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Senior Contributor

Re: Guns

I realize that entertainment is an argument put forth by gun advocates.  I read an interesting column by a Canadian entertainment critic yesterday.  You have to admit that with today's technology makes entertainment  pretty much world wide.  In other words every body every where in the world is watching the same movies and television shows, playing the same video games listening to the same music. And I'd think you find that our entertainment is probably the most pirated, and streamed to other parts of the world.  I'd hazard a guess the far less is brought into this country from other world wide entertainment sources.

As I said this guy was Canadian, which being so close is especially exposed to the same entertainment that our country is.  Yet we are still considerably more violent with each other than in other countries in the world.  OUr murder rate is higher, our crime rate is higher and our incarceration rate is higher. Why, I don't have a clue.  Perhaps it is the atmosphere of entitlement that has been created in this country for the past several decades.

I remember being totally astounded watching a Maury Povich show years ago.  He had on gang members.  This one girl stated "if I like the shoes you have on you can believe I'm going to take them from you.  If I want them they should be mine."

Where oh where does an attitude like that come from.

Advisor

Re: Guns

I dont see anywhere in my post anything about background checks or registries.  I have no problem with background checks... just to set the record straight.  

 

My point is that many law abiding citizens own high powered, large magazine guns that will never be involved in a horrific crime like CT.

 

But when sme mentally ill person murders innocent people in mass we immediately want to make those guns illegal.  

 

Watch the news nightly in our larger cities......gang and drug related shootings EVERY night using illegally owned weapons.  Nobody is talking about ridding those communities of those guns!  I can speculate why not but I wont on here.

 

 

We deinstitutionalized our mental health care in the 90s leaving these families powerless to deal with their mentally ill loved ones.  No help.  No power.  The prisons and jails are full of people who need to be in a hospital for long term care but in typical US fashion we asserted that they have "rights" of self determination and we shove them off to desperate families, homelessness, and jail and tell ourselves we are protecting their rights!

 

Then when a 

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Advisor

Re: Guns

Then when a mass shooting tragedy occurs we moan and cry about it and lash out at responsible legal gun owners.  We need to look at what all of our liberal policies have done and stop the rhetoric.  Mentally ill people need access to long term in patient psychiatric care.

 

I actually heard a prominant US Senator say in a conference on the opiate epidemic (prescription pain meds) that he is resigned to the fact that it cant be solved!  Its really pretty simple....stop handing it out like candy at taxpayer expense then bill the taxpayers again for their drug rehab!

 

Dont spin my comments.  When they can prove that they have  addressed drugs, gang violence, mental illness and crime perpetrated by people with illegally owned guns, I will support gun control.  

 

Senior Contributor

Re: Guns

According to my folks, the deinstitutionalized started in the 70s, not the 90s. It's not just the flaming liberals to blame, but the incompassionate conservatives who wanted to cut government expenses. We can talk politics till we are blue in the face, but the fact remains that there isn't any money set aside for mental health aid, but sure enough for prisons and defense contractors.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Guns

My recollection was that massive deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill came about in the Reagan years. You started to see lots more homeless people after that. Before those waves of people unable to cope were dumped onto an unprepared society, there was the occasional bum that wandered through looking for a handout.

Mike says there were always hoboes in boxcars when he worked the railroad, but that was s a fringe element. They were out there when my grandfather worked the same line in the years leading into the Great Depression.

I think that the abuses of people submitted for care, often in state-run hospitals, led to the mistaken perception that they were better off set loose. There may have been some notion that new meds could manage them chemically. I guess it was not understood that missing a dose led to missing many....

We have traded a lot of mental health facilities for prisons. Much of the prion population is attributed to mandatory sentencing for non-violent drug offenders. The point might be made that they are self-medicating, instead of taking prescribed meds for underlying mental problems. Once prisons became largely privatized, a new lobby was created.

I support decriminalization of certain drugs - marijuana primarily - to help lighten that load on our resources, in terms of money spent. Statistics show that 7-8 % of Americans use pot. I suppose a debate can be held over its status as a gateway drug, but how different is it than to say that beer drinking leads to hard spirits? I think pot is no more harmful than alcohol, possibly less so.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Guns

I was living in Kalamazoo Michigan in the mid 70's and remember the controversy when they closed the state hospital there.  But I really do not remember homeless people becoming an issue until in the 80's and the havoc Reagan began on the middle class.

I had so hoped that mental health would become a real part of the discussion on gun control.  The mental health industry is a disaster.

I have a sil that is mentally ill.  It has been a nightmare for my daughter coping not only with him, but with the industry.  I simply cannot figure out how they think they will help any one when they only listen to the sick person.  My sil is not stupid and knows exactly what to say and what not to say to his doctors and therapists to avoid the medication he does not want to take and to make it seem like he is coping OK.  They truely do not get an accurate picture of him and his illness by not talking to those around him.  Yet he continues to be able to exclude any one he wants from input into his care.  And I must add that we are very fortunate that his illness has not manifested any violent or self destructive tendencies yet. I can not imagine how the families of those that do cope.

My sil does not function as a part of society nor does he function well as a member of a family.  Yet his mental health providers are satisfied as long as they can keep him out of a delusional state.  That simply is not good enough.

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Advisor

Re: Guns

Apologies on the timeline I cited.  What I meant was deinstitutionaluzation was completed in the 90s.  As you stated it began decades earlier.

 

However, I stand by my contention that it harmed the mentally ill.  A better course of action would have been to clean up the facilities, monitor the assessments and care, and enforce the laws protecting this vulnerable population.  Instead we threw them to the streets and prisons where they are frequently victimized.

 

A similar example would be the misguided efforts to allow developmentally disabled people to exercise their rights to conjugal living in group home environments.  I saw with my own eyes the state now having to assume caregiving responsibilities for a normally developing child born to developmentally disabled parents.  

 

 

 

When I as

ked about this situation I was told that it was not uncommon and the facility could not legally prevent consent

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Advisor

Re: Guns

ing adults from their reproductive rights.  These are people with the mentality of kindergarteners and the hormones of adults who could not care for themselves much less a child.  And the state now pays for the parenting coach, caregivers, etc.  

 

I am all for individual rights but in the case of severely mentally ill or developmentally disabled or addicted or dependent people, we are hamstrung as a society.  Right now it seems like every "disadvantaged" group has more rights than law abiding, self sufficient CITIZENS.....

 

Just saying.  

 

There has to be a common sense way to care for and protect the vulnerable without the extremes we gravitate toward.  Again, a mentally ill person committed EACH of these latest mass shootings.  Taking my gun will not protect anyone but criminals.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Guns

LA, you need to read this book : The Death of Common Sense. It will explain where we went wrong and how...those rights with no apparent responsibilities attached are the crux of the problem.
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