Psychology/Psychiatry

To Stop Mass Shooters, Trump Says, We Should Make Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Easier. No, We Shouldn't.

Because psychiatrists are terrible at predicting violent behavior, the wider net would catch lots of harmless people.

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"Guns don't kill people," says the old NRA slogan. "People kill people." Yesterday, while responding to the mass shootings that killed 22 people in El Paso and nine in Dayton over the weekend, Donald Trump offered a dubious variation on that theme. "Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun," he said.

Although the president's speech was scripted, that line was illogical as well as ungrammatical. For one thing, I've never heard anyone claim that "the gun" pulls "the trigger," and I'm not sure how that would work in a non-cartoon universe. For another, it is plainly not true that "mental illness and hatred" pull the trigger—or do anything else, for that matter. We should not lose sight of that fact that mass murder is volitional behavior, as tempting as it may be to speculate about the killer's motives or mental state.

The president offered two theories. "We must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence and make sure those people not only get treatment, but, when necessary, involuntary confinement," he said. But Trump also decried the "racist hate" that seems to have inspired the El Paso shooter.

In practice, those two explanations may be hard to disentangle. "These are sick people," Trump's chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, told ABC News on Sunday. He added, referring to the El Paso shooter, "You cannot be a white supremacist and be normal in the head."

Mulvaney thereby demonstrated the malleability of psychiatric diagnoses and the danger of letting them determine who shall be free and who shall be subjected to "involuntary confinement." Under current law, shaped by civil libertarian concerns about that danger, states generally have to show by "clear and convincing evidence" that a candidate for commitment, because of mental illness, poses a danger to himself or others.

A belief in white supremacy, or any other abhorrent ideology, is not enough to meet that test, even though it might occasionally motivate murderous violence. The risks of going down that road should be obvious to anyone who values freedom of conscience and freedom of speech.

While Trump seems to think it should be easier to lock people up and forcibly subject them to psychiatric treatment, the "clear and convincing" standard of proof is, according to the Supreme Court, required by the Fourth Amendment. The thing to be proven, however, varies from state to state, so there is some room for adjustment there.

Under Florida's Baker Act, for example, the state has to show by clear and convincing evidence that there is a "substantial likelihood" a candidate for commitment will, because of mental illness, "inflict serious bodily harm" on himself or others "in the near future." Alabama similarly requires "a real and present threat of substantial harm to self and/or others." Massachusetts, by comparison, requires "a substantial risk of physical harm" to self or others, without reference to timing. New York's standard is similar.

When Trump says we should "reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence," he may have in mind loosening the standards for commitment by reducing the requisite level of risk or imminence of harm. But that would not really "better identify" potential killers; it would just cast a wider net, ensnaring more harmless people as well as (perhaps) more people with homicidal tendencies.

For what it's worth, Columbia psychiatrist Michael Stone estimates that "one in five mass murderers shows evidence of psychosis," which does not necessarily mean mental health specialists would have deemed them dangerous enough for commitment. "Over thirty years of commentary, judicial opinion, and scientific review argue that predictions of danger lack scientific rigor," University of Georgia law professor Alexander Scherr noted 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." Since psychiatrists are terrible at predicting violent behavior, the potential public safety payoff from making involuntary psychiatric treatment a bit easier does not seem worth the cost, especially if you are one of the innocent people caught in the wider web.

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  1. Here is what a criminalogist who studied every mass shooting since 1966 found.

    Our goal has been to find new, data-driven pathways for preventing such shootings. Although we haven’t found that mass shooters are all alike, our data do reveal four commonalities among the perpetrators of nearly all the mass shootings we studied.

    First, the vast majority of mass shooters in our study experienced early childhood trauma and exposure to violence at a young age. The nature of their exposure included parental suicide, physical or sexual abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and/or severe bullying. The trauma was often a precursor to mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, thought disorders or suicidality.

    Second, practically every mass shooter we studied had reached an identifiable crisis point in the weeks or months leading up to the shooting. They often had become angry and despondent because of a specific grievance. For workplace shooters, a change in job status was frequently the trigger. For shooters in other contexts, relationship rejection or loss often played a role. Such crises were, in many cases, communicated to others through a marked change in behavior, an expression of suicidal thoughts or plans, or specific threats of violence.

    Third, most of the shooters had studied the actions of other shooters and sought validation for their motives. People in crisis have always existed. But in the age of 24-hour rolling news and social media, there are scripts to follow that promise notoriety in death. Societal fear and fascination with mass shootings partly drives the motivation to commit them. Hence, as we have seen in the last week, mass shootings tend to come in clusters. They are socially contagious. Perpetrators study other perpetrators and model their acts after previous shootings. Many are radicalized online in their search for validation from others that their will to murder is justified.

    Fourth, the shooters all had the means to carry out their plans. Once someone decides life is no longer worth living and that murdering others would be a proper revenge, only means and opportunity stand in the way of another mass shooting. Is an appropriate shooting site accessible? Can the would-be shooter obtain firearms? In 80% of school shootings, perpetrators got their weapons from family members, according to our data. Workplace shooters tended to use handguns they legally owned. Other public shooters were more likely to acquire them illegally.

    What does that mean?

    One step needs to be depriving potential shooters of the means to carry out their plans. Potential shooting sites can be made less accessible with visible security measures such as metal detectors and police officers. And weapons need to be better controlled, through age restrictions, permit-to-purchase licensing, universal background checks, safe storage campaigns and red-flag laws — measures that help control firearm access for vulnerable individuals or people in crisis.

    Another step is to try to make it more difficult for potential perpetrators to find validation for their planned actions. Media campaigns like #nonotoriety are helping starve perpetrators of the oxygen of publicity, and technology companies are increasingly being held accountable for facilitating mass violence. But we all can slow the spread of mass shootings by changing how we consume, produce, and distribute violent content on media and social media. Don’t like or share violent content. Don’t read or share killers’ manifestos and other hate screeds posted on the internet. We also need to study our current approaches. For example, do lockdown and active shooter drills help children prepare for the worst or hand potential shooters the script for mass violence by normalizing or rehearsing it?

    We also need to, as a society, be more proactive. Most mass public shooters are suicidal, and their crises are often well known to others before the shooting occurs. The vast majority of mass shooters leak their plans ahead of time. People who see or sense something is wrong, however, may not always say something to someone owing to the absence of clear reporting protocols or fear of overreaction and unduly labeling a person as a potential threat. Proactive violence prevention starts with schools, colleges, churches and employers initiating conversations about mental health and establishing systems for identifying individuals in crisis, reporting concerns and reaching out — not with punitive measures but with resources and long-term intervention. Everyone should be trained to recognize the signs of a crisis.

    Proactivity needs to extend also to the traumas in early life that are common to so many mass shooters. Those early exposures to violence need addressing when they happen with ready access to social services and high-quality, affordable mental health treatment in the community. School counselors and social workers, employee wellness programs, projects that teach resilience and social emotional learning, and policies and practices that decrease the stigma around mental illness will not just help prevent mass shootings, but will also help promote the social and emotional success of all Americans.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-06/heres-what-criminology-professor-learned-studying-every-mass-shooting-1966

    1. “And weapons need to be better controlled, through age restrictions, permit-to-purchase licensing, universal background checks, safe storage campaigns and red-flag laws — measures that help control firearm access for vulnerable individuals or people in crisis.”

      No.

      1. I agree. But there is a lot of very good other stuff in there.

        1. Some good stuff but in a free country, most of what he suggests to “control” shootings are not compatible with freedoms.

          The most proven way to not infringe on anyone’s rights and quickly end the shooting is for more people to be armed.

          I know that you, John, said that you didn’t want to live in a place where you have to worry about being armed all the time. As with vaccines, a few armed people potentially being in any large group will get many shooters to think twice. If they are looking for easy prey that is. For the shooters that don’t care, an armed person can end a mass shooting quicker than police.

          Living in Georgia, many of us are armed. You likely wont know it either. Many armed Georgians have shot armed robbers and other violent criminals.

          Freedom isn’t free. If you wont carry a weapon to help others and stop violent criminals, then its just a matter of time before politicians promise to stop crimes, never do, and take away more and more rights.

          1. As with vaccines, a few armed people potentially being in any large group will get many shooters to think twice.

            Well yes and no. Shooters like the El Paso one fully expected to die that day but did it anyway. I’m sure he was fully aware that many of the Texans at that WalMart were doubtless armed.

            As John’s article states, “Once someone decides life is no longer worth living and that murdering others would be a proper revenge, only means and opportunity stand in the way of another mass shooting.” Deterrence won’t stop the mass shooting at this point. The real question is, what to do about people like this who can’t be deterred?

            1. The shooter in El Paso surrendered to police without incident. So not all of them are suicidal. Moreover, these things end the same way every time, someone with a weapon who can fire back shows up and either kills the shooter or causes him to surrender.

              They always happen at “gun free zones” or places where the shooter can expect his victims not to fire back. So, the while you can’t stop this, allowing people to conceal and carry and having armed guards at high value targets for these lunatics like schools would at the very least reduce the number of people harmed when they do occur.

              1. I’m not saying armed people won’t deter some shooters. I’m only arguing that there is a limit to how far deterrence can go. What is to be done about the non-deterrable?

                1. Deterrence can limit the damage in some cases. But it can’t stop this and does nothing in some cases. I agree with you there.

                2. “What is to be done about the non-deterrable?”

                  Where would be (up front and personal) mass shooters face armed resistance and people willing to fight back, it will in most cases limit casualties.

                  very probably there is nothing that can be done against sniper attacks like Las Vegas.

                  1. The military has technology that uses radar to find incoming bullets and mortar rounds and where they came from.

                    Venues with large amounts of targets need to hire a company to provide that service. Then have an ED-209 type robot return fire.

                    Where there is a need, there can always be a solution.

                    1. I think a T-800 might be more effective.

                    2. “Venues with large amounts of targets need to hire a company to provide that service. Then have an ED-209 type robot return fire.”

                      Yeah. Turn a good chunk of an entire facade of a 2000 room hotel into a beaten zone. I think your plan needs work.

                      Concerning the study: OK, suppose we live in Liberaltopia and guns are gone. What prevents these sad sacks from emulating Islamic shitstains and just renting a box truck and driving through crowds? Or suppose the kid paid attention in chemistry class and came up with bombs or chemical weapons?

                      The point is, guns are not anymore prevalent now than they were in, say, the post WW2 period, when you could go to a sporting goods store and buy an M1 carbine, a bunch of mags, and having something in effect no different that what that Dayton asshole used.

                    3. Presumably by the time we have a robot that can do what the ED-209 can, it would only lay fire on that spot where the shooter is at.

                      Another tactic could be to activate spotlights during the night and mirrors during the day to blind the shooter until they can be neutralized.

                    4. I’d buy that for a dollar.

                3. Shoot them in the head as fast as possible.

                  More brave and armed good shots are what we need.

                  If you cannot hit a cantaloupe sized target at 50 feet with less than 10 bullets, you need more range time.

                  Many shootouts happen at very close range.
                  65-round cop shootout video goes viral
                  NOBODY WAS INJURED AT ALL. Cops shot 65+ times and missed the shooter who shot twice and also missed police.

                  The FBI has a similar problem.

                  1. BTW: Many of these shootouts appear to have cops that are scared shitless.

                    Shooting unarmed innocents is one thing. Keeping your wits about you while someone else is shooting at you takes some balls.

                  2. “If you cannot hit a cantaloupe sized target at 50 feet with less than 10 bullets, you need more range time.”

                    OK. Go to a gun range. Watch the other shooters. Does that seem like a reasonable standard to you? Then consider they aren’t getting shot at. And that the target’s lit, and not moving, and they’re not out of breath.

                    More practice is great. Greater consideration on the part of law enforcement towards accounting for each round they fire, and its backstop or lack thereof (see, the recent attempt at puppycide where the genius ended up blasting some passed out woman downrange), would be helpful too.

                    It’s unrealistic though to expect police or armed citizens to be able to shoot in defense of themselves or others, like they were trying to clear a USPSA stage with a race gun. If you’re merely advocating for more, better practice, I agree; if you’re conditioning the right to armed self-defense on some impossible proficiency standard, I don’t.

                    1. I was trained to do it and was good at it.

                      Others were trained to do that too. I was better than most and some were better shots than me.

                      I advocate the absolute 2A right to keep and bear Arms so more people can go to the range and practice as much as they can afford. Shooting any weapon the range will allow.

                      My standards are not impossible as most shooters that I know can do it.

                      As for the stress of people shooting at you, simply tuning out that part is very helpful. If you fear death in that situation, you are not as good as someone who can control their fear to shoot effectively.

                    2. As for police, being able to effectively shoot and defend themselves and others – its their job.

                      Since most cops are bad at that, its another reason to fire most cops and shrink the size of government. The government cannot really protect you from non-military threats anyway. Taxpayers save billions and more dead criminals who get shot by armed bystanders.

                    3. Perhaps, then, part of John’s complaint here, is that if the price of having an armed society is that every citizen is de facto required to be a marksman, then that seems to many to be too high of a price to pay.

                    4. I practice at 30 feet. It’s a reasonable range, maybe even a bit longer than necessary. I can post a nice grouping center mass at that range, but I wouldn’t trust myself taking headshots at that range, especially not at a potentially moving and potentially armed target. The head is a smaller target and moves more rapidly than the body, and it’s far preferable to miss low than to miss high.

                      Unless you’re fighting in the zombie apocalypse, it’s always preferable to fire at center mass rather than aim high.

                4. Nothing you cowardly fuck. The world has corners, sometimes you run into them when you’re free.

                  1. If you own Pedo Jeffy, please dispose of him immediately. Preferably through a garbage disposal.

                5. Not much, unfortunately. What is to be done about the person who still insists on texting while driving? The doctor who half scribbles on a pad while walking down the hall instead of stopping 2 seconds to write out something legibly? A non-zero number of bad things are going to happen no matter what we do. The question is how many of certain bad things we’re willing to risk to avoid other bad things. So what do you favor? Protecting innocent people from shooters at the risk of locking up innocent people? Or risking the lives of innocent people to reduce the risk of denying innocent people their rights? It’s a tough calculus because you can’t just make it about a perfect world, either. When we decide to give enough power to prevent bad things from happen, we have to consider that our worst personal or political enemies may come to wield the power we’re granting.

                  I would give more credence if they looked down their noses at people who advocate for gun confiscation the way they do at those who go for red flags, mandatory commitment or video games. They’re all nuts, and they’d all trade your freedom for their security in a heartbeat, yet the gun controllers don’t get called out for their role in making political decisions a matter of self-defense against crazies.

              2. The Oregon district in Dayton is a gun free zone. Bunch of bars and stuff and night like that would be packed with college students and others partying.

                Fortunately there was also a heavy police presence which you could expect in a place like that and they were able to take down the shooter quickly.

                Can’t read minds but I think he expected to die.

            2. El Paso Guy’s choosing that Walmart is strange. He lived in Allen. If he wanted to go kill Hispanics, even probable illegal aliens, he could have gone to any of a half dozen Walmarts within a 20 minute drive. He didn’t need to drive 650 miles. Something or someone induced him to go there. I’m sure the news accounts that Antifa was going to mass in El Paso in the near future had nothing to do with him driving there…

              As to CHL holders in the store, understand that the CHL rate in Texas is something like 3% of all adults. Then know that many or most of those shoppers were Mexican nationals, visiting from Juarez, who can’t legally carry. Further, El Paso’s a big blue stronghold—home of Bob the Fake Mexican, real estate heir and Presidential candidate. I’m guessing the CHL ownership rate in El Paso is probably a good deal less than Abilene. Also, a lot of CHL-LTC holders, most probably, don’t carry. There are benefits to the document besides carrying. Finally, I’ve read a lot of CHL people say mainly, “My gun is to protect me and my family. Not to white knight against some asshole with an AK.” They got out of Dodge.

              1. ^This

              2. Well right. That compact 9mm for the average shooter is no match for someone with that kind of rifle in a vest. Sure if you have no choice you fight back.

                That military guy in Texas did the right thing. He heard the shots, took out his gun and ran toward it. He saw a bunch of unaccompanied kids and others in panic and got them to safety. Saved a lot of lives. I think he never got close enough to the murderer to use his gun.

                Also saw a story about a nurse who stopped right while the shooting was going on to give CPR. That was brave.

            3. Kill them before they kill someone else.

          2. More guns= more gun deaths. Just as more cars on the road lead to more car accidents/deaths.

            If anyone thinks for a minute that there were no armed men or women in that El Paso Walmart, you don’t know Texas. The whole “ one good guy with a gun” is a wet dream for gun owners. They imagine themselves as the hero, shooting down the perp. The reality is, having a handgun on you during such an event is as good as bringing a knife to a gun fight.

            Having someone with an assault rifle shooting round after round without having to stop to reload is not going to be brought down by your every day gun owner.

            In Ohio, The police killed the gunman 30 seconds after the first shot, and already 9 people were dead and 27 injured. The shooter was wearing a bullet proof vest. He had a High capacity rifle with 100 round drum magazines.

            Unless you had a trained officer or a trained military person there, I highly doubt any john Q Citizen would try to bring him down with the gun they have to pull out, aim, and shoot in a chaotic atmosphere.

            1. Lies lies lies….

              The Ohio police did NOT kill the shooter within 30 seconds of shots fired. The video shows it took longer than that.

              Those police did kill the shooter quickly but only because they were already on the block that he started shooting on and he ran toward them. Notice in the video that they hid behind the wall and waited for him to come to them. Yet they are labelled heroes.

              You what heroes dont do is hide behind walls and hope. They make shit happen. Had the shooter not ran toward them, he might have killed more people because they were too scared to engage him.

              I would link numerous armed citizen kills shooter articles but reason only allows one per comment.

              1. LC, the cops I saw in the Daily Mail video of Dayton were charging the shithead. And fairly quickly too.

                I haven’t seen all videos of the shooting, nor an accurate timeline. The cops I saw though were taking the fight to the bad guy, largely eschewing concealment, and doing so despite being considerably out gunned.

                Again, I haven’t seen all of the videos.

                1. DAYTON, Ohio —
                  Dayton, Ohio police have released surveillance video that captures footage from the mass shooting that killed nine people and wounded several others.

                  This video starts with video from the “patio view” then shifts to “front view”. In the “patio view” the cops are standing and ducking around that SUV in the road. In the “Front view” the cops are waiting behind a wall corner and the shooter comes running around the corner.

                  The different cameras have different time stamps so its hard to tell the time frame but it appears to last more than 30 seconds. The shots started and people are looking before they start running.

                  Those cops did not charge that shooter. They didnt run away either.

                  1. No they ran to the sound of gunfire. They used their weapons sought advantageous positions, communicated, i see a shotgun or rifle coming up, work as a team and killed the guy in short order.

                    Can’t see how you can criticize that.

            2. Fuck you, unewme. Tell that to the poor bastards in that Luby’s who died, most of them cowering under their tables while some asshole walked up to them and shot them in the head. Think they might have wanted some way of fighting back?

              The overwhelming majority of these assholes stop their kill sprees when someone turns it into a two way range, and fucks up their sick little fantasy. Usually, as soon as they start taking fire, they turtle, and if able they either run, surrender, or eat their gun. Rarely, you get a guy (or woman, in the case of the murderous pair who shot up a walmart, and who pulled a firearm from her shopping cart and killed a CHL holder who tried to stop it) who wants to duke it out with the cops or somebody else. The Hollywood bank robbers come to mind.

              But most of these guys stop when they get effective resistance. And people like you prevent potential victims from resisting in the most effective way possible. When the cops show up, like in Dayton, they are using handguns for the most part. Just like the victims you want to disarm.

              As for body armor, it’s stupefyingly rare for one of these guys to have any. Usually it’s some shitty airsoft or load bearing vest, that isn’t bullet resistant at all. Fairly sure that Dayton guy is one of the above, and not wearing ballistic armor. When the bad guy actually is wearing body armor (Tyler Texas courthouse shooting, N. Hollywood bank bandits) it’s often a bad day for those going against them.

              “Trained officer” LOL. Have you actually watched cops shoot?

          3. I moved from NYC to the Midwest 6 years ago. I went from a place where none of my neighbors were armed to a place where every single neighbor was armed. Even though there is a lot of heroin use around here, there are virtually no home break-ins because the addicts know everyone is armed!

        2. A lot of it is interesting, but I disagree with most of his proposed solutions. For example –

          Don’t like or share violent content. Don’t read or share killers’ manifestos and other hate screeds posted on the internet. We also need to study our current approaches.

          For most of us, this will have no effect. Reading hate speech doesn’t mean you have to believe it or act on it. Even those who do believe it rarely act on it.

          1. No. you miss the point. You don’t do that to stop their ideas from spreading. You do that to take away the publicity and notoriety that comes with being a mass shooter to make being one less attractive to these people. I think that is a very good idea.

            1. Interesting, but if we don’t read the person’s actual words, we have to rely on “reliable summaries” from the media about “trust us, this guy was a total right-wing conservative.”

              And I’m in a Godwin mood today…what if more people had taken Mein Kampf seriously instead of blowing it off as campaign rhetoric by a demagogue who deep down was really rational and moderate in his demands?

              1. If Hitler had committed suicide by mass shooting, we wouldn’t have to have worried about taking it seriously.

              2. “but if we don’t read the person’s actual words, we have to rely on “reliable summaries” from the media about “trust us, this guy was a total right-wing conservative.”

                This. The media is interested in pushing a completely bullshit narrative for a variety of reasons. Restricting information aids their goal.

                One reason for their advocacy is they see it as an attack vector against Trump. Hear me out, I’ll be brief. Trump is not a gun enthusiast, and has no history of being interested in them. A lot of his base, OTOH, are. If Trump sees a ‘bipartisan’ gun control bill, he’ll sign it, if he thinks he can fade the backlash. And if this proposed red flag EO/law doesn’t go far enough, I predict there will magically be another two or three 18-25 WM shooters—maybe after school starts—and there will be another, more restrictive bill for him to sign. Lot of time until Nov, 2020. If the media is allowed to paint them as KKK types, polarization will grow, and pressure will rise to stop this kind of race-based violence.

                I don’t think he can piss off his base to that extent, and get reelected. Even if he’s running against an objectively worse candidate like Harris, Warren, or, gulp, Castro. The base will just stay home. If 100,000 of his base stayed home from WI, PA, or MI, we’d be dealing with Madame President now. And there would be no things like China and Latin America tariffs, Iran sanctions, or pesky investigations into D.C.’s favorite orgy host.

                1. Or you turn off/ignore/shun the media that start talking about the information in the manifesto, or tries to inform you about the shooter. If nobody wants that information, there won’t be any value in them trying to deliver it.

                  Unfortunately, we’re far from becoming a society that will be able to tune that out. Everyone wants ammunition to use against their political opponents, and claiming that the other side is creating murderous radicals is golden.

                  I’ve done my best to ignore everything about this El Paso guy. I’ve done the same with the Dayton guy. But still some of it seeps through.

      2. Unicorn….I think an alternative answer is: It depends.

        Like others, I don’t think guns are the problem. The problem is mentally/emotionally disturbed people getting guns and then using them. Now the question is what to do about that.

        Do we have age restrictions on gun ownership today? Answer: Yes
        Do we have background checks today? Answer: Yes
        Do we have ‘Red Flag’ laws today? Answer: Yes, at the state level.

        I don’t have a problem with people carrying around their guns. In my state, it is not allowed [People’s Republic of NJ]. When I went to states that had open carry, I had to say, ‘whoa’ – the sight of guys and gals carrying was a real eye-opener. It took getting used to. And as I reflected on it, I realized that having a lot of people walking around armed made everything seem more..how shall I say…circumspect, and downright neighborly. Very little incivility or nonsense. I sort of liked it.

        I feel strongly that had there been legally armed people in close proximity to the murderers, fewer people would have been killed. I think carrying citizens would have put them both down. So I net out having ‘shall issue’ and ‘open carry’ laws for John or Jane Q Citizen.

        But what to do about mentally/emotionally disturbed people and guns. Objectively speaking, it IS a problem. I think Red Flag laws, with a robust judicial process embedded in it, are a way to address this. What I know – I don’t want some shrink or paraprofessional making the decision to restrict anyone’s 2A rights. Nope. That decision has to be made by a Federal judge, with periodic reviews.

        This is an area worthy of exploration.

    2. All good stuff. Thanks for sharing John.

      1. It’s so fucking pathetic how you suck up to people who think you’re trash after you made a fool of yourself.

        1. Tulpa you frozen-minded, mentally fossilized idiot!!! Agreeing with some people on SOME points, and disagreeing with them on OTHER points, can mean that… Try and open your mind now to new, astonishing concepts… That you are MENTALLY FLEXIBLE AND HONEST, and not just a oneupmanship driven, egotistical narcissist! Hello?

          1. Awww you’re still upset because I spelled your name wrong.

            1. I just refer to him as ‘Squirrely’. Don’t give a fuck what he thinks about it either.

    3. That article is pure, unadulterated twaddle.

      Consider: “Fourth, the shooters all had the means to carry out their plans.” What insight! All these folks who shot someone had guns! Who’d a thunk it!

      “Potential shooting sites can be made less accessible.” Close all the Walmarts, malls, stadia, schools, churches, and open air markets, or ring them with police. Brilliant!

      At least 75% of the citizenry fulfill at least one of the criteria for red flagging. We’ll all be watching and snitching on each other. East Germany redux.

      1. I’m with you. The criteria are shifty and unactionable; ‘change in job status’ is equated with ‘crisis point’, so psych evals every time you cut hours? (Maybe we could start chalking these shootings up as the cost of $15/hr. living wages. No other country with $15/hr. living wages has mass shootings like this.) Similarly, no distinction is made between older shooters, who were gainfully employed, and younger shooters who weren’t or shooters who’s motives were (presumably) made clear by their manifestos and testimony and those who’s motivations are still unclear. And it’s not entirely clear that the doctor is distinguishing between inflicted trauma and projecting it onto other conditions retroactively.

        Maybe good info for a flyer encouraging families at the mental health clinics to say something if they see something but beyond that it’s just going to get a bunch of boys with ADHD and their families investigated for abuse when the kid turns his pop-tart into a gun.

      2. Big….WRT your first point. I think the author was trying to make the point that acquiring a gun has many process points. If you can slow down or disrupt any of those points, it might stop that individual from getting a gun in the first place.

        WRT your second point, when you get on a plane, you go through active (TSA) and passive measures (metal detector). One could employ passive measures like metal detectors in places where there are large groups of people.

        WRT your third point. This can be tougher. I have a huge problem with family members who know that their ‘Johnny’ is fucked up in the head, and then let ‘Johnny’ have guns to play with. Family members should,/u> report ‘Johnny’ if he starts acting out, proclaims homocidal ideation, and talks about plans. That is not ‘Stasi’, that is just common sense.

        I don’t want a surveillance society, but….If you know that somebody fucked up in the head has guns and intends to use them, you have an affirmative duty to report it. Period. Full stop.

    4. Excellent article John, thanks. While I am not much in favor of “red flag” laws b/o the enormous potential for abuse and lack of due process, it makes a lot of sense and points out much that is not considered, beyond “ban “X” guns. My favorite take away, I think, bears repeating:

      “Third, most of the shooters had studied the actions of other shooters and sought validation for their motives. People in crisis have always existed. But in the age of 24-hour rolling news and social media, there are scripts to follow that promise notoriety in death. Societal fear and fascination with mass shootings partly drives the motivation to commit them. Hence, as we have seen in the last week, mass shootings tend to come in clusters. They are socially contagious. Perpetrators study other perpetrators and model their acts after previous shootings. Many are radicalized online in their search for validation from others that their will to murder is justified.”

      Very well described.

    5. Don’t read or share killers’ manifestos and other hate screeds posted on the internet.

      But then how do we know which political tribe to blame for their rhetoric?

    6. Fourth, the shooters all had the means to carry out their plans.

      This is a pointless tautology. If they lacked the means to carry out their plans they wouldn’t have carried out their plans and you wouldn’t have studied their cases

    7. Interesting analysis but backwards. All men are mortal; Scarlett Johansson is mortal; therefore Scarlett Johansson is a man. That’s an obvious logical fallacy.

      The fact that all As had previously done B is interesting for hypothesis generation but it has no predictive power until it is tested by measuring the fraction of all who previously did B who go on to do A.

      1. The fact that all As had previously done B is interesting for hypothesis generation but it has no predictive power until it is tested by measuring the fraction of all who previously did B who go on to do A

        That is complete nonsense. Just because correlation is not conclusive proof of causation doesn’t mean it isn’t evidence of causation or that it precludes causation.

        1. Did you even bother to read what I wrote?

          Correlation is useful for generating hypotheses about causation. It does not preclude causation but it definitely does not demonstration causation.

          More to the point, the logic used above doesn’t even accurately allege correlation. The author is claiming that because a few people with characteristics X are dangerous, all people with those characteristics are dangerous. The analysis does not consider the many more people who also have characteristics X who are not dangerous. Correlation must show a relationship in both directions to be any better than the null hypothesis.

      2. “but it has no predictive power”

        That is exactly wrong.

    8. Seems to miss the most strikingly obvious feature of most mass shooters. They are men – who are following some version of what might be called an American hero mythology — standard storyline being A community in a harmonious paradise is threatened by evil; normal institutions fail to contend with this threat; a selfless superhero emerges to renounce temptations and carry out the redemptive task; aided by fate, his decisive victory restores the community to its paradisiacal condition; the superhero then recedes into obscurity.

    9. You know what’s truly ironic? Psychiatrists have been at the forefront of normalizing transgenderism as normal and healthy, and have been particularly guilty of pushing this shit on kids as young as 3, who are barely old enough to understand even the basics of gender differences.

      So some fucked-up parent sees their boy decide he wants to wear pink and tell them he’s a girl, and instead of correcting them and saying, “No, you’re a boy,” they find a sympathetic psychiatrist to diagnose the kid as transgender solely for progressive attention points, and proceed to punish the rest of society for their Munchausen’s-by-proxy syndrome.

  2. Trump:
    “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul.”

    For once I agree with him.

    1. Good thing he didn’t use any defintions, you’d lose your child rapist importing mind.

    2. So you did NOT agree when he said that “those who cause violence in its [racism] name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans” after Charlottesville?

      1. Oh dear Lord. You’re not going to turn into a pedantic Tulpa clone, are you?

        The phrase “for once I agree…. ” is not intended to convey the meaning that the moment of agreement constituted the sole and exclusive moment of agreement throughout all of time and space. Rather, it signifies a *rare* moment of agreement.

        Glad I could clarify that for you.

        And yes I agree with that sentence that you quoted. Another rare moment of agreement.

        1. “Oh dear Lord. You’re not going to turn into a pedantic Tulpa clone, are you?”

          Says the loser who appealed to the dictionary first.

        2. I knew you were not being literal, but there are actually hundreds of statements Trump has made that are completely reasonable and thoughtful reflections on topics with which you and I would vigorously agree. You, the media, and most progs, seem to ignore those. The cartoon Trump of the media is a serious distortion of reality.

          1. Well that’s really no surprise Jeff is stupid and unteachable he spent the day confusing one dictionary with a second different dictionary and despite the fact that he has been corrected many times he has yet to acknowledge his error

          2. Trump’s speechwriters have written some reasonable and thoughtful reflections.

            Trump himself is frequently unreasonable and not very thoughtful, and is certainly not reflective about much of anything.

            1. So you and Trump have a lot in common then.

        3. Pedo Jeffy, you are just some Toronto area College student twat who has never really dealt with anything outside academia. Your opinions mean nothing.

          You should leave immediately. Or I might stop being nice to you.

    3. For once I agree with him.

      Fucking Trumpistas. Hate absolutely has a place in America. There are thoughts and violent acts we all *should* hate. Every last politician is deserving of at least a decent amount of hatred. Anybody who thinks otherwise is a hyper-patriotic nationalist.

      1. Progtards should be hated. And then removed from our great country.

        1. Open wider, clinger. Your betters are not done imposing their will on you, just as you are not nearly done with your all-talk but practically obsequious compliance.

          1. Arthur L. Hicklib knows all about opening wide, because that’s what his uncle said to him.

            Considering the last few weeks, he also might want to think twice about bragging about progressive suppression, lest he accidentally run across the path of some autistic white nerd with a grudge against society.

  3. For one thing, I’ve never heard anyone claim that “the gun” pulls “the trigger,” and I’m not sure how that would work in a non-cartoon universe.

    Guns have totemic powers and can pull their own triggers.

    /prog

    1. Have you seen those new bolt action “assault rifles” that reload themselves?

      Haha. Lefties are so moronic.

  4. If mental illness has nothing to do with mass shootings, then why is mental illness what they want to use for red flag laws?

    1. The need to do something?

    2. Psychologist are saying few mass shooters are mentally ill so quit blaming the mentally ill yet they want to link all gun owners as the problem to be controlled, and it doesn’t take a psychologist to realize that all mass shooters are clearly mentally ill, sane people don’t do that unless they are under attack. I’ll repeat what I’ve said before the more the left wants to blame white men for all the ills the more mass shooting they are going to get.

      1. If being suicidal and wanting to murder people as your last act isn’t “mentally ill”, then the term has no meaning.

        The thing about all of these guys is that they do everything but form a “future mass shooters of America” Facebook page before they do it. It is so obvious they are a danger to do something really awfully every time. The lone exception is the guy in Vegas who seems to have given no indication at all.

        The real problem here is that we have a society that is completely disconnected from one another such that people just get kicked aside and forgotten. Sometimes those people do horrible things. I don’t know what you do about that or how you change it.

        1. “The real problem here is that we have a society that is completely disconnected from one another such that people just get kicked aside and forgotten. Sometimes those people do horrible things. I don’t know what you do about that or how you change it.”

          Bring back the asylums? Going to be a tough sell to this crowd, given the costs, deprivation of liberty, and in many cases, total unwillingness of some Libertarians to think there’s even such a thing as mental illness.

          One thing that involuntary committment should allow for, that these proposed red flag laws don’t, is that there would be adequate due process before depriving someone of their liberty: the hearings wouldn’t be ex parte, the accused would have notice and opportunity to be represented by counsel and /or a guardian, the accused would maintain a meaningful property right in their possessions, evidence would have to be introduced beyond a mere phone call—as was the case in the police shooting in Maryland where a red flagged person was killed by cops knocking on his door. In short, all of the protections we use in the criminal law area to help preserve liberty, and that are glaringly absent in many of these proposed red flag laws.

      2. Most seriously mentally ill people are no threats to anyone. They tend to have debilitating mental defects and can barely wash themselves regularly.

        The people being discussed are people with mental problems who dont want the society that we have and want to harm others.

        Having good counseling and suicide hotlines to talk Bi-Polar people off the ledge are probably the best general method for mitigating the spiral toward suicidal mass shootings.

        1. A friend who has seen a psychiatrist passed on to me how a depressed person goes deeper into depression due to what can become a chemical makeup of the brain without medication and its like an addiction to drugs and we all know how hard it is for people to break addictions, getting people to admit their problems without further alienating them is the hard part. its largelly why we have a homeless problem the addictions are to great of a hold on them to stop living a certain way.

          1. “”getting people to admit their problems without further alienating them is the hard part.””

            Why make it harder by creating a system that will punish you by pulling a constitutional right away from you?

            Mental health providers have been working for decades to remove the stigma that you will be treated differently due to your illness. Now many people, some in Congress, some in the Whitehouse wants stigma to be front and center.

            1. I agree the government will only make it worse

    3. So that they can build a mental illness registry to track and hassle people who aren’t a problem, medical privacy be damned?

      I’ve actually heard this proposed. How do you think a cop at a traffic stop will react when someone’s name shows up?

    4. All the drugs they give to young boys and make teens to emasculate and control them are a significant factor in these shootings. As is the progressive removal of traditional values from society.

      One of these little cunts was a satanist FFS. Look how vile all these people are. They’re proud to rider babies, and kill people en masse. Then they cry about it and blame Trump.

  5. Poor Sullum.

    The TDS is strong with this one.

    1. OBL trolls much better than this. Even the rev trolls better than this. You need to up your game.

      1. Your the dumbest troll on here. Pick a sock puppet franchise and live with it doofus.

        1. Aww Hihn is still upset.

  6. “We must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence and make sure those people not only get treatment, but, when necessary, involuntary confinement.”

    It sounded better in the original Russian.

    1. *golf clap*

    2. лол

  7. “Advocates of restrictive gun laws contend that simply having a firearm available can precipitate violence, transforming an angry encounter into murder, or a fit of depression into an impulsive suicide. In other words: triggers pull fingers. ”
    Do Triggers Pull Fingers? A Look at the Criminal Misuse of Guns in Canada Gary A. Mauser
    Simon Fraser University (SFU) – Beedie School of Business

    Date Written: July 16, 2015

    1. Since that person over there has no self-control (with respect to booze or pot or guns or too much chocolate cake), ***NONE*** of us can be trusted with said things!!!

      Since most mammals irresponsibly poop in public, spreading filth and disease, we will ALL have to wear diapers in public!

      Here is ANOTHER reason why I resent the hell out of giving more power to the “mental health professionals”:
      see http://www.malibutimes.com/news/article_62b16ee4-2246-11e8-b456-1f240b332af0.html ,
      Malibu ‘Rehab Mogul’ Guilty on 31 Criminal Counts
      Christopher Bathum’s rap sheet includes a long list of charges, from fraud to forcible rape.
      Your tax and health-insurance money at work!!!

      1. There is a very strong correlation between lax gun laws and suicide. A gun is probably the method of suicide that takes the least nerve to do. And a gun being readily available makes suicide easier and more tempting. I think some people who otherwise would have come to their senses because they were unable to obtain a gun before they did and lacked the nerve to jump off a bridge or something likely do commit suicide where they otherwise would not have because of the availability of guns.

        I don’t think that justifies gun control, but I think it is the case and one of the prices we pay for being armed.

        1. Japan has strict gun laws, something like less than 1% gun ownership. its population is half that of the U.S but it has 50,000 suicides a year. mostly from jumping out of buildings, its so bad that University sidewalks in japan now have metal roof structures to protect the people walking form getting hurt by those jumping out of buildings. just saying that hose with a will find a way with or without a gun

        2. Agreed: an outcome of a free society, be is cars, cells phones, swimming pools, knives, and guns, is that bad things are sometimes going to result from them.

          As Neil Tyson posted before he was shamed into pulling it, On average, across any 48hrs, we also lose…

          500 to Medical errors
          300 to the Flu
          250 to Suicide
          200 to Car Accidents
          40 to Homicide via Handgun

          Often our emotions respond more to spectacle than to data.

          If we are going to allow ownership of modern weapons, we have to accept that no one can guarantee that they will no be misused for nefarious purposes. That is an honest statement, and those of us who value freedoms from speech [that can be used to express hate] to guns need to own it. The best defense is to recognize, to the extent we can, what goes on in the head of a mass shooter, how they are inspired and motivated, and to respond to warning signs that precipitate their “break.” That and, as we choose and are able, to be a politely armed society that is capable of defending itself.

          1. The leftist shakers in the internet need to be stopped. That will fix a lot of problems.

          2. yeah, no one is calling for the speed limit to be dropped to 20 mph, but it would save more lives.

          3. As Neil Tyson posted before he was shamed into pulling it, On average, across any 48hrs, we also lose…

            500 to Medical errors

            Hence the famous National Lampoon cover.

        3. I never quite understood why people are so worried about other people killing themselves.

          If you need to save people, try talking them out of it, and then it’s out of your hands.

          There is no Hell or Heaven as far as I am concerned so the suicides are turning into lifeless worm food like the rest of us. Maybe just sooner than “natural causes” would have that person die.

          1. Because some other people see preservation of life in a different light.

            Suicide is often preventable.

            1. I live in California, which legalized assisted suicide.

              suicide is not considered something to be prevented here.

              1. That is end of life physician assisted suicide or euthanasia.

                A different topic. Suicide such as a distraught young person who lost her boyfriend I hope is still something to be prevented in California.

        4. There is a correlation, but I think its more related to the culture in states with lax gun laws vs states with strict gun laws, more so than the laws or the guns themselves

        5. Actually, there’s not. There is a strong correlation between lax gun laws and suicide by gun but not with the absolute number of all suicides.

          (Note that to conduct this analysis correctly, you have to correct for cultural, legal and economic incentives to categorize suicides as non-suicides. Catholic countries, for example, have tended to report implausibly low levels of suicide because of the religious stigma not only to the suicide but to his/her family as well.)

      2. Fuck off Á àß äẞç ãþÇđ âÞ¢Đæ ǎB€Ðëf ảhf

    2. In reply to “For one thing, I’ve never heard anyone claim that “the gun” pulls “the trigger,” and I’m not sure how that would work in a non-cartoon universe.”

      I’ve come across that notion a number of times: just having a gun in your possession will make you use it.” Like that song “The Devils Right Hand: the only thing that touched the trigger was the devil’s right hand”

  8. I’ve sought involuntary commitment for people three times. Twice for incompetent refusal of life saving care and once for threats of self-harm. I’ve also helped a client deal with the fallout of a wrongful commitment based on fear of harming others. The incompetent refusal of medical treatment cases were like pulling teeth even though one of them was literally 24 hours from being beyond the ability to save their life. The suicide and homicide ones were granted as a matter of course. Expression of self-harm or harm to others are magic words that will get a person committed, not matter house spurious.

    1. “Expression of self-harm or harm to others are magic words that will get a person committed, not matter house spurious.”

      So the woodchipper comments here would get people committed? If so, we desperately need to change things.

      1. More wood chippers.

    2. Uh. You got people involuntary committed because they didnt want your medical treatment?

      That is NOT okay.

      Its the same type of “knows whats best for you” mentality that has cops hurting people “for their own good”. We had to shoot you to save you type bullshit.

      If you dont have probable cause that a crime was committed a warrant to seize that person, fuck off!

      1. In the medical world, in which I work, once the cat is out of the bag, it becomes a manner of “having” to do something about it. This can be a CYA issue or a matter of complying with law [as in mandated reporters]. Having someone evaluated to determine their competency opens a can of worms. If they clinically and legally cannot decide for themselves, it’s on you. He is right though, if someone makes a suicidal or homicidal gesture, you sure as shit better address it and make sure it gets sent somewhere else down the line or it will be your ass.

        1. That is true. Thing is a lot of these people do not seek help because they do not believe they need it. Psychopaths are also generally very good at manipulating and covering up.

          1. You may be thinking about sociopaths. Someone with Schizophrenia or another form of psychosis isn’t necessarily an expert manipulator.

            1. Yes. Sociopaths.

            2. It’s mostly semantics. Psychopath was the old term and is more of the layman’s term nowadays. Sociopath is a relatively newer term. The actual disorder is “antisocial personality disorder”, which is also confusing to lots of people being that “antisocial” is what so many non medical people call loners etc.

              Regardless, all of the 3 above refer to the same thing: lack of a a moral compass/conscience, lack of empathy, sometimes (esp if they have a bit of intelligence) with significant ability to manipulate and probably the best liars on the planet.

              Scary folks.

              1. You just described Hillary Clinton to a T.

                1. I won’t argue with you on that.

                2. Hillary Clinton is a terrible liar.

      2. The people were not competent in their expression of refusal of treatment. One was to the emergency room door when they experienced a bout of psychosis. Said person had previously expressed that he had wrongfully refused treatment when in a psychotic state for an unrelated injury. The other person was similarly incompetent in their refusal to accept treatment under a more complicated scenario.

    3. Expression of self-harm or harm to others are magic words that will get a person committed, not matter house spurious.

      No they don’t. My ex-wife works as a clinical social worker in the ER and is a liaison with the CDMHPs. She’s considered the resident expert for involuntary committals and homeless drug addict assholes try that “magic word” shit all the time and it doesn’t fly. To involuntarily commit someone is a multi-agency affair that takes several employees all day (for a single commitment) and then results in a court hearing which has to happen within a day or two of said decision to attempt to commit. Only the CDMHP can even make the final decision to attempt to commit– attempt being the operative word because until a judge hears the case and makes a decision, it’s not a commitment.

      The point being, is that all-day multi-agency affair is where the evaluation process happens and that’s where the “magic words” get ferreted out real fucking fast.

      1. Further, most homeless assholes don’t WANT to be committed because once committed, your ass is probably going to Western State, and no sane person wants to end up there. Here’s what gets confusing to lay people:

        Under state behavioral health laws (RCW 71.05 and RCW 71.34), there are the specific circumstances where a person can be detained for involuntary hospitalization:

        threatened harm towards others or themselves
        substantially damaged someone else’s property
        endangered because they are not caring for their basic needs such as eating, sleeping, clothing and shelter
        demonstrate severe deterioration in functioning ability and are not receiving essential care

        AND

        The above is due to a behavioral health disorder
        If imminent danger exists, the person will be immediately detained and placed into an Evaluation and Treatment facility for up to 72 hours.

        “Can be” is the operative word here. The evaluation process which isn’t described here, because it takes years of training, is where the “threat of harm to themselves or others” is sussed out. Then you go to that “evaluation and treatment facility” and you can ONLY be there for 72 hours. After that 72 hours you get your court hearing, or you get bounced on to the street. If every homeless junkie who came into the ER and said, “Yo, I think I might even like, kill myself and shit” when the ER social worker isn’t able to place them in a three bedroom apartment (yes, this happens all the fucking time), they’d fill up that 72 hour queue so fast, no one would ever be committed.

      2. Don’t assume your jurisdiction is like other jurisdictions. Also, maybe consider how much of that process is delegated to the “gut” feelings of bureaucratic social workers who are neither medical professionals nor legal professionals.

      3. Libertarianism works great when all of the parties are adults, in full command of their faculties. It has issues when some of the parties don’t live up to that standard.

        “To involuntarily commit someone is a multi-agency affair that takes several employees all day (for a single commitment) and then results in a court hearing which has to happen within a day or two of said decision to attempt to commit.”

        Did it used to, when asylums were more prevalent, and vastly more funded? Or is the increased gatekeeping process a function of the reality that there just aren’t enough beds for people who need them? And not enough willingness in the citizenry to fund them?

        I agree with MonitorsMost’s point about considering the gatekeepers in a lot of cases are going to be social workers, or at least neither legal or medical professionals. Again, a lot of that is going to be due to cost.

  9. I’m prepared to support no measures as they are all more than likely worse than the status quo.

    1. Yeah.
      Beware ‘doing something’; that something stands a good chance of making things worse.

      1. The above sentiment is now racist.

  10. A belief in white supremacy, or any other abhorrent ideology, is not enough to meet that test

    Yet.

  11. surprised the seven remaining white supremacists left haven’t been rooted out and mocked into another dimension.

      1. Like you about being forced to use words and defintions?

        Cause you’re pretty fucking pathetic for doing that.

        1. And don’t forget, you spent an hour stupidly assuming the OED and the learners dictionary are the same thing, someone that stupid doesn’t have anything worth hearing.

          And God how can we forget you want to import child rapists.

          1. He’s a Canadian douchebag that wants to import Central American sex predators into the US.

      2. stupid people need the most attention.

        1. Jeff isn’t going to like you talking about him like that.

  12. “One in five mass murderers shows evidence of psychosis” is the wrong metric for the question. The right metric is “X of those who show evidence of psychosis go on to become mass murderers”.

    According to Lifetime Prevalence of Psychotic and Bipolar Disorders in a General Population (Perälä, et al, 2007), up to 3.5% of the population experiences some form of psychosis. That works out to 11.5 million people in the US. During the past 50 years, the Washington Post reports 169 mass murderers.

    We don’t know if all those mass murderers in fact exhibited signs of psychosis but even assuming they did, that works out to 0.0015% of the target population. In other words, if you locked up everyone who exhibited signs of psychosis, you’d be locking up over 68,000 people who will not become mass murderers in the hope of stopping the 1 who will.

    1. So you’re saying Jeff and Chipper and Hihn would get locked up.

  13. “reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence,”

    How about we start with the registered democratic voters?
    Since the democrats are now socialists, and socialists have murdered over 100 million people, lock them all up. If we also restrict their access to (anti)social media, then there will not be an outcry at the next mass shooting; just return fire.

    1. You’ll have better luck statistically by starting with the 8chan guys.

  14. What Trump said is just talk. I understand why he says it but it is meaningless rhetoric.

    If it were possible to “reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence” it would have been done already.

    Everyone is lining up with “do something” proposals that will not change anything. That is human nature.

    1. I agree I think he is just going to hyperbole.

      That said, I think the R’s who normally line up on the mental health argument side need to strongly reconsider their argument. Their argument should be that arming more people would make everyone safer, things along those lines, etc etc.

      I know Trump is probably exaggerating when he says involuntarily commit. But even the thought of that should scare anyone who loves freedom. That is a very scary power for the state to have.

      Love your guns? Well when the govt gets power to deal with mental health the way it wants, I bet there will be a bunch of pissed off americans that cant get guns because they have a history of depression. Oh you have PTSD because you saw some shit in war, or were mugged/beaten/raped? Ya we dont think you are mentally stable enough for the responsibility of a firearm. Sorry.

      Really nasty snowball to roll down the hill.

      1. I know Trump is probably exaggerating when he says involuntarily commit. But even the thought of that should scare anyone who loves freedom. That is a very scary power for the state to have

        Yes, but you’re posing a false dichotomy for dealing with mental illness: either giving the state the power of involuntary commitment or continuing as is.

        You’re leaving out the possibility of dealing with mental illness through private and market mechanisms, which is the libertarian answer. But that third option just isn’t possible within current US legal frameworks.

    2. If it were possible to “reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence” it would have been done already

      It’s certainly quite possible to identify many mentally disturbed individuals and commit them involuntarily. What would be required? Mental health screening and drug screening in schools and regularly as part of the healthcare system. That would likely also be fairly effective in dealing with a lot of social ills, from reducing homelessness to reducing addiction and violent crime. It’s good, solid progressive policy. It just happens to be utterly illiberal and unconstitutional, which is why the US doesn’t do it. And good thing that it is: the government should not have that kind of power.

      Of course, the flipside is that the US government has also prevented private institutions from dealing with these issues. A private school might be able require drug and mental health testing, but most students attend public schools. And private businesses and neighborhoods could make entry conditional on being healthy and sane, but that is also strongly curtailed by US law.

      That’s why we see a lot of these problems: government has monopolized dealing with these problems but then is prevented from solving them either by incompetence or by constitutional limits.

  15. If we’re going to have involuntary commitment, let’s start with the syphilitic madman who is squatting in the White House, pretending to be President.

    1. The WH staff can’t get Schumer to leave?

      1. Ok….now that was a hilarious comeback. Well done. 🙂

  16. These white supremacist shooters are plain old terrorists. They have an ideology and they are trying to terrorize people to get their political agenda exposure and momentum. They want to encourage others to do the same as them. Same, same same as the Islamic terrorists. They are not psychotic, they are just extremists. Why does the “crazy” excuse keep being spewed? Those who set majority-black churches on fire, shoot up synagogues and go to places where hispanic americans live to kill them in particular are terrorists. Call them that and stop sidestepping by implying they are “crazy”.

  17. Who would have thought that in the span of a week the republican party would put the final nail in the fiscal restraint AND the personal liberty coffins.

    Hold on boys. The future is going to be so bright we won’t need eyes to see it.

  18. Reason’s answer to mass shootings: double down on open borders, blame rhetoric, and equivocate on gun control, all of which are utterly ineffective. Trump’s answer clearly is not a libertarian answer, but among the many illiberal answers to mass shootings, it is probably one of the few that can succeed.

    So what would the libertarian answer to mass shootings be? Freedom of association and private evaluations. For example, many private roads, private shopping centers, private schools, and private businesses would simply not let you on premises unless you can provide positive evidence that you are sane and healthy and that you actually have enough money to spend to be worth their while, requirements they cannot impose under current non-discrimination rules.

    1. (And by “succeed” I don’t mean “eliminate mass shootings” but “reduce their frequency somewhat”.)

  19. Can’t we just commission statues of every shooter, giant statues, giant nude statues, giant nude statues with micro-penises?

    The primary motivator for most of these unhinged shooting is to “prove to the world that they are to be taken seriously” what better way to deflate that than to Ock the to eternity.

    Now actual terrorism where the shooter was trying to convey a political message (like in El Paso) isn’t likely to be desuaded, but your average bullied outcast that is lashing out to stop the bullying… Yeah they aren’t gonna want a naked micropenis statue in their home town.

  20. And goodness, we wouldn’t want to impose treatment on anyone who was merely some kind of mentally ill; we want to be absolutely sure anyone getting treatment is right on the verge of a mass shooting. BETTER TO LET A FEW SLIP THROUGH THE CRACKS, RATHER THAN TREAT THE MERELY SICK.

  21. “We must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals”

    Drumpf needs to be first in line when the reform is finalized!

  22. Seems the best preventive measure we can take is to be nice to people. And even if that doesn’t work, the side effects are good.

  23. I agree with Trump and I would also raise the age to buy the guns most likely to be used in violent crimes to 27. Texas requires people that buy handguns to be 21 so I don’t think anyone should have a problem with this and obviously it is not unconstitutional because of Texas’ age requirement to buy handguns. So a 22 year old could possess an assault rifle but the person that buys it for them would be on the hook for any violence they perpetrate.

  24. I would like to see something other than JUST FIX THE PROBLEM from all who complain of guns. What law would have prevented El Paso, Dayton, and all the other mass murders with guns? None of the currently proposed laws would have stopped any of them.

    It seems to me gun control, in absence of total confiscation by the government, is just a placebo to make politicians and ignorant votes happy. The banning of Assault Rifles had no effect on life in America before it expired in 2004. What law would have prevented any of the mass murders?

  25. Too dangerous a trend.
    It’s almost impossible to erase the stain of being accused of mental trouble even when a person is proven normal. Everything a person does becomes and remains a “symptom” just as everything an accused witch did was proof of being in league with Satan.

  26. The El Paso Dixiecrat berserker was raised by a psycho-logist type. Somebody tell The Don.

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