The following letter to the senior senator from California comes from reader Dr. Vino:

Dear Senator Feinstein,

I am writing to you as a Californian, a father, a physician and a law-abiding responsible firearms owner. In light of recent tragic events and your response of proposing new federal firearms legislation, I felt strongly compelled to tell you two things . . .

While I do not support your efforts to ban certain firearms, as a member of a mental health team, I wish to bring your attention to some painfully glaring shortcomings in our country’s legislation pertaining to the liberties afforded to persons suffering from mental illness. The liberties I refer to, of course, are access to firearms and not any other . . .

Small changes to our laws relevant to the reporting of specific high-risk psychiatric symptoms would have avoided at least some of the tragic mass shootings which we have seen in the last few years (Cho, Loughner, Holmes, Roberts and Lanza). I propose we develop a system which would require reporting of patients with certain very specific high-risk psychiatric symptoms to NiICS, effectively barring them from acquiring firearms.

We cannot overlook the fact that close review of the assailants’ histories will reveal clear clinical findings and symptoms which would help identify high-risk individuals in the future.

As you may know, California has implemented the Mental Health Firearm’s Prohibition Reporting System (WIC section 8103, subs: (f)(2)(B)and (f)(2)(G) as well as section 8105 sub (b) as amended by AB 203 (Beall)) whereby “mental health facilities are to immediately report specified information to the CA DOJ regarding persons admitted to a mental health facility when they’re determined to be a danger to themselves or others, or who are certified for intensive treatment” to the DOJ.

This is a good and well-focused law. The intent of this law, no doubt, is to then include that reported data in the National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) System.

Nevertheless, as you may also be aware, many individuals suffering from disturbing symptoms aren’t admitted to in-patient treatment if they haven’t demonstrated that they are a threat to themselves or others. And there’s a high threshold for declaring someone a threat. This was most likely the case with Cho, Loughner, Holmes, Roberts and Lanza.

This is due, in part, to the fact that even people suffering so terribly can still refuse hospitalization and/or medication. Some who may be taking their medications may find them only partially effective. They may become angry over their side effects, may feel that the medications, while alleviating the disturbing symptoms, also strip them of what they perceive to be their real self. Others may become despondent, having the insight that theirs is a lifelong, debilitating disorder.

Their families, health professionals and sometimes law enforcement personnel who encounter these people are powerless to do anything to help them, protecting both them and the general public.

That’s a dilemma we need to resolve. Because hindsight will show that all of the five recent mass killers were troubled, but not didn’t quite meet the threshold I mentioned above. While many want to vilify these individuals calling them monsters, they are still people and their suffering, in one way or another, lead them to commit their monstrous crimes.

In addition, while finding more and better ways to help these people is a necessary long-term goal, we have a responsibility to protect the innocents in our society from the violent acts they commit.

To wit: people with high-risk psychiatric symptoms may not be obligated to undergo treatment but they should not be allowed to possess firearms.

I propose we develop a system which would not just require reporting of patients in institutions but create a system whereby patients with very specific high-risk psychiatric symptoms (i.e. hallucinations, ideations of reference, persecution or other paranoid delusions as well as those with profound thought disturbances) are flagged to NiICS. Certainly, a system of checks such as an appeals process and a formal process of adjudication would be appropriate, too.

I specify symptoms rather than diagnoses because general diagnoses aren’t focused enough. Neither is being prescribed a specific medication, as many psych meds are used off-label with much success: case in point: SSRIs for anxiety or OCD.

Until funds are allocated and an infrastructure created to help people suffering from serious mental illnesses (and this must be done) we need to enact legislation that targets high-risk individuals.

Punishing millions of responsible citizens for the shortcomings of our mental health care system or the laws regulating it is neither a measured, equitable or effective response to tragedies like Newtown. We can’t abridge the liberties of millions when the problem lies with a relative few.

Dr.Vino

 

100 Responses to A Letter to Senator Feinstein

  1. While this letter is well written and speaks to a lot truths, the people out there like Feinstein will not read this and think that in almost all of the cases where the people, like Holmes, who acquired their firearms legally; better mental health screening would have saved lives.

    They will say “Lanza didn’t buy the gun, he stole the guns from his mother, therefore we can’t have guns in society”. At that point they will end their discussion and not hear another word you say.

    But we can hope and try at least.

    • Ok then I’m all for a law that” mandates” if you own a gun/rifle you have to have a safe on property to keep them under lock and key when not in use. and if you choose not to, then any crime committed you will be an accessory (excluding if the safe was broken into or stolen off your property or any guns before law that were stolen and used in crimes that can be back tracked to the original owner)… Now before everyone starts shooting holes through this can we all agree that if you own a gun/rifle you should have a safe??

      • So when a person breaks into my house and creeps up stairs and enters my bedroom, and I awake to find then standing at the foot of my bed, do I then tell them to wait a few moments while I open my save and extract a gun to defend myself.

        • “Excuse me, can I have a moments to grab my gun from my nightstand? No, you can take a seat while you wait, if you want.”

        • to ready,fire,aim who said “use your brains for goodness sakes”

          You mean the brains the house breaker splattered all over the exterior of the safe while trying to get it opened? YOUR head should be more than a hat rack!

      • I also agree that every gun owner should have an approved safe to hold their valuables IE jewelry, extra cash, bonds, tax paper work, and most importantly firearms. Let me just point out that I am sure like myself their are millions of gun owners who don’t currently own a safe or may have them on display in their home like art, for some are that well crafted they are art (old and new). Now out of those millions who don’t own safes I am sure it has something to do with the fact they tend to cost as much if not more then the gun they wish to purchase. I myself would love to own a smaller one for my rifles however my pistol will stay by my side at all times or in my bed holster. If their was a way to put a safe in every gun owners home right now I am all for it, Hell I’ll take two. However with the way my finances currently are and millions of gun owners nation wide, I am confident that we could not afford to purchase one. Find a realistic way around that and I’m all ears, eyes, and trigger fingers… 🙂

        • “I am sure it has something to do with the fact they tend to cost as much if not more then the gun they wish to purchase”

          Or how about that the cost of delivery costs at least half of the price of the safe itself!

        • Well…. I believe gun cabinets (non-fireproof, 8 – 10 gun capacity) that meet CA DOJ standards can be had for under $150.

          Sure, they are not fire proof, but they are affordable.
          In CA we also need to have trigger/action locks on our guns. locked cabinets and safes are thus not required.

          To protect from theft (but not necessarily fire), some sort of wall mount/bracket that would tether rifles to a wall anchor (the way a laptop tether does) would probably work too, cost less.

        • “In CA we also need to have trigger/action locks on our guns.”

          No, you don’t.

          You may be held criminally liable if:
          a) your firearm is not secured and is not on your person,
          b) you should reasonably know that a minor might gain access to your firearm without his parent’s consent,
          c) a minor actually gains access to your firearm,
          AND
          d) the minor causes injury to himself or another OR takes the firearm to a public place or a school.

          PC 25100, 25105

        • DonS
          I could not walk out of two stores with my firearms in the last month or so unless I had a cable lock.

        • “DonS
          I could not walk out of two stores with my firearms in the last month or so unless I had a cable lock.”

          Separate law (PC 23635) says every firearm transferred in CA through a licensed dealer must include some kind of “approved firearm safety device” – that could be a padlock to lock a handgun’s hard case, a cable lock that goes through the action and/or barrel, etc. You’re exempt if you already have a safe and can show the receipt, or if you purchased a safety device in the last 30 days (and can show the device and receipt).

          There is no requirement that you actually use that safety device. Ever.

          The safety device requirement is also separate from the transport requirements. That is, a cable lock that might be included with a pistol does not satisfy the “locked case” requirement when transporting a handgun. A padlock on a handgun’s factory case (like I received with both my SW1911 and Blackhawk) would satisfy it.

      • There are a few discussion points in the argument.

        I think the point that Kevin Clements mentions would be if someone stole his bed side gun while he wasn’t home. That is easily steered clear of if you have a small safe on night stand.

        However, what if I have to leave my gun in my car because I can’t take my concealed weapon into a gun free zone (like a mall) and while I am inside my car is broken into and the gun stolen? As of now Florida law requires that gun be “secured” when concealed, but a simple holster with a strap is considered “secured” by law. Will this mean I now carry a small safe in my car as well?

        In the case of bed side or car safes though, it is very easy to pick up and carry so any burglar would have no problem carrying it away.

        Also, regarding the law that requires that firearms be locked up, isn’t that already a law? I’m not sure if it’s nationwide or maybe just by state but someone on a radio show pointed out in the Newton case that not having firearms locked up is a crime (maybe just in Conn?)

        • I carry a small safe in cars for just that reason. GunVault, Sentry Safe and other companies make them. They’re easily secured with the included aircraft cable. I use the same portable safes for airline travel when I bring along a firearm or two. I have three and can’t imagine traveling without one.

        • At the local Walmart I have bought two rifles this year and both times the manager had to put the rifle in the original box the rifle came in and escort me to the parking lot with him carrying the box! All the while I had my concealed carry weapon on my hip loaded. Does anyone know if thats corporate policy or whats up? At any other establishment I buy a firearm they don’t do it.

      • No, owning firearms should NOT mandate you to own a safe. It is a good idea, sure–but not the only way to properly store firearms in your home whether you have kids or not. Simply locking your room or wherever firearms is stored should be enough. Take the a room key with you when you leave the house. Gun safes can be very expensive and not in everyone’s budget.

        Will this law give everyone money to buy a safe? I’m sure it won’t seeing the bleak status of the economy.

      • Because clearly, the victim of a crime is responsible for the criminal’s behavior. Try visiting your local rape crisis center, express that view to the people there, and see how far you get.

        You should really say that you do not believe people have the right to self defense in their own homes. Because that is exactly what you mean by saying that all guns must be locked up at all times when not physically in use.

    • Be careful what you hope for. Some who see the opportunity to deny civil liberties to the mentally ill will use that opportunity to deny those liberties to ALL people who have been treated for any disorder or been prescribed any behavioral control drug. How many people would be left in the population of eligible gun owners if you removed every child who has been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, or any other disorder that is typically outgrown?

      Not to mention, creating a greater reluctance in people to seek treatment who should. If you own guns or ever plan to, you’d have to be crazy to seek mental health treatment.

    • How do you know she would reject it until she is asked?

      It will take more than one tool to clean up this mess. The NRA an “guns Uber Alles” crackpots are not helping.

      • Yes they are. They are a voice of reason in this media driven frenzy to ban semi – autos. I stand firm, NO MORE GUN LAWS!

  2. I agree with some of what he’s saying, but Rob is right. This should have been sent to almost anyone but Mein Feinstein.

  3. I agree with the clear level-headed tone of the letter, and bonus points are awarded coming from a doctor. However, I would be happier if he also suggested that Feinstein give up her concealed carry permit, allow herself to be “flagged” in the system so she cannot purchase another weapon, give up any weapons she has, give up her 24/7 security detail, which would entail removing and reassigning the Capital Police (wackenhut security guards (unarmed) are just fine instead) and call on all politicians and anti-gunners to take the same aforementioned measures. When they give up their self-protection, I will surrender mine. . . . . .

    I am sure Mayor Bloomberg would agree, NYC is so safe, surely he doesn’t need armed guards . . .

    • THANK YOU for that great link!!! I’ve been making comments along this direction since I first began commenting at TTAG. Gun Control is just not people control; it is mostly about controlling, subduing, and feminizing males. The entire article should be read by all men and boys.

      Gun control as castration

      “It comes down to the psychological roots of feminism and the desperate need of such women to control, manage and limit male agency. Essentially gun control is an attempt to perform a symbolic castration of all men in society, in particular those men that would outwardly manifest strength and a will to power by owning a gun, being committed to self defense and engaging in hunting or sportsmanship with firearms.”

    • That’s an interesting article because it supports the experiences I have had arguing Gun Rights with feminists (both females and males). I never, however, made the connection that their secret agenda was anti-masculine. It makes sense and explains the paucity of informed logic and excess of pure emotional vitriol.

  4. This is a rather interesting proposal, and I thank the doctor for proposing it. I like the emphasis on specificity and the inclusion of an appeals process (it would just need to be funded, unlike some other appeals processes on the books). I was hoping to see something like this from the NRA.

  5. Dr. Vino,

    It used to be said that one should discuss the weather in order to avoid the subject of politics or religion. We have seen how the global warming fraud has turned that on its head at the same time making the people distrust weather forecasters as the scam artists they have proven to be. They earned this distrust because they learned that there was power and money in frightening people.

    The psychiatric field, and psychology too, has some legitimate purpose, but much or their “science” is poorly understood and is largely guesswork with some empirical results. I can easily imagine psychiatrists being used to deprive people of their rights with their diagnoses and description of symptoms.

    We certainly have problems with people who could use help but refuse it. Such is the human condition. I distrust any profession to deprive me of rights. We need a higher standard than that. If anyone is to be deprived of any constitutional rights, it needs to be with the highest standard of proof and it needs to be decided by a jury of our peers.

    • There is so much science to what I do that putting the word in quotes results in your lack of that knowledge making you look bad.
      I respect and appreciate your comments, but brain function is far better understood than most believe. We don’t know everything but far more than you believe (as suggested by your comments) is concrete and objective. The work I do adds a dimension to understanding behavior that has not yet (and owing to its complexity, is not likely to in the near future) entered the household lexicon.

      • I did not intend to impugn you or your professionalism. However, despite the advances in the profession, much of it is still quite shadowy. It’s not as low as the level of chiropractic, and people can be helped by certain medications, but there is still a lot of room for incredible ignorance and guesswork. It wasn’t that long ago that electro-shock therapy was being administered for little reason.

        • I am in a particular position where the work I do is somewhat on the advanced front of my specialty. I am not being defensive when I tell you that you are wrong when you call behavioral neuroscience “shadowy”.
          In that role, I am constantly checking myself by asking myself whether the conclusions I am reaching are sound and substantiated by evidence.
          I am also comfortable to define the limitations of what we know and do. Within the parameters of what we have evidence for, there is not much that is “shadowy” or “subjective”.
          But let’s let this issue rest for now. An argument over this would be a distraction.

        • Actually, electroshock therapy, though seemingly brutal, has been proven, in a small subset of patients, to be extremely effective.

          Just sayin’

      • There will come a day when the science of which you speak will refute much of the content of the current DSM. And current science in every field, and it’s peer review process, has come into question because of the financial interests of the underwriters and the participants.

        Medical practice is rife with pandering to financial interests, misunderstood science, and misapplication of resources. I have no doubt of your knowledge or intentions but I do doubt the ability of doctors in general to properly apply what they consider to be concrete and objective where it applies to individual freedom.

        We, as a nation, have yet to understand and agree how to respect reproductive rights or end of life decisions of individuals. What makes you think you, and doctors in general, are capable of ruling on the freedoms of individuals if you really are not the masters of the beginning or the end?

        • The DSM is being revised. We where I work believe it is good to depart from the old paradigm but much needs to be done.

    • Skyler, “a jury of our peers” is usually deciding something after the fact, as in a Jury Trial, as in the Police analyzing a crime scene after the damage is done.
      While it has historically made me uncomfortable that there might be an institutionalized procedure for preemptively deciding that a person is a “danger to himself and others”, it looks to me like Dr. Vino is presenting a good case for believing otherwise. At this point, we have got to find some way to stop these mass killings by the mentally unbalanced.

      I firmly believe these incidents are “means independent”, and even if guns were not available, these types of incidents will continue as long as mentally unbalanced people are able to move and act freely unbeknownst to the rest of us.

  6. To quote Contact: The first rule of government spending: Why buy one when you can have two at twice the price?

    The first principle of control freaks in government: Why pass a small and intelligent law when you can go for something sweeping and stupid?

  7. This assumes that feinswine wants the shootings to end. That is not the case. She & her like want gun ownership to end. That way we can all live in the land of OZ & endure “acceptable” killings once & awhile, Randy

    • That is true, but don’t forget she will not give up her ccw, pistol, or her armed detail. Very Oz’ish, very much like the wizard of Oz.

      • Right Joseph, just like doyle in Wisconsin, he would have buried us all happily so he could live in his gun free world… well… except for his armed detail. His life was important, Randy

  8. DrVino has done all of us a great service, and his proposition that persons with certain, specific symptoms be denied guns (subject to due process) is precisely what this country needs.

    This is what strikes me as bizarre: some people will not trust a physician to make a decision that he is trained to make — subject to due process to overturn a decision that is incorrect — but will trust a person with murderous hallucinations to make the decision for themselves. That makes no sense whatsoever.

    • I don’t trust any individual, no matter how trained. I trust a jury, and the jury can listen to a physician’s educated arguments, but I don’t trust anyone to be given such power without oversight by the people. That’s how gulags get filled.

      • Juries are empaneled after someone wipes out a school. Sorry, but I’d like to be a bit more proactive.

        As a lawyer with some experience in such matters, juries are the last people I trust with anything. That’s why cases settle and charges are pled out. Nobody trusts juries. I think you’re a lawyer, no? So you know exactly what I’m talking about.

        Besides, Dr. Vino’s proposal includes due process for maniacs.

  9. Sigh.

    Another logical and well written article that means nothing. DiFi and her ilk don’t like guns and don’t get why others have a different opinion on the subject. Their minds will not be changed. They are fanatical in their beliefs.

    I believe the best course of action is to flood the offices of the legislative branch with hand written letters stating the NRA and other groups are doing what WE pay them to do. That we will not give up nor register our guns. We will not tolerate any more infringements of the 2A. We will vote you out of office and fight you in the courts until the end of time. We are CITIZENS of the USA and we know what the Constitution means. If current Military or a Veteran I would add you take your Oath seriously.

    Just my two cents.

    • You may have a valid point that a certain contingency simply wants to abolish all guns.
      If we take that as fact, nothing but fueling their fire is achieved by intransigence of equal strength but opposite direction.
      Gun owners must take *positive* action to contribute to a better country.
      Doing nothing is only going to be a disservice to us. Period.
      Public attitudes are changing – for one reason or another, fairly or not.
      We must respond with positive, responsible actions.

        • The road down which this can may be kicked is coming to an end.

          Something will have to be done.

          We must be part of that something or it will be done for us.

          This is how groups work: minority, fringe, extreme, dissenting and intransigent groups get marginalized from the discussion and the decisions are made without their input.

      • Your point is well taken. Problem solving is a key aspect to this issue and we must provide positive solutions.

        However, our gun community as a whole needs to state with resolve our position. We cannot rely on the funding we provide organizations such as the NRA, SAF, GOA and others.The anti-gun community must be convinced of our position. Their default action is always to generate more gun control laws. No other solutions will be taken seriously until they understand we will not tolerate further erosion of our rights.

    • I also agree, and I do take my oath that I took when enlisting all 4 times, to defend the Constitution against enemies foreign and domestic. This is something ALL active, reservist, national guard, and retired from all the services, even many police have the same or similar oath taken when they enlisted into the police forces. We have gotten lazy and have forgotten our Oath. We have been allowing corrupt, morally bankrupt people to chose how we live our lives. We have forgotten that our Bill of Rights and the Constitution were both written in blood. By those people who wanted to live free and to make sure their children can live free. Well the great, great, great, great grand children have forgotten this and are now themselves becoming those that their ancestor fought against. Our lives are soft and without real hardship. We forgot our Oaths and our countries history, what the cost of dreams really is.

    • This was my reaction as well. This well composed and thought out letter will make little impact because the agenda it was in response to is one of disarmament not public health.

  10. Great letter,to bad she so close minded to prob not even open it up and read it. she has beef with guns and thinks its the soul prob

  11. Small changes to our laws relevant to the reporting of specific high-risk psychiatric symptoms would have avoided at least some of the tragic mass shootings which we have seen in the last few years (Cho, Loughner, Holmes, Roberts and Lanza).

    How would Lanza’s illness have impacted his mother’s ability to store guns under ther same roof? Logical flaws like this discredit the better points the letter raises.

    • I’m trying to focus on one key issue.
      Two alternatives to that:
      1. Enact broad, sweeping laws – like a ban on all semis (or worse).
      2. Do nothing – see my earlier comments to surlycmd

  12. Dr, Vino, this is a good and encouraging proposal. Thank-you for writing it and giving your permission to share it around. While it may not dissuade DiFi, as others have suggested, it needs to be circulated as far as possible, as it may convince others and supply talking points to other people like Wayne LaPierre (noting that you’ve sent him a copy).

      • Thanks for posting!
        I agree in principle on the idea, but I also understand fully the opposition or concerns.
        I feel if we get the doctors who treat people involved for input, and discuss what needs to be done, it can happen in a way where we won’t see abuse, as Skyler pointed out.
        I think we can say that we know it needs to take place, but we simply don’t have the exact how yet.
        If we can get the mental health community, folks like yourself involved, I think we can get something that makes sense.

  13. The mental health catagorizing is a good idea & might save some lives. We can’t catch them all, do we now have dianes blessing for guns in schools? Like others have said the drs ideas are good just sent to the wrong person, shes just intent with waving that AR around, I’m surprised she wasn’t pointing the butt end forward, Randy

  14. Nice letter, but it does not address family members of potential gun buyers/owners. This Adam kid, if I understand correctly, attempted to purchase firearms (at Dicks?) and was denied, but had plenty access to his mother’s guns. I would support denying someone purchase of firearms if a mentally unstable family member is present in the household. This would require access to tax records during background checks to determine dependents and medical records to identify mental issues. Won’t prevent all access, but its a start and much better than any proposed firearms/mag size ban. Unfortunately, the mother was at much fault for this for not securing the firearms better. Hard to legislate against stupid.

    • From my understanding, he was about to be committed to an institution and that’s what triggered the murders.

      So, this would imply that denying gun rights to the mentally ill, however identified, wouldn’t have prevented this tragedy.

      Focusing on mental health as a bugaboo is a good effort at redirecting the discussion, but in the end, it will still come down to the fact that if someone wants to murder a lot of people then no law or program will stop it. The only defense is to stop the person quickly once he self-identifies through his actions, and that requires an armed populace. Anything else is playing into the hands of the gun grabbers.

      • True, but in the end, the mother did not secure the firearms and should have knowing the kid had issues and was about to be committed. Just another parental fail for which everyone else has to pay the price.

        • The murderer was intelligent enough to break the guns out. Locking them up would have done nothing.

      • So, this would imply that denying gun rights to the mentally ill, however identified, wouldn’t have prevented this tragedy.

        So what? No program is going to prevent everything, and you know it. However, it probably would have prevented Virginia Tech and Tucson, where guns were legally purchased by lunatics.

        The Tucson murders were even more galling because Loughner also had a history of drug abuse that turned up in his Army enlistment process, and the Army didn’t report it to NICS. He also had a history of frightening activities on campus and was suspended from school because of them.

        Normal people don’t wake up one morning and decide to wipe out a classroom. All these a$$h0les leave a paper trail and have a history of violence and threats. Allowing them access to firearms because of some nebulous concern about gulogs is nonsense.

        • And yet they would still find guns if they want them.

          Freedom is the point. Freedom is the argument. Freedom isn’t free. Freedom is what our country was founded on. Freedom.

          Any measures that deny freedom are just another milepost on the road to serfdom.

          Locking up or forcibly medicating people is not the answer. The mass murders are statistical outliers and will continue to be statistical outliers. There is nothing that will stop them from happening occasionally with a population of 300+ million.

          We should not cede anything to those that would continue to erode our freedoms.

        • Skyler, freedom is the point, but when freedom means freedom to murder children, count me out.

          If your argument is that maniacs can’t be denied legal guns, then count me out.

          If your argument is that your world view trumps medicine, count me out.

          If your argument is that crazy people can’t be restrained, count me out.

          Me and millions like me.

  15. From her office:
    We will take this suggestion under advisement right after the gun bans are put in. It will be easy to round people up for observation after disarmingly them. Anyone who ever felt blue or had a tramatic experience will need close supervision I assure you.

  16. Dr Vino,

    Thanks for taking the time to consider and propose this. While I believe at best the Senator will take a “yes and” approach to your proposal rather than a “instead of” with respect to her gun control bill, at least this kind of proposal has some chance of having a positive effect. Coming from a psychiatrist and a gun owner it is a reasonable proposal for dealing with the psychiatric issues involved. I doubt you’ll change her mind, but a CC to Senator Grassley who is going to be the ranking member in the Senate Judiciary Committee may be a good further use of your proposal. It makes sense to me, it needs to be more widely shared.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Darren
    Radiology

  17. I like most sensible people want to make sure those you could be a threat, a killer to NOT have access to firearms. Yet I have a BIG problem with WHO will be making the decision as to WHO is a threat! I have studied psychology for over 50 years and KNOW that at lease 99% of ALL Mental Health Professionals ARE IGNORANT, STUPID, INCOMPETENT, NEGLIGENT and SERIOUSLY MENTALLY SICK!!!

    I understand how that may seem to many people but think about this! What if every school taught something different. One school teaches that 2 + 2 = 4, then another teaches 2 + 2 = 5, yet another teaches 2 + 2 = 3, still another teaches 2 + 2 = 6, etc., etc…. How confused would things be? That IS exactly what is and has been happing in the Mental Health field. Every one of them believe something different. There are dozens may be hundreds of different therapies and yes Mental Health Professionals have a rationalization for each of them. In reality 2 + 2 ALWAYS equal 4 which means any different answer is incorrect.

    The same goes for mental health and just about any honest question. There is only ONE correct answer. Yet in the Mental Health Professions they have hundreds maybe thousands of different answers to the same question. The APA (American Psychiatric Association) will soon be releasing the DSM 5. There are many that digress with it and there were four (4) before it. So why does it keep changing??? Does the mental illness keep changing? Of course we learn more about the mental illness but that is NOT what is truly happening. The belief by those in power is the only thing that matters.

    In the 1970’s the APA took Homosexuality out of the DSM as a psychiatric disorder yet 59% of the members voted AGAINST it’s removal and their was ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE that homosexuality was anything other than a Mental Illness!!! 40 years later there still is NO EVIDENCE that homosexuality is anything but a mental illness!!! Since the 1970’s more Homosexuals have become Mental Health Professionals and they are SERIOUSLY MENTALLY SICK!!!

    Psychological testing IS ALSO a scam. Even Ted Bundy was able to pass the MMPI yet he was a PSYCHOPATHIC RAPIST and MURDERER!!! How can that happen? One he studied psychology and the most important is that ALL psychological test are a PROJECTION of those that write them. Since those that write them are MENTALLY SICK the test can NOT be valid!!!

    So the question IS does ANYONE really want those in the Mental Health Profession to make the decision as to WHO can or can NOT own firearms??? I sure a HELL do NOT!!! NOR do I want ANY POLITICIAN to make that decision either!!!

    • One question GDC. What, exactly, is your evidence “that at lease (sic) 99% of ALL Mental Health Professionals ARE IGNORANT, STUPID, INCOMPETENT, NEGLIGENT and SERIOUSLY MENTALLY SICK!!!”?

      By the way, I think you should have devoted at least a small part of the 50 years you say you’ve spent studying psychology, to studying spelling, grammar, and semantics.

  18. All around wrong answer,

    As we all know the government will take a reasonable restriction and use it to include as many people as it possibly can.

    I have PTSD, it is an anxiety disorder resulting from combat trauma. Most people that know I have both guns AND PTSD think that at any moment I will burst into a flashback and start popping off rounds. They saw Rambo…these are not stupid people, they just associate PTSD with uncontrollable outbursts of violence.

    I don’t have faith that the government will do their research on what PTSD is and allow all of us (about 250,000 active and former service members) to keep our guns.

    • PTSD is not characterized by thought disturbance.
      I’m also not concerned about hoarders going on sprees – they don’t want to part with the bullets. 😉

  19. As a mental health professional myself (clinical psychologist, 42 years of experience in the provision of outpatient, closed/locked inpatient diagnosis and treatment, as well as in working with law-enforcement as part of a psychiatric emergency response team), let me herewith disabuse all of you of the notion that we mental health professionals are going to save the day when it comes to preventing such acts of violence as have recently mangled the souls of the general public. There is no evidence that ANYONE has a handle on reliably identifying, beforehand, the people who, like Cho, Loughner, Holmes, Roberts, Lanza, and, most recently, in Rochester, NY, Spengler, are going to perpetrate mayhem. Such evidence as there is suggests that we mental health professionals do somewhat more poorly at this task than the lay public, largely because we tend to operate under the “better safe than sorry” rule, lest our reputations be ruined when someone we have officially certified as being at low or no risk for perpetrating violence then goes out and does something horrific. I suspect that ultimately we Americans are simply going to have to suck it up that in a country of 300 million people, human anomalies, like Cho, Loughner, Holmes, Roberts, Lanza and Spengler, are going to surface, and that after the fact we will moan that someone should have seen it coming. But at this stage of the development of psychological/psychiatric science, seeing it coming is simply beyond our capabilities. Get used to it, or be prepared to deprive a bunch of people of their Second Amendment rights, on scientifically indefensible grounds.

    • Did you *read* what I wrote?

      I don’t know you, but your statements give credence to my adage that Psychology is the Alchemy to Neuropsychiatry’s Chemistry.

      • Yes, I read what you wrote, and if YOU read what I wrote you will understand that we are not in disagreement on this issue, though I would caution you against putting too much faith in neuropsychiatric chemistry, either, since, despite all its talk of “neurotransmitters” and “receptor sites” and “dopaminergic, adrenergic and cholinergic pathways”, etc., it is no more of an exact science than is psychology. For example, many of the psychiatric medications used to treat “schizphrenia,” whatever that is, diminish the supply of dopamine in the brain, on the supposition that excessive dopamine is responsible for some of the salient symptoms/signs of schizophrenia, yet no one has ever demonstrated that in fact the brains or cerebrospinal fluid of unmedicated “shizophrenics” contain a surplus of dopamine. As far as I am concerned, your adage should read somehing like “Psychology is to Neuropsychiatry as phrenology is to alchemy.” I’d look at both fields of study somewhat circumspectly, were I you.

  20. I don’t have a safe, but have several California DOJ approved gun lockers. Safes keep the stuff through fire, these will not, but provide adequate protection against theft. I keep a Mossberg 500a with”00″ buck loaded in the the locker in my room. The rest are trigger locked. If I have too, I will retreat to the other lockers outside my house in locked sheds (where I keep my ammo). I feel confident (with the dogs at home) that I can deal with any situation until LEO arrive.

  21. Dr Vino, Although I agree with you on most of your points and express my gratititude for your letter to Feinstein I doubt it will do any good. It is lifting to hear a voice of reason coming from the professional ranks. There are people in power who unfortunately have an agenda and exploit tragedys such as this to further their agenda and will disregard any thing that makes for good common sense. If you will remember former chief of staff Rahm Emmanuels statement “We can’t let a good crisis go to waste” it will show you the mindset of these people. I believe that they were secretly hoping for something like this so they could now attempt to penalize decent law abiding citizens for the actions of a lunatic! These people in power really care nothing about the general public or their wishes. It’s not about gun control, it’s just about control! This deranged pscychopaths mother is now paying an eternal price for her denial and stupidity in how severe her sons condition was. She thought that by teaching her son how to shoot it would teach him responsibilty. The error and blindness in her judgment is criminal. Anyone with a slight modicum of sense should know that you don’t leave potentially deadly weapons accessible to persons with serious mental deficiencies! If she was going to keep firearms in her home with said autistic son it was her responsibility to keep those firearms to where her son could not get his hands on them! I’m sure the absence of a father figure in the household had something to do with his lack of reasoning and not knowing how to conduct himself. Children need both motherly and fatherly figures in their lives especially if mental illness involved. A mom can’t be a father and a dad can’t be a mother! If the reports I’ve read are true this young man went on his rampage after his mother told him she was sending him to some kind of institution out west and evidently he wasn’t happy with that! Now the radical proggressives (P.C. name for communist) in power are using this to userp more power from the citizenry! Feinstein has a long record of antagonization towards the 2nd amendment and if God Himself stood before her told her she was wrong she would tell God how she knows better than Him! Thanks for writing her anyway. At least it lends some more credibility to our argument.

  22. I have read that at one point in her life, Dianne Feinstein had a concealed carry permit. It would be interesting to know if she still has it, or whether, in accordance with her current strongly anti-gun sentiments, she has relinquished it and the weapon for which it was issued.

  23. To these radical progressive politicians (P.C. name for a communist) it isn’t so much about gun control! It’ is just about control!!!

  24. But an ARMED sheeple, if indeed a sheeple I am. My impression, Frank, is that the froth from your mouth is getting in your eyes and impairing your vision.

    • My vision is fine! I can put rounds into a 10 inch circle at 1000 yards all day long! I can see enemies of freedom even farther away than that! All the way to DC and California!

      • Conway if I misread you I ask you to accept my apologies? But you are right about the froth! When someone of either party tramples on my constitutional rights I get highly pissed! Both parties are corrupt!

        • Apology accepted, Frank, but please remember that high emotion tends to impair one’s fighting ability, and those of us who want to preserve and perhaps even enhance, our Second Amendment rights, are in for one helluva fight, it looks like, and we need to keep our wits about us. Acting like Alex Jones isn’t a smart strategy.

  25. I have a 26 Y/O stepson with a long history of mental disorders. He has been under psychiatric care for at least 20 years now and medicated for various symptoms ranging from OCD, schizophrenia and various anger issues over the years. However, recently the state of Florida saw fit to issue him a concealed carry permit. He now possesses a .45 cal semi-automatic handgun! There is something seriously wrong with this system today! Could it be that Florida chose to be lax on their investigation of permit seekers just so they could be the first state in the union to issue over one million CC permits? I have to wonder!! Meanwhile my stepson no long lives with us, but the fear of a lighted fuse remains

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