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It always comes down to mental illness

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It always comes down to mental illness

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Published April 10, 2013 

 

FoxNews.com

 

Dylan Quick, the 20-year-old accused of going on a stabbing rampage yesterday-injuring 14 people at Lone Star Community College in Texas-should settle the gun control/violence debate, once and for all.  

 

That won't happen, of course, because people who want to restrict personal freedoms will still turn a blind eye to the obvious: After years of America destroying its mental health care system, leaving it in ruins, as a national disgrace, cases of undiagnosed and untreated mental illness are to blame for the horrific episodes of violence that have made headlines and wrongly fueled gun control legislation.  

 

This is true for Jared Lee Loughner, who shot Congressman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona.  It is true for James Holmes, the man accused of murdering 12 people in a Colorado movie theatre.  It is true for Adam Lanza, the man who murdered 20 children and 6 adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.  

 

When legislators dally with measures targeted at guns or knives, instead of the very ill folks who sometimes use them to hurt others, they sow the seeds of tomorrow's tragedies.

 

Dylan Quick reportedly fantasized about killing people by stabbing them since he was a child.  He reportedly walked around wearing gloves, even in warm weather, clutching stuffed animals. 

 

I believe it will turn out that Mr. Quick, like the rest of the recent perpetrators of mass violence, fell through the colossal cracks in our decrepit system. A system of antiquated psychiatric facilities, understaffed community mental health centers and insurance companies hell-bent on restricting mental health care resources in a disproportionate fashion, compared to those targeted at other illnesses, and one which is a shameful show of prejudice towards the afflicted.

 

Anyone who now advocates limiting public access to knives of one kind or another, including the kind allegedly used by Mr. Quick, is either hopelessly misguided or a charlatan looking to make political points from this latest tragedy.  

 

When America allowed third-party insurers to decide how to appropriate mental health care resources, like wolves at chicken coops, the seeds of the tragedies in Arizona and Colorado and Connecticut and, now, Texas were being sown.  

 

When American psychiatrists decided to allow the American Psychiatric Association to coax so many in my profession out of their role as expert therapists who also prescribe medicines and into the role of "medication" doctors seeing patients for ten minutes, the seeds of these tragedies were being sown.  

 

When state legislators and public health officials decided that shutting down state hospitals and financially choking community mental health centers nearly to death was okay, the seeds of these tragedies were being sown. 

 

And when state and federal legislators dally with meaningless measures targeted at guns or knives, instead of the very ill folks who sometimes use them to hurt others, they sow the seeds of tomorrow's tragedies.

 

There's a reason why investigators and prosecutors and reporters and the public have such a hard time understanding the motives of men like Loughner, Holmes, Lanza and, if reports are true, Quick. It's because their motives are shrouded in the irrational thoughts born of mental illness, often in its most aggressive incarnation-psychosis.  

 

Take all the guns away.

 

Take all the knives away.  

 

The number of victims of murders with no apparent motive-born of under-treated, poorly treated or untreated mental illness-will be reduced not one bit. 

 

Because there will still be cars, and poisons, and hammers, and axes that can be used to inflict horrible injuries. The worst episode of school violence, back in 1927, claimed the lives of 38 children, and it involved explosives, not guns or knives.

 

Leaders either fix things, do nothing or harm needed efforts. Those who would control weapons, instead of mental illness, are in the third category.

 

 

Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team. Dr. Ablow can be reached at info@keithablow.com.

 



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/04/10/it-not-knives-it-not-guns-it-mental-illness-that-kills/#ixzz2QBQ1BXuv

 

grandma B

by on Apr. 11, 2013 at 3:05 PM
Replies (31-40):
GeekMommi
by on Apr. 11, 2013 at 7:02 PM
They do that now, I worked in hospital. Its just harder to get people committed nowadays.
Quoting Carpy:

How do we lock people up or force drugs in them because they Might do something in the future?


MissTacoBell
by on Apr. 11, 2013 at 7:03 PM
What's your solution to all these people going berserk and killing innocent people?

It's no more of an entitlement program than the NHTSC.


Quoting UpSheRises:

You realize mental health care costs money, right? Can we really afford another entitlement program?


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Carpy
by Ruby Member on Apr. 11, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Look at the history of mental institutions.  How many were forced there with no justification?  Lots.  It is a delicate balancing act, almost to delicate to justifiably balance.  I don't really know the answer.

Quoting GeekMommi:

They do that now, I worked in hospital. Its just harder to get people committed nowadays.
Quoting Carpy:

How do we lock people up or force drugs in them because they Might do something in the future?



Carpy
by Ruby Member on Apr. 11, 2013 at 7:06 PM

You may be crazier than a shit house rat, but that doesn't justify locking someone away because they MIGHT do something.

GeekMommi
by on Apr. 11, 2013 at 7:12 PM

I would have to disagree with that because if you're that crazy, I think it justifies you being locked up.  That's why we have mental institutions. Not everyone there did something awful before they were put there. The decision was made in the best interest of that person and the public to prevent someone from being hurt.


Quoting Carpy:

You may be crazier than a shit house rat, but that doesn't justify locking someone away because they MIGHT do something.



GeekMommi
by on Apr. 11, 2013 at 7:15 PM

That does happen, it sucks,nothing is prefect. The doctor at the hospital I worked at wouldn't let people go until they agreed to take their meds.  And he put everyone on meds, if they needed it or not.  He made money one it.


Quoting Carpy:

Look at the history of mental institutions.  How many were forced there with no justification?  Lots.  It is a delicate balancing act, almost to delicate to justifiably balance.  I don't really know the answer.

Quoting GeekMommi:

They do that now, I worked in hospital. Its just harder to get people committed nowadays.
Quoting Carpy:

How do we lock people up or force drugs in them because they Might do something in the future?





Nysa
by Member on Apr. 11, 2013 at 7:16 PM

I fully agree that better mental health access would curb the violence rate more than gun control laws. That is one of the reasons I support universal healthcare. But, if we can't do that, then gun control will have to do.

mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Apr. 11, 2013 at 7:17 PM
1 mom liked this

This was mainly in reply to the very first sentence stating that this should settle the gun debate once and for all. No. Not going to happen. I wonder about people who say stuff like that about anything. How can one assume that knowing that it won't? Rapid people of all stripes exist. Rabid anti gun people and rabid pro gun people (and those in between) are always going to be at odds and will always use stories like this to further whatever agenda. You know I'm not anti gun. But I do know that if he had a gun, people would be dead. So this does not settle any debate over anything. 

He's crazy, he needs treatment. Too many people like him are walking around and we need to do something about them. What? I have absolutely no idea. I wish I did. 

Quoting Carpy:

He didn't want a gun. His fantasy was stabbing.

Quoting mehamil1:

Had he had a gun, some of those people would be dead. 


Farmlady09
by Silver Member on Apr. 11, 2013 at 7:22 PM

As long as those who are mentally ill and violent are ignored, slip through the cracks, OR ~ and this might be the most important issue ~ allowed to refuse to medicate if they are adults, violence like this is not going to stop.

The biggest part of the problem is the lack of any decent mental health care. That does not excuse the other large part of the problem which is people who think it's a terrible thing to force treatment, including inhouse treatment, for those who are violent.

Since those who are against forcing treatment, or make excuses like 'it's not a crime to be mentally ill' or 'they can't help it' are also the ones who seem to push for gun control ~ I tend to consider that group as enablers as well as control freaks.

There is no way that both sides can 'win' on this one. Either the country goes after the problem and insists on a solution, or violence will continue to escalate and innocent lives will be taken. It's that simple. The one thing I do know is that if people choose to continue to allow violent mentally ill people to roam freely out of some bizarre, misplaced sentiment there is even more incentive for me to 'cling' to my guns. Like it or not, I will retain my right to shoot these people if I or my loved ones are attacked as part of the solution if the bunch with the misplaced sentiment can't figure out a more 'humane' solution to the problem.

We shoot rabid dogs, dangerous dogs, bears, alligators, cougars, wolves, coyotes, etc. if they attack humans. Well, if it's 'wrong' to lock up a violent and dangerous human, then the only option left is to shoot them as well. People had better get over some of that pc infection sooner rather than later on this one.

Carpy
by Ruby Member on Apr. 11, 2013 at 7:22 PM

Yes it does and it did ALOT back in the day.  It still does not mean that you are going to do harm.  We do not live in a country that locks people up for things they have not done. 

Quoting GeekMommi:

That does happen, it sucks,nothing is prefect. The doctor at the hospital I worked at wouldn't let people go until they agreed to take their meds.  And he put everyone on meds, if they needed it or not.  He made money one it.


Quoting Carpy:

Look at the history of mental institutions.  How many were forced there with no justification?  Lots.  It is a delicate balancing act, almost to delicate to justifiably balance.  I don't really know the answer.

Quoting GeekMommi:

They do that now, I worked in hospital. Its just harder to get people committed nowadays.
Quoting Carpy:

How do we lock people up or force drugs in them because they Might do something in the future?






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