin. He was 'disruptive' but not violent or even belligerent.  We tried it for while but it just messed him up. We gradually got him off meds and used other means. No junk food or sugar a healthy diet helped. So did running and other outdoor activities. Mister Roberts chilled him right out as did washing dishes for some reason.

                I've always been speedy naturally but I learned to live with it. sometimes comes in handy when I'm cranking  work out. My son, as the doctor said he would, out grew his ADD or whatever he was,  during puberty. His wife laughs when I tell her he was once hyperactive. I also have a autistic granddaughter and our society at this point is not tolerant to those who are differently wired and who stand out side of the norm.


            •  classifying a society (0+ / 0-)

              as 'nuts' is a bit of a copout, in my opinion.

              However, just about everything else you say I tend to agree with. But just because it's hard doesn't mean it isn't something to tackle.

              47 is the new 51!

              by nickrud on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:07:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Helpful (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          to whom?

        •  Psychiatrists treat mental illness but cannot cure (5+ / 0-)

          it. Therefore anyone deemed violently mentally ill in the
          past should not be allowed to own a gun, ever.
          Felons deemed to have served their punishment and given
          a clean slate should be allowed to own guns in theory.
          But here too violent felons really shouldn't be especially as the NRA supports keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.
          There is no slippery slope.

          •  deemed mentally ill by whom? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril, shaharazade

            such treatment would only discourage those needing assistance from seeking it.
             I would point out physicians cannot "cure" many illnesses but treat them, such as HVD which will never be cured but can be controlled by diet, exercise and medication

            •  By a psychiatrist, like James Holmes was. (3+ / 0-)
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              glorificus, m00finsan, sethtriggs

              She reported he was a violent nut.


              It may be that a system is not perfect but a 'no system'
              approach is guaranteed not perfect.

              •  I would say (0+ / 0-)

                the same thing applies to putting in place a national gun regulatory system that bans assault type weapons and magazines or what ever the hell their called, along with registration and regulation of ammo and guns. This would have to apply to both sellers and owners/buyers.

                It may be a system that is imperfect but it would cut down on the availability of military grade weapons to 'violent nuts'. Seems to me that it would help more then armed guards in our schools and trying to sift through lists mentally ill people to find out who's violent and whose sane enough to won a gun. Ask me I think anybody who wants a Bushmaster or this type of gun or participates in the gun culture has serious problems and should not be armed. Is having an arsenal of say 30 guns not problematic regardless of what considered mentally healthy?   But I'm not a shrink.

                Disarming, the best we can, this gun crazy society would not stop all muckers from snapping and going on killing sprees but it would as you say be better then no system. When people regardless of the weapon used get violent and homicidal the first thing to do is disarm them. Why have these weapons that kill fast and efficiently in the hands of the general public? Mentally ill or healthy?

                As for mental illness is not our violent top to bottom society not partially the cause of people 'snapping'? Our national obsession with violence and fear is a problem that cannot be fixed by sorting out whose are violently nuts from the rest of us.. One trip to the video store is enough to tell any one who isn't enthralled with guns, vengeance, fear and violence that the whole country is has gone to the Dark Side.


    •  It would be nice if (10+ / 0-)

      the NRA really cared about helping the mentally ill. But so far as I have ever noticed, that side of the aisle has been about cutting mental health care.

      •  And their suggestion that there be a list (5+ / 0-)

        of everybody that has been treated for any kind of mental health issues is a non-starter. And they know that.
        It would run foul of HIPAA and the 5th amendment (what little is left of "Privacy").
        LaPierre was using it as a deflection and it has a kernel of fact, but his twist on it is a poison pill. And when his suggestion is booted, for the obvious reasons, his followers will be able to say he was ignored.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:02:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  So pictures of corpses are NOT enough for you. (0+ / 0-)

      Glad that's cleared up.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 08:18:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  over the years I have seen a good many (0+ / 0-)

        corpses of people who have died for a variety of reasons.  Pictures of bodies or even bodies themselves evoke an emotional response but emotional responses make for a piss poor platform upon which to base legislative and judicial decisions.

        Does that answer your question?   Or if you prefer, I can produce plenty of pictures of Syrian children who lie slaughtered in piles.  Do we now decide our foreign policy based upon our visceral responses?

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