At first I cringed

When I saw the title “The five minute NRA speech that would change the gun control debate forever” I cringed. I expected the article to be something along the lines of advocating the NRA saying, “We were wrong. Assault weapons are evil.” I was wrong:

The time for partisanship is over; now is the time for action. And that’s why the NRA is requesting the assistance of the ACLU.

The Sandy Hook tragedy, the Virginia Tech shooting, the Aurora “Batman” shooting, the Tucson shooting – all of the killers had something in common: They were all mentally unstable young men who were prescribed mind-altering psychiatric drugs.

The only thing I disagree with is that speech would change the gun control debate. For most politicians and many activists their gun control agenda isn’t about saving lives. That isn’t even debatable anymore. It’s about control, money, and security theater.

Addressing the extremely difficult problem of how to appropriately deal with mental illness isn’t something that lends itself to simple, even if false, answers and sound bites. Politicians don’t get elected by getting people to think about complex issues. They get elected by offering simplistic “solutions” to distressing emotional events and/or situations.

Don’t expect pigs to fly and don’t expect politicians to advocate people thinking.


6 thoughts on “At first I cringed

  1. The last thing the ACLU is going to do is say “boo” about psychiatric medications. If the medical profession stopped donating, they’d starve.

    • AFAIK, the restrictions that keep states from reporting lunatics to NICS are thanks to the ACLU.

  2. Well, I wondered what had prompted Robb’s post. I assume this was it.

    Yes, they were all on “mind-altering psychiatric drugs”. So are millions of other people in the US, and none of them went off on mass murder sprees. Just like the millions of gun owners who didn’t go killing people, either.

    A.K.A.: Correlation != Causation.

    Wayne’s speech writers (and Wayne himself) need a good, hard smack upside the head for this one.

    • This wasn’t an actual speech by Wayne. Although he has earned the occasional smack upside the head.

  3. I have no complaint with Robb’s post (I assumed it was this post as well). Although it mentioned drugs I almost completely over looked that aspect. I was focused on the mental illness aspect.

    And it’s a difficult problem. There are people that are obviously mentally ill in a fashion that are a threat to themselves and others. And there are those with obvious mental problems that are no threat to anyone. And there are those that don’t have mental problems and obviously are a threat to others.

    Attempting to objectively measure these things and draw a clear line to limit their freedom (physical or exercise of basic human rights) is going to be very difficult if not impossible. And every line you draw will be have side effects such as discouraging people from seeking help; discouraging friends, relatives referring them to services; and enemies falsely reporting on you.

    There aren’t any easy valid answers. Gun control is an easy invalid answer.

  4. It’s (general, not specifically you) attitudes like this that led me to avoid treatment for my depression for so long. I was concerned that some day, I’d have my right to keep and bear arms stripped from me because I was clinically depressed and took medication to treat the problem.

    Paranoia is a classifiable DSM IV disease. But is it still paranoia when they really are out to get you? If I’m paranoid that they’re going to use my mental diagnosis to take my guns away, and they say that the fact that I’m paranoid is a reason to take my guns away, is it still paranoia, or jusy prescience?

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