Thursday, May 29, 2014
The War on the Second Amendment: the Mental Health Gambit
At times I get the feeling that the anti-gun boys and girls hope for mass shootings, which are actually quite rare, and for the shooter to be a white, good ol' boy Tea Partier who uses the n-word, hates women, gays, and liberals, and denies the "settled science" behind the theories of evolution and global climate
The gun issue in the US is much more than about guns. It is about culture and about the role and scope of government in our lives. The gun controllers want more government in our lives and want to suppress America's gun, aka individual freedom, culture. They want to make it sound that gun violence is rampant and that we all face horrible deaths in a cloud of gunpowder. They want us to ignore that homicide, including with guns, is not equally spread among all sectors of our country. Homicide rates are much, much higher among Democratic constituencies--I have written aboutthis before--than among Republican constituencies--compare Detroit with Utah, for example. Above all else, there is an enormous racial component to murder in the US. Please note, for example, that 3/4s of those arrested for murder in Chicago is black, while blacks only comprise about one-third of the city's residents; the overwhelming majority of murder victims is also black. Nationwide, even when "white" is loosely defined, black homicide rates are some 8-10 times those of the white population. All that presents a dilemma for progressives. Instead of trying to deal with the real problem, i.e., that the most likely victim of a murderer is an unarmed black person, the progressives find distractions on which to spend their efforts. As I have written endless times, the progressives don't give a hoot about our black citizens trapped in situations where they become prime candidates for murder--those situations, after all, have been created by decades of progressive policies implemented by progressive urban political machines. The history of the Democratic party, one of the world's oldest political parties, is one of constant warfare against black people: slavery, segregation, the KKK, opposition to black suffrage, making generations of black people wards of the state, are all Democratic party contributions to race relations in the USA. The progressives want power for the state and they intend to control that state.
Progressives focus on bogus issues such as "assault" rifles and magazine capacity. The latest bogus distraction is the mental health one. The argument goes something like this, "We don't want to take guns away from law abiding citizens but want to put into place laws, regulations, and procedures that keep guns away from criminals and mentally disturbed persons." They are quite vague about what exactly those new constraints will be, and we just have to take them at their word that they are not really out to stifle gun ownership at large, and that the new constraints will work better than the old ones.
Mental health, really? If you think the science of global climate whatever is up in the air, wait until you delve into the looney world of mental health. The mental health profession is full of quack "therapists" and quack theories; few things there are settled science; and that profession is as subject to the vagaries of the winds and tides of fashion and politics as any other. Let us not forget the uses of psychiatry in the dead and unlamented Soviet bloc. Even, however, without going back to the USSR, I would point out that my father was a psychiatrist, and in his old Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals (DSM) homosexuality was listed as a disorder, "a sociopathic personality disturbance" to be precise. It was a disorder or mental disturbance until it just wasn't--you can read the account of how that change happened here.
Would then those persons treated for homosexuality, and have that on their medical records, be denied their second amendment rights? This, in turn, leads to the raising of many other questions: What standards would be used to determine mental illness for the purpose of gun denial? Who would make those standards? How would authorities running a background check gain access to those medical records? How would we redefine the ancient notion of patient-doctor confidentiality? How would those mental health sessions be flagged in the Great Database? How would one prevent that information from leaking and from being used for political or blackmail purposes? How would this not dissuade people who need some help from getting it? I am sure you can think of dozens more questions.
We live--alas!--in a time that I never thought I would see in the USA. We see the IRS used to stifle political dissent; we see the ATF used to sell guns to Mexican cartels and to make it seem that lax US gun laws are to blame for the violence in Mexico; we see the NSA and FBI used for purposes for which they were never intended; we see local police forces with more firepower and sophisticated combat training and gear than most armies in the world.
Given the progressive track record, should we trust their "good intentions" when they seek to protect us from armed "crazy" people? I don't. I would rather rely on my old friends Messrs. Smith & Wesson.