I’m just funnin’ with y’all. The New York Times cares about gun rights like the Mayor of Bikinis, Texas cares about political correctness. Even so, we can connect these dots without the Gray Lady’s help. “
Gun owners Patients and parents concerned about mental illness have every right to be confused,” the Times’ Editorial Board admits. “The head of the federal agency that finances mental health research has just declared that the most important diagnostic manual for psychiatric diseases lacks scientific validity and needs to be bolstered by a new classification system based on biology, not just psychiatric opinion. The hitch is that such a biology-based system will not be available for a decade or more.” To be clear . . .
The [American] psychiatric association’s diagnoses [contained within the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] are mostly based on a professional consensus about what clusters of symptoms are associated with a disease, like depression, and not on any objective laboratory measure, like blood counts or other biological markers. The [National Institute of Health] says scientists have not produced the data needed to design a system based on biomarkers or cognitive measures. To fill the gap, the agency started a program two years ago to finance research in biology, genetics, neuroscience, cognitive science and other disciplines with the ultimate goal of helping scientists define disorders by their causes, rather than their symptoms.
Translation: mental illness is what the American Psychiatric Association (APA) says it is. That would be the same association that met with Vice President Joe Biden’s post-Newtown Task Force to devise new legislation to prevent “gun violence.” And we all know how that turned out.
To be fair, APA liaison Dr. Paul Appelbaum called for “developing sensible, nondiscriminatory approaches to keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous people.” Oh wait. “He noted as an example of a commonsense approach an Indiana statute that empowers law enforcement officers to seize weapons from persons who by their behavior indicate a likelihood of committing violent acts.'”
So the APA, the org that literally wrote the book (such as it is) on what constitues mental illness, is happy to leave the definition of mental illness to local law enforcement. Even though “evaluation of the statute’s operation has shown that although a majority of people whose weapons are seized are perceived to have a mental illness, many do not.”
The man sounds conflicted. But here’s one thing for sure: trusting these eggheads with gun rights is like letting the [now defunct] Texas Bikini Team perform surgery on a cerebrovascular disorder. Or trusting politicians and newspaper editors to establish a balance between mental health, gun rights and public safety.