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View Diary: Alabama Schoolbus Hostage Crisis Drags into Day 3 (181 comments)

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  •  I don't think a PTSD diagnosis is an absolute (9+ / 0-)

    predictor or aggressive behavior towards others.

    Seems to me that the fact that he'd threatened people with his guns and was already charged - they should have had enough to at least temporarily hold his weapons.  But maybe not in Alabama, who knows.

    •  I'm as anti-gun as anyone could be. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim

      Like, I don't think they should exist. But, it appears that this man needed to be treated at the VA. He's been suffering since Vietnam; that is, most of his life. It makes me sick how his illness is manifesting itself, but I don't think this is a case against guns. It's a case for better treatment for those who have served in combat and are suffering from that experience. It's just sad in so many ways.

      •  It's a case of easy access to guns (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HappyinNM, Steven D, ColoTim, joynow

        You are right that he should have gotten therapy from the VA, long ago, but once he started running afoul of the law over violence, his guns should have been taken.
        And if that's not how the law is written, well, then, that's a problem.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:30:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't disagree that he probably needed (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HappyinNM, Smoh, Steven D, tommymet, zett

        treatment he wasn't getting, but my point was really that his mental health status was secondary after he was charged with firing on one of his neighbors and his family.  Meaning that, it would seem prudent to have at least temporarily taken his guns away while they sorted the whole thing out.  Now, that might not have stopped him from going somewhere to get another gun and killing the driver and kidnapping the child, but it might have helped prevent this situation.

        I have a close friend who is a PD and the worst stories about the system she tells almost always center around clients who have mental health issues and their unfortunate gun usage - she has a hard time getting them help because prosecutors want to put them in jail not into mental institutions and the way the law works most of these people end up going to jail for a time - getting NO help - and coming back out just as if not more screwed up than they were before.  

        One of her clients was shot and killed by police after the mother called them to help intervene because the kid was holding a gun to his head and threatening to kill himself.  So, the police arrived and just shot him dead on the spot and justified their actions because he was in illegal possession of a firearm. He was not threatening to kill anyone but himself.  Shaking head.

        •  but maybe they did (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Smoh

          the problem with the fact that people have such easy access to weapons is that the police may very well have confiscated all of his registered weapons and he had an arsenal of unregistered or straw-purchased weapons in his underground bunker.

          "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

          by louisev on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:55:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's a horrifying story. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          inclusiveheart

          It sounds like those police officers need some mental health attention. And I don't even want to think about how that mother feels.

          I don't disagree that the PTSD guy should have had his guns taken. My point was that we're all so involved with the prevention of gun violence right now, the discussion naturally went in that direction. My thoughts, as a lifetime anti-war person, went to the pain of that man. Especially with the reported number of suicides amongst our troops, it hurts my heart that this man has been in pain for most of his life. The Vietnam war ended 40 years ago, and this man has never recovered.

          And I'm very worried about that little boy.

          •  Yes and this man who has killed the bud (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HappyinNM

            driver and abducted that child was not going to get the treatment he needs in our current system.  Like the kid that I described, there are really only two options for people who are that troubled: jail or death.  We got basically nothing in place for interventional treatment.  The police who killed the kid aren't trained to do anything other than what they did in that situation.  They arrest or shoot.  Negotiating with a person who is mentally unstable isn't what they are trained to do.  The fact that the shot to kill is even pretty much the standard training policy in a lot of districts these days.

            A few years back in DC a homeless delusional man was running around with a knife on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the White House outside of the fence - not inside - and the Park Police showed up and shot him dead.  That's all.  They just eliminated him for being crazy with a knife that wasn't even all that threatening.  But that was their training.

            •  I understand the purpose for their training. (1+ / 0-)
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              inclusiveheart

              Kill before being killed. But in both of the cases you cited, wouldn't it have been better to shoot those people in the leg? Do they really have to shoot to kill?

              •  They used to shoot people in the leg. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                HappyinNM

                Apparently, that's fallen out of fashion.

                The guy with the knife wasn't going to be able to kill anyone.  It wasn't clear whether or not he was even aware that anyone was around him - he was flailing around in his own world shouting, etc.  They probably could have disarmed him with a broom stick.  Anyway, he's dead and just another example of how screwed up the Park Police were (and may still be) in that era.  They were sort of notorious for being the most heavy-handed force in the District for a long time.

      •  Better treatment but what about forced treatment? (0+ / 0-)

        In this case or just in general if someone does not seek or want treatment, then whjat? The mental health part is a lot more complex than the gun part, just no rich lobbyists bullying congress on the subject.

        But if someone is paranoid and a bit delusional they often reject need for treatment or medicine,believing  the world is dangerous, not that the are sick.
        So whether we are talking VA or community mental  health (way underfunded) how is it people who say no get this better mental health care?

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