[PHOTO REMOVED]

 
[NOTE: The original version of this post contained a photo of the wrong Dr. Laura Hayes. That photo has been removed, with our apologies. -Ed.]

Writing for slate.com, psychologist Laura Hayes reckons mental illness isn’t such a big deal, gun violence-wise. “Violent crimes committed by people with severe mental illnesses get a lot of attention, but such attacks are relatively rare. Paolo del Vecchio of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has said, ‘Violence by those with mental illness is so small that even if you could somehow cure it all, 95 percent of violent crime would still exist.'” Yes, but if vilifying mentally ill people (and taking away their guns) saves just one life . . . I kid. And kudos to Dr. Hayes for putting things in perspective. Oh wait. Oh dear . . .

The attribution of violent crime to people diagnosed with mental illness is increasing stigmatization of the mentally ill while virtually no effort is being made to address the much broader cultural problem of anger management. This broader problem encompasses not just mass murders but violence toward children and spouses, rape, road rage, assault, and violent robberies. We are a culture awash in anger.

That kind of talk really pisses me off. Seriously, America’s violent crime rate has been falling for decades. If we’re a culture awash in anger – a supposition I don’t accept – the tide is going out.

Anger disorders are a product of long-term anger mismanagement. They are a pathological misdirection of normal aggressive feelings. Anger is, at its essence, a part of the basic biological reaction to danger, the fight or flight response. The physiological shift makes us stop thinking and mobilize for immediate action, as though our life depends on it. It is a primitive response, and very powerful. Anger prepares us to stand our ground and fight. It helped our ancestors survive, but in today’s complex technological world, it is often more hindrance than help. The angrier you feel, the less clearly you can think, and therefore the less able you are to negotiate, take a new perspective, or effectively handle a provocation.

If that sounds like an advertisement for someone in the anger management business that’s because it is. If it sounds like the philosophy underlying the civilian disarmament industrial complex – ordinary citizens are too mentally unstable to keep and bear arms – that’s also true. For which I have one word: projection.

Uncontrolled anger has become our No. 1 mental health issue. Though we have the understanding and the skills to treat the anger epidemic in this country, as a culture, we have been unwilling to accept the violence problem as one that belongs to each and every one of us. We have sought scapegoats in minority cultures, racial groups, and now the mentally ill. When we are ready to accept that the demon is within us all, we can begin to treat the cycle of anger and suffering.

Right. The violence problem is MY fault. Maybe only tangentially – you know, “culturally” – when someone swings a crowbar at my head or tries to rape one of my daughters. Actually, not so tangentially. In either of those cases and a bunch more too, I will be violent. Unapologetically. Unrepentantly. Otherwise, I’ll be as pleasant as can be. You?

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86 Responses to Dr. Laura Hayes: I’m OK, You’re A Potential Spree Killer

  1. Psychologists are some of the nuttiest members of our society. Being one entails believing everyone around them is crazy (PC alert!) and must be “corrected”, while they are the only sane ones.

        • Anectdotal but fwiw every single psychologist or psychiatrist that I have ever personally met was crazy.

        • Paul, er I’m sorry Your Holiness – you have been rolling your eyes a lot lately in sanctimonious retort to some very lucid and reasonable assertions that have been made here by some very lucid and reasonable people. It’s becoming quite annoying, Your Beatitude. Put a sock in it Friar Tuck. Your status as clergy is not impressive nor is it intimidating to me and does not entitle you to any more credibility or creedence than anyone else. You behave as though it does, and that is not acceptable. It is, however, typical for a ‘man of the cloth’.

      • Maybe not so absurd. I don’t usually agree with Burke, but something about motes and beams comes to mind.

        Psychology is the only science (using the term loosely) that can’t (yet) objectively measure its object of inquiry, so we’re left with conjecture, deduction, and inference treated as fact. However talented the therapist, she can only view the problems of others through the distorted lenses of her own.

        • The ruling psychological theory of the day changes every few years. Theoretical structures worshiped for decades become debunked and disdained (Freud, then Behaviorism, for example).

          I could tell you stories for hours about the bizarre public behavior of the Director of Psychiatry at a large Ivy League medical school, as could others who know him.

          I actually enjoy reading psychology, and (pompous me) as a Phi Beta Kappa undergraduate majored in Russian Language and…Psychology. But yes, the psychologists are weird, each (to mug Tolstoy) in their own way. Their most notable problem these days, though, is their difficulty getting paid by anyone other than some government welfare program. Psychiatrists don’t have this problem. They are often weird, but they get paid.

          I should say that the sanest (and possibly smartest) man I every knew was a psychiatrist/neurologist who for years ran the Univ. of CA Cannabis Research Program, Igor Grant. Such is life.

      • For once William is dead on. ALL psycho professionals, no matter what specific name they attach to their door signs, are f**ked in the head. Neurologists, real doctors who actually deal with the brain and nervous system, are the only ones you should be paying attention to. All these doctor Phil wannabes need rounded up and put to hard labor.

      • I’ve got to throw my support to the Scurvy Dog on this one Padre. Number one I find it hypocritical to the point of being disgusting to see someone who’s a representative of any god of any religious persuasion in absolutely any context behaving in such a narcissistic, vacuous and childish manner on a public forum of any sort much less an internet comment section.
        One might reasonably expect more adult behavior and greater intellectual discussion from someone whose avatar file is an abbreviation for the Latin Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum (the word of the Lord endures forever; for those that quite reasonably don’t read Latin) especially considering that even those with passing familiarity with scripture know that the behavior you do engage in on a regular basis is specifically stated at numerous points within that Word (Scripture) to be a hard no-go.
        Although I do suppose that it’s possible you were too busy vainly affecting the roll of your eyes to gain the approval of your temporal peers at University to absorb that information right? (I am not religious and have never professed to be, people hold my behavior to a much lower standard which I am all too pleased to sink to on occasion.)

        Further William’s point had very serious merit, regardless of whether or not he expressed it to your own standards (which he in fact did not, surpassing them by virtue of his honest sincerity and lack of malicious intent.) Modern psychology evolved with a heavy emphasis on Freudian psychology as opposed to the tenants of his contemporary Jung due to the fact that Jung was discredited by engaging in an affair with a patient. Jungian methods have only begun to gain any popular acceptance in the field over the last few decades primarily based on the parallels that are found in the hugely popular and influential works of Joseph Campbell during the lead up to his development and elaboration of the “mono-myth.” The key difference between Jungian and Freudian methods and motives may be summed up as followed:

        “Freudian methodologies seek to identify existing and future problems. When present Freudian psychology emphasizes altering the behavior of the individual to meet society’s standards. Jungian methods and practices seek instead to identify current or potential problems. Having identified a problem the Jungian method then encourages the individual to life a productive life by accepting their nature and seeking out a position within society where that nature is acceptable or even requisite.”

        Bottom line Freud – Controls for the good of others. Jung – Integrates for the good of self and others.

        Therefore logically, philosophically and even semantically William’s statement is valid, when the polemic principle of reductio ad absurdum is applied his statement becomes not only true but entertaining.

        Perhaps if you’d learn to listen to the ideas of others and consider then respectfully disagree with rather than attack those ideas you’d be able to have intelligent and productive conversations with others, who knows maybe even outside the borders of this fine nation we call the internet.

    • <—–Psychologist. Mental illness is hard to define, even for professionals, and it's more of a sliding scale than a binary choice. Most people do have the seeds of mental illness within them, but the vast majority will never have any serious effects. So no, we don't all think everyone is crazy. Some of the clinical charlatans overdiagnose like mad, and the DSM keeps growing, but there are plenty of us pissed about those trends.

      • Granted I’m expressing this in a reductive manner Tarrou but isn’t one of the clinical markers of psychopathy adequately summed up as “being unable to recognize that some of your thoughts, emotions and impulses are crazy to others?”

        By that logic wouldn’t considering yourself totally sane (i.e. NOT having any of the seeds of mental illness) be a thoroughly reliable indicator of the fact that someone actually IS insane?

    • Pretty much. Psychology is a very loose science, if you can even call it such. It’s all based feeling and schools of thought, all theory.

      There are no actual laws. Hardly a tangible science.

    • She’s right. Crimes like Newtown and Columbine that are committed by crazy people get about 99% of the attention vs day to day crimes like armed robbers and thugs that commit 99% of the related gun crimes. The crazies get attention way out of proportion. Thats because their crimes are usually completely senseless and they intend to get attention. The guy robbing someone isn’t. So what else is new/

  2. Well another one that has there head up their ass! Do we really care what she says, what a F _ _ _ ing idiot!

  3. There have been some reports that the recent mass murderers, such as Lanza, were on meds that can have some serious psychotic side effects. I believe such medications are generally prescribed by shrinks .

    If true, then the article is nothing more than CYA and deflection.

    • I don’t believe that Lanza was on meds. He’d been prescribed meds in 2007 and tried them, but refused to take them any more because of the way they made him feel.

      • which is the SECOND problem with psychotropic drugs – they only work (side-effects notwithstanding) when the person actually takes them, and there is no way other than institutionalization to ensure that they keep taking them.

        The of course there are the frequent suicidal/homicidal side effects that the shrinks are unwilling to address.

        • Where “institutionalizing” the violent nutters (as grandpa properly did) keeps them away from “normal” citizens. We could today, perhaps, let the pshrinks, do their voodoo and “cure” them. After DUE PROCESS (quickly). Likely need to put away the ACLU wackos 1st.

        • You must recall the standard “miracle cure” for mental illness in the 30s and 40s; lobotomy. The standard “miracle cure” for mental illness in the 50s and 60s is now making a comeback: electrocution.

    • From a research perspective there is something to psychology but in practice 95% of it is mumbo jumbo quackery. Anyone who is self aware enough to make a good psychiatrist or psychologist is going to be smart enough to know that’s not what they want to do for a living.

  4. I am somewhat annoyed by the idea of any group of “professionals” that can make a statement that removes someones rights. In politics there are checks and balances *most of the time* but it takes just one asshole shrink out to make a name for themselves to screw you over.

  5. We have sought scapegoats in minority cultures, racial groups, and now the mentally ill.

    Minority culture? I don’t think so. We have sought scapegoats in our very own culture: comic books, music, movies, video games, but we have always attributed it to mental illness. The problem is those are ALL considered scapegoats in and of themselves and that their involvement in our society spurs people on to do these heinous things they otherwise wouldn’t do.

    Racial groups? There is no scapegoat there. If you cite racial statistics it’s considered racist. No one even bothers to tread there in fear of being ostracized. The antis don’t even go there themselves for fear of backstabbing their constituency and having to admit fault that violence does occur in racially concentrated areas.

      • +1

        Culture implies unique blend of shared history, beliefs, achievements and people. Nobody sits around and says “I’m proud to be a Sick Person! Our coherent geo-political history has brought great benefit to the world around us, our artists our poets, our politicians; all have bettered the world and now we demand recognition! When we sit around this hospital waiting room and Cough wetly at each other we are not merely spreading disease we are transmitting history! In this manner we educate our children and express our rich heritage to those who wish to learn it!”

        The Mentally Ill are most assuredly not a culture by any definition, no matter how abstract.

  6. “the violence problem (…) belongs to each and every one of us.”

    In 2011, there were 386.3 violent crimes per 100,000 people in the nation. Somehow that doesn’t seem like a problem that “belongs to each and every one of us.” It sounds more like the problem belongs to, oh, you know, violent criminals.

    Me? I’m not angry– I’m just a peace-lover with a back-up plan.

    • “Me? I’m not angry– I’m just a peace-lover with a back-up plan.”

      That has so much win written into it.
      I just kicked out the pythagorean theorem to be able to remember this.

      • “I just kicked out the pythagorean theorem to be able to remember this.

        And perhaps without even trying, you just tied him.

        +100 to both!

    • “Me? I’m not angry– I’m just a peace-lover with a back-up plan.”

      I like that. I feel exactly the same way. I wish the whole world would live in peace but given what human nature is there is no way that will happen.

    • Menopause. When pshrinks can cure it then I’ll believe they something more than wannabe (govt’ funded) witchdoctors.

      • Shrinks just made the “monthly” worse. Things seemed to be working out for that little chunk of history between “the dawn of time” and the early 1900’s when they just called menopause and menstruation “hysteria” and proscribed the cure for both to be “one big old dose of screaming orgasm, repeat as needed.”

        And no, I’m not making that up the first electric… ahem… “personal massagers” were in fact developed and marketed as medical devices.

        Misogyny accomplished! Away I go!

  7. “The attribution of violent crime to people diagnosed with mental illness is increasing stigmatization of the mentally ill while virtually no effort is being made to address the much broader cultural problem of anger management. This broader problem encompasses not just mass murders but violence toward children and spouses, rape, road rage, assault, and violent robberies. We are a culture awash in anger.”

    The next jiu jitsu move here is to transfer smoothly to

    “We must make an effort to address these broad cultural problems of violence towards children and spouses, rape, road rage, assault and violent robberies by properly diagnosing the mentally ill as any child or adult remotely capable of ‘anger mismanagement.'”

    • “We must make an effort to address these broad cultural problems of violence towards children and spouses, rape, road rage, assault and violent robberies by properly diagnosing the mentally ill as any child or adult remotely capable of ‘anger mismanagement.’”

      I believe we’ve been seeing increased cases of all of these except “violent robberies” in LEOs and Federal Agents in the last few years. She has juicy Federal and municipal contracts awaiting her for sure.

      • Does absconding with huge segments of my constitutional rights under the threat of force not count as “violent robbery?”

  8. The twelve time offender ate two many twinkies, why did you shoot him? He only kicked your door down cause he was lonely and wanted a cup of sugar! He doesn’t remember where that crow bar came from but thought you might want to borrow it! He wasn’t swinging it at you, he slipped and lost his balance! He was doing so well at his parole meeting……AGAIN! He really was a nice guy ahhh when he was six!

    • …only if Medicare reimburses it! Which makes her activity a lot like grazing on free government land. She’s doing something. You have to pay for it. They’ll invent a new super-pill and she’ll be out of a job….

  9. “Anger,” said Aristotle, “is not a defect if it is felt under appropriate circumstances to a sensible degree and is expressed to bring a change in the behavior which offends.”

    I think perhaps what he was saying is that before the era in which people spent so much time sitting in classrooms kissing their prof’s azz to get yet another degree in ephemeral so-called knowledge, a sensation of anger was what prompted sensible people to realize it was time to slap a wooden collar on the psychologist types and put them to work mucking out the cattle pens. I’ll have to consult the literature….

    • “Anger,” said Aristotle, “is not a defect if it is felt under appropriate circumstances to a sensible degree and is expressed to bring a change in the behavior which offends.”

      Or, more colloquially: “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.”

      • Absolutely. Or as Ari would have it, anger is only a problem when it is excessive or misdirected. But this changes with the times doesn’t it? Proper anger expression is a cultural matter, then, like music. Every culture has music, but these various musical expressions vary quite a bit.

        I wonder if it doesn’t make people with an anger management problems angry when someone tells them they have it? I told a gym teacher that once, and he flew into a rage.

  10. I imagine I’d be alot less angry if they lobotomised more crazy people, instead of giving them drivers liscenses and voter Id cards

  11. Gun crime in America is gang crime stop inner-city gang crime and America will be the safest nation in the world (our crime rate is very low compared to many European countries anyway)

  12. You see, anger is actually a mental illness. Just take your meds from nurse Rathcit and you’ll be fine. Hey, how about putting something in the water to keep us all docile? Govt would never do that…

    • Hell, just legalize pot. By the time most adults are on pot or Zanax even a few harsh words will land you in jail.

      So many politicians have had anger management problems,as do many CEOs (looking at you, Bloomy). Anger is a useful adaptation, but only if channeled into artful language that has the desired effect.

  13. Inability to control one’s anger IS a mental disorder. One rooted in real organic brain dysfunction – not a “product of long-term anger mismanagement”
    But seeing how psychologists are to brain function what alchemists were to chemistry…..

    And if she thinks we are a culture “awash” in anger and violence, Ms. Hayes ought to visit a certain Canadian-based gore site where the daily deluge of mayhem and mutilation out of Brazil, Mexico and Syria will set her straight.
    If it doesn’t scare the life out of her.

    But to be fair, I do have to admit there are certain socioeconomic sections of our society which are immensely more prone to violence. Just visit your local courthouse.

  14. “We are a culture awash in anger.”

    “That kind of talk really pisses me off. ”

    Did you seriously just juxtapose those statements w/o realized the irony????????

  15. I’m Angry. Anger management is not the solution. I would instantly not be angry any more if I didn’t have to pay obscene amount of taxes for products and services that I neither want nor use. Furthermore, if we could stop the erosion of my rights so I could better combat local, county, city, state, and federal corruption that would be great also.

  16. Re the thread at the top… Psychiatry is not the same as psychology. The former is a neuroscience and is concerned with, among other things, personality and behavior disorders arising from chemical imbalances in the brain. Psychiatrists are MDs and are licensed to prescribe drugs. The psychiatrists I know are for the most part a results-based, pretty down-to-earth crowd and get annoyed when people call them psychologists.

    Psychology, on the other hand… Well, I’ve met exactly one who actually seemed to be able to regularly help his patients, and he is more akin to a philosopher than a traditional psychologist. They generally are not MDs, and while I believe most of them want to help their patients, the emphasis seems to be on a never-ending series of office visits rather than identifying and treating underlying problems as rapidly and efficiently as possible.

  17. I see that none of you read the article. I don’t think this woman is a gun-grabber. I do think she is right about some things.

  18. Funny. Every time there is a mass shooting it is committed by someone being mentally abused by people just like “dr” Hayes, and amazingly enough they have the exact same political beliefs as “dr” Hayes.

    Funny, how that works out, every time.

  19. Dr. Hayes is wrong.
    Our self-defense laws (both criminal and civil) are based on the standard of action by the “ordinary, reasonable, prudent person -under like or similar circumstances.” Our self-defense laws are the distillation of a thousand years of common-sense jurisprudence and the social experiment of living in ever-freer and polite societies. If the vast majority of us could not think or act rationally under ordinary and extraordinary stress, then we would not have developed self-defense law as we have, with reliance on the fact that we can control both our actions and the power of the weapons we carry.

  20. Head shrinkers are glorified dope pushers, with more upscale environs. Its all pseudo science, with as much validity as global warming.

  21. ironically it was the NRA that made the statement that “evil exists” and it is the concept of evil that allows us to “face the demons in ourselves”. See Delbanco’s “The Death of Satan: How Americans Have Lost the Sense of Evil” for a more extensive (and not religiously based) argument on that concept.

    But this person commits the fault she blames us for: externalizing the threat. It’s anger mismanagment (which of course she is immune from) so we just need to get rid of the sources of that anger. We need to rise beyond these ‘primitive’ emotions as we have progressed beyond their utility. Or rather- you do- she’s already done it. The threat is in us but not her.

  22. ‘If it sounds like the philosophy underlying the civilian disarmament….’

    No. No. NO. The philosophy underlying civilian disarmament is that the people, the peasant, must be disarmed so that the state can continue to grow in power and control more aspects of our lives unimpeded. Tell us what to eat, drink, think…

    Every other argument presented has nothing to do with the philosophy underlying civilian disarmament. They are simply ratonalizations or arguments presented to further the cause, lies to get folks onboard. Convince the peasants to disarm themselves for their own good.

    Do not make the mistake of believing that the arguments presented represent the actual reasons for pushing disarmament. It ain’t for our safety, it ain’t to lower crime. We all know that’s not true because it doesn’t. Most of the folks arguing for gun control know it as well. It’s a handy excuse for those who don’t know the facts, its not what’s driving them.

  23. “Fight or Flight” is an instinctual response causing a release of adrenalin that has to “go” somewhere. Humans’ environment has changed, but this response system is still present and has value. People have plenty to be angry, scared and frustrated about in today’s U.S. Take a minute and make your own list. I submit this “anger management” issue is not the result of a wide dysfunction amongst people, but the many dysfunctions of society people have to deal with daily, that create frustration and excessive anger from suppressing this basic response in our “polite” society.

  24. The “profession” has in the past protected areas of mental illness because reporting those patients to the government or public release would prevent people with even minor problems from seeking help. Where is their outcry for gun owners? Any profession should be ashamed when their political motivations/beliefs override the truth.

  25. It amazes me that humans throughout history have been angry, that is part of hard wired human behavior…..
    And these academics seem to think they can unwire it.
    Since we no longer attack each other for slight causes and we live in a “polite” society I guess we have came as far as we are going to come. Unless we ALL start taking disabling drugs…which of course would cause nothing to get done and the world would fall apart, we will never stop all violence. The flowers and sunshine view of the world is a dream, nothing more.

  26. “anger management”…..a myth cloaked in a euphemism. Sort of like “psyence.” A revenue enhancer for charlatans.

  27. The progressives’ bottom line:

    Humans are much too unpredictable to be allowed too much liberty, and must have clearer-thinking elites to force us to behave.

    We’re all sick, don’cha know….

  28. Without a steady supply of “mentally ill” citizens, the Doctor’s branch of “medicine” would wither & shrink to where it should be & Big Pharma would lose $billions in revenue from selling dangerous drugs.

    No wonder she waffles on about “awash with anger”.

  29. You might want to turn off your pro-gun filters and read the article again.

    Dr. Hayes is saying that most of the violent acts gun-grabbers use to call for gun control could better be addressed by treatment of people with a demonstrated history of angry acts. (Nothing in her article calls for just disarming them.) She quotes the Kates and Mauser study showing 80 to 90 percent of murderers had prior police records. (Which means they were already prohibited persons.)

    Who does she blame? “One of the allegations that have recently been made is that the mental health community is failing society in dealing with violent crime. I would agree with this assessment. We have failed to provide an appropriate diagnosis for out-of-control anger or a framework to assist people in understanding the senseless violence around them, and worse, we have done nothing to prevent it.”

    Which is dead on target. So she isn’t talking about legal gun owners at all.

    • And yet, that is precisely who she has been targeting. Picking nits while leftards crush the Constitution is exactly how we have gotten to this point where crazy people like her have to power to destroy innocent people’s lives with a single piece of paper. Giving psychonazis like her legitimacy at all is conceding defeat.

  30. Even a cursory review of violent crime rates reveals several patterns that suggest the statements by Dr. Hayes are at best inaccurate and potentially that they are completely fabricated. Certainly her assertions belie the statistics and suggest that she’s never seen them or couldn’t interpret them.

    First, from country to country and even within a country the violent crime rate can vary dramatically. Looking specifically at the US there are states in which the violent crime rate is more than double that of certain other states. Within those states the crime rate can vary enormously from one county to the next.

    The picture these numbers illustrate would seemingly, according to Dr. Hayes, indicate that the residents of California are 385% more angry than those of Vermont (the murder rates in those states being 5.0 and 1.3 per 100k respectively). It’s also readily apparent that regardless of geography some groups of people are angrier than others, specifically those who are poor or members of a minority are significantly more angry than the general population.

    What’s more surprising is that being involved in the drug trade at any level seems to make people much more angry if the murder rate is any indication, and Dr. Hayes seems to suggest it should be.

    Also it seems that a certain, very few people are chronically angry since the recidivism rate for violent offenders is higher than the rate for all offenders.

    Meanwhile, the vast majority of people seem immune to anger completely and categorically, since less than .004% of all Americans commit murder (4.7% per 100K murder rate, 310M pop. = approx. 14570 murders and assuming 1 murderer per murder = .004 percent of the population commit murder, the actual rate must be less since some murderers have more than one victim).

    Murder is an aberration. The vast majority of people have an internal injunction against killing another and a large percentage of those who don’t are held in check by fear of prosecution, of retaliation or defensive action on the part of the intended victim, or some combination of factors. The infinitesimal minority of people who lack both the intrinsic and extrinsic injunctions against murder would make an argument that all murders suffer from aberrant psychology more supportable that the counter (and counter intuitive) argument put forth by Dr. Hayes; that the general population is made up of seething cauldrons of murderous anger barely kept in check.

    Dr. Hayes assertions are also cast in serious doubt by the sheer number of DGUs that end without actual violence. If everyone were enraged all the time and on the verge of murder why do they not display this anger by shooting people who have clearly antagonized them when it’s perfectly legal to do so?

    There is no empirical or statistical evidence to support Dr. Hayes’s claims, rather all available evidence tends to support the opposite supposition; that the widest majority of people are calm and devoid of any propensity or desire to kill and that those who commit murder are a tiny and highly aberrant minority.

    While I’ll agree that the problem of violence affects us all to some degree, there is simply no evidence that we’re all part of the problem, rather, the problem consists of a vanishingly small minority of people, concentrated in the poorest areas of our urban centers and largely consisting of racial minorities who are extremely disproportionately both the perpetrators and victims of lethal violence ( < 6% of the population are black males while they represent nearly 50% of murders as both perpetrator and victim). These unfortunates are certainly part of a culture "awash in danger", the US as a whole however is an exceedingly safe place and almost devoid of serious violence. If one wants a targeted approach to the problem of violence it must start with addressing poverty, drug abuse and trafficking and the culture of violence among inner city minority youth. Blaming the 99.996% of us who haven't and aren't going to murder anyone is neither productive or rational.

    • That’s one of the clearest assessments of the issue I’ve seen.
      One wonders how the legislature & those concerned with the actuality of violent crime cannot see those same points & thus act accordingly, rather than run out the tired old waffle about “gun crime” (I’ve yet to see a firearm convicted in court of ANY kind of crime….).

    • Thank you very much for that information Ardent well and clearly ordered and stated.

      In support I offer that Dr. Hayes demonstrates an easily corrected misunderstanding of Anger and the Fight-or-Flight response.

      The Dr. asserts that anger is integral to the fight-or-flight response and helps to “prepare us to stand our ground and fight.” This is not true, anger, indeed most emotions are specifically suppressed along with many other “higher” cognitive functions in order to improve our ability to fight by reducing stress.
      “In the context of the fight or flight response, emotional regulation is used proactively to avoid threats of stress or to control the level of emotional arousal.” (Cistler, Josh; Bunmi O. Olatunji, Matthew T. Feldner, and John P. Forsyth (2010). “Emotion Regulation and the Anxiety Disorders: An Integrative Review”. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment.) or (Gross, James (1998). “Sharpening the Focus: Emotion Regulation, Arousal, and Social Competence”. Psychological Inquiry.)

      Further her assertion implies that anger and the fight or flight response both serve the same purpose. This is not true, her statement that anger as a build-up “prepares” us for action in particular flies in the face of evolutionary psychology which posits that:

      “An evolutionary psychology explanation is that early animals had to react to threatening stimuli quickly and did not have time to psychologically and physically prepare themselves. The fight or flight response provided them with the mechanisms to rapidly respond to threats against survival.” (Grohol, John. “What’s the purpose of the fight or flight response?”) or (Goldstein, David; Kopin, I (2007). “Evolution of concepts of stress”.)

      Anger is summed up as follows:

      “Anger is an emotional response related to one’s psychological interpretation of having been offended, wronged, or denied…Sheila Videbeck describes anger as a normal emotion that involves a strong uncomfortable and emotional response to a perceived provocation.” (Videbeck, Sheila L. (2006). Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing (3rd ed.))

      A quick examination of these two statements is instructive. Flight-or-flight responses are specifically intended to cope with situations which an individual has no time to “psychologically or physically” prepare for. Anger requires that actions statements and behaviors first be “interpreted” or “perceived” before being identified to be provocative in some manner, which prompts an emotional response before leading finally to action (if at all.) This would indicate even on it’s own that Dr. Hayes statements are questionable.

      Examining the above facts one could conclude that a far more accurate statement than this one presented by Hayes: “Anger prepares us to stand our ground and fight.” Would be: “Anger prepares us to go forth and confront.”

      All in all her article and conclusions are difficult to credit in light of the easily discovered flaws found in her statements.

      • Thank you, Joseph for the well cited and thoughtful comments. That your assertions are correct is obvious, what isn’t as clear is how Dr. Hayes, psychologist, isn’t aware of that or failed to apply that knowledge. In light of your observations and the fact that she must have passed tests regarding both fight or flight and emotional response in humans to obtain her degree, and given that what she says about anger and crime is patently false I believe we can call her out; She’s either a fool or a liar. If a fool, why is anyone publishing her statements and if a liar, what motivation to suppress knowledge she must have as well as knowledge she should have in an intentional act of deception on the reader of her article? It could be that she’s a hoplophobe, that she’s a paid shill, or that she knows better than what she’s written but hopes the rest of us won’t and justifies her deception by rationalizing that we’re all to dumb to be trusted with guns and thus the ends (disarmament) justify the means. That is, she’s a nearly perfect microcosm of all the loudest anti’s; Misinformed and dishonest at the same time.

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