Guns Aren’t the Problem. We Are the Problem.

 

Guns are not the problem. We are the problem.

If you look at the Wikipedia page about mass shootings in the US, you will find that five out of the seven accepted causes are psychological and cultural. Five. Out of Seven. Even they recognize that gun accessibility is only worth two points of discussion.

Let’s address the other five:

  1. Mental illness and its treatment (or the lack thereof) with psychiatric drugs. This is controversial. Many of the mass shooters in the U.S. suffered from mental illness, but the estimated number of mental illness cases has not increased as significantly as the number of mass shootings. Under 5% of violent behaviors in the U.S. are committed by persons with mental health diagnoses.
  2. The desire to seek revenge for a long history of being bullied at school. In recent years, citizens calling themselves “targeted individual” have cited adult bullying campaigns as a reason for their deadly violence.
  3. The widespread chronic gap between people’s expectations for themselves and their actual achievement, and individualistic culture.
  4. Desire for fame and notoriety. Also, mass shooters learn from one another through “media contagion,” that is, “the mass media coverage of them and the proliferation of social media sites that tend to glorify the shooters and downplay the victims.”
  5. The copycat phenomenon.

Mental Illness

The United States and Europe are largely very liberal when it comes to mental illness. After the reforms of the 1960s and ’70s which prohibited involuntary admission to psych units without adjudicated evidence of being a danger to oneself, others, or gravely disabled, the US has seen an increase in violent crimes. Why? This population is largely homeless, transient, and incapable of holding down a job. However, these people can answer questions correctly and care for their basic needs. Because our standards have ensured a maximum amount of freedom, people who act actively psychotic are on the streets. They are violent and they have the right to refuse medication, even in prison. They can, then, continue to be mentally ill.

Is this freedom?

On one hand, yes it is. People have the right to refuse treatment. Even if that treatment ensures some amount of awareness and sanity. Just like drug abuse, one may choose to remain disoriented and incapable of approaching reality. This is your right.

But is it really?

Please take a moment and consider where your freedom ends.

Revenge

Let’s be honest. Given the means to exact revenge, most of us would not exact it. We wouldn’t. We have the ability to go out and buy a gun. We could publish terrible things online. We could “swat” someone. But we do not. We have a cultural push not to do these things. They do not benefit us because we are group participants and doing so would make us outsiders in a larger group. Getting our revenge, whether or not deserved, would stigmatize us from our groups. So we wallow. We complain, we bellyache, we whine. But we simply do not go and exact our revenge! More often than not, we realize that our offenses are not mortal insults. They are terrible, they are life-ruining sometimes. But even then, we realize that one life (still lived) is better than a life ended in violence. This is a cultural understanding.

Somewhere along the line, these people have decided that revenge is more valuable than group living.

We used to ostracize those people.

Achievement is Everything

I should clarify this, as should Wikipedia: the appearance of achievement is everything. Social media is really antisocial media. People are using this to taunt one another and tailor a specific view of their lives. They do not post every time they fail at something; only when their successes are interesting or dramatic. This leads to a certain fallacy that everything that is observed is representative of that which is done in one’s life. This is obviously not true, but the brain does not always lend itself to logic. The important thing is that mom said I’d make something of myself and everyone else is. If I’m 19 and barely making it in community college and my peers are social media influencers and posting about all their friends and dates and excellent grades, I’m going to feel a bit out of my element. If everyone can (and apparently does!) do this, why am I so defective? Why can’t I do anything? Why am I so…not special?

This leads to the next.

Fame: Notoriety

Notoriety is the type of fame that these people crave. If you can’t be famous for a good reason, be famous for a bad reason. Guns are easy. Point and click. People? They’re just faces on a screen. They’re people you’ll never know. They mean nothing to you. If life only had a reason in context and morality is only true in context then lives only have meaning in context. Therefore strangers are nothing.

And nothing is something when you’re trying to be famous.

If you could use nothing, literally nothingness, in order to gain yourself fame, fortune, notoriety, attention, why wouldn’t you? There’s no value on human life. In relation to yourself, it is nothing. So why not?

Copycat Phenomenon

This is where I am at my failing, to be honest. I think this wraps up and has a component in the narcissism and mental illness. There is a certain reactionary, “Fine! Do that! I’ll beat you!” This leads us into game ideas. The idea is to “one up” your opponent. The idea is that really life is meaningless anyway, so it is a competition to see who can get the most kills. The idea is that notoriety can only be achieved by being the best. The best, in this case, is the most deadly. By seeing these killings, people with psychotic tendencies get anxious. It is not just that they see their ideas playing out (though this is certainly part of it), but it is a certain type of restless agitation. They can see their ideas. They can see how they can improve upon the previous before anyone can stop them then, and only then, they can be *the best*.

I know most of this is preaching to the choir about gun control. Ultimately guns are tools in the way that cars are tools. But we need to understand that there is something that is very sick in this country and it isn’t just about moms and dads and too many guns. It is about media and appearances and feeling a need to be an individual stamp in a world where everything gets attention but you. We need to examine our policies on mental illness very carefully and though I’m wary of government control of anything, we need to sincerely examine the freedoms we give people who are actively psychotic.

These people live with us and they are valuable parts our society when they can function within it. When they can’t, they need to be subject to the same restrictions as others.

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There are 32 comments.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  1. DonG Coolidge

    people suck. we need a lot of civilizing and even then bad things happen.

    • #1
    • August 4, 2019, at 8:46 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. Arahant Member

    TheRightNurse: Let’s be honest. Given the means to exact revenge, most of us would not exact it. We wouldn’t. We have the ability to go out and buy a gun. We could publish terrible things online. We could “swat” someone. But we do not.

    Exactly. It’s a very small percentage of people who do this stuff.

    • #2
    • August 4, 2019, at 9:12 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. I Walton Member

    My sister has a schizophrenic daughter, has been for over 40 years. She’s on the street, was a danger to my sister, who kept an apartment for her for years, but now at 92 can’t take care of her. She can’t and never could get her in an institution, she worked long enough to get SS, but can’t get it because she won’t bother, doesn’t know how or something’s going on in her head. When police took her in some years ago because she attacked my sister, which actually horrified her, she can pretend to be rational and she’s highly intelligent so either manipulates the court system or the health types or they allow themselves to be manipulated because it’s easier. When she was on one medication she could function, but she won’t take them, and would have to be seriously engaged by some institution to get her to take them once they figured out again what works. I imagine a lot of the folks on the street have similar problems some more dangerous than she is. The system is designed to give them freedom, as far as I can tell primarily because of a silly movie “One flu over the cuckoo’s nest” that focused on institutional abuse as if the entire system were run by abusive psycho’s. All I know is that the system we now have is dysfunctional and as far as I can tell chooses to be because it’s much easier, treating it as if it were run by abusive pyscho’s seems to attract indifferent bureaucrats, but as far as I can tell we require totally dysfunctional people to call the shots for themselves.

    • #3
    • August 5, 2019, at 5:41 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  4. Stad Thatcher

    TheRightNurse: Ultimately guns are tools in the way that cars are tools.

    Amen. No one calls for banning cars after a crazed motorist runs down people. No one called for banning Ryder trucks after the Oklahoma City bombing. All these mass shooting tragedies feature citizens saying “What if we ban these assault rifles?” (they will even blame the AR-15 when the perp used a handgun).

    Unfortunately, we’re going to be looking at a lot of heated rhetoric between now and November 2020. Watch for the House Dems to pass bill after bill for gun control (or bans), only to be killed in the Senate. Then watch for a red wave . . .

    • #4
    • August 5, 2019, at 6:02 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor

    I think the issues are even deeper. We don’t have meaning in our lives. Why are we here? What are we meant to do with our lives? These questions are so difficult to answer and can take a lifetime for some of us to clarify. So some people take the easy way out, they take foolish, criminal actions because it makes them feel powerful and acknowledged. The rest of us realize that in some ways, the answer to those questions are much simpler than we think. They aren’t simple to accomplish, they are hard to achieve. But always available to us. One step at a time. Good post, TRN.

    • #5
    • August 5, 2019, at 6:17 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Full Size Tabby Member

    TheRightNurse:

    Revenge

    Let’s be honest. Given the means to exact revenge, most of us would not exact it. We wouldn’t. We have the ability to go out and buy a gun. We could publish terrible things online. We could “swat” someone. But we do not. We have a cultural push not to do these things. They do not benefit us because we are group participants and doing so would make us outsiders in a larger group. Getting our revenge, whether or not deserved, would stigmatize us from our groups. So we wallow. We complain, we belly-ache. We whine. But we simply do not go and exact our revenge! More often than not, we realize that our offenses are not mortal insults. They are terrible, they are life-ruining sometimes. But even then, we realize that one life (still lived) is better than a life ended in violence. This is a cultural understanding.

    Somewhere along the line, these people have decided that revenge is more valuable than group living.

    We used to ostracize those people.

     

    Thesis (based solely on gut and anecdote with no real data): Maybe we have eliminated or neutered many of the groups to which those people might have found connection, such that they have fewer opportunities to be part of a group that might contain or temper their desire to act against the society at large. We say you can no longer be part of a group that is boys only, or that makes fun of other ethnic groups, or includes other “unacceptable” behaviors. Sure those groups are not to be admired, but they give the young man a place to belong and thus participate in the larger society. But by saying to the individual boy or young man that you can only participate in society if you subordinate all your individual interests to our collective standards we alienate them completely from society, and give them a target at which to be angry and against which to seek revenge. 

    • #6
    • August 5, 2019, at 6:21 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  7. Amy Schley Moderator

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    by saying to the individual boy or young man that you can only participate in society if you subordinate all your individual interests to our collective standards we alienate them completely from society, and give them a target at which to be angry and against which to seek revenge. 

     As one wag on Twitter put it, “If the problem is angry white men, maybe we should stop making them angry.”

    • #7
    • August 5, 2019, at 6:27 AM PDT
    • 15 likes
  8. Valiuth Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    Thesis (based solely on gut and anecdote with no real data): Maybe we have eliminated or neutered many of the groups to which those people might have found connection, such that they have fewer opportunities to be part of a group that might contain or temper their desire to act against the society at large. We say you can no longer be part of a group that is boys only, or that makes fun of other ethnic groups, or includes other “unacceptable” behaviors. Sure those groups are not to be admired, but they give the young man a place to belong and thus participate in the larger society. But by saying to the individual boy or young man that you can only participate in society if you subordinate all your individual interests to our collective standards we alienate them completely from society, and give them a target at which to be angry and against which to seek revenge. 

    Your thesis sounds like bunk to me. Why all this sympathy for these psychos? Oh poor babies they dont have any groups of like minded bigots and jerks to join. Because we all know when violent sociopaths organize they turn into productive members of society and not into domestic terrorists and criminals. Our problem is we can’t ID these weirdos fast enough to eliminate them before they hurt decent people. Screw these angry little white boys, they are alienated because they can’t be racist in public without suffering social rebuke? They are angry because girls smelling the stink of pent up crazy on them run away and don’t date them? Those nasty commonsense possessing B’s. 

     

    • #8
    • August 5, 2019, at 7:58 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. MarciN Member

    Extreme mental illness can be successfully treated, and people can be rehabilitated. A young person diagnosed with schizophrenia today can, with a good social support structure, have a very normal life. That was not true prior to the discovery of the drug Haldol. Haldol’s side-effects were terrible, so a lot of people who needed it wouldn’t take it. However, enough people did take it that its existence enabled psychiatrists to talk to their schizophrenic patients for the first time in human history. And so the psychiatric field persisted in developing better drugs.

    There are powerful similarities between living with schizophrenia and living with alcoholism, which is also a disease. In fact, the best book I ever read on schizophrenia was written by a psychiatrist who was also a recovering alcoholic.

    Community care is a viable option for mentally ill people.

    When we see so many schizophrenics living on the streets today, we have to accept the fact that it is an issue of poverty–and the increase is the result of the Great Recession. Like alcoholics, these people pushed everyone away during the early stages of their disease, and so they are effectively alone in life. There’s no reason for them to get better because they don’t have a life to go back to.

    We need to look at rehabilitation from the end result we are trying to achieve: fix the life the person is going to reintegrate into. If those supportive family, job, and friend ties are nonexistent and beyond repair, then we need to figure out how to fashion a new life with social support. I don’t mean a daycare center. I mean a real life with education, job, and people.

    We spend a hundred thousand dollars on heart bypass surgery. Community care for mentally ill people will cost nearly as much over a two- or three-year period when we look at the needed housing and professional services. We just have to make up our minds to it. Once we do, we’ll start finding the answers everyone is looking for.

    For us as a society, helping people is a lot better than not helping. We haven’t looked at mentally ill people this way because over the last fifty years, we have adopted and lived by the overpopulation myth, and we don’t think we need these people because we have so many other people. But someday when we realize that each person was born into this world for a purpose that only he or she can fill, we will figure out how to conserve people with the same gusto with which we conserve whales.

    • #9
    • August 5, 2019, at 9:43 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    Thesis (based solely on gut and anecdote with no real data): Maybe we have eliminated or neutered many of the groups to which those people might have found connection, such that they have fewer opportunities to be part of a group that might contain or temper their desire to act against the society at large. We say you can no longer be part of a group that is boys only, or that makes fun of other ethnic groups, or includes other “unacceptable” behaviors. Sure those groups are not to be admired, but they give the young man a place to belong and thus participate in the larger society. But by saying to the individual boy or young man that you can only participate in society if you subordinate all your individual interests to our collective standards we alienate them completely from society, and give them a target at which to be angry and against which to seek revenge.

    Your thesis sounds like bunk to me. Why all this sympathy for these psychos? Oh poor babies they dont have any groups of like minded bigots and jerks to join. Because we all know when violent sociopaths organize they turn into productive members of society and not into domestic terrorists and criminals. Our problem is we can’t ID these weirdos fast enough to eliminate them before they hurt decent people. Screw these angry little white boys, they are alienated because they can’t be racist in public without suffering social rebuke? They are angry because girls smelling the stink of pent up crazy on them run away and don’t date them? Those nasty commonsense possessing B’s.

     

    Val, I think that you’re wrong. I think that much of the problem is systematic discrimination against boys, especially white boys. There is often official, sanctioned discrimination in school and employment in favor of females, and in favor of preferred minority groups (particularly blacks and Hispanics). When such discrimination is banned, as in California, the schools deviously manipulate the system to achieve their desired outcome anyway.

    To make matters worse, while often being on the receiving end of wrongful discrimination, white boys are told that their mistreatment is justified because of their “privilege.” When you look at the so-called privilege, it is generally the result of greater capabilities, better behavior, and consequent higher achievement for white males as a group (though not necessarily for specific individuals).

    To make matters even worse, if a white boy complains, he is told that he is a White Nationalist, or maybe a White Supremacist, or maybe even a Nazi.

    I do not say this to excuse the El Paso shooter. He was a murderer. But if we are going to understand the (possibly) increasing incidence of these terrible shootings, we should face the facts.

    If you doubt this, remember the hate poured out on the Covington High School boys.

    • #10
    • August 5, 2019, at 9:51 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. Guruforhire Member

    Amy Schley (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    by saying to the individual boy or young man that you can only participate in society if you subordinate all your individual interests to our collective standards we alienate them completely from society, and give them a target at which to be angry and against which to seek revenge.

    As one wag on Twitter put it, “If the problem is angry white men, maybe we should stop making them angry.”

    There is a worrying tendency to blame the blood for the bleeding.

    • #11
    • August 5, 2019, at 10:17 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Full Size Tabby Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    Thesis (based solely on gut and anecdote with no real data): Maybe we have eliminated or neutered many of the groups to which those people might have found connection, such that they have fewer opportunities to be part of a group that might contain or temper their desire to act against the society at large. We say you can no longer be part of a group that is boys only, or that makes fun of other ethnic groups, or includes other “unacceptable” behaviors. Sure those groups are not to be admired, but they give the young man a place to belong and thus participate in the larger society. But by saying to the individual boy or young man that you can only participate in society if you subordinate all your individual interests to our collective standards we alienate them completely from society, and give them a target at which to be angry and against which to seek revenge.

    Your thesis sounds like bunk to me. Why all this sympathy for these psychos? Oh poor babies they dont have any groups of like minded bigots and jerks to join. Because we all know when violent sociopaths organize they turn into productive members of society and not into domestic terrorists and criminals. Our problem is we can’t ID these weirdos fast enough to eliminate them before they hurt decent people. Screw these angry little white boys, they are alienated because they can’t be racist in public without suffering social rebuke? They are angry because girls smelling the stink of pent up crazy on them run away and don’t date them? Those nasty commonsense possessing B’s.

     

    I’m having trouble seeing how further alienating young men who already feel alienated from society is likely to help.

    Part of my thesis is that in today’s “woke” culture, any person or group who isn’t fully 100% cheerleading for the woke issue of the week is told they are not entitled to participate in society. This is alienating even for people who are not off-balance, and I suspect extremely alienating for people who already feel they are at the margins of society.

    In a variation of the statements by @arizonapatriot above, many boys are hearing those messages, even if those are not the messages the system thinks it is sending. 

    • #12
    • August 5, 2019, at 10:57 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. Valiuth Member

    So how is all of this understanding for the plight of poor white boys any different from AOCs the Palestinians have no choice but to riot and attack Jews explanation. I don’t recall reading a lot of sympathy for that line of argument here last week? I think the level of sympathy and understanding being extended to these little psychos is entirely disproportional. Black people in the 50’s and 60’s faced far worse discrimination than these twerps do and they didn’t go around shooting up shopping stores. So I don’t freaking buy the explanation that these white boys are facing levels of social discrimination so profound as to make their reactions to it logical. What I see in these white nationalist fan boys is a bunch of losers placing blame for their own inadequacies on everyone else but themselves. I get bad grades in schools because teachers favor girls, bull plop! I can’t get a job because brown people, bull plop! No one likes me because society is so PC, bull plop!

    I thought on the right we didn’t buy into this “it’s societies fault these people are bad” kind of thinking. And that is what I see on display here. A bunch of excuse making for these degenerates. So many people have had it so much worse than they have, and have not complained or turned to homicidal crimes, and I’m supposed to look at these jabronis and think, poor white babies they have it so hard, of course they’d be angry violent misogynistic bigots. If society has failed these yahoos it is in failing to properly beat them in to shape. Though frankly I wonder what their parents were doing to raise such loosers?

    • #13
    • August 5, 2019, at 11:25 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Numbers 2, 3, and 4 seem intimately connected to current “victim culture” whereby strategies for success are seemingly limited to those who can convince others that they are a victim of something.

    • #14
    • August 5, 2019, at 11:51 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    I’m having trouble seeing how further alienating young men who already feel alienated from society is likely to help.

    Part of my thesis is that in today’s “woke” culture, any person or group who isn’t fully 100% cheerleading for the woke issue of the week is told they are not entitled to participate in society. This is alienating even for people who are not off-balance, and I suspect extremely alienating for people who already feel they are at the margins of society.

    In a variation of the statements by @arizonapatriot above, many boys are hearing those messages, even if those are not the messages the system thinks it is sending.

    Bill Burr has a bit where he says the people who are the most angry in life are those who play by the rules. Like, it’s especially maddening to see someone change lanes without signalling for someone who always follows traffic laws.

    If you look at many of the persistently alienated, they tend to be folk who did everything they were told and yet received zero credit for it. e.g. Incels are often guys who had previously bought in 100% with feminist prescriptions on how to relate with women.

    The other side often counters, “why should you get credit just for being a minimally-decent human being?”

    Well, if you want more people to be minimally-decent human beings, you have to give them an incentive for being so. On the other hand, if you want fewer people to be minimally-decent human beings then go ahead and continue increasing the societal burden for such people and then see just how quickly they give up on playing by the rules.

    • #15
    • August 5, 2019, at 11:57 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Valiuth Member

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):
    f you look at many of the persistently alienated, they tend to be folk who did everything they were told and yet received zero credit for it. e.g. Incels are often guys who had previously bought in 100% with feminist prescriptions on how to relate with women.

    Incels are the biggest BSers in the whole world. They were always clearly pathological narcissist who thought they could manipulate women with “niceness” and since their whole “following of the rules” was a front to begin with they don’t deserve any credit and they certainly don’t deserve pity when their delusions don’t work out for them. Why don’t girls like incels? Because incels are pathological sociopaths who are incapable of genuine human connections and feelings because they look at relationships as a kind of video game where one expects precise inputs to yield defined out comes: right, down+right, down, punch, Hadoken… and the moment you realize that is what this guy who is all “feminist” “nice” is doing of course you make a run for the hills. The guy is a psycho, and no self respecting woman would go near him or let any of her friends go near him. 

     

     

    • #16
    • August 5, 2019, at 1:43 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Stad Thatcher

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Our problem is we can’t ID these weirdos fast enough to eliminate them before they hurt decent people.

    Actually, law enforcement does ID these whackos, but they are powerless to take them into custody and remove them from society.

    • #17
    • August 5, 2019, at 2:11 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse Post author

    Stad (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Our problem is we can’t ID these weirdos fast enough to eliminate them before they hurt decent people.

    Actually, law enforcement does ID these whackos, but they are powerless to take them into custody and remove them from society.

    Which is why the mentally ill need fewer rights. 

    • #18
    • August 5, 2019, at 2:40 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  19. Full Size Tabby Member

    TheRightNurse (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Our problem is we can’t ID these weirdos fast enough to eliminate them before they hurt decent people.

    Actually, law enforcement does ID these whackos, but they are powerless to take them into custody and remove them from society.

    Which is why the mentally ill need fewer rights.

    I understand the sentiment, but worry about who defines who is “mentally ill.” I tend to assume that those who seek power are likely to define my particular personality oddities as “mental illness” that justifies removing me from society. 

    • #19
    • August 5, 2019, at 3:14 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  20. Henry Castaigne Member

    TheRightNurse:

     

    Revenge

    Let’s be honest. Given the means to exact revenge, most of us would not exact it. We wouldn’t. We have the ability to go out and buy a gun. We could publish terrible things online. We could “swat” someone. But we do not. We have a cultural push not to do these things. They do not benefit us because we are group participants and doing so would make us outsiders in a larger group. Getting our revenge, whether or not deserved, would stigmatize us from our groups. So we wallow. We complain, we bellyache, we whine. But we simply do not go and exact our revenge! More often than not, we realize that our offenses are not mortal insults. They are terrible, they are life-ruining sometimes. But even then, we realize that one life (still lived) is better than a life ended in violence. This is a cultural understanding.

     

    Given the means to exact revenge without consequence, we would be like the child from the twilight zone with godlike powers. If you aren’t connected to other people, then the evil that is within us is not disincentivized to come out.

    Contra to what Marianne Williamson believes, we are evil and dumb. 

    • #20
    • August 5, 2019, at 3:54 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse Post author

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    I understand the sentiment, but worry about who defines who is “mentally ill.” I tend to assume that those who seek power are likely to define my particular personality oddities as “mental illness” that justifies removing me from society. 

    I have the same worries, however, the freedom experiment we’ve had doesn’t work. If you are incarcerated for a crime, for example, you should be forced to take psychiatric meds. Currently, they are not required to do so. They have the right to refuse.

    I find that very problematic. We are supposedly trying to rehabilitate people who will not comply with a major component of their rehabilitation. I think if you are a danger to yourself or others, you should be put on a hold. If you are gravely disabled (partly because you are not taking meds), you should be on a hold. Currently, the definition changes based on who is doing the examining and how many beds there are at county.

    This is not okay and this is one of the ways that we have these problems. We need to start psychiatric care sooner and that’s a large part of this.

    • #21
    • August 5, 2019, at 5:11 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. MarciN Member

    Although there might be a handful of circumstances in which I would think it would be okay, I could never support forced psychiatric medication as a hard-and-fast policy. I have known too many incompetent people in the mental health field to ever trust the system to that extent.

    My friend was forced to take medication when she was committed the second time. This was at a private hospital. When I visited her, she couldn’t lift her head off the pillow. I spoke to the doctor, and he looked at his chart. “Oh, yeah, that dose is too high. We’ll fix it.” I went back two days later and it still hadn’t been fixed.

    Another time when my friend was in the hospital for a heart problem that we realized was a heart problem because she had decompensated so spectacularly, the hospital called me and said, “Gee, can you come in? She’s really acting weirdly.” I couldn’t believe how bizarrely she was acting. To make a long story short, the hospital pharmacy had misfilled the anti-Parkinsonian medication she had been prescribed. The pharmacist saw the generic name and didn’t bother to call the psychiatrist to find out which of two choices in the nongeneric category to pick from. He just picked one at random, and he picked the wrong one. One of the floor nurses spent the night walking the floor with my friend until it wore off.

    Then there was the little kid in my Brownie troop whose Ritalin had been so overprescribed she had a film over her eyes. No psychiatrist would return the calls of our school psychologist.

    I just can’t put all of my faith in these people.

    • #22
    • August 5, 2019, at 5:30 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. MarciN Member

    I have to add to comment 22 that a very strange thing that all psychiatrists have often seen is that the forced commitment by itself often wakes patients up to being cogent.

    It’s one reason I think adrenaline has some role we don’t understand yet in schizophrenia.

    Give the commitment some time to work.

    • #23
    • August 5, 2019, at 5:40 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    TheRightNurse:

    Guns are not the problem.

    We are the problem.

    Mental Illness

    The Unites States and Europe are largely very liberal when it comes to mental illness. After the reforms of the 1960’s and 70’s which prohibited involuntary admission to psych units without adjudicated evidence of being a danger to oneself, others, or gravely disabled, the US has seen an increase in violent crimes. Why? This population is largely homeless, transient, and incapable of holding down a job. However, these people can answer questions correctly and care for their basic needs. Because our standards have ensured a maximum amount of freedom, people who act actively psychotic are on the streets. They are violent and they have the right to refuse medication, even in prison. They can, then, continue to be mentally ill.

    Is this freedom?

    On one hand, yes. Yes it is. People have the right to refuse treatment. Even if that treatment ensures some amount of awareness and sanity. Just like drug abuse, one may choose to remain disoriented and incapable of approaching reality. This is your right.

    But is it really?

    Please take a moment and consider where your freedom ends.

    ‘Danger to yourself or others’ seems to be our gold standard and moving away from that in either direction makes me uneasy, whether it’s towards triple-distilled Libertarianism or a government that will put you away because it’s probably best for all concerned. 

     

    • #24
    • August 5, 2019, at 11:35 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    Thesis (based solely on gut and anecdote with no real data): Maybe we have eliminated or neutered many of the groups to which those people might have found connection, such that they have fewer opportunities to be part of a group that might contain or temper their desire to act against the society at large. We say you can no longer be part of a group that is boys only, or that makes fun of other ethnic groups, or includes other “unacceptable” behaviors. Sure those groups are not to be admired, but they give the young man a place to belong and thus participate in the larger society. But by saying to the individual boy or young man that you can only participate in society if you subordinate all your individual interests to our collective standards we alienate them completely from society, and give them a target at which to be angry and against which to seek revenge.

    Your thesis sounds like bunk to me. Why all this sympathy for these psychos? Oh poor babies they dont have any groups of like minded bigots and jerks to join. Because we all know when violent sociopaths organize they turn into productive members of society and not into domestic terrorists and criminals. Our problem is we can’t ID these weirdos fast enough to eliminate them before they hurt decent people. Screw these angry little white boys, they are alienated because they can’t be racist in public without suffering social rebuke? They are angry because girls smelling the stink of pent up crazy on them run away and don’t date them? Those nasty commonsense possessing B’s.

    I think you are reading things into FST’s comment that aren’t there. 

    The sympathy is for the proto-psycho and it’s not so much sympathy as a wish to short-circuit their final step. 

    No one feels much sympathy after the body count. 

    • #25
    • August 5, 2019, at 11:37 PM PDT
    • Like
  26. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):
    f you look at many of the persistently alienated, they tend to be folk who did everything they were told and yet received zero credit for it. e.g. Incels are often guys who had previously bought in 100% with feminist prescriptions on how to relate with women.

    Incels are the biggest BSers in the whole world. They were always clearly pathological narcissist who thought they could manipulate women with “niceness” and since their whole “following of the rules” was a front to begin with they don’t deserve any credit and they certainly don’t deserve pity when their delusions don’t work out for them. Why don’t girls like incels? Because incels are pathological sociopaths who are incapable of genuine human connections and feelings because they look at relationships as a kind of video game where one expects precise inputs to yield defined out comes: right, down+right, down, punch, Hadoken… and the moment you realize that is what this guy who is all “feminist” “nice” is doing of course you make a run for the hills. The guy is a psycho, and no self respecting woman would go near him or let any of her friends go near him.

     

     

    You know a lot of incels? 

    • #26
    • August 5, 2019, at 11:43 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    TheRightNurse (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    I understand the sentiment, but worry about who defines who is “mentally ill.” I tend to assume that those who seek power are likely to define my particular personality oddities as “mental illness” that justifies removing me from society.

    I have the same worries, however, the freedom experiment we’ve had doesn’t work. If you are incarcerated for a crime, for example, you should be forced to take psychiatric meds. Currently, they are not required to do so. They have the right to refuse.

    I find that very problematic. We are supposedly trying to rehabilitate people who will not comply with a major component of their rehabilitation. I think if you are a danger to yourself or others, you should be put on a hold. If you are gravely disabled (partly because you are not taking meds), you should be on a hold. Currently, the definition changes based on who is doing the examining and how many beds there are at county.

    This is not okay and this is one of the ways that we have these problems. We need to start psychiatric care sooner and that’s a large part of this.

    Prisoners should get more dignity and fewer rights. 

    • #27
    • August 5, 2019, at 11:48 PM PDT
    • Like
  28. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Although there might be a handful of circumstances in which I would think it would be okay, I could never support forced psychiatric medication as a hard-and-fast policy. I have known too many incompetent people in the mental health field to ever trust the system to that extent.

    My friend was forced to take medication when she was committed the second time. This was at a private hospital. When I visited her, she couldn’t lift her head off the pillow. I spoke to the doctor, and he looked at his chart. “Oh, yeah, that dose is too high. We’ll fix it.” I went back two days later and it still hadn’t been fixed.

    Another time when my friend was in the hospital for a heart problem that we realized was a heart problem because she had decompensated so spectacularly, the hospital called me and said, “Gee, can you come in? She’s really acting weirdly.” I couldn’t believe how bizarrely she was acting. To make a long story short, the hospital pharmacy had misfilled the anti-Parkinsonian medication she had been prescribed. The pharmacist saw the generic name and didn’t bother to call the psychiatrist to find out which of two choices in the nongeneric category to pick from. He just picked one at random, and he picked the wrong one. One of the floor nurses spent the night walking the floor with my friend until it wore off.

    Then there was the little kid in my Brownie troop whose Ritalin had been so overprescribed she had a film over her eyes. No psychiatrist would return the calls of our school psychologist.

    I just can’t put all of my faith in these people.

    While we’re fixing stuff, let’s revoke some licenses. 

    • #28
    • August 5, 2019, at 11:50 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Amy Schley Moderator

    TBA (View Comment):
    While we’re fixing stuff, let’s revoke some licenses. 

     As noted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson (of all people!) in the same 48 hours two evil men killed 40 people, medical errors killed approximately 500.

    • #29
    • August 6, 2019, at 3:36 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Amy Schley (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):
    While we’re fixing stuff, let’s revoke some licenses.

    As noted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson (of all people!) in the same 48 hours two evil men killed 40 people, medical errors killed approximately 500.

    The cost of medical services is already sky high, and now you want to make it even more expensive by reducing the number of doctors?

    ;-) 

    But seriously, before I can form an opinion on whether 250 people killed per day due to medical errors is a particularly high number, I need to know how many people in total receive medical treatnent on any given day. 

    • #30
    • August 6, 2019, at 5:27 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
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