Vid: The Truth About Mental Illness and Guns


Early media accounts reported that psychiatric issues were the "fundamental underlying causal factor" in the tragic Fort Hood shooting earlier this week, though the army has thrown some doubt on that claim already. CNN reports on the shooter, 34-year-old Spc. Ivan Lopez:

"We have very strong evidence that he had a medical history that indicates an unstable psychiatric or psychological condition. [We're] going through all records to ensure that is, in fact, correct. But we believe that to be the fundamental underlying causal factor," Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, the post's commanding general, told reporters Thursday.

Whether or not this particular shooter had a mental illness diagnosis, there's a very real danger in rushing to vilify, profile, or otherwise target individuals with mental illnesses in the wake of such tragedies. Watch Reason TV's short documentary on "The Truth About Mental Illness and Guns" for insight into how the irrational fear of mentally ill people has resulted in troubling policies and proposals in the past, ranging from suggestions of creating "a national database of the mentally ill" to the actual creation of state-level databases used to raid the homes of innocent, nonviolent gun owners.

Original release date was November 13, 2013, and original writeup is below.

In the wake of any mass shooting, there's a predictable and justified burst of public outrage and sorrow followed by a series of do-something legislative proposals meant to prevent similar tragedies from ever occurring again.

Depending on the political leanings of the politician or media figure offering the solution, the proposal often rests upon one of these twin assumptions: We must rid the world of the wrong kinds of weapons (i.e., "assault weapons"), or, we must keep guns away from the wrong kinds of people (i.e., "crazy people").

"How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame from a national media machine that rewards them with wall-to-wall attention and a sense of identity that they crave, while provoking others to try to make their mark?" asked Wayne LaPierre, official lightning rod of the National Rifle Association, in the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting. "A dozen more killers, a hundred more? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation's refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?"

Even the nation's premier gun lobby believes keeping guns away from the mentally ill is a good idea. It's a sensible-sounding proposal, a logical precaution. But some forensic psychiatrists, whose jobs include the task of identifying potentially violent individuals, say that targeting the mentally ill isn't as simple as it sounds.

A recent Mayo Clinic study points out that mass shooters tend to meticulously plan their crimes weeks or months in advance, undermining the idea that the mentally ill simply "snap" and go on shooting rampages while also complicating the notion of effective gun control through gun registries, since a methodical planner has plenty of time to obtain weapons through illegal channels.

A more basic problem with a strategy that targets mentally ill people is that the vast majority of them are not violent. When you control for substance abuse, a factor that exacerbates violence in all populations, only about 4.3 percent of people with a "severe" mental illness are likely to commit any sort of violence, according to a University of Chicago study. The violence rate among those with a "non-severe" mental illness is about equal to that of the "normal" population.

"In the absence of a history of violence or any of the other risk factors, it is impossible to predict who will become violent," says Stephen K. Hoge, a forensic psychiatrist at Columbia University. "If we put doctors in the position of acting on behalf of the government or acting on behalf of social control, then that undermines the therapeutic mission."

In other words, by targeting and stigmatizing the mentally ill, especially in the absence of a coherent risk-identification strategy, the effect may be to discourage people who need help from seeking it, while also stripping away the rights of a huge group of people who will likely never commit a violent act.

California is the vanguard of the gun registry movement in the U.S. The Attorney General's office maintains a database called the "Armed Prohibited Persons System" (APPS), which identifies three groups of people whose guns should be confiscated: Individuals with a documented history of violence, convicted felons/wanted persons, and people with a "severe mental illness," as defined by the state. Lumping the broad category of "mentally ill people" in with criminals and violent abusers can ensnare innocent and seemingly harmless individuals in an overly expansive dragnet.

Take Lynette Phillips, a suburban California housewife who suffers from anxiety disorder. She encountered the APPS after a trip to Aurora Charter Oak Hospital's psych ward resulted in her involuntary commitment. Phillips claims she voluntarily checked herself into the hospital after a bad reaction to a new medication and that the involuntary commitment was an error made by an overzealous nurse. Representatives from Aurora Charter Oak declined to comment on the story, but she was released before the full 72-hour hold, and a letter from Phillips' personal psychiatrist confirms some of the details in her version of events, including the fact that she sought treatment herself.

But the involuntary commitment was enough to put Phillips on the government radar and make her an Armed Prohibited Person. A few days after she returned home, armed officers from the California Department of Justice entered her house in order to confiscate a gun she'd purchased as a gift for her husband. Upon finding more than one firearm in the house, the agents took all of the Phillips' guns and ammunition. They had no warrant. The CA DOJ would not comment on this story.

"They didn't need to do that," says Lynette's husband, David, who described a scene in which the officers spread all of their guns and ammunition on the front yard as the neighborhood watched. "They embarrassed us in front of the neighbors."

The Phillips have no criminal record, history of violence, or documented substance abuse problems. But it was only with the help of an attorney that they were able to get their guns back from the state after several months of effort, and only under the condition that David keep the guns in a safe that's inaccessible to Lynette. They did not return any of the seized ammo.

The Phillips have vowed never to let government agents into their home without a warrant again, and Lynette remains shaken by the experience. Since its inception in 2001, the APPS program has resulted in the seizure of more than 11,000 guns.

"To the extent that society continues to vilify the mentally ill and scapegoat them as the primary cause of gun violence, is a major step backward," says Hoge.

Watch the Reason TV video above, "The Truth About Mental Illness and Guns," to hear more about flawed gun control policies and for the full story behind the Phillips' gun confiscation experience. 

Approximately 7:30 minutes. Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Shot by Tracy Oppenheimer, Will Neff, and Weissmueller.

Scroll down for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason TV's YouTube channel to receive automatic updates when new material goes live.

NEXT: Alex Stevenson on How Britain's Dream of an E.U. Exit is Slowly Turning Into Nightmarish Reality

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  1. We’re all little insane.

  2. OT: it’s far from done yet, but I have been working on a Firefox extension meant to function similarly to the brymck’s reasonable extension for Chrome (“fascr” == “For a site called Reason“)

    Current features
    * Unread post highlighting
    * Hiding posts (and replies to them) by author
    * Rewriting of YouTube Flash embeds to HTML5 embeds

    More forthcoming…

    Three requests:
    * Please understand that it is a WIP; it is not well-tested or feature-complete
    * Please do not refer to it as a “port” of reasonable; reasonable has some hooks in it for Firefox compatibility, but fascr was built from scratch. Any problems with fascr have nothing to do with reasonable and you should not contact brymck about them.
    * If you believe “OMG FireFox is teh sux0rz”, fine, don’t use it or this extension; but please, grow up and keep it to yourself.

    1. Oh my god FIREFOX?!?!? It sucks so much.

      1. I sure should have seen that one coming…

        1. You do know where you are, right? 😉

    2. Thanks man! Installed and testing it out now.

    3. Nice. I’ll have to start up FF and try it.

      I haven’t come up with a way to implement it, but what I’d love from reasonable is the ability to leave posts marked as unread even when posting somewhere else in the thread. Probably not a good way to do that without some async request magic, though.

      1. I think it’s doable, but if I do it, it won’t be after I’ve implemented some other stuff.

        1. a feature that would be double plus cool, and might even get me to switch, would be if you could place the the name of who is replying to whom in the header. Not the whole string, because that’s annoying, but just the person you are replying to. Like this:

          Francisco d’Anconia [replied to bdhr] |4.5.14 @ 5:35PM|#|?|filternamelinkcustom

          1. Sorry, I’m not quite sure what you mean.

    4. Fixing incif on firefox seems like it would have been easier.

      1. I was not aware of incif.

    5. The feature incif had that reasonable is missing is blocking or responses to filtered posters. I dont want to read responses to Tony either.

      1. “The feature incif had that reasonable is missing is blocking or responses to filtered posters. I dont want to read responses to Tony either.”

        Out of curiosity, why not just scroll past those discussions?

        1. Out of curiosity, why not just scroll past those discussions?

          Oh give us a break, Blue Tulpa.

          1. Unfair question?

            I understand not wanting to have to listen to someone you disagree with or you think is dishonest on the television or radio, but in the printed medium it just seems, well, odd. One can just scroll past people whose opinions they feel hold no value. Is it a fear that sans blocking them altogether one will accidently read their comments and get upset? It strikes me as asking someone to cut out sections of the newspaper one does not like.

            1. I guess there are those who would rather forget that certain individuals even exist.

              1. I guess, but that seems rather odd. I mean, if someone did what I mentioned to their daily newspaper would not that strike you as odd?

      2. That is the default behavior of this extension. I may make it optional, though.

    6. Nice, but the blocked posters function doesn’t seem to work for me. I tried it out on Francisco (he was convenient), and he wasn’t blocked.

      1. Did you enter in his name manually or did you do it by clicking the ? along the top of one of his posts?

        1. I clicked the ?.

          1. Can you go to the preferences (Tools – Add-Ons – Preferences), PrScrn, and email it to me?

            1. Umm…I don’t see any “preferences” under “addons”.

              1. Or do you mean the settings for fascr?

                1. Hmm…now he’s blocked. Odd. This time I entered his name manually, though.

              2. Sorry, I mean, when you go to the Add-Ons manager, there should be a listing for each one, with buttons for “Preferences”, “Disable”, and “Uninstall”.

                1. Ok, nevermind; it’s working now. I don’t know why it didn’t work at first, but now it is.

      2. Because I am…..


    7. “OMG FireFox is teh sux0rz”

      You can say that again.

    8. Awesome! Can you add a setting to highlight a specific handle (e.g., your own) like in Reasonable?

      1. Yes, that was planned from the beginning, and in fact I just added it to a new version.

        I also made hiding replies to Blue Tulpa et al.‘s posts optional (but enabled by default).

        1. There is a bug in this version that I am aware of and will fix momentarily.

          1. Said bug should be fixed in this version.

            What did I say about it being a WIP?

            1. Awesome. Everything seems to be working well.

              1. Thanks, I’m glad to hear it.

  3. Zach, Reason should do a companion, um, piece on “The Truth About Young Black Men and Guns” and record some prominent gun-grabbers sputtering when similarly asked “What’s the harm in talking precautions?”

  4. Who defines/determines what a “serious mental illness” is? And what evidence is said diagnosis based upon?

    “…a person with a mental illness can be committed in most of the 37 states that have IOC [involuntary outpatient commitment] laws without any finding of imminent dangerousness to self or others. Even without any dangerousness requirement, a number of states explicitly allow police forcibly to pick up and detain people for mental evaluations if they have failed to comply with any provision in an IOC order.”…..Commitment

    “The 123-page Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, H.R. 4302, includes a four-year, $60 million grant program (Sec. 224) to expand involuntary outpatient commitment (IOC) ? also called Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) ? in states that have laws authorizing IOC. The laws allow courts to mandate someone with a serious mental illness to follow a specific treatment plan, usually requiring medication.”…..ment-39784

  5. This article identifies the symptoms without identifying the disease. What is the disease? The disease is Jewish influence. Tell me, why is it that the Jews, 2 percent of the population, give more money to the Democrat party than the other 98 percent of Americans? Why is this natural or acceptable to you libertarians? Why does equality evaporate the moment the Jews are mentioned?…..rican-Jews

    The Jews control the government and the military that goes with it, they see an armed populace as a threat to Jewish power.

    1. Yes, but what of the Reptilians? Are all Jews Reptilians or just the rabbis? And if so, why would the Reptilians care about conventional firearms when they have HAARP?

      1. That’s one of those so-called “conspiracies” that the Jewish controlled Hollywood tries to get people to believe in in order to discredit anyone who notices Jewish influence. “Reptilians” were a creation of Jewish Hollywood, from the start.

        1. So, you’re claiming that David Icke is a Jew? Fuck you and go suck some Illuminati cock at Bohemian Grove, you stupid piece of shit.

          1. I see the reptilian crap on the television on the history channel, why is it being promoted on the television? Obviously the Jews want us to see it.

            1. Yes, the Jews and the Freemasons want us to see it so that you know the truth about the Annunaki demons, you stupid Satanic cow.

              1. I stopped at the part where you said the Jews want us to know the truth.

                1. That’s what we, I mean the Jews, wanted you to do. Good goy.

      2. I blame Bush

    2. Why does equality evaporate the moment the Jews are mentioned?

      Because we stand for liberty, not equality. Do you know why the Jews are rich? Because they have a culture of frugality and entrepreneurialism matched by very few other cultures. Not to mention a near fanatical devotion to education.

      But hey, very few pro athletes. Gotta prioritize.

      1. “Education” is of limited value in the real world, probably doctors invest the most time in education, after that, IQ, personality traits, and who you know is much more important. You want to see a people who are actually fanatics about education, look at the orientals, yet how many movie studios do they run? That’s the real reason why the Jews are rich, they are smarter and they help other Jews.(Whereas goys helping other goys is “antisemitism,” goys buy into the Jewish-promoted idea that you are supposed to hire “the best man for the job”) They are also notorious cheap skates. But it’s not just their wealth it’s what they do with their wealth.

        1. “Education” is of limited value in the real world

          If by the real world you mean breaking heads in street fights, then I guess you’re right.

          after that, IQ, personality traits, and who you know is much more important.

          Personality traits like frugality, risk management, and the ability to defer gratification? People you know like other successful and intelligent people, particularly older ones who serve as role models?

          But it’s not just their wealth it’s what they do with their wealth.

          Bake the blood of Christian babies into their matzoh?

          1. If by the real world you mean breaking heads in street fights, then I guess you’re right.

            No I mean how most actual people actually make their money. You are just repeating Jew propaganda.

            Personality traits like frugality, risk management, and the ability to defer gratification? People you know like other successful and intelligent people, particularly older ones who serve as role models?

            More like the ability to lie like there is no tomorrow. That’s why there are so many unsavory characters in finance, even goys.

            Bake the blood of Christian babies into their matzoh?

            How about trying to drag us into wars for their favorite apartheid state?

            1. No, you fucking idiot. What drags us into wars is that the Allah of the Muslims is actually the Annunaki moon god of the ancient Iraqis, Nanna, also known as Sin, one of the original Reptilian warlords who helped to colonize this planet after the destruction of Sirius B.

              Keep on taking it in the ass by the Satan-worshiping Illuminati like a Project MONARCH bitch, you fucking idiot. You don’t know the truth, you’re fucking asleep.

            2. We’re pleased that you’re doing your part as one of the keys to our world domination is goyim spreading rumors of our eeeeevil plans. Good goy!

          2. Bake the blood of Christian babies into their matzoh?

            Baking powder or even soda water would make a much better substitute for yeast.

        2. You want to see a people who are actually fanatics about education, look at the orientals, yet how many movie studios do they run?

          A metric fucking shitload, you Illuminati Reptilian shit eating piece of shit. I can’t believe you’re so stupid that you fell for the Annunaki’s lies about the only religion that was able to destroy their demon-gods, you sheep-fucking sheep.

          1. Well dur dur dur the movie industry in China is going to be run by Chinamen, they aren’t going to let the Jews run it. Look at the movie studios in America where Orientals are 5 percent of the population.

            1. What the fuck are you talking about? The Chinaman is not the issue here, Dude. I’m talking about drawing a line in the sand, Dude. Across this line, you DO NOT… Also, Dude, Chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature. Asian-American, please.

              1. Asian-American is a broad category w/o meaning to anyone but the racist diversity czars and their underlings.

                Chinaman has no history as a pejorative.

                1. SIV, I can assure you that diversity czars are not the only ones who dislike the term “Chinaman.”

            2. Who the fuck still says “Chinamen” in 2014?

              1. Racist assholes and people born in the ’30s?

                1. You are all racists, the correct term from Chinese is ‘Chingy Lingy’, now I am glad I cleared that up, (:

            3. Monsters, do you not see that while yes, the Jews have virtually enslaved us, they are our only line of defense against the very Chinese threat you so casually bring up? We designed our Semitic Supermen so well they indeed upended us, but it beats eating Lo Mein scraps and pulling ricksaws as a future for our children.

            1. seconded

        3. Holy shit. This idiot is actually serious.

          1. I want to think so. Because if he was a regular with a sock on, I just got trolled hard.

            1. Even if he is serious why engage with him? His posts are going to get deleted anyway.

              You seriously think it’s worthwhile to engage a racist that’s obviously trolling?

              At least Tony and the assplug generally stay on-topic.

              1. Well, I for one am getting a great deal of amusement out of Heroic Mulatto’s counter trolling. That shit’s hilarious.

            2. , I just got trolled hard

              Not as hard as when you were engaging with “Bo”.

              1. No Nips or bayoneting of children?

        4. “Education” is of limited value in the real world..”

          Uh huh. Coming from a guy who sounds like he just escaped from a straightjacket I am gonna say…..nope.

          I am looking around at all of the most powerful, wealthy, connected families and individuals in my state and…none of them are jewish. I guess they have yet to come here and cast their spells.

  6. In before JOOOOOOOOOOOS!

  7. Dammit.

  8. I can’t tell is HM and Monsters are acting out a skit, or dead serious.

    1. Monsters shut up because he couldn’t handle the truth about the XCOM Project initiated by Committed of 300 to cover-up the existence of the Annunaki on Earth.

    2. Monsters may or may not be dead serious, depending if he’s a sockpuppet. HM is just counter-trolling crazy with crazy.

      1. Actually, HM’s made more sense.

        1. True.

      2. Wasteland Wanderer|4.5.14 @ 6:11PM|#
        “Monsters may or may not be dead serious, depending if he’s a sockpuppet.”

        I’m guessing troll. Just too many buttons pushed; shows some study.

  9. So to sum up the thread, mental illness is a Jewish conspiracy?

    1. And astroturf. You know who invented that, don’t you? The JEWS.

      1. The white man originally invented it, but the lying Jews stole it from the goyim.

        1. OK, that was really good, perfect capture of that mindset.

          1. We’re operating in deep Poe’s law territory, with those types.

            1. I had an actual, Turner Diary reading Neo-Nazi in an undergraduate class with me. He was actually a fairly polite fellow and I had two conversations with him of length. He would never have credited ‘the Jews’ with inventing anything, they parasitically stole whatever. That way he got to grant them power and impotence at the same time.

              1. Amazing.

                1. I think it is common for them. They have to at the same time believe that the Jews are inferior and bad but are also a dire, dire threat.

  10. Rabbi Altmann and his secretary were sitting in a coffeehouse in Berlin in 1935. “Herr Altmann,” said his secretary, “I notice you’re reading Der St?rmer! I can’t understand why. A Nazi libel sheet! Are you some kind of masochist, or, God forbid, a self-hating Jew?”

    “On the contrary, Frau Epstein. When I used to read the Jewish papers, all I learned about were pogroms, riots in Palestine, and assimilation in America. But now that I read Der St?rmer, I see so much more: that the Jews control all the banks, that we dominate in the arts, and that we’re on the verge of taking over the entire world. You know ? it makes me feel a whole lot better!”

  11. “Circumcision for male infants is becoming less common in the U.S., according to new data published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The paper also finds that over their lifetime, half of all uncircumcised males will contract a medical condition related to their foreskin….

    “”Infant circumcision should be regarded as equivalent to childhood vaccination,” said Brian Morris, coauthor of the new report and professor emeritus in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Sydney, in a press release. “As such, it would be unethical not to routinely offer parents circumcision for their baby boy. Delay puts the child’s health at risk and will usually mean it will never happen.””…..tudy-says/

    1. “”Infant circumcision should be regarded as equivalent to childhood vaccination,”

      I think that’s a valid point. There’s no denying that the health benefits far outweigh the risks.

      Children, especially babies, don’t get a choice when it comes to medical decisions. That’s a basic parental right.

      1. If scientists concluded the health advantages were not significant would that change things?

        1. No because there is still no harm to the child. They don’t have bodily autonomy at that age.

          1. “They don’t have bodily autonomy at that age.”


            1. They can’t control what happens to their body, such as feeding themselves or deciding to get medical procedures.

              So a benevolent act that causes no harm to the child is not a violation of their rights.

              1. Oh, ok, autonomy in due process law (which I am knee deep in this semester) often refers to ‘bodily autonomy’ or the right not to have your body interfered with without your consent. I was thinking infants have such autonomy.

                I think as long as there are medical arguments that can reasonably be made (and they can easily here) about a procedure then deference must be given to the parents. But if it were solely a cultural or cosmetic issue I think the calculus might be different.

      2. Hear, hear. Mutilations for everyone.

        1. Show harm. “Mutilation” is a loaded word.

          1. But you’re cutting cutting off a piece of his anatomy without his consent…

            Sorry, I gotta come clean before I’m accused of pulling a Tulpa. I’m fucking with you. I’m cut so I look like daddy and the other boys in the shower. I gave consent after the fact (but I think they took too much). Good job Mom and Dad.

            1. “But you’re cutting cutting off a piece of his anatomy without his consent…”

              Right, but we also allow parents to inject them with drugs (or not, as the case should be). The child’s consent is irrelevant.

              It’s just one of the many things about your parents that you can’t control.

              And yeah, it’s a stupid debate anyway. One that will no doubt be solved the invention of the artificial foreskin.

  12. Shenna Bellows (D) Maine Senate candidate:

    NRA member – left when the org went Team Red.…..ellows.htm

    1. You are such a mendacious piece of shit.

      The correct quote:

      Was NRA member, but left because they became too extreme.

      The NRA endorses candidates strictly on the basis of their responses to the NRA questionnaire and on their actual voting record if they have one.

      In one congressional race in Florida a few years ago both candidates scored an A. The NRA endorsed the Democratic incumbent presumably because she had a proven voting record to go along with her answers.

    2. You clearly have no idea how the NRA or, really, anything works.

  13. “A controversial state program that offers tax credits to people who fund private school scholarships is unconstitutional and robs public schools of much-needed financial support, a lawsuit filed by Georgia parents Thursday argues….

    “The programs allow Georgians to obtain $58 million a year worth of income tax credits for donating to scholarship organizations. Those organizations, in turn, provide scholarships for students to attend private schools. More than 13,000 scholarships were given in 2012 as part of the program.”…..ip-/nfRTG/

    1. Looks like less wastage than the gov’t school system.

    2. Like a lot states, the GA Constitution has this provision in it:

      “No money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect, cult, or religious denomination or of any sectarian institution.”

      I would like to hear how someone such as yourself, who argues that money given to Planned Parenthood for, say, mammograms, funds abortions (because money is fungible) and that a business offering insurance coverage which includes several, among many, contraceptives which may, in rare instances (according to the business itself, mind you) cause a fertilized egg to not attach, is being forced to pay for abortions, can argue that this program does not violate this provision.

      1. Wow, you’re halfway to being an idiot savant!

        1. It makes sense you would want to dodge after that embarrassing endorsement of Reynolds v. US you made this morning during a defense of religious based exemptions.

          1. I was wondering if you were going to walk into my trap, and you were just dumb enough to do it.

            It’s the case which incorporated Jefferson’s “Wall of Separation” metaphor.

            1. Whatever Eddie. The fact remains that, like most SoCons, while you talk up liberty when it favors your ‘tribe’ you have little general use for it, like most principles it is subordinate to reaching results favorable for your group’s cause, which, when I guess is ‘preventing the innocent baby holocaust’ warrants such shenanigans.

              1. Again, I enjoy being enlightened about what I *really* think. Without your assistance, I would never have known what I actually believed.

                1. When you bring up things, then can not answer questions about it, you invite that kind of conclusion.

                  If you have some way to make your championing religious exemptions for someone like Elaine Whitlock or Hobby Lobby from discrimination and employment regulation but not a religious polygamist like Reynolds from a criminal polygamy/bigamy statute, or to supporting arguments about how giving money to PP for X supports their doing of Y but Georgia giving money to X which then gives it to Y, other than what I suggest, then let’s hear it.

                  1. “Georgia giving money to X”

                    Not taking is giving! A tax credit is “taken from the public treasury!”

                    1. Did you miss the word ‘indirectly?’

                    2. Standard progressive talking point.

                      Letting people keep more of their own money means taking the money out of the treasury, at least indirectly.

                    3. Letting people keep more of their own money means taking the money out of the treasury, at least indirectly.

                      He was doing it earlier today. Arguing that a church being tax exempt is an Establishment Clause violation.

                    4. Wrong, I argued that granting a benefit only to religious entities is a violation of the Establishment. That would apply to entirely non-monetary things as well.

                    5. Yes, and you are wrong. Again, words have meanings. When the Framers ratified the Establishment Clause, they knew exactly what they meant by that. It’s plain English.

                      Oh, and tax exempt status is extended to lots of organizations, not just churches.

                    6. As I said, under your reading why did Jefferson and Madison think making religious proclamations violated the amendment? It has to do with what Jefferson called ‘intermeddling’ and modern jurisprudence calls ‘entanglement.’

                      Imagine, for example, a law were passed saying only religious people could vote. Would that not violate the Establishment Clause?

                    7. No it wouldn’t. It would be unconstitutional under the 14th, but not under the Establishment Clause of the First.

                      You’re a law student? Really?

                    8. That would plainly be held to be a violation of the First Amendment.

                    9. Take this example Virginian: what if a government had inscribed on the front of every state building ‘Lutherans Are The One True Faith.’ That would be an Establishment problem right, even though it would not involve expenditure of public monies for any denomination (if you want to say it costs money to inscribe the words, let’s say they got the money from a private donation)?

                    10. Like I said, you are all for this kind of indirect chain reasoning when it serves your causes.

                  2. “can not answer questions about it”

                    Because the reason I don’t answer your questions is because your coherent, completely intelligent points are so unanswerable.

                    1. Certainly a dogged champion of religious exemptions such as yourself could answer the rather simple question of why Hobby Lobby and Elaine Whitlock should get one, but a religious polygamist can not, in a way not as laughable as your earlier one pointing to ‘strict scrutiny’ and Reynolds v. US (the antithesis of strict scrutiny in that area).

                    2. After you say that not taking is giving, and that a tax credit is “taken from the public treasury,” I begin to suspect that we operate from, shall we say, somewhat different worldviews.

                    3. Like I said Eddie, I would want to keep dodging this and changing the subject too if I had taken positions that were so odd from a liberty perspective (though quite sensible from a SoCon one).

                    4. This one may be more useful for you considering your dodging


                    5. I will answer the question Bo. Hobby Lobby should be given an exemption because Obamacare is unconstitutional on it’s face. Everyone should be given an exemption.

                      The polygamist should also be given an exemption because people should be free to associate with whomever they choose in whatever way they choose.

                      By exemption I mean that whatever laws there are intended to prevent people from freely deciding how to live their own lives should be shitcanned.

                    6. That is my position as well.

                      Now why can’t Eddie answer that same question? I wonder…

                    7. “Now why can’t Eddie answer that same question?”

                      As you know, I did, and you disliked the answer.

                      Not taking is giving, not taxing someone is the same as giving him money out of the public treasury and now, it seems, answering a question is the same as not answering it.

                    8. Your answer is that criminally prohibiting polygamy is based on a compelling interest and is the least restrictive means of achieving that interest, but that the Whitlock and Hobby Lobby cases turn out the other way? That’s laughable Eddie, as laughable as you pointing to Reynolds while pointing to RFRA for exemptions for others.

                    9. Because Reynolds is exactly the standard that RFRA was pass? to upend.

                      You literally want to apply two standards to the same kind of claim, one whose religious exercise you agree with, the other you do not, and there is a term for that.

                  3. “..Georgia giving money to X which then gives it to Y…”

                    I am not following you here. Where is Georgia giving money to anyone?

                    1. Georgia says ‘if you do not give to these funds, most of which are private, we will take your money, but if you do, we will not.’ And remember, the test is ‘directly or indirectly.’

                    2. Then money from the U.S. Treasury “indirectly” funds all nonprofit 501(c)(3)s in the country, including churches.

                      So one of the following is true:

                      (a) Because the IRS doesn’t tax charitable donations, money from the federal treasury is filling up the collection plates in churches throughout the land OR

                      (b) you are full of it.

                      Which is more likely?

                    3. I do not think churches should get any preferential tax treatment because they are churches and donations to them should be treated the same, because that is government favoring religion.

                      It is not about the money, it is about the favoring. If they favored them with some official proclamation only I would have the same problem.

                    4. I am going to agree with parts of your argument Bo, but the discussion is needless.

                      The reason we are having this disagreement in the first place is because the state has created a giant clusterfuck in the tax code, and deliberately so. It is impossible to comply with, impossible to understand and impossible to administer in any reasonable manner. Because of that the IRS has been given staggering power, which has now been harnessed and is being used as a weapon against political enemies and unfavored groups. I know that it always has been used that way but never as blatantly as now. It has become something resembling the harassment arm of a shithole banana republic.

                      It is a fucking travesty and the people responsible for it and defending it should be stretching ropes.

                      We need to throw the whole goddamn tax code in the shitter and start over with something simple.

                    5. I agree with all of that.

                    6. “We need to throw the whole goddamn tax code in the shitter and start over with something simple.”

                      It started out “simple” and grew to what it is now due to government. So why would we restart something with government yet again and expect it to be better this time around?

                      Taxation is extortion and is antithetical to liberty, so the simplest thing is no taxation.

                    7. But more to the point Suthenboy, I was pointing to the somewhat tenuous chain reasoning in all three cases.

                    8. Look Bo, I grew up on a farm. I know horse shit when I run across it.

                      The whole ‘not taking is giving’ routine is a big steaming pile. Georgia isn’t giving them any money by taking less.

                    9. There is a reason I analogized it to the other two cases, which I think Eddie would admit I find tenuous: I find it tenuous too, but honestly no more so than the other two.

    3. “…a lawsuit filed by Georgia parents…”

      Sure it is.

      1. I’m sure some of the NEA stooges in Georgia have children of their own.

  14. If this thread is not fatally hijacked (by the Jews, of course), Clayton Cramer on this subject:

    “When I was young, random acts of mass murder were shocking primarily because they were nearly unheard of. Starting with the mass murder at a McDonald’s in San Ysidro, Calif., in 1984, they have become unsurprising. Unless they involve children or an extraordinary death toll, they are barely news anymore.

    What changed? It wasn’t because guns were hard to get in the 1960s; both federal and most state laws have become much stricter concerning possession and sale of firearms.

    What made the difference was the decision to empty out mental hospitals in the 1960s and 1970s.”…..elves.html

    1. What made the difference was the decision to empty out mental hospitals in the 1960s and 1970s

      Is that why Louis Gohmert is in Congress?

      1. No, it’s why Congress is in session at all.

    2. I generally don’t have a problem with Clayten Cramer, but I think his theories on mental illness are…problematic.

      For instance, last time I checked the rates of mass murders have not significantly changed throughout the years. The reason we hear more about them is because previously, news of a mass murder was restricted to the town, county, or region where it occurred. Since the rise of the 24/7 news cycle (which coincidentally happened about the same time as deinstitutionalization), now we hear about every single one that occurs, often in real time. This makes it seem like they happen more often when it’s simply a perception bias.

      Given this, I don’t think his calls for re-institutionalization of the mentally ill are helpful, and I don’t think we’d see any improvements were it to be implemented. OTOH, it would be extremely costly, both in monetary terms and in terms of the rights of the mentally ill.

      1. I agree with everything you say: I am usually a fan of Cramer’s, but I think his ideas on this are troubling, and I also bet that mass murders have not jumped up they are just focused on more (but Cramer usually knows his statistics), and I think what he calls for would be incredibly expensive.

        I also worry about liberty interests, I guess what could be called the costs of ‘false positives’ of aggressive institutionalization. Cramer would not trust governments to do background checks correctly and without abuse, why trust them with who they can lock up for days without any real due process?

        1. …”they can lock up for days”…

          As I understand it, “days” were not the issue. “Years” were.

      2. Cramer has a schizophrenic-sibling.
        That is strong motivation to desire state-funded snake-pit warehousing and easy-commitment law. I’m usually quite sympathetic to the specific plight, not so much the “solution”.

  15. The truth about guns and mental illness.

    I figured that out with one sentence and no movie required. It goes like this:

    Proggies are mentally ill and they hate guns.

  16. Georgia Senate Candidate Takes Heat for ‘High School Education’ Comment

    “Georgia businessman David Perdue’s campaign for U.S. Senate suddenly veered off track this week after his portrayal of an opponent’s educational background in a negative light. Now, the Republican is dealing with a mutli-pronged backlash that threatens to hurt his standing at a critical juncture.

    His remarks about former secretary of state Karen Handel (R) holding only a high school diploma have quickly become the dominant story in the race, distracting from his efforts to run as an outsider focused on the economy.

    Campaigning for Handel in an Atlanta suburb Thursday, former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin (R) raised the issue. ‘She pulled herself up. Nothing was handed to her on a platter, fed to her on a silver spoon,’ Palin said of Handel, according to the Associated Press. ‘For those who would criticize and mock that, it really makes me question their judgment.'”…..nate-race/

    1. Perdue fucked up by calling out Handel’s lack of education.

      “Lack of education” is a source of pride among the GOP BitterClinger base here.

      1. Maybe they just do not consider it a disqualification for office?

      2. Palin’s Buttplug|4.5.14 @ 7:08PM|#
        “Lack of education” is a source of pride among the GOP BitterClinger base here.”

        Slimy turds here think some degree or other is sufficient to dictate what others do.
        Fuck you with a backhoe.

      3. What an interesting observation Mr. Buttplug. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  17. OT:
    “Study Shows That It’s Way Too Easy To Get A Prescription For Narcotic Pain Pills”…..370669.php

    What is “too easy” you might ask? Well, you’ll find that the people who wrote the article believe it’s “too easy” and you’re not some miserable goddam libertarian who doesn’t believe your betters, are you?
    And besides:
    “Together, the findings suggest that some doctors are easily swayed by patients ? even when prescribing narcotics that are prone to abuse ? and that pharmaceutical advertisements targeted at patients may actually affect what doctors prescribe.”
    See, doctors ought to TELL you what you’re gonna get!

  18. Paul Broun has Ron Paul’s endorsement in the GA Senate race. Hell, he’s more libertarian than the LP nominee. The civics-illiterate fear he will lead the Senate into voting on an official geological age of the Earth.

    1. What nonsense. Amanda Swafford is much superior to Broun, who has, among other things, said he would not cut defense spending to balance the budget, opposes immigrants freedom of movement and association rights, and sponsored legislation to make it ‘the Year of the Bible.’

      1. Did he actually say that about defense spending, or was it something like “Well, even if we cut the whole defense budget, it wouldn’t balance the budget, so we need to make other cuts as well.”

        1. The votesmart link indicates this is a “inferred position”, not a stated position. Paul Broun believes in committing military force only after a formal declaration of war by congress if that helps. He takes the Constitution as literally as he does the Bible. Voted against extending the Patriot Act along with Amash.

          1. I was initially repelled by Broun but that changes my mind quite a bit.

          2. Wow, that is astoundingly dishonest. There is a list of his Yea votes for increased defense spending and Nay votes on even small cuts.

            “?Elizabeth Harrington. Lawmakers, Experts Advocate Against Military Spending Cuts. 6 October 2011. “Advocates for a strong military assembled on Capitol Hill Wednesday to urge Congress to ensure that the push to reduce the deficit does not jeopardize the defense budget. Legislation passed in August to raise the debt ceiling, the Budget Control Act, handed a bipartisan ‘super committee’ the responsibility to cut the deficit by $1.5 trillion. A panel convened by the Coalition for the Common Defense discussed what it called the committee’s ‘daunting mandate of reigning in federal spending’ and the need to ‘provide for the common defense’ [?] The Coalition for the Common Defense is an alliance of like-minded individuals and organizations working to maintain strong military spending [?] Its statement of principles includes warnings relating to “rogue states” Iran and North Korea, China’s military buildup, ballistic missile threats, terrorism and cyber-attacks. Joining Franks and Lamborn on the panel were Reps. J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) and Paul Broun (R-Ga.).” (”

  19. I got it from here:

    “In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending? No”…..0Cib2dOVhg

  20. In reference to the Ft. Hood shooting, most on base are prohibited from carrying. Yet another military base, with folks prevented from defending themselves from another hell bent on causing harm……the result was three dead (four if you count that POS responsible) and 16 injured.

    Such a high casualty rate is experienced during school shootings because individuals are prevented from defending against any threat. They go about their plans unopposed, as it takes minutes for the cops to respond.

    One could even take it further and show how ineffective the Navy is at deterring and preventing piracy. A little boat takes over a ship that only had fire hoses to defend itself. Simply ludicrous. If the ship and crew are armed, it would be highly unlikely that an armada of dinghies will overtake the ship.

    Individuals should be able to arm themselves if they wish. If someone is going to cause harm to another, saying “stop, don’t shoot…we can treat your mental illness” is about as effective as lubricating your engine with caustic and sand.

  21. Sometimesm dude you jsut have to roll with the punches.

  22. Erectile Dysfunction is a mental illness.

  23. Mental health is the avenue to gun confiscation..
    Politicians and Media push gun control in a dangerous and dishonest manner……..tally-ill/

    American Psychiatric Asso: Half of Americans are mentally ill..
    After crafting, all except the politicians will be considered mental..…..tally-ill/

    300,000,000 prescriptions for psychiatric drugs written in 2009 alone..
    Where would the politicians begin their gun confiscation???
    Anxiety, post partem depression, parents of children diagnosed with ADHD….etc etc

    this list would be endless

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