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C. David Henderson
01-11-2011, 09:23 PM
A beautiful place; a horrible tragedy. No politics; grief. The shooter's family is shattered along with those of the victims. Horror. And heroism; like the elderly man who saved his wife's life by shielding her with his body; or the intern who saved the congresswoman's life by using his hand as a compress over her head wound; or the folks who wrestled the shooter to the ground. And the appearance of evil, overlain upon suffering, in the face of a killer's booking photo.

lbb
01-12-2011, 07:42 AM
David, I agree with most of what you say. But no politics? That's naive. People like to call events like this "senseless" because it absolves them of trying to understand, much less act, or out of a mistaken belief that understanding the reasons and causes of an evil act equals agreeing with it. In reality, acts like this are not "senseless": they have causes, and politics was one of the causes in Tucson. Politics most certainly played a part in this tragedy: in the painting of a target, in the use of violence-laden language in political diatribes, in the creation of public policies that created easy access to firearms, failed to prevent access for the mentally unstable despite past tragedies that clearly indicated the need, and cut treatment and programs for the mentally ill. And more. "No politics"...no, no.

Mike Sigman
01-12-2011, 08:35 AM
politics was one of the causes in Tucson. Well, they've now interviewed schoolmates and neighbors of the shooter and he appears to have mainly been a pot-smoking, anti-war lefty radical. Documents found in his house and statements by acquaintances indicate that he had some sort of fixation about Giffords, who was a Democrat. The shooter also had a history of mental problems and a history of run-ins with the law (although for some reason they can't find a record of arrests and the mother is an employee of the Pima County board of commissioners).

There sounds like some inter-weaving of politics, but not much. Sounds like the guy had a screw loose. Lefty, pot-smoking radicals don't usually shoot Dems for political reasons. Nowadays, the problems more often bring into questions why we allow so many people with mental disorders to range free within society.

2 cents.

Mike

C. David Henderson
01-12-2011, 08:41 AM
Hi Mary,

Thanks for your response.

When I wrote "no politics," I was talking about my own response, primarily, and a desire -- political if you will -- to find what we have in common, not what separates us.

Oh, BTW, there is this from a well-known psychiatrist to suggest the contrary hypothesis to the one you've offered.

http://www.salon.com/news/jared_loughner/index.html?story=/mwt/feature/2011/01/11/jared_loughner_paranoid_schizophrenia_and_why

From the times I've been involved in cases involving paranoid schizophrenia, I was inclined to agree with the view presented there.

The best way to have prevented this tragedy or another, IMO is make treatment available for the Jared's of the world. (And maybe to renew the assault-weapon ban?)

A measure of how effective modern drugs are at controlling the symptoms of this disease is how relatively simple it is to treat someone like Jared to competency after they commit a crime so they can stand trial. Perverse, but true.

As for violent rhetoric, I think without saying there is a causal link we can reject violent language because, as human beings, we reject it as wrong, just as we might reject a celebration of senseless violence in a film, music, or video game -- without hypothesizing a connection between them and a specific violent crime.

Which brings me, personally, back to my response to the human tragedy....

Take care

C. David Henderson
01-12-2011, 08:46 AM
Mike,

Oddly enough, there are signs that this guy stopped smoking pot in '09, and then got worse.

Not a typical pattern for the onset of his disease.

Mike Sigman
01-12-2011, 08:56 AM
Mike,

Oddly enough, there are signs that this guy stopped smoking pot in '09, and then got worse.

Not a typical pattern for the onset of his disease.

I just looked it up... apparently the shooter had his encounter with Giffords in 2007 that he seemed to fixate upon. He even kept a momento from the day. I.e., the indications are that whatever set him off had an inception that pre-dates any current political discussions.

FWIW

Mike

lbb
01-12-2011, 09:07 AM
The best way to have prevented this tragedy or another, IMO is make treatment available for the Jared's of the world. (And maybe to renew the assault-weapon ban?)

Both of which I said, and both of which didn't happen due to politics.

As for violent rhetoric, I think without saying there is a causal link we can reject violent language because, as human beings, we reject it as wrong, just as we might reject a celebration of senseless violence in a film, music, or video game -- without hypothesizing a connection between them and a specific violent crime.

I wish I had a copy of Karma Cola with me. If I did, there's a passage I'd love to quote you about the insanity of believing that indulging in anger can ever result in anything but more anger, and actions based in anger.

C. David Henderson
01-12-2011, 10:41 AM
Hi Mary,

Yep, you did say both of those things, and I only focused on the idea that separated us -- so much for my ambitions to find common ground, I guess.

I'd agree that one of the reasons violent rhetoric is "wrong" is that it perpetuates violence, most often in ways that are difficult to trace or to see. There is simply so much violence in the world. To the extent political speech played a role in either shaping or targeting this act of violence is difficult to say.

I'd also say, however, that on one level violence is an overdetermined response, given the world we live in, for anyone who is susceptible to being influenced to commit a specific act of violence because, for example, the "targeting" of Congresswoman Gifford's district, the talk of "Second Amendment Remedies," or "Don't Retreat; reload," in connection with the last election.

At the same time, political reasons may tend in many -- but not all --cases to amplify the victim count when killers clothe themselves in the mantle of an assassin.

Here, on a human level, I can't say the Tucson shooting was worse than the shooting a few years ago at, say, the W. Va. university, which cost more lives.

On a political level, I can't even say the Tucson shooting was worse because it involved highly placed public figures as well as other innocent victims -- the chapter of our response to this tragedy as a nation has yet to be written fully, and since nothing really came of, for example, the W. Va. episode, any positive outcome here would arguably be an improvement.

There are also, I believe, better examples of causation to be found since the '08 elections -- where deranged people acted violently and then explained their reasons in terms of the language and ideas they'd absorbed on cable news.

But I think the case against violent political rhetoric in our society may become politically stronger now because all members of Congress are thinking about that person they had an encounter with that scared them, and seeing they have some interests in common.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
01-12-2011, 12:03 PM
Most of my work involves conducting forensic, psychological evaluations. I have a large base of experience upon which I reflect upon the tragedy of last weekend. My thoughts are as follows:

1) This young man, most likely is in the early stages of paranoid schizophrenia. This is a terrifying descent into severe mental illness. I am frankly astounded that his family did not act in a more assertive manner in having him assessed and treated my mental health professionals. I have worked with numerous families at the early stages in assessing and creating treatment plans for young people who were developing severe mental illnesses. It is not uncommon for the families to initially play Ostrich and not want to acknowledge and act upon what they see. The longer they wait, the worse off things tend to be. As shocked and upset as his parents might be, his parents have a degree of responsibility for not actively seeing to it that their son was evaluated by mental health professional.

2) The violent rhetoric involved in politics today is not directly responsible for what happened, but it is tangentially responsible. There is a saying that there is no such thing as a dumb paranoid. Paranoia involves a relatively high level of intellect. It takes quite a bit of intellectual capacity to find small bits of information and weave them into some themes that remains relatively stable and coherent to the person formulating the themes. This young man, obsessed with the primary victim was obviously exposed to some violent rhetoric that was directed towards the congresswoman during her last campaign. As is typical of a paranoid process, some of this information was most likely taken grossly out of proportion and forced to fit within the mental themes that he created about her. There is too much inflammatory, violent rhetoric for a mentally intact person to hear and not have some emotional response. The impact upon people with severe disturbances in thinking and affect is likely to be idiosyncratic and most likely not helpful to their fragile states.

3) I am glad that the Sheriff of Pima County mentioned the issue of gun control. Handguns are primarily designed to shoot other people. That standard clip for a Glock 9 mil. hold 15 bullets. The assailant was using clips that held 30 bullets. I am not asking people to deny a person a reasonable right to carry a reasonable firearm. What is wrong with directly linking "Freedom" to "Responsibility?" What exactly is a civilian use for a 30 round clip? We have gun control laws that have been intentionally created to be ineffective and essentially useless. We have people who have no problem advocating for rights without any apparent responsibility. What will it take for reasoned minds to come up with sensible laws that balance both responsibility and freedom?

The tragedy that we face can present us with opportunities to gain greater awareness about mental illness, so that we can dispel negative stigmas and continue to force insurance companies and state agencies to provide appropriate services and reimbursements for the services. We, as a nation, can stop pretending that all speech is "free." Words have cognitive and emotional meanings to them. Our political discourse has been divisive and filled with violent rhetoric at a time when our nation demands of our politicians a united effort to help our country out of the many problems that we are currently stuck in. Agreeing to disagree should be the new standard. It would be nice if we as a nation, would move away from the notion of gun control and move toward some discussion or reasonable firearm manufacturing, ownership, and usage.

I sadly believe that the bipartisanship that this tragedy has created will soon fall apart because of the disproportionately loud voices on the left and right that are already starting to unleash the overly distorted and emotional rhetoric that has poisoned our country to a sickening degree already. I hope that our politicians prove me wrong.

Marc Abrams

C. David Henderson
01-12-2011, 12:19 PM
Hi Marc. Thank you for your thoughts.

Eric Joyce
01-12-2011, 01:09 PM
Most of my work involves conducting forensic, psychological evaluations. I have a large base of experience upon which I reflect upon the tragedy of last weekend. My thoughts are as follows:

1) This young man, most likely is in the early stages of paranoid schizophrenia. This is a terrifying descent into severe mental illness. I am frankly astounded that his family did not act in a more assertive manner in having him assessed and treated my mental health professionals. I have worked with numerous families at the early stages in assessing and creating treatment plans for young people who were developing severe mental illnesses. It is not uncommon for the families to initially play Ostrich and not want to acknowledge and act upon what they see. The longer they wait, the worse off things tend to be. As shocked and upset as his parents might be, his parents have a degree of responsibility for not actively seeing to it that their son was evaluated by mental health professional.

2) The violent rhetoric involved in politics today is not directly responsible for what happened, but it is tangentially responsible. There is a saying that there is no such thing as a dumb paranoid. Paranoia involves a relatively high level of intellect. It takes quite a bit of intellectual capacity to find small bits of information and weave them into some themes that remains relatively stable and coherent to the person formulating the themes. This young man, obsessed with the primary victim was obviously exposed to some violent rhetoric that was directed towards the congresswoman during her last campaign. As is typical of a paranoid process, some of this information was most likely taken grossly out of proportion and forced to fit within the mental themes that he created about her. There is too much inflammatory, violent rhetoric for a mentally intact person to hear and not have some emotional response. The impact upon people with severe disturbances in thinking and affect is likely to be idiosyncratic and most likely not helpful to their fragile states.

3) I am glad that the Sheriff of Pima County mentioned the issue of gun control. Handguns are primarily designed to shoot other people. That standard clip for a Glock 9 mil. hold 15 bullets. The assailant was using clips that held 30 bullets. I am not asking people to deny a person a reasonable right to carry a reasonable firearm. What is wrong with directly linking "Freedom" to "Responsibility?" What exactly is a civilian use for a 30 round clip? We have gun control laws that have been intentionally created to be ineffective and essentially useless. We have people who have no problem advocating for rights without any apparent responsibility. What will it take for reasoned minds to come up with sensible laws that balance both responsibility and freedom?

The tragedy that we face can present us with opportunities to gain greater awareness about mental illness, so that we can dispel negative stigmas and continue to force insurance companies and state agencies to provide appropriate services and reimbursements for the services. We, as a nation, can stop pretending that all speech is "free." Words have cognitive and emotional meanings to them. Our political discourse has been divisive and filled with violent rhetoric at a time when our nation demands of our politicians a united effort to help our country out of the many problems that we are currently stuck in. Agreeing to disagree should be the new standard. It would be nice if we as a nation, would move away from the notion of gun control and move toward some discussion or reasonable firearm manufacturing, ownership, and usage.

I sadly believe that the bipartisanship that this tragedy has created will soon fall apart because of the disproportionately loud voices on the left and right that are already starting to unleash the overly distorted and emotional rhetoric that has poisoned our country to a sickening degree already. I hope that our politicians prove me wrong.

Marc Abrams

Thank you for sharing Mark. On the news last night, Charles Krauthammer (who was also Chief Resident in Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital before going into journalism) pretty much stated the same thing that this guy, based off Dr. Krauthhammer's previous training, was probably suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

Also, I also heard that the school he attended tried several times with local police to have something done about him and his erratic behavior. Apparently he was scaring the students. However, the police couldn't do anything until he actually did something...which unfortunately happened this past Saturday. A lot of questions are on my mind: Was he taken to a doctor, did he have a mental illness, was he being treated/not treated for it, did his parents try to have him committed, etc.

I'm sure as time goes on, we will learn more and more. I will continue to pray for all of those affected by this.

MM
01-12-2011, 01:18 PM
3) I am glad that the Sheriff of Pima County mentioned the issue of gun control. Handguns are primarily designed to shoot other people. That standard clip for a Glock 9 mil. hold 15 bullets. The assailant was using clips that held 30 bullets. I am not asking people to deny a person a reasonable right to carry a reasonable firearm. What is wrong with directly linking "Freedom" to "Responsibility?" What exactly is a civilian use for a 30 round clip? We have gun control laws that have been intentionally created to be ineffective and essentially useless. We have people who have no problem advocating for rights without any apparent responsibility. What will it take for reasoned minds to come up with sensible laws that balance both responsibility and freedom?

Marc Abrams

I am not glad that these things are dragged into this.

When "reasoned minds" take note of the meaning of freedom, we will enforce sensible laws rather than act emotionally to enact useless ones.

Would you remove/ban all versions of the bible except for a scant few because a raving lunatic used those other versions to commit mass murder? Or perhaps the Catholic bible should have been banned after the crusades because "God wills it"? How many have been murdered all in the name of God? Do we then enact laws to ban those religions? After all, what need do we have of thousands of religions when a few reasonable religions will do.

Should we remove SUVs from the public because they are more solidly built and do more damage in accidents and drunks could kill more people because of that?

What reasonable right do people need with all those other versions of the bible, of religions, or SUVs? They would do perfectly well with a few approved versions.

Would it really matter if that were so? Do you think fanatics, psychotics, sociopaths, criminals, etc would care? Or would, yet again, law abiding citizens suffer?

Freedom is directly linked to Responsibility. However, "reasoned minds" will never understand that link because they keep attributing a ban on law abiding citizens as the means to end crime or murder. It doesn't work that way. The laws are already in place but yet mentally disturbed people and criminals by their very definition will never abide by laws. The most law abiding group in the United States is concealed carry holders. More lawful than LEOs and politicians. Freedom is Responsibility to those who understand Freedom.

Regarding the tragic events, my sincerest thoughts go out to all those involved. May you find comfort where there is none and light where there is darkness.

That's all I've got to say on the matter,
Mark

Marc Abrams
01-12-2011, 01:31 PM
I am not glad that these things are dragged into this.

When "reasoned minds" take note of the meaning of freedom, we will enforce sensible laws rather than act emotionally to enact useless ones.

Would you remove/ban all versions of the bible except for a scant few because a raving lunatic used those other versions to commit mass murder? Or perhaps the Catholic bible should have been banned after the crusades because "God wills it"? How many have been murdered all in the name of God? Do we then enact laws to ban those religions? After all, what need do we have of thousands of religions when a few reasonable religions will do.

Should we remove SUVs from the public because they are more solidly built and do more damage in accidents and drunks could kill more people because of that?

What reasonable right do people need with all those other versions of the bible, of religions, or SUVs? They would do perfectly well with a few approved versions.

Would it really matter if that were so? Do you think fanatics, psychotics, sociopaths, criminals, etc would care? Or would, yet again, law abiding citizens suffer?

Freedom is directly linked to Responsibility. However, "reasoned minds" will never understand that link because they keep attributing a ban on law abiding citizens as the means to end crime or murder. It doesn't work that way. The laws are already in place but yet mentally disturbed people and criminals by their very definition will never abide by laws. The most law abiding group in the United States is concealed carry holders. More lawful than LEOs and politicians. Freedom is Responsibility to those who understand Freedom.

Regarding the tragic events, my sincerest thoughts go out to all those involved. May you find comfort where there is none and light where there is darkness.

That's all I've got to say on the matter,
Mark

Mark:

You do not get off that easily in my book.

What is a bible for?

What is an SUV for?

What is a handgun for?

What is a civilian use for a 30 round clip?

You can take things out of context and distort them as much as you would like. My point had nothing to do about the lawfulness of concealed firearm license holders. My issue is with how our country approaches the issue of access to and use of firearms. Rhetoric and abysmal laws combine to create a growing danger in this country. Reasoned minds can come up with logical and fair solutions to real-life problems. You simply spouted more of the same NRA rhetoric that helps to foster the problems that we do have. By the way, I happen to own firearms.

Marc Abrams

Mike Sigman
01-12-2011, 01:49 PM
What is an SUV for? We use them for traction and load-carrying out here. Some few numbers of people use them as getaway cars from bank-heists, to show off how manly they are, and so on, but there's always going to be a few of those. And there will always be people who 'hate SUV's' because their self-identified fellow-believers tribe have that trend as a tribal banner. ;)
What is a handgun for? To shoot things. For self-defense when your Aikido doesn't work. Most people have handguns for self-defense, plinking cans, and so on. Like every other article in life (including Aikido), a handgun can be misused. As the number of nuts-on-the-loose goes up, a good argument could normally be made that handguns should be restricted because certain elements of society will misuse handguns. As Bill Clinton delicately put it: the demographics of the country have changed since the early days when everyone had guns.
What is a civilian use for a 30 round clip? You don't have to reload as often. Whether for legitimate or illegitimate usage, an extended clip is so that you don't have to spend so much dang time trying to cram bullets against the magazine spring.

You can take things out of context and distort them as much as you would like. Exactly. ;)

It's odd how all these worries about "rhetoric" have only recently become a big deal. Didn't hear a word about it back during the last administration when no one said a word about a movie depicting the assassination of George W. Bush was released, very harsh comparisons, etc., were made by top members of Congress, etc. Depends on whose Al is being Gored, I guess. So let's toss out the "rhetoric" as being questionable and focus a bit more on the guy being a loon. "Rhetoric" is possible, of course, but so is "typical angry left-wing radical pot-head", but no one is making a rush to issue that kind of blame, not that I've heard. Oh... just re-read this. If "loon" is a Politically Incorrect term, my apologies; I meant "whack-job". ;)

Mike

C. David Henderson
01-12-2011, 02:15 PM
I dunno Mike,

The principles at stake have to apply to everyone, sure, and people often find it easy to dismiss threats when they don't identify with the targets of those threats. I know conservative politicians receive death threats too.

I hope none of them come to pass either.

Anyway, there is this from today:

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/433303_congress12.html

Overreaction from law enforcement? Maybe.

Dunno.

Marc Abrams
01-12-2011, 02:25 PM
We use them for traction and load-carrying out here. Some few numbers of people use them as getaway cars from bank-heists, to show off how manly they are, and so on, but there's always going to be a few of those. And there will always be people who 'hate SUV's' because their self-identified fellow-believers tribe have that trend as a tribal banner. ;) To shoot things. For self-defense when your Aikido doesn't work. Most people have handguns for self-defense, plinking cans, and so on. Like every other article in life (including Aikido), a handgun can be misused. As the number of nuts-on-the-loose goes up, a good argument could normally be made that handguns should be restricted because certain elements of society will misuse handguns. As Bill Clinton delicately put it: the demographics of the country have changed since the early days when everyone had guns. You don't have to reload as often. Whether for legitimate or illegitimate usage, an extended clip is so that you don't have to spend so much dang time trying to cram bullets against the magazine spring. Exactly. ;)

It's odd how all these worries about "rhetoric" have only recently become a big deal. Didn't hear a word about it back during the last administration when no one said a word about a movie depicting the assassination of George W. Bush was released, very harsh comparisons, etc., were made by top members of Congress, etc. Depends on whose Al is being Gored, I guess. So let's toss out the "rhetoric" as being questionable and focus a bit more on the guy being a loon. "Rhetoric" is possible, of course, but so is "typical angry left-wing radical pot-head", but no one is making a rush to issue that kind of blame, not that I've heard. Oh... just re-read this. If "loon" is a Politically Incorrect term, my apologies; I meant "whack-job". ;)

Mike

Mike:

The right has always made an issue about of anything coming from the left and the left is now learning to make an issue out of anything coming from the right. And so it goes.....

Easy to write-off serious mental illness as a whack-job, loon, etc.. Isn't it the right who is so interested in saving money by cutting back even more than has already been slashed from community mental health resources? I guess it helps to balance giving more money back to the wealthy.

Simple Summary: Young man developing a severe mental illness, not taken for assessment or treatment, legally purchases firearm, ammunition, extra-large ammo clips, uses weapon to kill and injure a whole bunch of innocent people. Event happens in a political climate filled with animosity and violent rhetoric.

So what do you propose Mike?

Happy New Years?

Marc Abrams

Mike Sigman
01-12-2011, 02:35 PM
I guess it helps to balance giving more money back to the wealthy. So you think in terms of "giving back money" to the people who made it as doing them a favor? I.e., it's not really their money? Interesting perspective.
Simple Summary: Young man developing a severe mental illness, not taken for assessment or treatment, legally purchases firearm, ammunition, extra-large ammo clips, uses weapon to kill and injure a whole bunch of innocent people. Event happens in a political climate filled with animosity and violent rhetoric.

So what do you propose Mike?

Happy New Years?

Marc AbramsIIRC, it was during the enlightened Kennedy administration that it became fashionable to not sequester people with borderline mental stability. It's difficult to 'put people away' nowadays, Marc, budgets or not. Since the story is still developing, I'll wait and hear a few more facts before I get to wound up over this one. ;)

Mike

Marc Abrams
01-12-2011, 03:32 PM
So you think in terms of "giving back money" to the people who made it as doing them a favor? I.e., it's not really their money? Interesting perspective. IIRC, it was during the enlightened Kennedy administration that it became fashionable to not sequester people with borderline mental stability. It's difficult to 'put people away' nowadays, Marc, budgets or not. Since the story is still developing, I'll wait and hear a few more facts before I get to wound up over this one. ;)

Mike

Mike:

I would prefer fair taxation across the board- businesses and individuals alike- Flat or VAT systems seem to be fairer to me.

It had nothing to do with the Kennedy administration, but everything to do with the advent of anti-psychotic medications. The next major change was after the Willowbrook "discovery" about how the mentally ill were treated in facilities. After we medicated them and let them out the doors, they have become forgotten people. They are harmless for the most part. Every once and awhile, one of them makes news in a big way (like now). Unfortunately, nobody wants to pay for the assessment and treatment of the mentally ill. It is easy to cut back on paying for the disenfranchised. They have no political clout.

Marc Abrams

ps- you neglected to mention that handguns were designed as tools to primarily kill people and animals.

Mike Sigman
01-12-2011, 03:52 PM
Mike:

I would prefer fair taxation across the board- businesses and individuals alike- Flat or VAT systems seem to be fairer to me. Me, too. In the meantime we have 47% of the country who don't pay income taxes, which is the standard scenario throughout history in which Democracies fail... once some groups understand they can vote themselves other peoples' money, democracies spiral downward. California would be a good laboratory example of what happens when too few pay too many taxes and too many feel entitled to the productivity of "The Rich" (tm). ;)

It had nothing to do with the Kennedy administration
During the Kennedy Administration beginning in 1961, the Community Mental Health Act was passed, partly due to the President's personal beliefs and experiences with loved ones challenged by mental illness. The belief that "out of sight - out of mind" was the best approach gradually changed to the belief that like physical illness, mental illness can be effectively treated, often on an outpatient basis.
ps- you neglected to mention that handguns were designed as tools to primarily kill people and animals. Both offensively and defensively. Unfortunately, there are times when having a deterrent like a gun is necessary, humans being what they are.

FWIW

Mike

C. David Henderson
01-12-2011, 04:43 PM
The de-institutionalization of the mentally ill originally was intended to be offset by an expansion of community-based mental health services, because of the documented problems with warehousing patients in large mental hospitals. The problem came when it was time to fund the alternative, which never really happened.

This failure is bipartisan. It came to notoriety, however, during the Reagan administration.

Still, it remains to be seen what we should do, based on Marc's summary.

Mike Sigman
01-12-2011, 04:47 PM
The de-institutionalization of the mentally ill originally was intended to be offset by an expansion of community-based mental health services, Thank you for agreeing that it started during the Kennedy administration, this move not to put emotionally troubled people away. ;)

Mike

C. David Henderson
01-12-2011, 04:54 PM
Yes, I do agree. I looked it up when you first commented. Do you disagree with the remainder of what I said? I think it's also an accurate statement.

Also, are you advocating putting people back in centralized institutions and paying for it?

Doing nothing?

Doing something else?

Those are sincere questions, btw.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
01-12-2011, 05:02 PM
Yes, I do agree. I looked it up when you first commented. Do you disagree with the remainder of what I said? I think it's also an accurate statement.

Also, are you advocating putting people back in centralized institutions and paying for it?

Doing nothing?

Doing something else?

Those are sincere questions, btw.

Regards,I'm not advocating anything, David. If anything I'm commenting along the general lines of "how did this happen" (whether it was "rhetoric" or mental instability or what). If the plausible main fault is mental instability, a further question is about how we got to the situation where so many borderline mentally aberrant people are free in society. My comment is that this seemingly positive move started during the Kennedy administration. Often there are unexpected consequences from seemingly beneficial and caring choices. California going down the tubes would be a good example of that, as would the decline of so many major metropolitan areas (been to Detroit lately?). Regardless of the tangents, I think we're still basically discussing the tragedy in Tucson and what really happened there.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Marc Abrams
01-12-2011, 06:02 PM
I'm not advocating anything, David. If anything I'm commenting along the general lines of "how did this happen" (whether it was "rhetoric" or mental instability or what). If the plausible main fault is mental instability, a further question is about how we got to the situation where so many borderline mentally aberrant people are free in society. My comment is that this seemingly positive move started during the Kennedy administration. Often there are unexpected consequences from seemingly beneficial and caring choices. California going down the tubes would be a good example of that, as would the decline of so many major metropolitan areas (been to Detroit lately?). Regardless of the tangents, I think we're still basically discussing the tragedy in Tucson and what really happened there.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Mike:

You are absolutely correct in that the unintended effects of anti-psychotic medications is that we created a situation where people ON the medication are no longer actively psychotic. That, in and of itself, does not lead to being able to effectively function in our society. David was correct in noting that the intent was to create a network of support systems in our communities to help them function as highly as possible. The reality is that even when there are adequate community supports, some mentally ill people prefer not to be on medications (which have significant, negative side effects) and live on the streets. The larger reality is that our country has made choices to not put the money in place needed to maintain adequate community supports.

The tragedy in Tuscon has shined a light into an area that few people really want to have to look at for long. It is too easy to walk past the "wacko's" on the side of our streets. It is still too difficult for many people to acknowledge that they or their loved-ones have serious, mental disorders. Political rhetoric will return, our country is not ready to talk sensibly about firearms. In other words, SNAFU

Marc Abrams

Mike Sigman
01-12-2011, 06:21 PM
Mike:

You are absolutely correct in that the unintended effects of anti-psychotic medications is that we created a situation where people ON the medication are no longer actively psychotic. I never said a word about anti-psychotic medication. I simply said indicated that Loughner being on the street was due in some part to a trend that started in the Kennedy administration. So many intellectually handicapped/unstable homeless people in large cities are also partly due to the trend. I.e., there's pro's and there's con's.

I think the sudden worries about "rhetoric" (i.e., "fingerpointing as a way to take advantage of an unfortunate situation") were fairly shallow and a poll released today indicates an large majority of people think the same way, so we're back to a bad situation.

Political rhetoric will return, our country is not ready to talk sensibly about firearms. In other words, SNAFU
If by "talking sensibly" you're referring to people who agree with your opinion, you may be right that the country is not ready. ;)

Mike "If I Agreed With You, We'd Both Be Wrong" Sigman

Marc Abrams
01-12-2011, 06:47 PM
I never said a word about anti-psychotic medication. I simply said indicated that Loughner being on the street was due in some part to a trend that started in the Kennedy administration. So many intellectually handicapped/unstable homeless people in large cities are also partly due to the trend. I.e., there's pro's and there's con's.

I think the sudden worries about "rhetoric" (i.e., "fingerpointing as a way to take advantage of an unfortunate situation") were fairly shallow and a poll released today indicates an large majority of people think the same way, so we're back to a bad situation.
If by "talking sensibly" you're referring to people who agree with your opinion, you may be right that the country is not ready. ;)

Mike "If I Agreed With You, We'd Both Be Wrong" Sigman

Mike:

Pray-tell, why did that trend start during the Kennedy administration. If you can come up with some cogent explanation beyond the availability of anti-psychotic medication by all means do so. The trend was in regards to letting institutionalized people out of facilities. How is that related to this gentleman?

The worries over the political rhetoric started way before this incident. This incident just highlights the obvious. As a matter of fact, the injured congresswoman expressed her concerns about violent rhetoric during her campaign. Taking advantage of the situation is wrong. It is a lesser wrong to disavowing any responsibility for negative consequences for what people in positions of influence say.

You are 100% wrong about your statement equating talking sensibly with agreeing with my position. You do not even know my position regarding firearms, so how is it that you can assume that either you or I could be wrong?

Marc Abrams

Mike Sigman
01-12-2011, 07:05 PM
Mike:

Pray-tell, why did that trend start during the Kennedy administration. If you can come up with some cogent explanation beyond the availability of anti-psychotic medication by all means do so. Same quote from previously, Marc. It was something that the Kennedy family thought was "the right thing to do":

During the Kennedy Administration beginning in 1961, the Community Mental Health Act was passed, partly due to the President's personal beliefs and experiences with loved ones challenged by mental illness. The belief that "out of sight - out of mind" was the best approach gradually changed to the belief that like physical illness, mental illness can be effectively treated, often on an outpatient basis. Kennedy had a sister, IIRC, with a mental disability. It was a pet cause for Kennedy.
How is that related to this gentleman? As many encounters as Loughner had in which mental-stability was an issue, he'd perhaps have been committed in previous times.
The worries over the political rhetoric started way before this incident. This incident just highlights the obvious. As a matter of fact, the injured congresswoman expressed her concerns about violent rhetoric during her campaign. Taking advantage of the situation is wrong. It is a lesser wrong to disavowing any responsibility for negative consequences for what people in positions of influence say. This incident only highlights the "rhetoric" from some in the MSM attempting to capitalize on a story and getting it wrong. There is nothing persuasive (unless one is persuaded by one's own opinion) in the facts that rhetoric had anything to do with it. I don't know if you caught an interview with one of his friends today (I saw a post of the interview), but here's the comment:

He did not watch TV. He disliked the news. He didnít listen to political radio. He didnít take sides. He wasnít on the left. He wasnít on the right.

Assuming the comment is accurate, it throws the current political discourse out of the discussion.

You are 100% wrong about your statement equating talking sensibly with agreeing with my position. You do not even know my position regarding firearms, so how is it that you can assume that either you or I could be wrong?
That was tongue-in-cheek, Marc. However, read your own sentence. There is plenty of dialogue about gun ownership; you chose to indicate that it is not sensible dialogue yet. In some ways I agree with you, but I'm also honest enough to note that my view of correct gun-ownership laws would be that I own guns and no one else does. :D

FWIW

Mike

Mike Sigman
01-13-2011, 10:20 AM
Kennedy had a sister, IIRC, with a mental disability. It was a pet cause for Kennedy. Hmmm... I knew that bringing the mentally disabled out of the dark was a pet cause for the Kennedy's, but I'd forgotten (or never knew) the details about the sister.

http://news.scotsman.com/johnfkennedy/JFKs-sister-dies-after-60.2593460.jp

M.

C. David Henderson
01-13-2011, 11:44 AM
I'm not advocating anything, David. If anything I'm commenting along the general lines of "how did this happen" (whether it was "rhetoric" or mental instability or what). If the plausible main fault is mental instability, a further question is about how we got to the situation where so many borderline mentally aberrant people are free in society. My comment is that this seemingly positive move started during the Kennedy administration. Often there are unexpected consequences from seemingly beneficial and caring choices. California going down the tubes would be a good example of that, as would the decline of so many major metropolitan areas (been to Detroit lately?). Regardless of the tangents, I think we're still basically discussing the tragedy in Tucson and what really happened there.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Hi Mike,

Fair enough, thanks for responding.

To me, though, this was not so much a case of unintended consequences as one of an unfullfilled commitment.

I agree with Marc that "The tragedy in Tuscon has shined a light into an area that few people really want to have to look at for long. It is too easy to walk past the 'wacko's' on the side of our streets. It is still too difficult for many people to acknowledge that they or their loved-ones have serious, mental disorders."

BTW, in terms of causes, it appears you, Obama, Palin, and I have significant areas of agreement. End of days, you think?

Mike Sigman
01-13-2011, 12:45 PM
I agree with Marc that "The tragedy in Tuscon has shined a light into an area that few people really want to have to look at for long. It is too easy to walk past the 'wacko's' on the side of our streets. It is still too difficult for many people to acknowledge that they or their loved-ones have serious, mental disorders." Real life is seamier than most people want to confront, I think. You can't dream it away, but many people will listen to all sorts of promises geared at promising to hide real life. Both sides. Sounds good letting people with mental problems run free; sometimes there are unexpectedly bad consequences, though.
BTW, in terms of causes, it appears you, Obama, Palin, and I have significant areas of agreement. End of days, you think?

Sounds intriguingly improbable to me, David. Palin I never listen to (although I'm fascinated by the Left's fixation on her), so I have no idea if we agree on anything. Obama's only cause I've been able to discern is Obama. And you're a lawyer. If I'm agreeing with that crew, it is indeed the End of Days. :D OK, I'll bite... where do Barry, Sarah, David, and Mike agree? Sounds like a riddle.

M.

C. David Henderson
01-13-2011, 12:57 PM
That Sarah didn't make Jared do it.

mathewjgano
01-13-2011, 01:08 PM
If the plausible main fault is mental instability, a further question is about how we got to the situation where so many borderline mentally aberrant people are free in society
Well on one hand we have data (as I recall being told by Psychiatrists and Psychologists) which suggests integration with mainstream populations have a normalizing effect on many who fall outside of normal ranges. We also have (per the same people) a system that is overburdened. So since the default (generally) isn't to lock up people with mental issues until they've committed a serious crime, they rarely get the treatment they need, and those who are in the system often fall through the cracks anyway.
Personally i believe a huge portion of "corrections" funds (and other efforts) should be diverted toward the systems for treating mental health issues. Jail/prison seems largely to be a kind of college for criminals and do very little to address the mental issues many of them have.

C. David Henderson
01-13-2011, 01:49 PM
Support for Mary's general view about the influence of rhetoric from the psychiatrist who wrote "Listening to Prozac," also published on Salon (which also published the earlier interview I referenced and linked.)

http://www.salon.com/news/jared_loughner/index.html?story=/mwt/feature/2011/01/13/loughner_working_with_paranoids

FWIW

Mike Sigman
01-13-2011, 02:09 PM
Support for Mary's general view about the influence of rhetoric from the psychiatrist who wrote "Listening to Prozac," also published on Salon (which also published the earlier interview I referenced and linked.)

http://www.salon.com/news/jared_loughner/index.html?story=/mwt/feature/2011/01/13/loughner_working_with_paranoids

FWIW

Given the quote just yesterday from one of Loughner's friends that Loughner apparently didn't watch the news and politics, I suspect the article at Salon is probably not too relevant. Even Obama apparently read the polls that the selling of "rhetoric" is a non-starter nationally. Only the dedicated Far Left believe it.

Weird how I seem to have missed out on the Prozac generation. I've never used it and none of my friends (that I know of) did, so all the discussions about Prozac over the years never made an impression on me. I guess it was a big deal for some people, but it passed me by.

Mike

C. David Henderson
01-13-2011, 02:20 PM
Yeah, I don't think this guy is trying to make a specific link in this case; what I meant was the relevance of these factors to behavior more generally.

I think the SSRI drugs are a mixed bag. I had a teenage client with whom they heightened risk taking behavior. I know other folks whom they helped.

I suspect too often these medicines are perscribed by a family doctor without any other form of therapy.

Marc Abrams
01-13-2011, 02:45 PM
The gun aspect of this tragedy is addressed in this op-ed.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/13/opinion/13kristof.html?src=ISMR_AP_LO_MST_FB

I agree with the concept of better regulations and exploring this issue from a public health perspective. I do not necessarily agree with all his suggestions but it is a good start none-the-less.

Marc Abrams

Rob Watson
01-13-2011, 08:30 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/1990/09/28/us/berkeley-gunman-kills-student-taken-hostage.html

We've had our share in these parts. Mr. Dashti had numerous run ins with the law before the 'big one'.

How many hundreds of 'odd folks' have I seen on the streets of Berkeley/S.F. and wondered 'how dangerous' and wondering when they were going to snap ... most turned out to be harmless to all but themselves (I only mention this population since many are clearly 'unbalanced' and they are out in front of everyone). My friend turned the gun on himself - we all knew he would eventually snap. We didn't know who to turn to and we didn't want the guys in white with nets to haul him away. In the end he went off his meds and things quickly got out of hand.

I wonder even if someone could tell the dangerous ones from the just pitiable are they actually out there looking?

SeiserL
01-14-2011, 07:25 AM
I wonder even if someone could tell the dangerous ones from the just pitiable are they actually out there looking?
Please remember that in a country that supports freedom of speech/expression, innocence until proven guilty (and that is after the fact), and protecting the rights of the soon to be offender/perpetrator/predator over the rights of the soon to be damaged or dead victims, there is not a lot that detection and suspicion can do.

C. David Henderson
01-14-2011, 09:50 AM
FWIW,

Under AZ law, Pima Comm College could have initiated a psych evaluation on this person based on his clear pattern of aberrant behavior. The College instead saw itself as protecting its students and faculty from harm by kicking him out.

Hindsight is 20/20. But in my view, while detection and suspicion untied to any public health structure may be of little value beyond situational self-defense, here there were structures in place, underfunded though they seem to have been, that could have made a difference and prevented this becoming a problem for the criminal justice system, with all its warts, to clean up.

Respectfully,

Rob Watson
01-14-2011, 02:30 PM
Please remember that in a country that supports freedom of speech/expression, innocence until proven guilty (and that is after the fact), and protecting the rights of the soon to be offender/perpetrator/predator over the rights of the soon to be damaged or dead victims, there is not a lot that detection and suspicion can do.

"We the people" notwithstanding friends and neighbohrs are not agents of the state and have a bit more latitude for action. It behooves one to consider just what can be done when we see that someone we know is bound for trouble.

I'm confused by the many instances in which a clearly disturbed individual 'snaps' and the result is more stringent gun control when what is called for is more mental health services. As a medical problem in which prevention is king how to square that with the preservation of liberty? Maybe what we have now is working just fine and there are always a few that fall through the cracks. I always presume there has to be a better way ... I'm not up to the task.

Hindsight is just too depressing so I try to always look forward.

SeiserL
01-14-2011, 03:13 PM
Hindsight is just too depressing so I try to always look forward.
Yes agreed.
Most people are too busy pointing fingers at the past rather than learning from it and making a better future.
Compliments and appreciation.