The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Great Debates

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #101  
Old 01-10-2013, 09:17 PM
NamelessKing NamelessKing is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by -getitrite View Post
The idea of mental illness is the only reason to keep someone from owning a gun is short sighted in the least IMHO. Any one having any kind of arrest record should not be able to own a gun. This means being drunk and assulting someone as well. The police have their records of these as well as pedifiles and others who do not need the previlage of owning a gun, and how many times could a life been saved if the arrest records had been checked. These are public knowledge. No special dr appt for it. no extra money spent.
I strongly disagree with this. Just as I strongly disagree with a criminal record barring your right to vote. Having an arrest record can happen for all sorts of things, and it doesn't even consider the possibility of personal reform.

The right to defend yourself is an important one, and should only be removed in the case of repeat violent offenders.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #102  
Old 01-10-2013, 10:59 PM
jtgain jtgain is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddle Peghead View Post
If you want to get a gun, you submit to a test of some kind. You do this willingly, so how can you argue about the right to privacy? Now, you might not think any test is necessary, but that's another part of the issue.
Let's assume this proposal passes and SCOTUS upholds the constitutionality of mandatory sanity checks for gun purchases. Who decides the results of the test and makes the determination if the applicant is fit to own a gun? Is there a bright line rule or is it fully at the discretion of the doctor.

What would prevent doctor shopping? I go to Dr. Rand Paul, M.D. because he will approval gun applications so long as you don't hold a knife to his receptionist's throat while waiting to see him. Don't go to Dr. Chuck Schumer because he will deny your application if you've ever felt sad at any point in your life.

So, how about only government doctors deciding? Again, you run into the same issue. For this 4 year period we have a pro-gun administration rubber stamping permits. Then then next 4 years everyone is insane.

Who decides what insanity is for the purposes of gun ownership?
Reply With Quote
  #103  
Old 01-10-2013, 11:38 PM
ed anger ed anger is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtgain View Post
So, how about only government doctors deciding? Again, you run into the same issue. For this 4 year period we have a pro-gun administration rubber stamping permits. Then then next 4 years everyone is insane.
So? The law gets passed, and either it works relatively well, or it doesn't. People complain either way and it gets modified. This is a process.
Reply With Quote
  #104  
Old 01-11-2013, 12:03 AM
jtgain jtgain is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by ed anger View Post
So? The law gets passed, and either it works relatively well, or it doesn't. People complain either way and it gets modified. This is a process.
But that's my question. Who and what standards are used during and after the administration of the sanity test to determine if an applicant is sufficiently sane to be able to buy a gun?
Reply With Quote
  #105  
Old 01-11-2013, 10:21 AM
Fiddle Peghead Fiddle Peghead is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtgain View Post
What would prevent doctor shopping?
How about a standard test and database of applicant results? If a potential gun owner is deemed unfit to own a gun, any subsequent negative test within a certain time period as a result of doctor shopping will be denied. Of course there will still be ways for the determined applicant to get around any safeguards, but this shouldn't mean that we should just drop the idea altogether.

Quote:
Who decides what insanity is for the purposes of gun ownership?
Doctors.

In any case, in my original response I was merely asking what the right to privacy has to do with a sanity test. You have the choice of maintaining your privacy by deciding not to buy a gun.
Reply With Quote
  #106  
Old 01-11-2013, 11:17 AM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth Potato View Post
What do you mean? That people aren't considered innocent until proven guilty, or that I don't actually value that principle? Both are simple truths (or if reality sometimes falls short of the first one, it is a fault that we all should deplore) and I don't see how it's "sly" of me to mention them.
Innocent until proven guilty is a colloquial term for how our justice system works. Basically anyone charged with anyone gets a trial where the prosecutors have to prove guilt. But nobody's being charged with anything. The determination that an object is too dangerous for casual ownership has nothing to do with any charges. Nobody's charging gun owners with mass lunatic hooliganism, simply that an object is too dangerous for ownership. There is no reason why we can't classify guns as illegal any more than child porn, drugs, and dead body parts. That is why its sly for you to simply slip in your sentence "Those of us who value justice and principle" as if anyone disagreeing with you does not. I love value and principle, would marry them if I could, but I still don't want people to have assault rifles for the same reason I don't want people to have heroin or naked pictures of kids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth Potato View Post
I don't favor this. All our rights are subject to some limits, and I don't think the second amendment should be any more "absolute" than the first or the fourth. However, I do believe that the bar for imposing any limit should be set very high, probably a lot higher than most people do. That the state has an interest in the limitation, or that the public safety is interested, is not by itself sufficient justification to excuse any limit. The need must be overwhelming and the infringement must not be substantial.
Well I don't see it in your posts, but I'll take you at your word. What limits would you be in favor of setting for firearms?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth Potato View Post
You misunderstand me. I am an atheist and I do not believe there is any such thing as a "natural right," except that everyone has the right to do anything nobody else can stop them from doing. But you have the situation inverted. The powers of the government are granted to it by the people. Authority not granted it is reserved.
I've always thought that was silly semantic wordplay. If there is no enforcement of laws, no specific spelling out of what is punishable and what is not, then your "right" to claim something unique and not covered by the government can fall under any sorts of broad legal jurisdiction. If you were to find an alien device capable of mind reading, and I'm assuming we don't have laws against it, I am positive that the government can find some way to charge you with a crime if you used it. I believe that enforcement of our civilization allows us to have the freedom of the rights enumerated in our Constitution, but make no mistake that the government, through laws and its enforcement, is the one that grants us specific rights. In the context of this argument then, I believe the government has the power both legally and morally to revoke or restrict any such rights as it currently allows us to have. I may not like some of its decisions, but I'll never claim they don't have the right, the power, or the legal backing to do so

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocCathode View Post
To get the results you say you want, you'd have to run a few hours of tests. Getting tested in this manner is billed at about $100 per hour. Thus, you want either the buyer or the government to pay a few hundred every time some one is tested.
There is no reason that the same tests that may be used to determine gun ownership viability should be the same as other types of psychological tests. You're assuming too much. If you don't like having tests at all, just say so and don't play this game of trying to pretend there are inherent flaws in something that doesn't exist.

And again I would ask, "so what?" To determine if a person should own a lethal weapon, some kind of limit should be in place. If that incurs a cost, I have no problems with it. It should be reasonable, but I don't see why it necessarily would be such a burden, especially if you consider alternative methods of payment. In schools, students can often get free counseling from onsite psychologists. The government spends billions in subsidies for things like corn and gas. There may be millions of gun owners, but if we're serious about this, there can be similar subsidies, or a tax break, or any number of (I'm sure) NRA and government licensed doctors willing to do it for little or no payment. Forced mental evaluations will not be a burden on the vast majority of Americans. And it may just prevent the next Sandy Hook, or random guy in any random town shooting at someone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocCathode View Post
Please define "crazy". I want to know exactly who you are talking about.
Whoever the tests determine are crazy enough to not be allowed to have a gun

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocCathode View Post
It is different.

A felon loses a right for something they have already done. You would take away the rights of the mentally ill based on what they might do.
No, it is not different. What it is, is arbitrary.

What if, for example, the government decides that only violent crime ex-cons get their guns taken away? That the non-violent drug dealers, the thieves, the statutory rapists can all get guns? Some people might agree with that, some not. Then maybe you expand that a bit, all those people can get guns, but if you committed money laundering, or identify fraud, or only talked about violence but never did anything, that those people are banned? Then you keep going down the list until less and less people agree with you, stopping at some arbitrary line.

The point is, while most of us can agree that if a person did X, they should be banned from guns, the fact that X equal crime is still completely arbitrary. What if they didn't use a gun in their crime? What if its non-violent? What if they threatened violence but never acted on it?

So I'm expanding that X. I'm saying that arbitrary notion to ownership itself. That means that certain guns are dangerous and unnecessary for self-defense or hunting and it should be banned or restricted. By the logic above, I could say that owning a copy of the Turner Diaries, belonging to any one of the FBI's terrorist groups is reason enough to revoke their gun ownership. Same thing right? These people chose to join the KKK, or the Aryan Nation, or some Montana Freeman organization, so therefore they are definitely up to no good and anyone in their organization should not be allowed to have guns. Like you said, they lost their right over something they already did, so we're in perfect logical agreement. There's no reason why what they did has to be a crime
Reply With Quote
  #107  
Old 01-11-2013, 11:38 AM
DrCube DrCube is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddle Peghead View Post
In any case, in my original response I was merely asking what the right to privacy has to do with a sanity test. You have the choice of maintaining your privacy by deciding not to buy a gun.
And you have the choice of voting, or freely expressing yourself. Or, you can refuse to incriminate yourself in a trial, but if you do that you have to quarter these soldiers. You can demand a warrant before we search your house, but you have to convert to this state supported religion first.

Your choice. Pick whichever right you prefer.
Reply With Quote
  #108  
Old 01-11-2013, 04:18 PM
DocCathode DocCathode is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
There is no reason that the same tests that may be used to determine gun ownership viability should be the same as other types of psychological tests. You're assuming too much. If you don't like having tests at all, just say so and don't play this game of trying to pretend there are inherent flaws in something that doesn't exist.
I don't think I'm assuming too much. If you don't plan on using existing tests and existing shrinks, just what do you plan on using?
Reply With Quote
  #109  
Old 01-11-2013, 04:27 PM
Fiddle Peghead Fiddle Peghead is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
And you have the choice of voting, or freely expressing yourself. Or, you can refuse to incriminate yourself in a trial, but if you do that you have to quarter these soldiers. You can demand a warrant before we search your house, but you have to convert to this state supported religion first.

Your choice. Pick whichever right you prefer.
Not quite getting your point here. Please help me out.
Reply With Quote
  #110  
Old 01-11-2013, 04:29 PM
Fiddle Peghead Fiddle Peghead is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocCathode View Post
I don't think I'm assuming too much. If you don't plan on using existing tests and existing shrinks, just what do you plan on using?
If I may, YogSosoth, I don't know, maybe new tests? Since no law has been established yet, wouldn't that be the logical conclusion?
Reply With Quote
  #111  
Old 01-11-2013, 04:35 PM
DocCathode DocCathode is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddle Peghead View Post
If I may, YogSosoth, I don't know, maybe new tests? Since no law has been established yet, wouldn't that be the logical conclusion?
No, it wouldn't be the logical conclusion.

Existing tests are the best tools we have for finding disorders, and if somebody is a threat to themselves or others. Just how would you develop new tests?

IIRC Only a licensed psychologist can administer these tests. If you don't want licensed psychologists to do the testing, who should do it?
Reply With Quote
  #112  
Old 01-11-2013, 04:42 PM
Fiddle Peghead Fiddle Peghead is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocCathode View Post
No, it wouldn't be the logical conclusion.
YogSosoth suggested existing tests need not be used, so if he believes in testing, they'd have to be new tests, right? That's all I meant. Didn't mean to sound snarky. Should have added a .

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 01-11-2013 at 04:44 PM.. Reason: smiley
Reply With Quote
  #113  
Old 01-11-2013, 04:53 PM
Fiddle Peghead Fiddle Peghead is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
And you have the choice of voting, or freely expressing yourself. Or, you can refuse to incriminate yourself in a trial, but if you do that you have to quarter these soldiers. You can demand a warrant before we search your house, but you have to convert to this state supported religion first.

Your choice. Pick whichever right you prefer.
I wanted to elaborate: If "right to privacy" means "a legal right (not explicitly provided in the United States Constitution) to be left alone; the right to live life free from unwarranted publicity", then unless the government is forcing mandatory psychological tests on all citizens, then where is the right to privacy being violated here? A potential gun owner submits to the test, but isn't forced to take one if he doesn't want to buy a gun. His privacy is thus maintained.

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 01-11-2013 at 04:57 PM.. Reason: For clarity.
Reply With Quote
  #114  
Old 01-11-2013, 05:24 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: NY (Manhattan) NY USA
Posts: 16,264
I'm schizophrenic, and as such I see no reason why I should have to be any less crazy with regards to gun ownership than the rest of the gun-toting American population.

So you tell me I need to turn in my guns cuz I'm a lunatic. I'll get back to you on that, I know there's a phrase I'm supposed to use. Something about prying and cold, dead something-or-other. Meanwhile keep yer distance if you don't mind, OK?
Reply With Quote
  #115  
Old 01-11-2013, 05:31 PM
Fiddle Peghead Fiddle Peghead is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
I'm schizophrenic, and as such I see no reason why I should have to be any less crazy with regards to gun ownership than the rest of the gun-toting American population.

So you tell me I need to turn in my guns cuz I'm a lunatic. I'll get back to you on that, I know there's a phrase I'm supposed to use. Something about prying and cold, dead something-or-other. Meanwhile keep yer distance if you don't mind, OK?


I didn't say anything about you, nor make any suggestion that all people who suffer from PS should automatically be banned from owning guns. I was asked for an example and I gave it. You might want to lay off the threats, no matter how jokingly they're offered, btw.

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 01-11-2013 at 05:33 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #116  
Old 01-11-2013, 05:36 PM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocCathode View Post
I don't think I'm assuming too much. If you don't plan on using existing tests and existing shrinks, just what do you plan on using?
The concern you bring up is cost. I noted that costs can be defrayed or eliminated. Then you ask me exactly what type of test I would come up with. I think that is a bit disingenuous. Maybe respond to possible negating of the costs? Or answer the question of if the costs can be reasonable, then would you support it or would you bring up a new point of contention?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocCathode View Post
No, it wouldn't be the logical conclusion.

Existing tests are the best tools we have for finding disorders, and if somebody is a threat to themselves or others. Just how would you develop new tests?

IIRC Only a licensed psychologist can administer these tests. If you don't want licensed psychologists to do the testing, who should do it?
Exactly what tests are irrelevant. The question is that IF tests can be reliable, cost-effective, and does not unreasonably hinder gun ownership, would you be in favor of them for the purposes of weeding out mentally ill people from gun ownership?
Reply With Quote
  #117  
Old 01-11-2013, 05:41 PM
DocCathode DocCathode is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
Exactly what tests are irrelevant. The question is that IF tests can be reliable,
The tests we have now aren't too reliable. I can't see why new ones would be any better.

Quote:
cost-effective,
They'd end up costing a few hundred dollars. Whether that's cost-effective is a matter of opinion..

Quote:
and does not unreasonably hinder gun ownership, would you be in favor of them for the purposes of weeding out mentally ill people from gun ownership?
Please define "mentally ill".
Reply With Quote
  #118  
Old 01-11-2013, 05:54 PM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Torrance Ca
Posts: 3,383
several years ago my insurance notified me that I was going to be cancelled because someone with 3 drunk driving convictions was living at my address. There are 2 houses on a lot and he lived in the front. The same should be true for gun owners. Mentaly ill or felons should not have access to guns regardless of who owns them. I am pro gun by the way.
Reply With Quote
  #119  
Old 01-11-2013, 06:01 PM
DocCathode DocCathode is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBadgerDC View Post
Mentaly ill or felons should not have access to guns regardless of who owns them. I am pro gun by the way.
Please define "mentally ill".

I have been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, general anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and chronic depression.

I am currently on abilify, paxil, lithium carbonate, and methylphenidate.

THAT is my interest in this thread. I fear a slippery slope. Within living memory in the US persons deemed too crazy were involuntarily sterilized and/or lobotomized. If you say us crazy people can't own guns, what right will you come for next? knives? drivers license? living near schools or playgrounds?
Reply With Quote
  #120  
Old 01-11-2013, 06:10 PM
DrCube DrCube is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddle Peghead View Post
Not quite getting your point here. Please help me out.
You shouldn't have to give up one right as a prerequisite to exercising another.

Would you be happy if you had to give up your right to free speech in order to vote?
Reply With Quote
  #121  
Old 01-11-2013, 09:17 PM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Torrance Ca
Posts: 3,383
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocCathode View Post
Please define "mentally ill".

I have been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, general anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and chronic depression.

I am currently on abilify, paxil, lithium carbonate, and methylphenidate.

THAT is my interest in this thread. I fear a slippery slope. Within living memory in the US persons deemed too crazy were involuntarily sterilized and/or lobotomized. If you say us crazy people can't own guns, what right will you come for next? knives? drivers license? living near schools or playgrounds?
I don't believe you should have access to a gun. I don't believe someone going through a nasty divorce or breakup who has displyed unstable behavior should have access to a gun. Meaning anyone in their home should have the guns locked up solid.

Last edited by HoneyBadgerDC; 01-11-2013 at 09:20 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #122  
Old 01-11-2013, 09:22 PM
DocCathode DocCathode is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBadgerDC View Post
I don't believe you should have access to a gun.
Why exactly should I not have access to a gun?


Do I have any other rights or freedoms you'd like to curtail?
Reply With Quote
  #123  
Old 01-11-2013, 09:33 PM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Torrance Ca
Posts: 3,383
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocCathode View Post
Why exactly should I not have access to a gun?


Do I have any other rights or freedoms you'd like to curtail?
Good point about any other rights, no I wouldn't. I wish I could give a better arguement as to why I think guns are different. I have absolutely no bad feelings toward you personaly but if I were making decisions on high risk gun owners you would have to be considered at an elevated risk because of your history. Upon further evaluation by a proffessional that might change depending on how a law was written. Too many people getting killed. We need to tighten up a bit.
Reply With Quote
  #124  
Old 01-11-2013, 10:17 PM
DocCathode DocCathode is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBadgerDC View Post
I have absolutely no bad feelings toward you personaly but if I were making decisions on high risk gun owners you would have to be considered at an elevated risk because of your history.
What history? I do not have a history of violent behavior. I have never attempted to kill myself or anybody else. I have never been arrested for anything. Again, what history?
Reply With Quote
  #125  
Old 01-11-2013, 10:30 PM
DocCathode DocCathode is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
I forgot to say-

I have also never been involuntarily committed.
Reply With Quote
  #126  
Old 01-12-2013, 12:43 AM
ed anger ed anger is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocCathode View Post
Why exactly should I not have access to a gun?

Do I have any other rights or freedoms you'd like to curtail?
Yes, because not owning a gun will terribly impede your existence.
Reply With Quote
  #127  
Old 01-12-2013, 06:06 AM
Stealth Potato Stealth Potato is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
Innocent until proven guilty is a colloquial term for how our justice system works. Basically anyone charged with anyone gets a trial where the prosecutors have to prove guilt. But nobody's being charged with anything.
"Innocent until proven guilty" may have colloquial connotations, but the fact remains that the government may not deprive someone of their rights without proving a case against them. What we were specifically discussing is not banning guns, but presuming that an individual who wishes to buy a gun is prohibited, and forcing them to prove their innocence (or sanity) before being permitted to exercise their right. That's what I think is wrong.

And yes, there is actually an excellent reason we can't classify guns illegal: the second amendment. Strictly speaking, nowhere in the Constitution is any power granted that would permit the federal government to ban guns, so the second amendment shouldn't be necessary. But neither does it grant the power to criminalize heroin, and yet clearly the government has done so. Hamilton was well-intended but wrong, and I thank Jefferson every day that we have a Bill of Rights.

And putting guns in the same class as heroin and child porn is emotionally-charged flim-flammery. Child porn has actual victims; and as far as I'm concerned, heroin should be legal.


Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
Well I don't see it in your posts, but I'll take you at your word. What limits would you be in favor of setting for firearms?
I've said in numerous threads here recently that I wouldn't really mind seeing licensing and registration for handguns. They're far and away the most popular murder implement; if you look at the graphs you'll see a few lines down at the bottom: knives, bare hands, shotguns, military-grade assault weapons, each with their own tiny body count -- and then handguns rising above all the rest in a meteoric arc of death. Given the likely social benefits of reducing the supply of handguns in the hands of criminals, I think there's more justification for regulatory hoops like licensing.

If you restrict handgun purchases to those who are willing to undergo the training and extra legal scrutiny, legitimate handgun purchases will immediately skew toward the responsible end of the bell curve. Preserve accountability by requiring that owners can only sell their guns to other handgun license holders, and they must register the sale, with civil or criminal penalties if the gun ends up in a bad way and they're the last registered owner. Combine this with a national CCW standard and you could get broad enough support even from gun owners to get the thing passed.

I'm quite comfortable with the status quo; the fear of being shot is almost as far from my mind as the fear of starving. But I'm privileged: white, middle class, home in a low-crime area. If I were a poor black urban youth my outlook would be different. My comfort and safety aren't a reason to ignore the six or eight thousand handgun murders every year. I think a scheme like the one I describe would be tolerable for lawful gun owners and do a lot of good eventually, once the supply of guns in the hands of criminals began to dwindle.

I have not and never will support bans on specific types of firearms (e.g., assault weapons), nor on any particular magazine sizes. These are unproductive and excessively infringing, and even if they worked perfectly would not have a measurable impact on our national gun violence rates.


Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
... make no mistake that the government, through laws and its enforcement, is the one that grants us specific rights. In the context of this argument then, I believe the government has the power both legally and morally to revoke or restrict any such rights as it currently allows us to have.


Gun rights be damned! you'd let the whole bill of rights go in a twinkling. I find your sentiments alarming: I can only hope it is a small minority of my countrymen that share them, but I'd give up all gun rights in a heartbeat to prevent your view of government from prevailing. I do not think it is "silly" or "semantic" -- our very nation is founded on the principle that a government derives its just power from the consent of the governed; that the people collectively construct their government by yielding to it certain powers.

In your conception, apparently, government is imposed from without (by what almighty force? God?) and it, on the contrary, deigns to lift the people from their natural state of slavery by granting them certain privileges.

The difference between these two views is extremely important. One emphasizes that the government does not have the power to do whatever it pleases, and that in order to expand its powers it must obtain an expanded mandate from its people (or, in our model, from the people by proxy of the elected legislature and the states themselves). The other, it seems to me, holds the people in contempt and in a dormant thralldom which is kept in abeyance only by the fiat of their rulers.

I like my system better. I think it's worth fighting for. The government that is in your mind, I wouldn't piss on if it were on fire.
Reply With Quote
  #128  
Old 01-12-2013, 09:23 AM
DocCathode DocCathode is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by ed anger View Post
Yes, because not owning a gun will terribly impede your existence.
You quoted my post. It contained two questions. You answered neither of them.


As for your post, I wasn't aware I had to show that taking away a constitutional right would 'impede my existence'.
Reply With Quote
  #129  
Old 01-12-2013, 10:43 AM
Disgruntled Penguin Disgruntled Penguin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
Tell that to the next depressed teenager you see. Telling people "Certain mental health issues could disqualify you from exercising your basic constitutional rights, and prevent you from engaging in lots of professions and plenty of hobbies" is a great way to ensure they will avoid seeking a diagnosis, which will make any sort of treatment impossible. And we wonder where the stigma comes from?
But surely this reaction would only occur if you were a gun freak already. Mental illness can disqualify you from a whole lot more of life than not being able to go to the shooting range would. You have to make the choices in your life as to which was more valuable to you so unless guns have damned near become essential to your existence you would make the right choice.

I'm not pro gun control. I never have been. I've shot competitively and I grew up in the gun culture. I'm comfortable in open carry states. I get the appeal but I don't have a gun. I made that very real choice when one day last year, after getting a new job and loving it, being very happy, I laid on my bed and casually thought 'if I'd bought that gun like I wanted I'd stick it in my mouth and pull the trigger.

I don't think I meant it but the fact was, not having one gave me a reason to reflect and it scared me how attractive the idea sounded. Nope, I'll go shooting with my friends but have one that I can access on a whim, no thanks.

If I had to choose between getting better mentally and never having a gun vs having a gun and being miserable even when things are great, I couldn't care less about the gun. It affects a small portion of my life compared to, well, my entire life.

So, it doesn't mean I'm pro gun control but I disagree that on the whole, a ban like this is going to drive that many people away from getting treatment from life affecting illnesses. People don't need more reasons to avoid treatment than they already have, I can't see not being able to own a gun ( and if this happens it really needs to be time limited and 5 years for a minor mental issue to me seems draconian but numbers can be agreed upon ) as being the deal breaker which is going to empty the treatment facilities.
Reply With Quote
  #130  
Old 01-12-2013, 10:50 AM
DrCube DrCube is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by ed anger View Post
Yes, because not owning a gun will terribly impede your existence.
Neither will disenfranchisement.
Reply With Quote
  #131  
Old 01-12-2013, 10:54 AM
DrCube DrCube is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disgruntled Penguin View Post
But surely this reaction would only occur if you were a gun freak already.
No, you only have to think a gun related hobby or security based employment (or, you know, ever having to defend yourself) is a possibility that may occur in your life, while not having the highest opinion of mental health care. I'd hardly call that a "gun freak".
Reply With Quote
  #132  
Old 01-12-2013, 10:55 AM
jtgain jtgain is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddle Peghead View Post
How about a standard test and database of applicant results? If a potential gun owner is deemed unfit to own a gun, any subsequent negative test within a certain time period as a result of doctor shopping will be denied. Of course there will still be ways for the determined applicant to get around any safeguards, but this shouldn't mean that we should just drop the idea altogether.



Doctors.

In any case, in my original response I was merely asking what the right to privacy has to do with a sanity test. You have the choice of maintaining your privacy by deciding not to buy a gun.
Again: Who designs the standard test? Who deems someone unfit? Who selects the doctors?

You would deem the upthread poster unfit to own a gun. What if out of 10 doctors, 7 would deem him fit, and 3 unfit? Can he doctor shop?

What if it is reported that a doctor has privately said that "nobody is sane enough to own a gun"? Does he get removed from the "approved" list of doctors to judge sanity for gun ownership? Criminal or civil penalties?

What if it is reported that a doctor has privately said that "as long a person can walk into my office, he is sane enough to own a gun"? Does he get removed from the "approved" list of doctors to judge sanity for gun ownership? Criminal or civil penalties?

Who decides what statements in between these two extremes merit removal from the list?
Reply With Quote
  #133  
Old 01-12-2013, 11:13 AM
Disgruntled Penguin Disgruntled Penguin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocCathode View Post
Please define "mentally ill".

I have been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, general anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and chronic depression.

I am currently on abilify, paxil, lithium carbonate, and methylphenidate.

THAT is my interest in this thread. I fear a slippery slope. Within living memory in the US persons deemed too crazy were involuntarily sterilized and/or lobotomized. If you say us crazy people can't own guns, what right will you come for next? knives? drivers license? living near schools or playgrounds?
I think there are two issues involved here, having a mental illness vs being mentally ill. Having a mental illness that you are treating to good effect should not disqualify you from owning a gun. Being mentall ill depending on the illness maybe should.

I haven't really thought about this so it's rough but to me, it's far more important where you are, not where you've been.

So, to get a new gun license you'd need three things:

1. A background check for felonies.
2. A note from a practicing mental health professional stating that you are mentally able to own a handgun. Ok, don't call it that but basically they will talk to you and make their evaluation of you as mental health guys instead of governmentally tied in any way. Only they will have access, if needed, to your long term mental history so there will be no way it could be used against you and since you only ever apply for the gun with one of these notes already you won't be discouraged from seeking mental help as needed as it won't disqualify you for anything.
Reply With Quote
  #134  
Old 01-12-2013, 11:19 AM
Disgruntled Penguin Disgruntled Penguin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
No, you only have to think a gun related hobby or security based employment (or, you know, ever having to defend yourself) is a possibility that may occur in your life, while not having the highest opinion of mental health care. I'd hardly call that a "gun freak".
Nope, I enjoy gun related hobbies and I don't want to be a security guard ( which I have done in my past, it's not all it's cracked up to be ). I like guns and the gun culture but I don't like it enough that I'd live with an untreated mental health issue to keep them. That's my point, you have to have weighed the options and found that gun ownership is more important than your mental health.

That's a much higher level than hey, I possibly may want to do something that's legally available but I'm not doing now. I'm willing to suffer very real issues now to keep that option open.
Reply With Quote
  #135  
Old 01-12-2013, 11:34 AM
DrCube DrCube is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disgruntled Penguin View Post
Nope, I enjoy gun related hobbies and I don't want to be a security guard ( which I have done in my past, it's not all it's cracked up to be ). I like guns and the gun culture but I don't like it enough that I'd live with an untreated mental health issue to keep them. That's my point, you have to have weighed the options and found that gun ownership is more important than your mental health.

That's a much higher level than hey, I possibly may want to do something that's legally available but I'm not doing now. I'm willing to suffer very real issues now to keep that option open.
I think you're missing the fact that there aren't a whole lot of mental health success stories. When you're not that likely to get better even if you do seek treatment, it doesn't take much to discourage even trying.

EDIT: I agree that I'm biased here (but not so much so that I think mental healthcare isn't worth trying), but it seems to be a common opinion.

Last edited by DrCube; 01-12-2013 at 11:38 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #136  
Old 01-12-2013, 12:12 PM
Disgruntled Penguin Disgruntled Penguin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
I think you're missing the fact that there aren't a whole lot of mental health success stories. When you're not that likely to get better even if you do seek treatment, it doesn't take much to discourage even trying.

EDIT: I agree that I'm biased here (but not so much so that I think mental healthcare isn't worth trying), but it seems to be a common opinion.
I thought about that when writing my post but concluded that this really is a totally different issue entirely because you'd tend not to go to mental health guys if you don't believe they'd work gun issue or not. Guns are the red herring.
Reply With Quote
  #137  
Old 01-12-2013, 12:32 PM
DrCube DrCube is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disgruntled Penguin View Post
I thought about that when writing my post but concluded that this really is a totally different issue entirely because you'd tend not to go to mental health guys if you don't believe they'd work gun issue or not. Guns are the red herring.
Right. Some people won't get treatment regardless. Some people will no matter what. I just think there are a whole lot of people on the margin who would go, except they're discouraged because they might lose their gun rights (or have to take "zombie" medicine, or the stigma, etc.).

There are several reasons someone who might otherwise seek treatment would forgo it, but we don't need to give them any more discouragement in the form of stripping their rights, however remote that outcome might be.

Does anybody have any statistics on how likely mentally ill people are to commit murder compared to the "healthy" portion of the population? Because after all this, I'm just not seeing it as an issue. It's like the AWB. Flash suppressors and barrel shrouds are scary, let's ban them. Crazy people are scary, let's restrict their rights. Even though neither effort is/would be effective.
Reply With Quote
  #138  
Old 01-12-2013, 01:28 PM
Uqbar Uqbar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
FWIW, pilots are required to get medicals every few months/years and there is a question on the form to the effect "In the past seven years, have you been to see a mental health professional?". Presumably, if the applicant is honest and responds yes, then the physician would follow up with those practitioners.

Of course, the analogy weakens as many would point out gun ownership is a right, unlike flying an airplane.

And where I live, if someone wants a permit to purchase a gun the cops come around and talk with the neighbors--not sure, but this seems to include neighbors the applicant hasn't listed as references. It's a ~soft way around more formal mental health vetting. (And yes, obviously prone to its own faults.)
Reply With Quote
  #139  
Old 01-12-2013, 03:09 PM
crowmanyclouds crowmanyclouds is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
I'd love to know if were just talking about psychological testing or actual brain imaging 'cause,
Quote:
Brain imaging scans, also called neuroimaging scans, are being used more and more to help detect and diagnose a number of medical disorders and illnesses. Currently, the main use of brain scans for mental disorders is in research studies to learn more about the disorders. Brain scans alone cannot be used to diagnose a mental disorder, such as autism, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder.

In some cases, a brain scan might be used to rule out other medical illnesses, such as a tumor, that could cause symptoms similar to a mental disorder, such as depression. Other types of tests are needed for a mental illness to be properly diagnosed. Scientists are studying differences in the brains of people with and without a mental illness to learn more about these disorders. However, at this time relying on brain scans alone cannot accurately diagnose a mental illness or tell you your risk of getting a mental illness in the future. ...
I'm pretty sure they did some of those psychological tests on me when I was a teen, and they did not catch the early stages of my depression. After ~30 years of just coping with it I finally sought drug treatment (from my PCP who finally sent me to a psychiatrist since it really wasn't my PCP's area of expertise) The only question relevant to the question of this thread? "Are you having any thoughts about hurting yourself or others?" Knowing the possible repercussions of answering the first part honestly, involuntary commitment, I have to answer the stupid* question in essay form.

* Stupid because if I was seriously suicidal the last place I would be is in a psychiatrist's office seeking a prescription for a SSNRI!

It ain't rocket surgery to figure out that the answers you give to a MD when you're seeking help ain't the answers you give to a LEO when you'd like to spend that night in your own bed or be a firearms owner!

Sorry, but there really isn't, right now, very much that's going to accomplish the desired goal.

CMC
Mentally ill owner of four handguns that is never going on a killing spree.

Last edited by crowmanyclouds; 01-12-2013 at 03:10 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #140  
Old 01-12-2013, 04:38 PM
ed anger ed anger is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
Neither will disenfranchisement.
Which also does happen, to felons for example. Considering gun ownernship is more dangerous then voting, maybe a higher set of requirements is needed.

Last edited by ed anger; 01-12-2013 at 04:39 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #141  
Old 01-12-2013, 04:45 PM
Stealth Potato Stealth Potato is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by ed anger View Post
Which also does happen, to felons for example. Considering gun ownernship is more dangerous then voting...
Hmm, I'm not sure I agree. A gun can only take your life.
Reply With Quote
  #142  
Old 01-12-2013, 06:11 PM
DrCube DrCube is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by ed anger View Post
Which also does happen, to felons for example. Considering gun ownernship is more dangerous then voting, maybe a higher set of requirements is needed.
Yeah, I don't agree with it in the case of felons, either. Just because you're a hated group in this country does not mean you should be forced to give up your rights. That includes pedophiles, the mentally ill, children, immigrants, etc. Let's just treat people with respect, like Mom said.
Reply With Quote
  #143  
Old 01-12-2013, 06:26 PM
ed anger ed anger is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
Yeah, I don't agree with it in the case of felons, either. Just because you're a hated group in this country does not mean you should be forced to give up your rights. That includes pedophiles, the mentally ill, children, immigrants, etc. Let's just treat people with respect, like Mom said.
Sure. I can deal with felons and pedophiles voting, but I'd rather that they don't own guns.
Reply With Quote
  #144  
Old 01-12-2013, 06:28 PM
DrCube DrCube is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by ed anger View Post
Sure. I can deal with felons and pedophiles voting, but I'd rather that they don't own guns.
In the case of non-violent offenders, why? Is it just payback? What was their prison sentence for, then?
Reply With Quote
  #145  
Old 01-12-2013, 07:10 PM
Disgruntled Penguin Disgruntled Penguin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
In the case of non-violent offenders, why? Is it just payback? What was their prison sentence for, then?
The sentence was for rehabilitation, the gun denying is just for payback. It's clearly more onerous than society just not hiring these people or getting good places to live. None of that stuff matters if you have a gun!

But seriously, you made no distinction between violent or non violent in saying felons should be able to own guns. Why? Is allowing violent offenders the ability to use the cutting edge in killing hardware a good idea?

Of course, between the two extremes is to ban them for violent offenders and anyone using a gun in the commission of a crime and let the rest of the law abiding, oops, I mean those who have paid their debt to society own guns.
Reply With Quote
  #146  
Old 01-12-2013, 07:16 PM
Disgruntled Penguin Disgruntled Penguin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
Yeah, I don't agree with it in the case of felons, either. Just because you're a hated group in this country does not mean you should be forced to give up your rights. That includes pedophiles, the mentally ill, children, immigrants, etc. Let's just treat people with respect, like Mom said.
I just had to point out how awesome that grouping was. Pedophiles, the mentally ill, children and immigrants. I mean there are varied levels of hatred out there and you covered the spectrum. No commentary but I thought it was a cool list.

Come to think of it though, letting pedophiles and kids to both have guns could help ease both problems right there. Hmm, worth thinking about.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.