Watching House with someone who’s a legitimate medical professional can be a bit odd sometimes. Turns out that all of that fancy medical language is just for show. Sigh…. Tonight, I got the Hulu+ subscription all to myself only to find that Episode 8 of Season 8 spends time picking on a guy who owns some guns. Turns out that planning for the worst is actually a medical symptom…

At least House had the decency to own one of JMB’s finest. And to exercise safe gun handling skills

Oh. Except for that part where he pointed a loaded gun at his friend.

So I turn it over to you loyal readers. Is having a lot of guns a symptom? And if so, a symptom of what?

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24 Responses to Question of the Day: Diagnostic Edition

  1. Okay full disclosure; I didn’t see the episode in question nor do I watch House as I find the main protagonist to be a boring, self righteous jerk.

    But to address the point of your column, yes, having a lot of guns (and ammo) is a symptom of a well organized and prepared mind. After all, life is full of contingencies many of which have particularly nasty consequences if one is not prepared. For example, not having a plan if a fire breaks out in your house, apartment building etc is not only a good idea it is the responsible thing to do. Ditto for having an evacuation plan if you live in a flood zone or near a major metropolitan population center such as LA, NYC in case of riot or other social breakdowns.

    So it stands to reason that having “a lot of guns” (whatever that means) is a reasonable approach to safeguarding ones life and or liberty in the direst circumstances. This doesn’t mean that we “expect” a fire, flood, social decay or breakdown it just means that we have a plan for dealing with it should one of them arrive.

    And oh by the way, if I had been watching this particular episode of House, when the good doc aimed his gun at his friend I would have immediately changed the channel!

  2. In fairness, the character didn’t just own a large-ish gun collection, he had an armory sufficient for an Army fire team, in a secret room he lied to his family about. I have the impression that someone went to some effort to separate this guy from a normal real life gun owner. Or at least recognized that the viewing public wouldn’t buy anything less as a symptom of illness.

  3. Everything has had a psychiatric, psychological or emotional disorder assigned to it, to give the “condition” an air of clinical credibility. If you like something, you’re a [something]ophile. If you dislike something, you’re a [something]ophobe. Mostly, they are made-up terms that have no legitimacy. Jeff Cooper was guilty of it by coining the term “hoplophobe” for people who have an aversion to weapons.

  4. A year or so ago, there was an episode during which a man volunteers to be an organ donor for a relative. The complication is that it’s an organ he can’t live without so that he actually offering to give his own life to save the relative. In the real world, it would be unethical for a doctor to accept the offer. With the guy’s willing cooperation, House strangles him while a medical colleague looks on. No medical professional I know would even contemplate doing that. I haven’t watched House since.

  5. Out of curiosity, I read the recap:

    http://www.tv.com/shows/house/perils-of-paranoia-1561157/recap/

    Not only do they belittle the “be prepared” mentality (wife says she just doesn’t want to live in fear with a house of guns), but they get in a jab at the anti-vaccines movement, as the guy was suffering from something that was supposed to be a result of not getting regular vaccinations.

    Fortunately, it doesn’t upset me too much because I know momentum is on my side (both related to guns and vaccinations). I still have faith in the American people, once they experience a little pain and are forced to wake up…

  6. Yes, it is a symptom. Of sanity and responsibility.

    Two things that, having worked in show business for a decade and change, I can safely say are completely absent from the vast majority of people involved in the production of content.

    Behind the scenes, people tend to have a slightly stronger grasp on reality, but of course their views are never expressed in anything you’re likely to consume outside of specialty networks.

    This is one of the many reasons I tend to pseudo-defend gun-related reality shows. Stupid as they may be, they represent a pretty massive paradigm shift in the realities of showbiz.

  7. In the context of the show it was a symptom. Hear me out…

    The guy was a lawyer who up until remodeling his basement had no history with guns, and he had never been a prepper either, yet all of a sudden his mindset changes, and he buys a roomful of AR’s without any event taking place to change his mindset. I didn’t feel like it was anti-gun honestly.

    And remember, all the AR’s were the SAME. No sane individual would buy two AR’s and keep them identical 😛

  8. I didn’t see the show – does it mention any other preparations he had been making? Were there stockpiles of water purification equipment or drinking water? Fuel? Food? I take it they didn’t look into his retirement portfolio, or whether his family held fire drills, or whether he held long-term disability insurance, or how often he checked the tread on his tires.

    Because it’s one thing to say hoarding guns and ammo is just ‘being prepared’, but what exactly is it preparing for? And how likely is that contingency, and how much expenditure does it justify compared to other contingencies?

    • I saw it, and I’m fairly sure there was no mention of anything other guns and ammo. And like I said, all the AR’s were identical, so he must be insane.

  9. It’s a recognized medical condition, known as “Gun Acquisition Syndrome” (GAS). If you’ve got GAS, you’re predisposed to use any and all discretionary income to purchase pistols, rifles, carbines, shotguns, and ammo. GAS sufferers are always looking to expand their collections, and will go to extreme lengths to prevent anyone from preventing it’s growth. The depth and breadth of a GAS condition is only limited by the size of the sufferer’s bank account, and the patience of his significant other. Psychiatrists insist there is no cure, but recommend that the best way to help families of GAS sufferers is to take up shooting themselves, in the hopes that they too will become so afflicted, and thereby no longer at odds with the GAS sufferer’s compulsion to acquire more firearms.

    I have it on good authority that quite a few members of the TTAG Armed Intelligentsia have GAS.

  10. Ok… Since this is a week old no one will read this… but I figgered I would still throw a couple of my pennies at it.
    #1. NO ONE who reads these editorials should have a HULU plus subscription. Hulu is a major supporter of every left wing orgainzation that threatens our liberties! QUIT FUNDING THEM!!!
    #2. It was of course a little anti-gun. The hollywierd folks just cant help themselves. Being overly prepared for these worst case senarios is kinda silly. Alot of us do it (myself included) with full knowledge that there is little to no chance of these senarios coming to fruition. But we do it because we love/enjoy the guns we collect and we think bunkers and undergound “forts” are cool. If on the slimmest chance our country implodes and our fellow citizens turn to lawless craziness. We are prepared and all these liberals will be jealous or dead.
    #3. Yes, that DA’s behavior was symptomatic of a problem. He had WAY to many rifles for just protection, he only had a few boxes of ammo on the shelves. Also if he wants to use that many rifles he needs more hands… he kept his stash hidden from the only other member of his army. For this behavior not to have been crazy he should of had a variety of guns for different applications (you can one use so many at the same time for the same task) MUCH more ammo preloaded and organized and a ventilated place to sleep inside hte bunker. THAT would have made sense… to us anyway.

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