Looking for Loughners

In my column yesterday, I noted proposals to protect the public from armed lunatics like Jared Lee Loughner by making it easier to lock them up before they become violent. New Republic blogger William Galston, for example, argues that "the law should no longer require, as a condition of involuntary incarceration, that seriously disturbed individuals constitute a danger to themselves or others." Instead of this standard, which was adopted in response to the Supreme Court's conclusion that a psychiatric diagnosis by itself is not sufficient grounds for confining people, Galston says "a delusional loss of contact with reality should be enough to trigger a process that starts with multiple offers of voluntary assistance and ends with involuntary treatment, including commitment if necessary." To enforce this new standard, he says, "those who acquire credible evidence of an individual's mental disturbance"—including "parents, school authorities, and other involved parties"—"should be required to report it to both law enforcement authorities and the courts, and the legal jeopardy for failing to do so should be tough enough to ensure compliance."

In short, Galston wants a system that compels Americans to keep a close eye on their odd relatives, friends, neighbors, students, and employees, reporting them to the authorities when their strange ideas escalate into "a delusional loss of contact with reality." That distinction may prove hard to draw. The evidence of Loughner's mental illness, the "warning signs" that pundits say indicated he was dangerous, consisted mainly of the eccentric opinions he expressed in college classes, conversations with friends, online discussion threads, and YouTube videos. Many of the things he said on subjects such as grammar, mathematics, lucid dreaming, and monetary policy were inscrutable or demonstrably false. But if that were enough to signal a break with reality justifying involuntary commitment, our mental hospitals would be overrun.

The fuzzy line between Loughner's ideas and his illness was illustrated by a quote from one of his friends. "He was a nihilist and loves causing chaos," the friend told The New York Times, "and that is probably why he did the shooting, along with the fact he was sick in the head." Was Loughner's nihilism a symptom of his illness, a cause of it, or an independent factor motivating his crime?

As difficult as such matters are to disentangle after the fact, it is even harder to say ahead of time which of the country's many oddballs and malcontents will convert bizarre ideas into homicidal actions. In retrospect, every strange or off-putting thing that Loughner did or said marked him as a dangerous madman, including not just overtly crazy stuff like his video linking Pima Community College to genocide and torture but borderline behavior such as singing to himself, talking out of turn, pestering teachers about grades, smiling or laughing inappropriately, and making weird comments in class. But if you read the records concerning his disciplinary troubles in college without thinking about the crime he eventually committed, it is not hard to see why administrators and the police might have seen him as a pain in the ass with psychological problems rather than a public menace. The psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey, one of the critics advocating laxer commitment rules, says that even among people diagnosed as schizophrenics, only 10 percent ever become violent. So assuming that Loughner qualifies for that label, a policy of protecting the public by detaining people with similar symptoms would sweep up nine harmless people for each future criminal.

Although they are routinely called upon to say whether people pose a danger to themselves or others, psychiatrists are notoriously bad at it. "Over thirty years of commentary, judicial opinion, and scientific review argue that predictions of danger lack scientific rigor," notes University of Georgia law professor Alexander Scherr in a 2003 Hastings Law Journal article. "Scientific studies indicate that some predictions do little better than chance or lay speculation, and even the best predictions leave substantial room for error about individual cases. The sharpest critique finds that mental health professionals perform no better than chance at predicting violence, and perhaps perform even worse."

The current system of involuntary commitment rests on predictions of dangerousness that are appallingly inaccurate. Abolishing the requirement of dangerousness would avoid that embarrassment at the cost of imprisoning even more people who pose no threat to others. Yet Galston insists that individual rights should not stand in the way of a mental-health dragnet that promises to take potential mass murderers off the street. He warns that "the rights-based hyper-individualism of our laws governing mental illness is endangering the security of our community and the functioning of our democracy." His lack of concern about the civil liberties issues raised by his proposal is reflected in the glib "warning label" at the top of his essay: "This article will make civil libertarians unhappy. Read at your own risk." Similarly, Time blogger Joe Klein, who regrets that "we no longer lock up the mentally ill," concedes "there will be all sorts of civil libertarian objections to this." Like Galston, he seems to view those objections not as legitimate concerns that need to be addressed but as obstacles to overcome.

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  • ||

    William Galston, for example, argues that "the law should no longer require, as a condition of involuntary incarceration, that seriously disturbed individuals constitute a danger to themselves or others."

    WTF?

  • ||

    Well, if we lock up everyone, then everyone will be safe. Look at how safe it is in our prison system.

  • JB||

    This is awesome.

    We can now lock up Obama.

    The moron has obviously lost touch with reality since he thinks it's a good idea to spend trillions we don't have.

    We can also lock up 60-70% of Democrats.

  • ||

    In short, Galston wants a system that compels Americans to keep a close eye on their odd relatives, friends, neighbors, students, and employees, reporting them to the authorities when their strange ideas escalate into "a delusional loss of contact with reality."

    Where do I go to report all of the fervent Christians?

  • Number 2||

    And I was going to report all the liberals I know!

  • ||

    too late, we already reported u !

  • H8r ||

    clever lolololol

  • cynical||

    Now you can all hang out at the funny farm together!

  • ||

    Fuck the politician!

  • Virginia||

    Report Galston to the mental health gestapo immediately. He is suffering a textbook delusional loss of contact with reality. Same with anyone who reads a Time blogger.

  • VoteMuslimNoPork||

    My metaphysics professor from college is SOOO fucked ...

  • AlmightyJB||

    Well that is very convenient considering the left considers convservatism to be a psychotic illness. Will teachers be ordering the lock up of all the future Limbaughs and Coulters out there when they don't tow the line?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....inion_main

  • Cecil||

    It's Tow the Lion.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The old Discworld saying of "the leopard cannot change its shorts" might apply as well.

  • ||

    the legal jeopardy for failing to do so should be tough enough to ensure compliance.

    "See Something, Say Something"

    Or else.

  • ||

    If you're looking for armed lunatics, you've come to the right place.

  • ||

    or the klan rally

  • icanhaz||

    ur 2 funny!!! LAWL

  • ||

    u need to learn to right better

  • BakedPenguin||

    U need to lrn 2 troll better.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "Where do I go to report all of the fervent Christians?"

    Southern Poverty Law Center

  • ||

    Wasn't "Looking for Loughners" the title of the last Hootie and the Blowfish album?

  • Bee Tagger||

    You're thinking of Ben Folds.

  • ||

    a policy of protecting the public by routinely detaining people with similar symptoms would sweep up nine harmless people for each future criminal.

    Or, while the Authorities are busily corralling fifty (mostly) harmless weirdos in the loony bin, a Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer goes about his business undisturbed.

  • AlmightyJB||

    It will be like the TSA. Sane people will be routinely scrren and harressed about their mental states. Crazy people will be off limits because questioning their sanity might offend them or make them feel bad about themselves.

  • ||

    I'll write their defense for them now: "But if we get just ONE crazy person off the street, it will all be worth it."

  • ||

    they both got theirs

  • cynical||

    Eventually.

  • ||

    Dumbass troll is a dumbass. Those two killers would not have been detected as mentally disturbed by the people around them.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    They won't say it anywhere near a microphone, but you just KNOW there are fuckers in this (and probably in the previous, and sure to be next) administration(s) who would love to be able to legally just round up anyone who has even the slightest tings of not trusting the government...

  • ||

    He warns that "the rights-based hyper-individualism of our laws governing mental illness is endangering the security of our community and the functioning of our democracy."

    Wow. Why can't he just stick his hand inside his shirt, and wear his hat sideways, like a normal lunatic?

  • Number 2||

    "rights-based hyper-individualism"

    Yeah. Enough of these silly individual right! Let's start by depriving Galston of his. Anyone who expresses the opinion he expresses is obviously insane, right?

  • Captain Obvious||

    Yes, but playing along with his opinion as though you agree with it makes you insane too. :(

  • Number 2||

    "According to the psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey (one of the critics advocating laxer commitment rules) only 10 percent of people diagnosed as schizophrenics ever become violent. So assuming that Loughner qualifies for that label, a policy of protecting the public by routinely detaining people with similar symptoms would sweep up nine harmless people for each future criminal."

    Even that overstates matters, because this statistic measures only true schizophrenics. What about the even larger category of people who simply behave odd -- a category that at one time or another includes each and every one of us? A miniscule percentage of people who act odd end up violent -- and the traits of virtually every "crazed killer" we'vwe heard of remind us of people we've known who do not end up crazed.

    This is a further example of why laws should not be passed under the influence of tragic events.

  • ||

    "a category that at one time or another includes each and every one of us?"
    NOT ME - I use the term "groovy" as it is an accurate and precise descriptor of a circumstance. And I continue to wear my chartreuse Nehru jacket because it still attracks the babes, provides visibility at night, is comfortable, and I am thrifty. I cannot help if that the rest of the population is not as pragmatic and logical as me...

  • Billy Shakespeare||

    ... a category that at one time or another includes each and every one of us?

    Everyone needs to be locked up at sometime. For The Children.™

  • ||

    Note that violent can have a lot of different meanings. I would argue that there is a significant difference between mass murder and throwing a punch at someone. The ratio of incarceration to prevent one mass murder would likely be tens of thousands to one.

  • CatoTheElder||

    You're right, of course, and it falls upon our elites to discern the balance between liberty and security. I'm sure that in their wisdom they will find that it is better to incarcerate tens of thousands of lunatics than to risk the life of a US Representative.

  • CatoTheElder||

    There was a pretty good sci-fi movie about the world that these experts advocate: Minority Report.

    In the movie, however, pre-crime was foretold by usually reliable psychic "pre-cogs" rather than utterly unreliable psychologists, sociologists, and psychiatrists.

    The real world doesn't work out like the experts would wish. The practice of psychiatry in the 1970s USSR is probably typical of what they would accomplish in practice.

  • ||

    Looks like a new Cabinet position to be filled.

  • ||

    Schizo Czar.

    "Schizo Czars" would be a good bandname.

  • CatoTheElder||

    The 21st Century Schizoid Man would be the Man in this case.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

  • Warty||

    "the rights-based hyper-individualism of our laws governing mental illness is endangering the security of our community and the functioning of our democracy."

    That's exactly what's wrong with America. Too many fucking rights.

  • alan||

    "the rights-based hyper-individualism of our laws governing mental illness is endangering the security of our community and the functioning of our democracy.

    Yeah, because no one has been the victim of massacres in nations where individual rights are not recognized. You can't ask for a sorrier bunch of people than our punditry class.

  • ||

    How can the left even pretend to be for civil liberties anymore? Their more visible pundits are now putting fucking disclaimers on their articles that they're against civil liberties.

  • cynical||

    Don't assume the left is a monolithic block. It's possible that this sort of asininity will lead to some internal upheaval among "the left", broadly speaking. Perhaps "Progressive" and "Liberal" will finally separate into two separate concepts altogether.

  • ||

    When any more "leftists" speak up for civil liberties other than Greenwald, I'll assume they aren't a monolithic block. But the very nature of their partisanship forces them to be monolithic.

  • BakedPenguin||

    It would be interesting if they split off from TEAM BLUE and the Tea Partiers split from TEAM RED once it becomes obvious the Republicans aren't going to do shit to stop spending.

    There are lefties who believe strongly in civil liberties. 20 years ago, I was one. When I realized that the Dems really didn't give a shit, I started looking elsewhere.

  • ?||

    Why do you cap Team Red and Team Blue?

  • ||

    hyper-individualism
    Hmmmmm...I can only conclude that theese people believes in the vision put forward in "The Human Centipede"

  • guillotined||

    Remember that Robespierre was in charge of the Committee of Public Safety.

  • alan||

    The revolution turns on its own. There is a straight jacket in your future Galston.

  • ||

    I might have to start self-medicating early, today.

    Unfortunately, it's too windy to go to the range. I could really stand to blow off some 9mm steam.

  • Geotpf||

    IMHO, the real problem here isn't that he wasn't locked up, but that he was allowed to legally purchase a firearm. I would favor mental health screening prior to doing so. That is, before you buy a gun, a doctor has to affirm you aren't coocoo for cocoa puffs.

    I'm sure such won't be appreicated by the NRA, of course.

  • ||

    To buy a gun I have to undergo a notoriously inaccurate psychological analysis? Fuck you, asshole. How about to drive, too? A car can be a weapon. Oops; Geoff didn't pass the test! No driving for him!

    Are you really this stupid?

  • Geotpf||

    There were blatant signs that this guy was fucking crazy. He was suspended from community college for acting nuts in class and ordered to take a mental health exam before he could return (instead, he dropped out). Yet that didn't stop him from legally purchasing a firearm-he passed the Federal bankground check.

    Ok, maybe do it in the reverse. Instead of requiring mental health testing for gun buyers, mandate that whenever somebody is suspected of being mentally ill (as Loughner was) doctors and governmental organizations like the police or colleges are required to report such to the Feds so they are blocked from buying a gun. There is a method of doing this, and some government groups already do this, but it's incosistant, and many organizations do not.

  • ||

    What's extra crispy fried stupid about all these proposals, including yours, is:

    1. You can never stop crazies from doing crazy shit.

    2. You can never stop people from getting a gun if they want one.

    So what the fuck is the purpose of your proposal? It's useless and erodes civil liberties. And for what? To make you feel good? Fuck you.

  • ||

    Oh come on, Epi. No one would ever be denied who wasn't really crazy because the government is good at telling who the enemy is. And no woman ever had the shit beat out of her by her ex or a stalker while she sat through the waiting period. Reasonable restrictions just need to be based on whatever standard our buddy Geotpf finds reasonable.

  • ||

    I have to undergo a notoriously inaccurate psychological analysis? Fuck you, asshole.

    Ha ha ha!

  • Geotpf||

    Who said I was for a waiting period? I'm not.

    Here is my specific position on firearms ownership: We need to regulate the militia as the second amendment requires. That is, only members of the militia should be able to own firearms. The militia should consist of all sane, non-felon, adult citizens of the United States. To be able to own a gun, one needs to be certified that they belong to the category of the militia. Requirements like a gun safety course could be used to well regulate the militia.

    Then once you are certified as a member of a militia, there should be no further restrictions on ownership or carrying of small arms. Concealed carry, open carry, whatever.

    That's my opinion and I'm sticking with it.

  • ||

    Did you read Jacob's article, Geotpf? Because you're exemplifying the hindsight bias that he describes. The "warning signs" are only blatant in hindsight.

    You're advocating forbidding someone from exercising a constitutional right because they were suspended from college for being verbally disruptive. Think about that for a second.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Not to pile on, but not all sales are through gun shops, either.

  • omg||

    Stop giving them ideas. We've all heard enough "GUHN SHOW LUPEWHOLE" nonsense without encouraging them...

  • Geotpf||

    It's not nonsense, of course. All firearm sales should be run against the Federal database. Of course, an easy method of checking (over the internet for example) should be provided.

  • Geotpf||

    The college specifically worried about his mental health status at the time (not in hindsight).

  • Cecil||

    Right, because a college would never report someone for holding incorrect thoughts or expressing non-approved opinions. Fuck you, indeed.

  • ||

    Fuck you

    The rhetorical standards are very high here.

  • Rhetorical Standards||

    Fuck you

  • Get with...||

    the cock-sucking mother fucking program fuck face. SHITCUNT.

  • alan||

    Regulations are worthless as there will always be means to a massacre so long as people are made of flesh, ligament, cartilage, bone and blood.

  • Max||

    You could obviously take a shot in the head with no damage.

  • alan||

    Thanks Max, but don't consider me superhuman for the pipe or two I have taken to the head in my time. If I snorted up as much Drano over the years as you have I would be an incoherent mumbling idiot just like you.

  • Billy Shakespeare||

    If I snorted up as much Drano over the years as you have I would be an incoherent mumbling idiot just like you.

    Drano™ is a gateway plumbing product. It should be banned. For The Children.™

  • Karl ||

    Strange, I took that (Max's post) as a Gifford's joke. Too soon? Re-reading, yep, he meant you have no brain. Maybe I should be committed?
    -K

  • alan||

    Yes you should be. Committed to keeping up the funny!

  • Warty||

    Are you saying that we all need our brains implanted into robots to prevent massacres? You are a forward-thinking man of big ideas.

  • alan||

    I figured if the progtards all hope to get something out of this massacre, well, damn it, so should I. Why settle for short term goals like the next election when you can have a shiny, newly minted government issued cyborg body!

    Read Diamond Dogs the other week, it's been on my mind a lot lately.

  • ||

    and ur brain would work nicely in a butt plug

  • alan||

    No one asked you to the party, O. You are still the ugly girl crying in the corner, so keep walking.

  • ||

    maybe u already butt plug lol

  • alan||

    Nope. You're still too ugly. Even dirty talk is not going to get you that dance.

  • Billy Shakespeare||

    and ur brain would work nicely in a butt plug

    Butt plugs are a gateway sex toy. They should be banned. For The Children.™

  • ||

    When they plant our brains into machines, I wanna be an Adrienne Barbeaubot.

  • ||

    What part of "shall not be infringed" are you having trouble with, Geotpf?

  • Tonio||

    IMHO, the real problem here isn't that he wasn't locked up, but that he was allowed to legally speak in public. I would favor mental health screening prior to doing so. That is, before you post to a blog (etc), a doctor has to affirm you aren't cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

    Great idea, Geo Poufter! Remember, kids, with rights also come responsibilities!

  • Max||

    Be honest, Sullum. Have you ever considered objections to libertarian dogma legitimate concerns that need to be addressed?

  • ||

    Just remember: Down, not across.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Is he killing himself or masturbating?

  • ||

    I'd settle for him masturbating with a razor.

  • alan||

    What amazes me about our trolls is that they are more like zombie than trolls. They see the last troll just got shredded to pieces with a chainsaw, yet they keep stumbling forward into the chainsaw.

  • Billy Shakespeare||

    They see the last troll just got shredded to pieces with a chainsaw, yet they keep stumbling forward into the chainsaw.

    Chainsaws are a gateway troll tool. They should be banned. For The Children.™

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The wood-chipper scene from Fargo comes to mind every time I see Max post here.

  • cynical||

    I thought he was doing a crossword puzzle.

  • Anomalous||

    Max would gladly trade temporary safety for essential liberties.

  • ||

    Max would gladly trade essential liberties for the illusion of safety.

    Actually, Max has never demonstrated respect for, or an adult understanding of, the concept of fundamental rights.

    And Max, as has been explained to you repeatedly here: Libertarianism isn't about outcomes; it's about opportunities, and the vehicle for the most fairest opportunities is providing the most liberty for everyone. To be Libertarian is to be mature enough to accept that the world is an imperfect place and that you can't make it more perfect by taking rights away from people.

  • doctor||

    Don't worry, scrote. There are plenty of 'tards out there living really kick-ass lives. My first wife was 'tarded. She's a pilot now.

  • Captain Obvious||

    It seems inevitable doesn't it?

  • cynical||

    It seems more like we're trending toward crazypants than retard, though.

  • Doctor...continued||

    UNSCANABLE!!!!!!!!!!

  • ||

    Time blogger Joe Klein, who regrets that "we no longer lock up the mentally ill," concedes "there will be all sorts of civil libertarian objections to this."

    If you object to being institutionalized (while posing no threat to yourself or anyone else), you obviously are direly in need of institutionalization; for your own good.

    It's a simple test; we'll call it "Yossarian's Law".

  • Ska||

    +1

    Oddly enough I watched a few scenes from the movie adaptation yesterday. Luckily I tuned in when Greeble's daughter was crossing and uncrossing her legs in the briefing room.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I'm sorry but where did this uncrossing of legs take place? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • Ska||

    Early on in the flick (maybe 20-30 minutes in) during a briefing in the hangar. All the airmen are listening to the briefing, grunting and moaning as the hot blonde scratches her thighs, licks her lips, and plays with her legs. The general threatens to execute the next man to moan, and it's Maj. Danby, but the general's son-in-law points out that such action would be illegal.

  • Zeb||

    It had a name before Yossarian found out about it.

  • J sub D||

    Second, the law should no longer require, as a condition of involuntary incarceration, that seriously disturbed individuals constitute a danger to themselves or others, let alone a “substantial” or “imminent” danger, as many states do.


    No way that could be abused by authorities.

  • ||

    we all need our brains implanted into robots

    EXTERMINATE!

    EXTERMINATE!

  • Dr. Who||

    +1

  • NeonCat||

    I forget which episode of Dr Who (it's one of the Tennant ones) it is, but in one of the alternate timelines the Cybermen convert lots of people into Cybermen who after being made to realize that they have been mutilated/converted basically self-destruct. I can't help but think some people would think it was awesome: "I'm a heavily armed and armored robot? Awesome!!!"

  • ||

    It is encouraging that the comments in the New Republic are almost uniformly negative to this batshit insane proposal.

  • ||

    He was suspended from community college for acting nuts bored in class

  • ||

    bored in class is normal not abie normal

  • ||

    "In short, Galston wants a system that compels Americans to keep a close eye on their odd relatives, friends, neighbors, students, REASON COMMENTERS, and employees, reporting them to the authorities when their strange ideas escalate into "a delusional loss of contact with reality"

    Man, I'm gonna miss you guys, but the law is the law.
    fresno dan: hello sheriff, the Reason commenters have good hearts, but they're all screwy as fruitcakes
    Sheriff: Thanks for the tip. Hey, aren't you a Reason commenter?
    fresno dan: gulp...yeah.
    Sheriff: Now tell the truth - you do have a screw loose?
    fresno dan: ...yeah. Do you know the bus number that stops in front of the looney bin?

  • ||

    mandate that whenever somebody is suspected of being mentally ill (as Loughner was) doctors and governmental organizations like the police or colleges are required to report such to the Feds

    I understand youth organizations can be used quite effectively in programs such as this.

  • Lord Baden-Powell||

    You know who else created nationalist uniformed youth organizations ?

  • ||

    W. D. Boyce.

  • ||

  • ||

    ^ This is what happens when you don't read the handles. ^

    *Hangs head in shame*

  • IceTrey||

    The funny thing is, Arizona has a law which makes it very easy to report someone with apparent mental illness and have them evaluated by the state.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    PreCrime!

  • affenkopf||

    Statism is a mental disease.

  • Spur||

    Nice angle on this from Greenwald - at least one partially sane liberal out there:

    http://www.salon.com/news/opin.....index.html

    Also, the only reason we are discussing this is some lady who got 50.1+% of the vote in some place most Americans can't find on a map got shot - the same thing happens by a nutzso against a bunch of unelected african americans in East Oakland or poor whites in Monroe, LA and this gets a couple 30 second stories on the national news...

  • Anonymous Coward||

    You know who else wanted people to spy on their neighbors?

  • Chinny Chin Chin||

    “There is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bullshit. I mean, you just can’t define it... these concepts are virtually impossible to define precisely with bright lines at the boundaries.” -- Allen Frances, lead editor of the fourth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

    from hier

  • Michael Ejercito||

    “There is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bullshit. I mean, you just can’t define it... these concepts are virtually impossible to define precisely with bright lines at the boundaries.” -- Allen Frances, lead editor of the fourth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders


    So mental illness is a hoax?

  • alan||

    from Greenwald:

    Then there are the factually incoherent claims Galston makes. He harkens back to some sort of Golden Age of the 1960s when thousands of people were incarcerated against their will who did nothing wrong -- as though that era were relatively free of political assassinations because all the "crazies" were where locked up where they belonged. Of course, the opposite is true: there were far more violent attacks on political figures back then (MLK, JFK, RFK, George Wallace, Malcolm X, etc.) than there have been during the relatively peaceful time beginning in the 1980s when involuntary commitment became much more difficult.

    I saw a transcript from The NewsHour where a sociologist was stating that the 'tone of rhetoric' escalated in the 60's until the RFK and King assassinations gave the nation a 'moment of pause'. Really?!? No riots? No Carmichael Stokely? No Wallace? Altamont? Kent State? Mai Lai? Manson? Helter Skelter debate? Oh, I guess for a few months everyone in company town DC were too sad to express anger after losing the golden boy RFK, and little noticed what was going on in the country. Reminded me of a novel by Joe Haldeman where a schizophrenic lived through 1968 oblivious to the turmoil going on that entire year. and there after, except encompassing an entire city if the sociologist is to be believed.

  • ||

    Wow....I'm just going to say this. I hate to compare people to the Nazi's just because I disagree, but in this case the comparison is hard to miss. Before the Jewish Holocaust, they were killing the mentally ill and the disabled, such as people with Down's. Having Bi-polar, if I had lived in Germany during all this, I would have been killed. And because of my mental illnesses, this alarms me beyond words. There are not adequate medicines (due to lack of funding and research) to treat many disorders, and what works for one person, will not work for another. I see my psychiatrist every 1 - 3 months, for 15 minutes. He is far too busy for more than that. In those sessions, if I was afraid of being locked up, I would be afraid to be honest about what's going on to maintain the stability I need. There is no blood test, X-ray, or any physical way to determine if everything is working. It's based solely on my accounting of what's going on. That's the thing about this shooting that pisses me off. Besides the fact that someone shot like 12 people, and a 9 year old was killed (which obviously is the most egregious pissing off) It was another person with supposedly mental illness. It makes it very difficult for those of us that are mentally ill, but doing just fine with treatment and medications. If he had cancer no one would be talking about how we need to lock up the rest of the cancer patients. But that's what happens when someone is mentally ill. I personally think (besides the last paragraph) that if we could get real money into research and take the research seriously, a lot of people that struggle with different disorders would have real treatment options. If you have cancer they give you medicine. They don't tell you to go talk to someone to get better, so why do they tell patients with mental illness that? hmm...well...that was quite a rant. Sorry about that. :) This has just touched a raw nerve with me all the way around.

  • ||

    And, any program that would incarcerate you for talking about your symptoms would tend to drive you away, forcing you to hide what you are feeling. People who could be helped would be driven away from seeking help.

  • hmm||

  • Zeb||

    You can't crazy-proof the world and if you could it would suck. I am perfectly willing to accept that there will be the occasional crazy person massacre if the alternative is diminished rights.

  • ||

    Two thoughts:

    One, think of the practicalities. We can't afford to do this. If there ain't no money, there ain't gonna be no program. There simply isn't the infrastructure to lock up everyone with a mental illness.

    Two, violent fantasies are more frequent than violent actions. Who hasn't dreamed of doing something violent to someone else? And what level of delusions are we going to label as dangerous? Would someone who believed he was abducted by aliens need perpetual hospitalization? How about someone who believes that Don Henley is in love with her and has written albums with her in mind? Or someone who believes that Jessie Ventura and Arnold Schwartzenegger are cyborg commandos, trying to take over the world? Or that they are married to Deborah Norville? (ps all examples reflect real people) And how do we verify that people with non-violent delusions don't have underlying violent thoughts as well?

    If we start to look at just how many people out there are delusional, with verifiably delusional beliefs (not sure how we would prove the Jessie Ventura thing), versus the number of people who do something violent due to their delusions, then we are talking about trampling on thousands of people, just to possibly prevent one violent action.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    One, think of the practicalities. We can't afford to do this. If there ain't no money, there ain't gonna be no program. There simply isn't the infrastructure to lock up everyone with a mental illness.


    How expensive was it to operate Manzanar and Hart Mountain?

  • ||

    Uh-oh, I talk out of turn, do not yield the floor or a point, challenge 'authority' on a regular basis and from time to time enjoy blasting harmless clay birds with high velocity projectiles. Better be watching my back.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Thud.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosenhan_experiment

  • ||

    Some of his pain-in-the-ass symptoms are my pain-in-the-ass symptoms. The joys of having ADHD, OCD, Depression and bipolar disorder.

    On the other hand, I see the need for locking up people who are a threat to themselves by being homeless, out in the freezing cold.

    So I'm torn, I don't have an answer, even though I have some of the problems...but I'm not suicidal or homicidal, far from it.

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