TTAG Daily Digest: Crazy Is As Crazy Does Edition

Good news Marylanders! There’s no need to be crabby about mass shootings any more. A Maryland task force on the subject has determined that “there are ways to limit access to firearms by people with mental illnesses. The key is to identify people who threaten others, or who threaten to hurt or kill themselves.” Why didn’t we think of that? But, uh, who will decide who’s over the wack-o line? “’We focus on the people who actually make threats, and we focus on due process,’ said the task force’s co-chairman, Patrick Dooley, who is chief of staff for the (Maryland) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.” Here’s the best part: “The study recommends an emergency procedure for police to seize a mentally ill person’s firearms or to deny that person the right to purchase weapons. A court would have to conduct a complete review within 14 days.” Speaking of crazy . . .

News Flash: It’s actually kinda hard to tell who will go postal. Ahead of time, that is. Out here in the real world. washingtonpost.com

But Russel Nieli has ID’d one predictor — absentee fathers. thepublicdiscourse.com

Bad guys heart Journal News’ interactive pistol permit owners’ name and address map: “Criminals are always looking for opportunity and words travels through the grapevine—burglars trade secrets and when you see something like that in the paper, that’s is something burglar’s are going to talk about . . . ‘Did you see in the paper where all these people have guns and their addresses?’ and that kind of stuff, they’ll say.” foxnews.com

Ballet dancer turned foxnews.com defense specialist Allison Barrie forgets that LEOs forget what they put in their shotgun. Integrity Ballistics better hope the good guys have integrity and lots of training. 

I wonder if Mr. Fallon will invite someone from the gun rights community to come on his show. Actually, I don’t.

Smoove operator. Although Sade would recoil from that synth track.

Thanks to the US Senate’s arcane rules, one member can throw a monkey wrench in the works when it comes to getting a bill through the legislative sausage-making process. As far as DiFi’s prospective gun ban and registration bill goes, new Texas Senator Ted Cruz says he’s just the guy to do it. dallasnews.com

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

53 Responses to TTAG Daily Digest: Crazy Is As Crazy Does Edition

  1. avatarstateisevil says:

    “Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.”

    Mental Hygiene….as determined by “progressive” government employees. My God, I may need to start looking at expatriation before this tyranny goes hot.

  2. avatarSteve says:

    So someone just happens to have a beef with you, and happens to know you are a gun owner.
    This will allow them to make your life a living hell with a phone call.

    Great. A society of rats.

  3. avatarDavid says:

    There is no place in Maryland that is more that 2 hours from another state (I am being generous – more like 30 minutes). So when a nut from say PA wants to get rowdy – good luck stopping him when he parks at the state line and walks over w/ his destructive device of choice.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      PA is cool with citizens owning Destructive Devices? Cool!

      That includes towable artillery, right?

    • avatarSammy says:

      A bit paranoid , or jealous. I can’t tell. And who are you to label anyone for anywhere? Aren’t you worried about the guys from Trenton or Camden?

  4. avatarLance says:

    Call and say thank you and help Sen Ted Cruz!!!

  5. avatarAlphaGeek says:

    Dammit, RF, here I am still at work at 1845PT on a Friday and now all I can think about is crab cakes. Delicious, freshly made Maryland Dungeness crab cakes with a nicely spicy sauce to go with them.

    • avatarMauser says:

      Blue crab, not Dungeness. Probably the only thing I’ll miss about the ‘free state’ after I move this year.

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        You’re right — didn’t catch that until after it was too late. My stomach was clearly lobbying for the Dungeness crabs we get here on the west coast.

        Besides, states east of the Miss are relatively tiny compared to the west. I drive further within the borders of CA just to go skiing than it would take someone to cross three states in search of MD crabcakes. :)

        • avatarjwm says:

          Bodega bay and the smoked salmon.

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          You are SO not helping. Now I can’t decide if fresh salmon or straight-out-of-the-fryer crabcakes sound better…

        • avatarWA_2A says:

          You want salmon? Come out here to Western Washington. Best in the world.

          I had smoked salmon while at a nearby Indian reservation once, known for its fishing and whaling. I still have dreams about how delicious it was…

        • avatarCarlosT says:

          Alder plank salmon being the best. Cook it slow over about three or four hours over mesquite, then finish with a brown sugar glaze and cracked pepper. All this after brining overnight, of course.

        • avatarRalph says:

          Smoked salmon? How do you keep them lit?

        • avatarCarlosT says:

          Inhale really hard!

        • avatarAPBTFan says:

          Ok, you all are seriously torturing this Arizona boy with this talk of fresh crab and all.

          Sniff, sniff …..I have Constitutional Carry….but I really, really really want fresh crab sniff, sniff……

        • avatarCarlosT says:

          APBTFan: one word to solve both your fresh crab and Constitutional Carry cravings – Alaska.

  6. avatarCA_Chris says:

    The mental health program could be a good thing, depending on the rules they implement. It sure beats more useless gun bans.

    One requirement should be recorded proof of threats or previous violence before emergency intervention can be triggered. I do like that a court has to conduct a review within 14 days, too.

    Then again, there are already laws allowing involuntary medical detention if a person is considered a danger to their self or others and meets other criteria for mental illness. If the existing mental health system had be utilized, and had people not actively tried to shield both Loughner and Holmes from the “consequences” of a psychiatric hold, there would be a lot of people still alive today. Both Holmes and Loughner were known to be dangerous and unstable by their families and acquaintances, but nobody wanted to confront the issues.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      I agree with you overall, but personally, I think 14 days is too long to wait for a hearing.

      3 working days is more like it for an initial hearing, and if an reasonable basis for denial is brought forth by the state and challenged by plaintiff’s counsel, then a full hearing could follow.

      • avatarJeff the Griz says:

        In Michigan it is minimum 10 days excluding Sundays and Holidays, to see Judge. I am a mental health nurse and know how many cuts have been made to government funded mental health programs.

    • avatarBarstow Cowboy says:

      Leave it to a guy from CA to give it up for “sensible gun control”. Please stay where you’re at, and whatever you do DON’T move to AZ when you finally get tired of living there.

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      Chris, you hit on a very relevant point – family protecting or sheltering those they know to be dangerous.

      It’s hard to slam family members trying to keep a troubled loved one out of trouble but I think the word needs to get out and be reinforced that sheltering is not always in the best interest of your loved one or society in general and that in the long run many of those troubled people, especially those worrying folks outside the home, might be better served getting treatment whether they like it or not. On the flip side, I have 25 years experience on the subject and unfortunately many of the folks that are worst-off and most prone to violence are the ones that either resist treatment the most or promptly quit their meds once released. Some don’t quite get the fact that even though the meds make them feel better they can’t quit them. Forced treatment can be implemented, and they get better under it, but once deemed stable they are turned loose with a script in their hand and a promise to make the next doctor’s appointment.

      All the time, money and attention spent lately on banning things would be infinitely better invested in a better, more intelligent system of identifying and helping those that pose the greatest risk. These shooters are a fraction of a fraction of our population and I can’t help but think that all of our aforementioned time/money/attention would be best spent in this direction.

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        If you don’t write an article on this and submit it this weekend, we are all going to be Very Disappointed in you.

  7. avatarFPS Luxembourg says:

    Robert, there is a great story of DGU in the ajc.com right now. Mother with 2 kids shoots home intruder 5 times in Atlanta suburb.
    Sorry, not sure how to contact you or post link. Technically illiterate 40-something.

  8. avatarHasdrubal says:

    Speaking as a police officer, I think that if any mechanism is ever put into place for mental health reviews, it should not be something that can be initiated directly by the police. To seize property and get a court to look at it a few weeks later goes against everything I’ve ever been taught about due process. The court review should happen first, and then if someone is found mentally incapable and a danger to the public based on an actual medical diagnosis, only then should the police be given the power to seize the guns.

    It would take wiser people than me to figure out how to keep the court from just arbitrarily declaring people to be insane based on “the neighbors think he’s creepy,” so I won’t ramble on about that aspect.

    Currently in WA, police can sometimes take firearms for safekeeping when the owner is involuntarily committed for mental health evaluation, but they have to be given back unless we find some history of actually being involuntarily institutionalized… and we do give them back, even when we believe the person is mentally unstable. Because we don’t have the authority to keep them.

    • avatarMark says:

      Hasdrubal, you are absolutely right. Our system of government was explicitly designed to prohibit the arbitrary seizure and confinement common to other countries. I hope we are able to keep The Bill of Rights intact despite the madness rising against it.

  9. avatarSanchanim says:

    Ok folks its official. I got suckered into organizing the California picket protest in Sacramento on January 19th.
    Let me know if you are interested and I will get you my email address.
    I will be be getting in touch with CalGuns as well. We need to make our voices heard and this is a great way to do it!

  10. avatarg says:

    The Boberg was kinda cool to watch… too bad the pistol is waaaaaaay outta my price range for a CC 9mm.

    And crabcakes.

    Mmm…

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      Yes. Well. Home-made beef stew was waiting when I got home. Not crabcakes, but it will definitely do.

  11. avatarAPBTFan says:

    Totally confused by the Boberg video. With that music and all the gyrations John Holmes had to be in the somewhere. Testing the throat on the barrels, I don’t know……

  12. avatarSilver says:

    The Orwellian State creeps ever closer.

    Soon, it’ll be a “mental health” issue to be libertarian, as defined by our overlords.

  13. avatarKendahl says:

    We don’t need mental hygiene police to proactively “identify” mass murderers based on fuzzy, politically incorrect statements. What we do need is enforcement of existing laws against threats and assaults and, when it seems warranted, psychiatric evaluation of the perpetrators to see if the underlying cause is mental illness.

    Seugh-Hui Cho had life long mental issues that manifested themselves at Virginia Tech as stalking and threatening behavior in class. He was declared mentally ill by a Virginia court but allowed to seek outpatient treatment instead of being committed. The faculty tried to get along with him. In other words, nobody did anything effective.

    Jared Loughner was a mentally ill drug abuser who was suspended from Pima Community College for disruptive behavior. Other than requiring a mental health clearance from a psychiatrist before readmitting Loughner, the college did nothing.

    James Holmes was under treatment by a Denver University psychiatrist who was sufficiently concerned to report him to campus security. No action was taken after he withdrew.

    Erika Menendez, who pushed a man to his death off a New York City subway platform, had been arrested before. Among other things, she attacked a retired NYC fireman while screaming paranoid accusations. Although responding police witnessed her screaming, she was not committed for psychiatric evaluation.

    Locally, police recently shot to death an armed gangbanger who was out on furlough from prison. Our county attorney managed to get work release revoked for a man convicted of beating his ex-wife nearly to death. His sentence was six years but he was eligible for work release after one.

    • avatarHasdrubal says:

      What legal structure or power do you propose to enable a person, or agency, to use so that these people may be either temporarily or permanently detained/institutionalized? What mechanism or set of criteria do you favor to determine when someone is a threat to others, or just mentally ill?

      I’ve personally known paranoid schizophrenics who were able to hold jobs (at McDonald’s, but still employed), and despite speaking in threatening and frightening ways from time to time, have not to my knowledge actually hurt anyone.

      Not to be critical- I’m looking for a solution too, but if you give an ethical government worker a sweeping power to affect the world, don’t be surprised if an unethical worker with the same job title uses it too.

      • avatarKendahl says:

        I agree that we shouldn’t give any official unrestricted power to commit people to mental hospitals. That kind of decision should be made by a judge, on the basis of diagnosis by qualified psychiatrists, and should be subject to review by higher courts. When someone comes to the attention of the judicial system because he/she has committed a minor violent crime, like assault, while displaying symptoms of serious mental illness, he/she should be evaluated and committed if found to be ill. What happens instead is that these people are ignored until they commit a major crime. Erika Menendez is a classic example.

      • avatarTR says:

        Hasdrubal, you’re right about the schizophrenics: only a tiny fraction of them ever commit violent acts against anyone besides themselves. Statistically, a paranoid schizophrenic is many times more likely to be a victim than an agressor.

        I guess maybe there needs to be some qualifying factor involved, like a history of violence. My (adopted) little brother lives with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. He has rough times where he gets really angry, and he’s said things like “I just want to kill someone,” but he’s never acted on it in any way. He’s never hit or tried to hurt anyone. Stress management training and allowing him to walk away from a situation when he gets angry have decreased these episodes quite a bit, and given his personality and non-violent history I have absolutely zero problem with him owning firearms. He is extremely careful with them and always shows good discipline.

        The scary thing about allowing a particular diagnosis to automatically preclude firearm ownership is that there are plenty of people who, even when not medicated, can live very normal lives and never be a danger to anyone. The only diagnosis I’d be ok with being an automatic disqualifier would be Antisocial Personality Disorder or, if under 18, severe Conduct Disorder. Those are two diagnoses that should mean lifetime lockup. IMHO.

  14. avatarW C says:

    If a burgler knows you have a gun, is he more or less likely to try to rob you?

    • avatarHasdrubal says:

      Depends on your definitions- in WA robbery means generally to take something from a person, what some people call mugging, but a burglary is to enter or remain unlawfully with the intent to commit a crime. Generally, the theft of items from the place you entered unlawfully.

      With those definitions, less likely to rob you, because he might get shot. Maybe more or maybe less likely to burglarize your home, depending on if he knows there’s not going to be anyone there when you’re at work, but believes you leave your guns at home.

    • avatarDale says:

      Seems like that would depend on whether you were home or not.

      Also it’s pretty important to understand the differences between “Theft” and “Robbery” (aka Robbery by Force). As an informed citizen you might want to take the time to look up and understand the difference.

  15. avatarGw says:

    In general, less. Predators naturally tend to prey on the weaker, less agile and least likely to defend themselves. Humans are, of course naturally and essentially predatory animals unless taught otherwise. Devoid of Conscience, adherence to simple Moral codes of thought and conduct and absent respect for the ’Rights’ of other individuals, the human animal is unarguably the most dangerous creature to have ever inhabited the planet.
    From another perspective, question as follows:
    “Which of the two is the greater danger? A person with criminal intent in possession of hands, feet, and say, a hammer or a gun — or a legislator armed with nothing but a pen?”

    • avatarMark says:

      The legislator is the greater danger because opinions on the danger they present vary, thus prohibiting the use of deadly force to stop them.

  16. avatarIvy Mike says:

    4,800 cases of pharmacologically induced violence:

    SSRI Stories
    http://ssristories.com/

  17. avatarJoseph B Campbell says:

    The major problem with all this law officer/court will is all the dockets are full. Likewise so are our prisons. Criminals are walking the street now because there is no place to incarcerate them!

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