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News & Politics News & Politics

Constitutional Rights vs. Responsibility

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I am always seeing this, "That is my Constitutional Right!"

Whether it means owning guns, writing an article or even talking to people every United States Citizen knows they have a Constitutionally protected right to say, write or own just about whatever they want.  But when does responsibility come into play?  

Sure, we have a Constitutional right to scream, "Bomb!" while on an airplane but shouldn't we take responsibility for the repercussions of our action and the ensuing chaos it would create?


The same goes for writing, we do it here everyday. From calling people names to generalizing in a way that could be misconstrued as libel.  Do we have the Constitutional right to write whatever we want?  Sure.  But we also carry with that a responsibility.  Just look at what is happening to people who get caught being cyber-bullies. 

And now we come to my favorite, gun ownership.  This has been the hot topic of debates recently with the mass shootings that occured last year.  Of course as an American citizen I have the right to purchase, own and store weapons.  But let's say that someone who is a known drug abuser or who has a severe mental illness wants to own a gun for unknown reasons.  Don't we have a responsibility to ensure that people who own guns are responsible and clear minded enough to do so or does that persons Constitutional rights trump responsibility?  And what happens if that person goes out and does some serious damage with that weapon?  Do you only carry the responsibility after the fact or should something have been done before hand (even though the person has a Constitutional right to bear arms)?

What are your opinions?

by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:18 PM
Replies (11-14):
LucyMom08
by Silver Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 2:23 PM
1 mom liked this
I think personal responsibility has died a tragic and meaningless death...
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blues_pagan
by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Each DSM is always different than the one before it.  For instance, homosexuality is no longer in the DSM as a disorder.  

But at the same time mental illness is always designated as such due to severity and how much it limits a persons life.  I highly doubt your gardening hobby and putting away the fruits of your labor will eve be considered OCD or hoarding.

And I realize that doing some things takes more than an hour.  I have diagnosed OCD.  What they are talking about is more obsessive habits that take more than an hour every single day.  Mine was cleaning.  I would literally wipe down the same counter 4-5 times and each time it would take me at least 10-15 minutes.  That was daily.

Quoting 29again:

Not doubting you, but....  I read that the NEW DSM-V is vastly different, that there are a whole bunch of new "disorders" included now. This op/ed is a bit old, but it is informative, and discusses the new DSM-V.  (the disorder that I specifically mentioned is not in the op/ed, that came from a different article altogether.)


btw, it does take more than 1 hour to can a batch of beans or tomatoes, and it takes a bit of planning...and if I don't do this, my family won't eat as well, so it does bother me if I can't do it.    But I know what you meant.

Quoting blues_pagan:

Hey 29.  Canning and storing your own home grown food wouldn't be considered hoarding. I have a DSM right here.  According to the DSM-IV, hoarding falls under OCD.  In order to be diagnosed with something like this you have to have, "recurrent obsessions or compulsions (Criterion A) that are severe enough to be time consuming (ie, they take more than 1 hr a day) or case marked distress or significant impairment (Criterion C).  At some point during the course of the disorder, the person has recognized that the obsessions or compulsions are excessive or unreasonable" (DMS-IV page 417)


So I would HIGHLY doubt any medical professional would even consider you a hoarder at all.

Quoting 29again:


Quoting ms-superwoman:

I think there should be a psych eval before getting a gun. I know people who legally have guns, that are very unstable and shouldn't own a butter knife, let alone a gun.

There was a day when I would have agreed with this completely.  Today I don't, and I won't!  Look at what is now considered to be mental illness.  I garden and then can & freeze the fruits of my garden.  Today, according to the latest DSM, that could classify me with "Hoarding Disorder" since I store (read Hoard) my food.  That is now a mental disorder. 

And maybe, just maybe, there are people who think differently than you do, but they are in no way mentally unstable.  Now, having said that, I do agree that there are a few people who should not have weapons. 

One thing that I think I could agree to is that the background check that is done be linked to mental health info, but limited to something very basic such as whether the applicant has been diagnosed with a short short list of diagnoses.  But I don't know exactly how that would work out, or if it could be legally done without infringing on the doctor/patient confidentiality stuff and HIPPA.  But a straight out psych eval for everyone is a no-go.




jessilin0113
by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 4:37 PM
It's an excellent question. We curtail rights all the time, for better or worse, in the name of the public good and social responsibility. Why does the line get drawn at gun rights?
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ms-superwoman
by Bronze Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 6:11 PM
1 mom liked this

I do not think it could be done without violating Hippa, it is just an ideal situation in my mind. lol I don't know any medical professional that would even think to classify you with a mental disorder, that would be a LONG stretch. I do like the idea of doing a background check with mental health info. Though again, (like you said) it could infringe on peoples rights. I also think that more needs to be done in the line of mental health. Like getting real treatments for people and not over diagnosing and over medicating. Real tools and treatment plans for people.

Quoting 29again:


Quoting ms-superwoman:

I think there should be a psych eval before getting a gun. I know people who legally have guns, that are very unstable and shouldn't own a butter knife, let alone a gun.

There was a day when I would have agreed with this completely.  Today I don't, and I won't!  Look at what is now considered to be mental illness.  I garden and then can & freeze the fruits of my garden.  Today, according to the latest DSM, that could classify me with "Hoarding Disorder" since I store (read Hoard) my food.  That is now a mental disorder. 

And maybe, just maybe, there are people who think differently than you do, but they are in no way mentally unstable.  Now, having said that, I do agree that there are a few people who should not have weapons. 

One thing that I think I could agree to is that the background check that is done be linked to mental health info, but limited to something very basic such as whether the applicant has been diagnosed with a short short list of diagnoses.  But I don't know exactly how that would work out, or if it could be legally done without infringing on the doctor/patient confidentiality stuff and HIPPA.  But a straight out psych eval for everyone is a no-go.


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