Ron Paul: "Mental Health Screening A Good Way To Decrease Liberty, Poor Way To Increase Security"

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute,

Last week Americans were shocked and saddened by another mass killing, this one near a college campus in California. We all feel deep sympathy for the families of the victims.

As usual, many people responded to this shooting by calling for new federal gun control laws, including the mental health screening of anyone attempting to purchase a firearm. There are a number of problems with this proposal. Federally-mandated mental health screenings would require storing mental health records in a government database. This obviously raises concerns about patient privacy and doctor-patient confidentiality, as well as the threat of identity theft. Anyone who doubts that these are legitimate concerns should consider the enormous privacy problems with the Obamacare website; some have even suggested that healthcare.gov be renamed indentifytheft.gov.

Giving government the power to bar some Americans from owning guns by labeling them as “mentally ill” could easily lead to serious abuses. Even authors of mental health manuals admit that mental health diagnoses are subjective and can be based on “social constructions.” Thus, anyone whose behavior deviates from some “norm” could find himself deprived of his second amendment, and possibly other, rights.

People could be even be labeled “mentally ill” because they are outspoken critics of the government. Currently, as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s “Operation Vigilant Eagle” program, veterans who express dissatisfaction with government polices run the risk of being labeled mentally-unstable terrorist threats. There has also been at least one federally-funded violence prevention program that determined that holding certain political and social views indicates a propensity for violence. So there is precedent for labeling those with unpopular political beliefs as being “mentally ill.”

We have also seen how US presidents from both parties have used the IRS to target political opponents. Imagine the potential for abuse if those same politicians had access to the mental health records of their political opponents, or the power to label opponents mentally ill because those opponents were “dissatisfied” with the government?

People who say that the threat to liberty posed by mental health screenings is outweighed by the enhanced security they provide should consider that expanding background checks and mental health screening is unlikely to make us safer. Professor Richard Alan Friedman, director of the Psychopharmacology Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College, has written that it is imposable to predict whether an individual will act in a violent manner.

One effective way to limit mass shootings may be to repeal gun control laws that, by disarming the law-abiding, turn the innocent into victims. Like most recent shootings, this one took place in a location where the attacker could be confident his intended targets could not defend themselves. It is interesting that even though the attacker used hammers and knives on some of the victims, no one is calling for background checks on those wishing to purchase hammers.

Instead of focusing on passing more laws, our focus should be replacing the entitlement culture with a culture of self-responsibility and respect for the rights of others. Government can help this process by ending its routine violation of our rights and the use of violence as a means to achieve domestic and foreign policy goals. This is not to suggest that government policies are directly responsible for the shootings, but it is not unreasonable to suggest that growing up in a time of preemptive war may feed a deranged person’s delusion that violence is a proper way to deal with personal frustrations. Fixing the culture is much more difficult than passing new laws but is the only way to guarantee our liberty and our security.

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Mon, 06/02/2014 - 18:39 | 4818312 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Mass shootings usually only happen only in gun free zones.

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 18:46 | 4818336 CH1
CH1's picture

Sociopaths will use any excuse to choke a populace to death.

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 18:58 | 4818366 knukles
knukles's picture

If we just raised the minimum wage to $60/hour, then everybody would be happy and everybody get a job.  And all the world's mental illness would disappear because everybody would be happy. 
I must apologize, I have to admit I've gone over to the liberal side.
I've become a Democrat because Democrats don't understand math and can do anything.

 

 

Now, were's my toporol and xanax refresher?

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 19:07 | 4818399 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Endless money = common core math skills.

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 21:16 | 4818717 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

OK, if we do the same for all elected officials, I'll consider...

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 21:36 | 4818764 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

This is not to suggest that government policies are directly responsible for the shootings, but it is not unreasonable to suggest that growing up in a time of preemptive war may feed a deranged person’s delusion that violence is a proper way to deal with personal frustrations.

Lol, RP officially gone full retard. 

And yes, common sense = mental health screenings.

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 22:10 | 4818841 xtop23
xtop23's picture

Ahh James I did miss you.

Why is it so hard to imagine that a person could be affected by the society that they exist in?

To call that "full retard" is a bit extreme, don't you think?

 

I also loved the certainty with which you state that common sense = mental health screenings.

By what measure do we gauge someone's mental health? Who determines what is acceptable behavior and who is mentally unsuitable for firearm ownership? 

 

Let's hear it. I'm really curious how you envision such a thing being enacted in practice. I would also like to hear what safeguards you would propose to ensure that such a program doesn't become a tool by which firearm ownership is denied the general citizenry.

 

And before you call me a /cringe .... c o n s p i r a c y t h e o r i s t ............... need I remind you that whole host of things that were once thought to be such, are now being exposed as fact.

 

Edit ( and no, i didn't down vote you )

 

 

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 22:57 | 4818988 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Why is it so hard to imagine that a person could be affected by the society that they exist in?

What, is this some new principal of the 'personal responsibility' crowd -people aren't actually responsible for their actions, was the evil society / government / TV? 

By what measure do we gauge someone's mental health? Who determines what is acceptable behavior and who is mentally unsuitable for firearm ownership? 

A commonality amongst these shooters is mental problems and - I haven't followed it closely - they all seemed to have had psychiatrists. If everyone put their brains together I imagine there's some way to connect these clinical diagnoses of insane people and barring the same folks from owning guns - all without infringing on everyone else’s rights. If your argument is that these shooters were completely sane, well that's another thing..

Most people would agree, I imagine, that lunatics shouldn't have access to high powered guns. So let's say: 1. Insane people shouldn't have guns. 2. ? 3. Insane people are unable to get guns. That, to me, is common sense. 

Pretending any attempt is the end of the world is just a tactic for selling website subscriptions. 

And Switzerland has high gun ownership protections, but also a fairly involved process for acquiring guns. Seems to work for everyone. 

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 03:00 | 4819363 xtop23
xtop23's picture

   quote; What, is this some new principal of the 'personal responsibility' crowd -people aren't actually responsible for their actions, was the evil society / government / TV? 

Personal responsibility and the belief that the actions of those around you "can" have bearing on how you yourself act are not mutually exclusive concepts.

   quote; A commonality amongst these shooters is mental problems and - I haven't followed it closely - they all seemed to have had psychiatrists. If everyone put their brains together I imagine there's some way to connect these clinical diagnoses of insane people and barring the same folks from owning guns - all without infringing on everyone else’s rights. If your argument is that these shooterswere completely sane, well that's another thing

And as a result, the unintended consequences could be reticence on the part of people to seek psychiatric help on the basis that they might be diagnosed as "mentally ill" and see their rights as American citizens stripped from them. With the result being that they go undiagnosed, receive no treatment whatsoever for the mental illnesses that they suffer from, and are quite capable of purchasing a firearm either through illegal means or through regular channels because of the difficulties associated with actual diagnosis of the mentally ill.

( many people whom you and I would perhaps consider completely off their rocker, can function perfectly well for brief periods of time. A considerably greater period of analysis would be required for true diagnosis of a dangerous mental instability. Almost certainly longer than any realistic piece of legislation could require ).

I would also mention that cherry-picking a panel of "experts", to issue recommendations that espouse a predetermined result, is really quite easy.

You also neglect to mention the most obvious similarity between most, if not all, of these tragic shooting events; SSRI's

Of course, with how powerful the big pharma lobby is, there isn't a chance in Hell of that getting any real focus.

   quote; Most people would agree, I imagine, that lunatics shouldn't have access to high powered guns. So let's say: 1. Insane people shouldn't have guns. 2. ? 3. Insane people are unable to get guns. That, to me, is common sense. 

Going from A to C is the problem. 

Your assertion that mental health screening is the method by which this might be accomplished, is rife with legitimate concerns over personal privacy, governmental over-reach, and potential abuse for unknown ends.......

 ........not to mention, the fact that the efficacy of such a program is pure conjecture.

   quote; Pretending any attempt is the end of the world is just a tactic for selling website subscriptions.

Confiscation / registries / progressive reduction in the ability of citizens to own and operate firearms by the introduction of legislation, are all methods by which governments subjugate a populace and reduce its ability to protect itself from tyranny.

There are countless examples in history of such things.

To assume that because it's 2014, and we've "evolved" beyond the need for evil men to exert control over their fellow man that such a thing could not occur, is the height of idiocy.

   quote; And Switzerland has high gun ownership protections, but also a fairly involved process for acquiring guns. Seems to work for everyone. 

Without being versed in the various applicable laws / programs that govern ownership and operation of a firearm by the swiss, I could not draw any conclusions for you ( either in the positive or negative ) as to whether such a thing applies to our current conversation, as it pertains to mental health screening.

 

The truth is this;

Treating the symptoms of a terminal disease, rather than its root cause, is a foolhardy exercise.

Sure, you feel less achy in the morning and you're still able to get a woody for the wife when she feels a tad frisky, but you still die.

We've devoted too much effort / energy / money / and time, to things that play great on T.V. during an election cycle, but yield precious little lasting results ( if any result at all ).

We need a completely different approach if we are to actually effect lasting change.






  

 

 

 

 

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 03:20 | 4819420 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Personal responsibility and recognition that the actions of those around you can have bearing on how you yourself act are not mutually exclusive concepts.

but it is not unreasonable to suggest that growing up in a time of preemptive war may feed a deranged person’s delusion that violence is a proper way to deal with personal frustrations.

OMG pre-emptive war!! Everyone go on killing sprees, all the .govs fault!! ....Anyone trying to connect the 'mental anguish' of violent US foreign policy and some nutcase shooting people in socal (yeah real hard living in santa barbara) need to give their heads a shake. Especially when there is zero connection here between this guys stated motives and anything involving the us government. 

And interesting that Ron Paul is all personal responsibility blah blah blah when it comes to health, poverty, job security etc. but curiously 'it's societys fault' when someone goes on a mass killing spree... 

could be reticence on the part of people to seek psychiatric help on the basis that they might be diagnosed as "mentally ill" and see their rights as American citizens stripped from them. 

Something which has always been the case, in the past much worse than now. 

Going from A to C is the problem. 

Yes obviously. 

Confiscation / registries / progressive reduction in the ability of citizens to own and operate firearms by the introduction of legislation, are all methods by which governments subjugate a populace and reduce its ability to protect itself from tyranny.

People can go on and on with their paranoid delusions about Obama hiding in the shadows about to snip their guns at any moment, but.. there is >>ZERO<< movement so far in that direction.

Treating the symptoms of a terminal disease, rather than its root cause, is a foolhardy exercise. 

That's a real stretch. The issue at hand is a number of mentally ill americans have gone on killing sprees armed with high powered weapons. It's a great political fight because it ties into 'big' issues everyone can yell about (guns are killing people! guns don't kill people, people do! shouldn't have guns! take my guns over my dead body!), but only recently have people started to whisper about the less sexy issue of mental illness.

And more nuanced arguments tend to be terribly unlucrative for people like Ron "give my web domain name for free or i'll sue you at the UN" Paul who needs cashflow for his namesake institute. 

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 06:40 | 4819547 nmewn
nmewn's picture

The points raised, are good ones regarding the mentally unstable.

From a pro-liberty perspective, we don't want the oddball widow woman who lives alone down at the end of the street disarmed because its her right to defend herself when some young punks break in on her...anymore than we want the "completely sane" retired judges or politicians who lives on the other side of town disarmed because its their right to defend themselves as well, no matter how many lives they've destroyed over their careers.

Its easy to sit back (with hindsight) and say "Ahah! there was the red flag, they should have been committed or jailed for the publics safety."

From a practical standpoint (lets just say that "society" takes their rights away once they're identified) they won't seek treatment for the voices in their heads because they know they will have their rights taken away and be left defenseless, at the mercy of whatever demons exist in their minds already.

Thats not good either.

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 06:52 | 4819555 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

"personal responsibility blah blah blah"....It is that attitude pretty much sums up what ails us.

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 10:25 | 4819945 g'kar
g&#039;kar's picture

"People can go on and on with their paranoid delusions about Obama hiding in the shadows about to snip their guns at any moment, but.. there is >>ZERO<< movement so far in that direction."

 

Obama and Holder are sure trimming around the edges.

 

http://blog.heritage.org/2014/05/20/obama-administration-deems-gun-retai...

 

You wouldn't be this James Cole?

DOJ Deputy Attorney General James Cole

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/06/governments-disrupt-botnet-ga...

 

 


Tue, 06/03/2014 - 06:34 | 4819540 epicurious
epicurious's picture

Hey let's have mental health screenings for anyone buying a Tee Vee set to make sure they will be sufficiently intelligent and stable to keep sane after 1000's of hours of watching retarded productions featuring all forms of agression and mayhem.  I can't stand even watching the trailers before the feature with the big kaboom noise every few moments.  The media is the message here folks.  Throw that fucking Tee Vee out and certainly don't let your kids watch that crap.  I'm not anti gun just for your info as I am licensed to carry concealed.

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 08:07 | 4819640 11b40
11b40's picture

The other common denominator is violent video games. Sick & sorry parents raising sick kids....often both mentally & physically.

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 11:36 | 4820190 11b40
11b40's picture

If the old saying about hit dogs being the ones who bark, looks like I hit a couple of them.

Violent video games are just sooo macho.

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 21:36 | 4818753 One World Mafia
One World Mafia's picture

Speaking of Xanax, Elliot Rodger's parents say he was taking it in the days before the murders.

http://radaronline.com/exclusives/2014/05/elliot-rodger-xanax-shooting-2/

In which case we have another psychotropic fueled rampage.

Back in the days before people popped pharmaceuticals for their mental problems, I never heard of a single school shooting.

 

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 21:42 | 4818777 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

check this timeline from 1927 onwards, the first isn't a shooter, but,

a farmer sets off 2 explosions at Bath, MI schoolhouse, killing himself, 6 adults, & 38 children.  (not gang related)

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 23:01 | 4818945 One World Mafia
One World Mafia's picture

The article comes up blank with comments.  Anyhow the rise in school shootings follows the popularity of psychoactive pharmaceuticals.  I can't see your article but I never heard of one school shooting occuring before the '90s.  Now they are all over the place with a common thread:

http://washingtonsblog.com/2012/12/are-the-new-generation-of-anti-depres...

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 00:03 | 4819157 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

sorry the first link didn't work in your browser?  I checked it and it works for me. . .

hate to use wiki - but here ya go. . .

List of School Shootings in the US

as you can see, school shootings have a long history.

 

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 05:37 | 4819498 Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture

Wait...I thought all the bad stuff only started happening after January 2009??

OMG! Bad things happened before that too. You've destroyed my world.

 

/sarcasm

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 18:57 | 4818368 ACP
ACP's picture

People could be even be labeled “mentally ill” because they are outspoken critics of the government.

People ARE being labeled mentally ill because they are critics of the government:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/ukip/10071044/Apology-over-chil...

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 19:01 | 4818381 knukles
knukles's picture

Yes, the most recent edition of the MMSLURPVII or whatever, that mental health hancdbook is, categorizes just about every single hunman emotion as a "mental illness"

 

I knew you knew how to spell Soviet Hospital

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 19:02 | 4818387 ACP
ACP's picture

You can also spell soviet hospital as "VA"......

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 18:49 | 4818338 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

That's actually a good point!

Cause we don't see them in the four states that have the most "liberal" gun laws of Alaska, Wyoming, Arizona and Vermont.

Well, that plus everybody there is stoned from some fine weed too!

But then too, everybody, and I do mean EVERYBODY having their favorite take along does make for a moar POlite society.

 

And hey, No offense to Texas .. But do get rid of the bullshit anti-gun laws soon too,.

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 18:58 | 4818369 TeamDepends
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Except the Giffords hoax shooting in AZ by the lefty wackjob that took out the judge they didn't like.

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 19:08 | 4818403 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

Yeah, and?? 

Not exactly a crazed wacko Aurora Colo or Santa Barbara shooting now is it??

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 19:18 | 4818438 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

And uh, um, well there's the uh..........  the OK Corral!

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 19:35 | 4818475 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

And let's not forget the "Saint Valentine's Day Massacre " on top of that either!

Seriously..  It was just the "Purple Gang" getting back at Capone.

Just business. No big deal.

 

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 23:31 | 4819043 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

RE:And hey, No offense to Texas .. But do get rid of the bullshit anti-gun laws soon too,.

Whoa, hey there pard' slow down. I mean they only shut down their eugenics program in the 70's

(IE as long as we're on the subject of:"Mental Health Screening A Good Way To Decrease Liberty, Poor Way To Increase Security")

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 18:59 | 4818374 Deathrips
Deathrips's picture

Ban Gun Free Zones!!!!!

 

For the KIDS!!!

 

RIPS

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 22:50 | 4818846 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

RE:"Mass shootings usually only happen only in gun free zones."


doubleplusgoodthink jlee belly

PS

While we're conjecturing Mr.Paul, and as much as I appreciate your incites on many subjects, I'm just wondering if you've ever tried to take out a grouse's head at thirty yards while the bird's in flight... with a hammer?

On the other hand, if you had a gun as well (and the bird understood English) she just might obey your command to stay put until you got her in range, I suppose.

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 18:41 | 4818320 xtop23
xtop23's picture

Unfortunately for the good doctor ( and us ), we are way beyond the point where common sense could have had an appreciable impact on the outcome.

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 18:44 | 4818325 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I propose we label the people who want to strip away a person's right to protect themselves from savages as mentally unstable and bar them from any position of power.

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 18:45 | 4818333 nmewn
nmewn's picture

I second the motion.

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 19:03 | 4818390 knukles
knukles's picture

You must be racists, trying to abdicate His powers of Good and World Happiness.

Hurry, breathe all the CO2 you can before it's outlawed.

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 21:02 | 4818685 Government need...
Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

Seriously, I would not be surprised to see a CO2 tax on every breathing family member, including dogs and cats.  It's for the safety of the atmosphere.

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 18:46 | 4818335 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Unfortunately, you'd have to get soemone mentally unstable to want to deal with that mess of trying to get the other unstable folks to pass it. 

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 18:44 | 4818327 Nimby
Nimby's picture

Mental screening to purchase a firearm, no.  But when you post some crazy fucking videos on YouTube talking about the crazy fucking shit to plan to crazy fucking do, then yes, it's time to sit little Elliot down with a mental health professional before dragging him in front of a judge.  Stick his ass in a loony bin for a couple weeks and if he acts looney, have him involuntarily committed.

If someone is so dangerous that they ought not be able to legally purchase a firearm, then why are they free at all? 

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 18:49 | 4818347 saints51
saints51's picture

Have you noticed the bankers and politicians free roaming?

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 19:05 | 4818393 knukles
knukles's picture

Bunches of the senior guys at Goldilocks got carry permits, in NYC of all places.
Crazy?
Fuck no, just sociopaths with character references

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 19:11 | 4818411 saints51
saints51's picture

LOL!!! Fuckers are so sick its actual a + on a resume.

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 18:54 | 4818358 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Well thats the problem Nimby, he was seeing shrinks/therapists/counselors, his parents were richer than six foot up a bulls ass. He had more than enough opportunities to straighten himself out than you or I ever did.

And we turned out fine...mostly ;-)

Some people are just bad seeds and he is one of them. He had an over inflated ego of himself (because of his upbringing) and a serious problem with his own ethnicity.

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 19:10 | 4818408 spinone
spinone's picture

Notice that the mass shooters are bat shit crazy children of the .01%.  Because no matter what laws are passed, they dont apply to the .01%

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 19:32 | 4818473 nmewn
nmewn's picture

I did. Of late that seems to be the case. There are other similarities but in the interests of keeping this cordial and on topic, I'll refrain ;-)

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 20:38 | 4818618 Postal
Postal's picture

And we turned out fine...mostly ;-)

Sure we did...

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 21:52 | 4818804 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Operative word...mostly ;-)

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 21:20 | 4818721 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

I was three feet up a bull's ass but my assets turned out to be nothing but shit

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 21:51 | 4818801 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Thats shinier than a diamond up a goats ass...lol.

(I got a million of em)

Here ya go, never kick a fresh cowpie on a hot day...now that right there is some good solid advice no matter who you are ;-) 

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 19:00 | 4818372 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

I agree! That little turd should have been flagged a long time ago and committed just to prevent mental cases like him from legally purchase a fire arm.

The horrible reality is that he still managed to brutally murder three in his apartment without a firearm.

The problem is we have a way too PC society today that doesn't want to use terms like "mental case" to prevent such gun purchases.

So the anti-gun libtards are as much to blame for this shit as anything else!

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